Thursday, December 17, 2009

NJ Arts Need your Help!

NJ is in a serious state and because of it, the arts are suffering. And, in Sussex County, NJ, where we've been trying to stimulate the arts, they are getting cut greatly. This week Governor Corzine froze state funding that was promised to state arts organizations, without warning, giving organizations no time for a plan "B." Both the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council and Peters Valley Craft Center, two organizations that have been instrumental in my career, are facing a grim future.

SCA&HC has developed exhibition opportunities for me early in my career as well as nurture some key relationships that have helped me grow as an artist. Additionally, Peters Valley, along with a
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation partnership, provided me a one month residency in which to focus on my painting, giving me the realization to seek out studio space. I can credit these two organizations as the stepping stones to opening TraillWorks. They helped nurture an artist to think big and open a gallery and studio in a town on the verge of redevelopment. TraillWorks is helping the local economy and it was through the help of two prominent NJ arts organizations. Beyond me, these two groups do a lot for other arts organizations and provide many opportunities to many communities. It would be a disaster for our state and for our local economy to lose these organizations.

Here are some facts about the economic boost that arts provide (from the NJ State Council on the Arts, ):

• stimulate over $1.5 billion in economic activity

• return $36 Million in state tax revenues
• support 17,000 businesses and 82,000 jobs

• annually produce 34,000 events and attract 18 million attendees who spend over $400 million in the local economy

To learn more about the importance of the arts beyond the economic, visit


The Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council needs to raise $20,000 within two weeks to remain in operation. To help them, visit or call 973-383-1307.

Peters Valley has restructured and let go most of its teachers and staff in an effort to stay afloat. To help Peters Valley, you can make a donation by visiting their web site, or call 973-948-5200.

At this time of year many organizations are seeking money. Even if you can offer a dollar it will mean the world to many organizations.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

National Tie One on Day

November 25 2009 - National Tie One On Day

Here's something that I think is soooo cool and a great way to re-frame Thanksgiving. It's called National Tie One on Day and the idea is to wrap up a loaf of bread or other baked good in an apron, tucked with a note of encouragement or prayer, and present it to someone you know who is need of support of some kind of spiritual or physical uplift. As a lover of aprons, I stumbled upon EllynAnne Geisel when a friend sent me a link to her exhibition, The Apron Chronicles, since painting some of my husband's grandmother's aprons. National Tie One on Day was Geisel's response to her observation that the day before Thanksgiving, which traditionally was an occasion to celebrate family and prepare a bounty of food to give thanks, was becoming more linked with stress than joy.

I am going to make a point to pick someone to present something to, wrapped in an apron. I've gotten my husband involved and we decided this is something we will do every year with our son as a way to give back and teach him the joy of giving. Now we just need to think about what we're going to bake. Share this with your friends, participate in National Tie One on Day, and have a joyous Thanksgiving!

You can view my paintings which feature or incorporate aprons on my Facebook Page -

3:30pm Coffee Fix

Saved at Three - Thirty, Mixed Media on Arches, 10 1/2" x 7 1/4", ©2009 Jennie Traill Schaeffer. $269 (unframed)

I completed this about two weeks ago, in a tizzy one day not certain what to work on and feeling very unfocused. Rather than work on commissions I felt it was important to channel my frustration into something for myself. I was about to make myself a pot of coffee and rather than throw away the used filter I decided to collage it onto a drawing of my wedding cake which had been sitting around the studio for a long time. Once I started gluing, the piece just evolved. After completing my painting, Homage to Julia, I have a need to collage. It incorporates watercolor, several coffee filters, and this gorgeous deep blue green paper with copper screen-printed circle motifs. Of course, the ever-present percolator is incorporated.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bookmaking on 2nd Saturday, Newton

"Make a Book from a Grocery Bag?! Yes, it CAN be done... Amaze your friends, Mystify your family! Be the first one on your block to master the ancient art of bookmaking using the humble yet elegant grocery bag," says Sussex County's premier bookmaking artist, Renie Garlick.

Stop by TraillWorks on Newton's 2nd Saturday from 2 - 3pm to watch Renie give an engaging demo. While you're there, you can enter to win a copy of my first hand made book for sale. It's a collaboration with Renie; she constructed it and I designed it with her. The book features Japanese Hosho paper, Nepalese Lama Li Lokta paper and a giclée on Arches of my recent painting, Homage to Julia, a collage personifying Julia Child and her beloved mixers. Only 50 copies will be made and I will sign and number all of them.



Measures 5” x 5” square, 160 pages, covered in printed acid-free Japanese Hosho paper
and lined with Nepalese-made and air-dried garnet Lama Li Lokta paper. Signed and numbered limited edition of 50 books.

$40, buy now on Etsy.

There's always so much to do on Spring Street on 2nd Saturday. So come by TraillWorks to savor your day and then linger awhile. Visit to download the press release listing more of what's going on throughout the day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

2010 is a Reason to Follow TraillWorks

2010 Calendars
8.5" x 11" opened
80# Glossy Stock
28 pages, 12 months

$14.95 (regular price)*
tax / shipping additional

Are you a fan of TraillWorks on Facebook or a subscriber to the TraillWorks' E-Newsletter? If not, now's the time to become one. As a TraillWorks fan or E-Newsletter subscriber you are kept up to date on all things happening at the studio / gallery from openings to the release of new works and what students are up to.

And, while the 2010 Calendar Pre-order Event is going on, TraillWorks fans and subscribers will get special pricing for ordering more than one calendar, now through October 31st.* So, become a fan or subscribe to the e-newsletter.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Calendars Just Went to Press

2009 TraillWorks Calendar Cover

I just sent my 4th annual calendar to the printer. It should be available by the end of the month. This year has been the toughest and probably most productive year ever. As I write in the calendar, adjusting to life with a new baby has shifted my focus and work. My painting time in the beginning of the year was shortened and it forced me to paint smaller, and quicker pieces. The work in this year’s calendar ranges from a few plein air paintings of my son and landscapes, to Wedding Cake Portrait commissions and of course more appliances.

I have considered increasing the size of the calendar, but because so many people have expressed how much they love it as is, I've decided to continue with what works. I've added new holidays to the calendar including two major Muslim holidays and a popular Hindu holiday.

While my web site is being redesigned, you can order calendars here. Or, if you become a fan of my TraillWorks facebook page or subscribe to my email newsletter you will have access to special pricing on the calendars through October 31st.

2010 Calendars
8.5" x 11" opened
28 pages, 12 months

tax / shipping additional

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hilltop Art Show - This Weekend

I'm scrambling to finish a new piece to be included in this weekend's Hilltop Country Day School in Sparta. A premier event bringing talented artists from all over the region and beyond for a one weekend show to benefit the school. This will be my fifth year participating; each year has brought sales and great networking. I'm so pleased that this will be the first year I'm producing a piece which will not have been seen prior to the exhibit. Additionally I will be including a variety of oils, tiles, and some new giclées at the exhibit. For a sneak preview at what I've been working on visit

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Joel at almost 11 Months

photo ©2009, Rob Yaskovic from his blog, Yaskovic Wedding & Portrait

Though a bit of a deviation from my normal posts, I have to share some of the photos taken of my son this morning by local photographer, Rob Yaskovic. You can see some of the photos at Rob's blog, Yaskovic Wedding & Portrait. I cannot believe that in a month he will be a year old. He's an absolute joy and I'm so fortunate to share with you my purest artwork.

The shoot with Rob was so much fun. Not only is Rob a phenomenal photographer, he was great with Joel; had a lot of energy and kept Joel interested in the shoot. He is genuinely passionate about the work he does and the people he's working with. Though these are just the icing on the cake I am so thrilled with what he's posted so far.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Great Opportunity to Help Raise Awareness for Ovarian Cancer and Purchase Art

Just a friendly reminder of my benefit tomorrow night for the Kaleidoscope of Hope. Though billed as a gold buying party, you don't have to sell your gold to attend. During the evening I will have donation envelopes for you to directly contribute to a great organization doing wonderful things to raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer. If you donate to KOH during the evening and want to purchase any of my artwork, I will reduce the price of the work by the amount you donate or by 40%, whichever is less. Visit for more information about the event.

Ovarian Cancer is difficult to detect as there are currently no early detection screenings for it. If you notice any of the following symptoms, please address them with your doctor. For more detailed information, visit Kaleidoscope of Hope.
  • Discomfort in the abdominal/pelvic region
  • Swelling of the stomach (abdomen)
  • Continuous fatigue
  • Unusual weight gain or loss, notably in the abdominal area
  • Ongoing gastrointestinal complaints including nausea, indigestion and/or gas
  • Frequent urination (in absence of an infection)
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Bleeding between periods or after menopause

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Details, Details . . .

TraillWorks & Buccieri's GEMS & JEWELRY
invite you to join us for a

Friday, September 25th | 7 - 9pm
to benefit Kaleidoscope of Hope
a non-profit organization raising funds and awareness for ovarian cancer research.

hosted by TraillWorks
135 Spring Street | Newton, NJ | 973-383-1307

bring your unwanted, broken, mismatched gold
Matt Buccieri, Graduate Gemologist, owner of Buccieri's GEMS & JEWELRY, Oak Ridge, NJ, will sort, weigh, and purchase your gold on the spot. Buccieri's will donate 5% of all they pay out during the party to KOH and TraillWorks will reduce the retail price of any artwork purchased by the amount donated to KOH or by 40%, whichever is less when a guest donates to KOH during the party.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

GOLD HARD CASH PARTY to Support Kaleidoscope of Hope

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. There are walkathons, parties, and teal ribbons all over this month; the town of Newton has been "Tealed."

Since my mom's college friend passed away a couple of years ago I have made this my cause. This year to support Kaleidoscope of Hope, a non-profit organization raising funds and awareness for ovarian cancer reasearch, I am partnering with Oak Ridge jeweler, Buccieri's GEMS & JEWELRY and hosting a GOLD HARD CASH PARTY.

Mark your calendars for Friday, September 25th. More information will come in a later post, but in the meantime if you see teal ribbons around your town, remember its for ovarian cancer awareness. You can learn more about the "silent disease" at

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Breadside Tables are Here!

Guest artist, Steve Butler's "Breadside Tables" are now at TraillWorks. Though not yet organized for the official exhibit, they are on view. "Breadside Tables" are Steve's unique reuse of kitchen kitsch. A collector of bread boxes, Steve combines them with feet from vintage ottomans of the same era to create a really neat piece of retro furniture. These would make excellent bedside tables or side tables with the right mid century modern furniture.

The exhibit starts Monday and runs through September 29th. An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, September 12th, from 5 - 8pm, coinciding with Newton's Tour of Art on 2nd Saturday.

You can read more about Steve's process and interest in bread boxes on his blog, Steve Butler-Furniture Maker.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Big Announcement!

I am officially being represented by ArtQuiver, a sleek, new online gallery that is getting a lot of buzz. As of today my gallery is live and you can view it directly at They are representing some phenomenal painters and I'm deeply honored to have been sought out by what looks to be a promising venture. ArtQuiver offers an incredible marriage between technology and art. You can search for artwork by style, price, medium, size, artist, color and popularity. If you visit an artist's gallery directly, you'll come to a virtual gallery which shows the artist's work on a virtual wall with lighting and scale of the work by including architectural features and people in the room. I'm just thrilled to be part of this new way of buying art.

And, to top it off, ArtQuiver is running a giveaway right now . . . when you become a fan on their Facebook page and write on their wall or start following them on Twitter you'll have a chance of winning a painting, valued up to $5000 (see rules for details)! So check out my new gallery and visit their blog for more info on the giveaway, maybe you'll win one of my paintings!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursdays Late 'til 8

TraillWorks is now open Thursdays late until 8pm. The merchants of Spring Street finally came to a consensus . . . to be open late on Thursdays. Most merchants will be open until 8pm. Since we're all independent business owners, it's been tough getting everyone to agree. Hopefully with more pedestrian traffic on the street more merchants will be encouraged to stay open. So, shop locally and come on out to Newton on a Thursday to find many stores open for your convenience. Visit Main Street Newton, Inc.'s web site to check out individual store hours, as well as where to dine.

Look for a promotion coming in the fall that will reward you for visiting us late and shopping on Spring Street. In the meantime if you're interested in buying from local, independent businesses wherever you live, check out the 3/50 Project which is gaining media attention all over the country.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

20 Under 40

The past week has been so busy that I never got a chance to open my mail from a week ago. Yesterday, I tore open a letter from the NJ Herald, our county paper, thinking it would be an invoice for advertising. To my pleasant surprise it was a congratulatory letter for my selection as one of the NJ Herald's "20 Under 40."

A panel from the Herald selected the 20 honorees from nominations to honor business and civic leaders under the age of 40 who are making our community a better place to live. Wow! I am truly humbled and touched by this recognition.

According to the letter I will be getting a phone call for an interview for publication of the project at the end of September. I'll keep you posted! Thank you to whoever nominated me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

2nd Saturday Summer Blues

Whether music, food, or color, there's so much to do with Blue on 2nd Saturday in Newton. Enjoy Summer Blues with . . .

Music - FREE from 5 - 8pm
Glenn Zervas, The Rum Boogie Blues Band AND Queens Blvd.
8pm on
Peter Biedermann playing electronic inspired music at Now Now Gallery

Detail of Topography I ©2009 Jennie Traill Schaeffer

Art -
The Topography of Blue at TraillWorks
new works featuring a vintage blue apron by me

Food -
Blue Cheese Tasting Tent on Spring Street by Cheddar Alley - FREE
Blue Plate Specials at JC's Grillhouse
$35 Three Course Meal at Andre's Restaurant

Blue Sales -
Now Now Gallery
Feels Like Home
Prima Donna's Consignments
Craft Creators

Education -
Readings from the Paulinskill Poetry Project at SCA&HC Gallery, 4 - 6pm
Lecture on the "Influence of Blue" at Inner Designs, 11am & 4pm

For more information and links to each merchant, visit

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Student Works

Exploding Poppy, Mixed Media on Canvas, 20" x 20", ©2009 Laurel O'Rourke

One of my students, Laurel, just finished this four-panel mixed media painting. It was her first experience with acrylic which was then touched up with soft pastels. She and I had a lot of fun exploring color relationships and the expressive qualities of the paint / pastel together.

For more student work, see the student album on Facebook. No, you don't have to be a Facebook user to view my Facebook page:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Another Giveaway and Reason to Become a Fan

Since my last promotion in early July to get fans added to my TraillWorks Facebook page was so successful I'm doing it again to drive traffic to my Wedding Cake Portraits page on Facebook. During the month of August you might be the winner of a 6" x 6" Wedding Cake Portrait, valued at $99! I will create a painting of your wedding cake topper on a tile.

All you have to do is become a fan of Wedding Cake Portraits on Facebook and suggest it to your friends. I have to reach 200 fans during the month of August. A winner will be selected on August 31st only if I have reached 200+ fans. The winner will be selected from people who become fans during the month of August.

So go ahead and become a fan!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Topography of Blue

Topography I, Ceramic Paint on Tile, 6" x 6", © 2009 Jennie Traill Schaeffer

To tie into our annual Summer Blues 2nd Saturday in August, I'm focusing on some paintings dealing with blue. I've been reading Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay, which is a fascinating study of how colors came to be as well as a little of the symbolism around color. Blue being one of my favorite colors, I've read about the origin of ultramarine from lapis lazuli, mostly mined in Afghanistan. The name ultramarine, comes from the Italian, oltramarino, meaning "from beyond the seas." It's a misnomer that the color name is synonymous with the ocean, but rather with the idea that it was traded from the East, over the ocean, to the West.

Lapis lazuli originates with the Sumerians in Ur, and was used by the Egyptians in both art and makeup. Michelangelo is known to have used the pigment and according to Finlay, one of his paintings, The Entombment, is blank in the right bottom corner. Supposedly a space for the Virgin, Finlay says Michelangelo would have painted her blue as was customary at the time, but because of the expense of ultramarine, probably never received the pigment.

The paintings I'm working on use my husband's grandmother's blue taffeta striped apron as the impetus for a study of the "topography of blue" which in retrospect might be the "topography of a blue apron." Above is an example of one recently completed. The finished paintings will be on display for Saturday, August 8th.

Michelangelo | The Entombment | NG790 Shared via AddThis

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mom & Pops - An Homage

I just found this on Gawker Artists - an exhibit in NYC focusing on the fading storefronts and culture. This is quite appropriate to the recent underground movement of things like the 3/50 Project. I won't be able to get in to see the show, but if you're in NYC, check it out and let me know how it is.

Links Name Change

I've added a new link on my blog and changed the name from Blogs of Note, to Creatives. These from now on will be links to blogs, Facebook pages, web sites about creative people, places and things I find interesting or worth visiting. So here's the first new addition: The Craftique, New Jersey's premier craft event promoter. The principals of this operation have discerning taste so you'll know that they are promoting quality crafts and arts. Check them out!

If you'd like to swap links with me and be included in my "Creatives" links, send an email to j with "creatives" in the subject header with a brief blurb about what you do.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We Have a Winner!

English Green Extra Light in the Berkshires, Oil on Canvas, 7" x 5", © 2009 Jennie Traill Schaeffer

I've chosen my winner and the TraillWorks Facebook page is now over 100 fans. Woo Hoo! Congratulations to cupcake baker, Jill Hrabovsky, of Blairstown, NJ. We've been affiliating together and I just so happened to pull her name from the proverbial hat. Check out her awesome desserts at The Cupcake Factory. She will be taking home the painting above to don on her walls.
Stay tuned for a contest to boost the fan base of Wedding Cake Portraits. I'm thinking of an incentive. Any ideas, please share!

In the meantime, go to to see recent posts.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

TraillWorks Giveaway to Facebook Fans

Painting completed last summer in the Berkshires. ©2008 Jennie Traill Schaeffer. Private Collection.

To help the TraillWorks Facebook page reach 100 fans, I'm giving away one 5" x 7" original oil, valued at $99, that I will be painting this week in the Berkshires. Become a fan and you'll be entered to win.

Once TraillWorks reaches 100 fans, the page can get its own url, a way to make the page easier to find. The pic above is a painting I completed during last year's Berkshires vacation. I have no idea what this year's painting will entail, just become a fan, and check in next week to see if I've reached 100 fans.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Almost Finished

I'll be finishing my latest Wedding Cake Portrait this week - check out the full image on my Facebook page. The work stalled since I came down with a fever / infection from nursing this week. But I'm feeling better and will be going to the studio today to work on it.

I've almost come to terms with wrapping up giving my son breast milk. He was tongue-tied at birth and very difficult to nurse so as an alternative after help from many resources with little success I decided to solely express milk. I've managed so far, but the schedule four times / day, about an extra two hours, spent attached to the breast pump is not only difficult to stick to considering my work, it's also becoming exhausting and is probably the cause of my illness this week.

Many moms and other breastfeeding proponents have been encouraging my breastfeeding. But, they don't seem to understand my situation and my schedule. I was initially hoping to nurse for a year, but considering Joel's circumstances, the shift to pumping shifted my goals to pump for six months. I've exceeded those expectations by going for 7 1/2 months and by the time I gradually stop, it will probably go well into 8 months.

I have to thank my best friend
(a stay at home mom who has nursed both her two girls for a year) for putting it very bluntly and told me not to feel badly if I stop and I shouldn't compare myself to her b/c her job is as stay at home mom, and she added that her kids watch too much TV. She reaffirmed the notion that no mom is perfect and we do the best we can for our kids, given our situations. Thanks, Rach, for supporting me, making me laugh, and being honest! So as the wedding cake becomes more complete, so will my pumping sessions.

Friday, June 19, 2009

You're Invited to see Kitchen Savories

Andre's Restaurant is hosting an exhibition of my work now through June 28th. It's been a perfectly timed show. Andre's wanted to show my work for about a year now, but I waited until I was using my gallery for something else so I didn't end up with empty walls. So it has coincided with my first annual student show.

Join me at Andre's Restaurant for a . . .

Closing Reception & Meet the Artist
Sunday, June 28th | 3-5 pm

Stay for dinner - All American BBQ 3 Courses $ 35.

Make Reservations Early.
Call 973-300-4192

Visit Facebook for more information.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Decoding a Toaster on Arts Origin

Thank you to D. Flynn for his inspiring commentary on my work for his humor column on Arts Origin, a blog devoted to poignant observations about various facets of the art world. You can read what he has to say about my appliance paintings in his post, Angels and Demons in the Toaster? Maybe Tom Hanks will start decoding a toaster.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

First Annual Student Show

1st Annual Student Exhibit

June 12th - 28th
TraillWorks Gallery
135 Spring Street
Newton, NJ 07860

Friday, June 12th, 6 - 8pm

I've invited my students who have been with me since I moved to Spring Street to exhibit their finest works. My students are continually astounding me with their ideas, innovation, and talent. Join me in celebrating all that they've learned.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Meet The Cupcake Factory

Image courtesy, The Cupcake Factory

I spent the morning meeting with the owner of The Cupcake Factory. She is definitely passionate about her cupcakes, a savvy business owner to boot, and a wonderful mom who bakes into the wee hours of the night. Though I've yet to taste her sweets, I am enamored with the work she's done . . . and everything is homemade and made from local ingredients when possible. She's based in Blairstown, NJ but delivers all over NJ and surrounding areas. We're developing a relationship and she'll be spreading the word about Wedding Cake Portraits to her clients. Thanks Jill - I am so thrilled to be working with you.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Meet the Mudpeople

Tomorrow is a BIG Day — it’s Book Launch Day for my friend Renie Garlick’s book: To Stand Under A Yellow Tree, Imagining.This story is an invitation to you from the mudpeople, personal yet not personalized; they know you, but not your name, not yet. (Renie says when you join them the mudpeople give you a new name...!)

They speak to you through your creative soul and call you to “Come out and play!” There will be magics and games, prizes and surprises and fireworks!
Go to:

It’s a Story Telling Festival! And it begins here, now:
To Stand Under A Yellow Tree, Imagining. Imagine balloons and flags and ribbons snaking in the winds above a sunny field! And you! Yes, you, too!

Pick up the book today and be part of these festivities. Put on your Artist Party Hat! Bring your friends and family and meet us by the river on the muddy banks! We have saved a place for you there!
Join us at:

PS Hey! Feel free to forward this invitation along to anyone else you think ought to know about it. THANKS!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bravo Abby!

I would like to announce the achievements of one of my art students, Abby Mechanic. She has been awarded the Dean Scholarship for Academics & Art at Maine College of Art, Portland for attendance beginning the fall 2009 semester towards a BFA in woodworking and furniture design.

A senior at Sparta High School, Abby studied privately with me for six months developing her portfolio. I credit Abby’s accomplishment to her passion, hard work, and willingness to learn. When she first started with me, observation drawing, a big component of a strong art portfolio, was not her focus. She had an unusually good foundation with a variety of media, including wood and glass, but needed to round out her work by including drawings. She worked on several pieces that focused on seeing and rendering objects, while creating unique approaches to otherwise banal subject matter.

Congrats Abby - you will go very far! Above are some of the pieces we did together.

Images © 2009 Abby Mechanic, courtesy of TraillWorks.