Sunday, December 2, 2012

25 Artful Days at TraillWorks

Jewels Garnet, Fiber and Found Object Collage, 6" x 4" Martha C. Hall
On December 1st we kicked off a holiday gift program on the TraillWorks' Facebook page. From now through December 25th, we're posting a gift idea daily on the page. Most of the gifts stem from our current exhibit, "Good Things, Small Packages," while a few come from TraillWorks in general. 

Cover, 2013 TraillWorks Calendar

Throughout the month, we encourage you to like our page, comment and interact with the ideas we're posting. At the end of each week, the fan with the most interactions during that period will be awarded a complimentary 2013 TraillWorks Calendar featuring the work of ten of our artists. Winners will be announced every Saturday in December on Facebook.

Feel free to share this on Twitter by using the hashtag #25ArtfulDays. We hope you like the selections we've chosen for you - the gallery is full of really unique and meaningful handmade gifts, made by local and regional artists. Enjoy your holiday season and remember the importance of buying local and from artists and artisans.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

You're Invited to Dedicate the Mural at St. Joseph's

A portion of the mural, ©2012 Jennie Traill Schaeffer
On August 18th I put the finishing touches of varnish and officially signed the St. Joseph's mural. After a year and a half of work, my biggest project has been completed. Now, I'm excited to announce an official Mural Dedication which is set to take place on October 14th from 1 - 3pm at St. Joseph's Regional School in Newton. 

The school is located at 20 Jefferson Street, but the mural is accessed by alleys on Halsted and Jefferson Street to the rear of the school. St. Joseph's is putting together a HarvestFest to celebrate the mural. They will be hosting a family-friendly event with a bounce house, pumpkin decorating, face painting, music, and carnival games. 

I hope you'll join me in this very special day! Learn more about the event and the mural process in this Sunday's New Jersey Herald - St. Joseph School to dedicate mural at HarvestFest.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Contemporary Landscapes at TraillWorks

Janet Howard-Fatta: Brilliant AutumnChris Chappell: South StreetKate Childs: UntitledBrenda Decker: Over the FieldBrenda Decker: Lake ShoreBrenda Decker: Ocean Breeze
Brenda Decker: After The StormWater's EdgeBrenda Decker: Spring SkyBrenda Decker: Day at the BeachDistant ShoreBrenda Decker: Beyond the Dunes
Janet Howard-Fatta Winter PathJanet Howard-Fatta: Morning MeadowJanet Howard-Fatta: After the StormJanet Howard Fatta: Large TreeJanet Howard-Fatta: Main StreetJanet Howard-Fatta: Railroad Ave. AM
Janet Howard-Fatta: At the TracksJane Brennan Koeck: Thunder Bay Triptych I, II, IIJane Brennan Koeck: Endless Bluebonnets I, II, IIIJane Brennan Koeck: Blazing Bayou Triptych I, II, IIKarin Lowney-Seed - SeaAmanda Gordon Miller: Fairy Woods in Winter
Contemporary Landscapes, a set on Flickr.

Our current exhibit speaks to the expanding importance of the landscape genre and the growing desire artists have to document the environment. Through unique, personal visions, ten artists bring the outside world into the gallery space. While many of the works are oil paintings, some explore bridging traditional media like combining watercolor, oil and collage in one work. Some of the works feature luminescent portrayals of Main Street America; some expressive depictions of urban cities; others explore wide vistas and dramatic storm systems. Artists from New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Texas and Massachusetts will have their work on display at TraillWorks through August 19th.
We'd like to thank all who attended our opening reception on July 14th. Special thanks to The Alternative Press for their coverage of the show and "Paint Newton", held on the same day. We'd also like to extend our gratitude to The Plaza Restaurant for their delicious sandwiches, cavatelli and broccoli, and paella they offered as "Art Partner" to the exhibit. The Mediterranean influenced restaurant is located at 118 Spring Street and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.

For more information about the exhibit and the artists featured, visit the current events page of our web site. 

If you're not a subscriber to our newsletter, sign up here. We're going to be offering a special promotion starting tomorrow, announced in our newsletter.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paint Newton a Success!

Last Saturday TraillWorks was host to artists from around the state who came to set up easels on Spring Street and "Paint Newton." The weather held for a great day of plein air painting, despite the heat. Though in our inaugural event 13 artists registered, we had a total of six actually attend. One of our artists, David Ohlerking, was stranded in Philadelphia with a broken windshield and was unfortunately not able to attend. 

Painting in progress by Alison Tuday
Painting in progress by Janet Howard-Fatta

Entry to the event was not juried, but awards were given in three categories: Grand Prize, Best Student / Amateur Artist, and a People's Choice award voted by passersby on the street. The paint out was held from noon - 5pm, at which point the artists came back to TraillWorks for an awards ceremony and reception, part of our opening for our current exhibit, Contemporary Landscapes. 

Participating artists were Alison Tuday of Bernardsville, NJ, Janet Howard-Fatta, of Warwick, NY, Judy Lock of Branchville, NJ, Marilyn Rose of West Caldwell, NJ, Wendy Stamer of Sparta, NJ, and Cole Longcor of Stillwater, NJ.

Painting by Wendy Stamer of Sparta, NJ
Marilyn Rose painting
The Grand Prize was juried by me and awarded to Marilyn Rose of West Caldwell, NJ, for her watercolor paintings of Newton. Best Student / Amateur Artist went to Alison Tuday, of Bernardsville, NJ. A student of David Ohlerking, Alison's vibrant works were mainly painted with her fingers. The People's Choice award went to Cole Longcor, and young budding artist from Sussex County. And finally, from the ballots entered in the People's Choice contest, a random voter was selected to win an artist's proof of one of my giclées. Congrats to Doug DeWitte of Newton for being drawn. 

Best Student / Amateur winner, Alison Tuday
Grand Prize winner, Marilyn Rose
People's Choice Award winner, Cole Longcor
Doug DeWitte, Winner of an AP Giclée, Homage to Julia by Jennie Traill Schaeffer

Several pieces by the winners are on display at TraillWorks and are available for sale. Special thanks to the sponsors of this event, the New Jersey Society of En Plein Air Painters, the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council, the Craft Creators, and the New Spring Street Group. For more about Paint Newton, read a review by The Alternative Press here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Nuts and Bolts of the St. Joseph's Mural Commission

Detail of the Crucifixion Window in-progress at St. Joseph's Regional School

Murals have been on my mind. I was commissioned last April by St. Joseph's Regional School in Newton, NJ to complete a mural to complete a play-scape transformation project. My surface - a 40' x 15' cinder block wall pierced with windows. When I first viewed the walls, I thought wow, that is huge. I've never worked that large, let alone outside. Fear of the unknown crept in slowly and I fought back with a determination to successfully execute this project.

Philly Art, courtesy of

I spent a summer in college interning at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was exposed to their very successful Mural Arts Program. Every corner you turn in Philly, a wall is elaborately finished with amazing images painted by artists. This was my opportunity to understand and work on a grand scale.
Part of my original design for the mural

I took the commission which has taken about a year to design. No, I have not worked on it every day for a year, but in juggling my other projects and teaching, it took a year to come up with an initial idea, and then go through the revision process. Last June I spent two sessions working with selected students in brainstorming ideas. I took some of their ideas. along with my own to present an initial design that incorporated both scripture and elements of the school day. The schema I came up with breaks the wall into a series of stained glass windows, turning the outside into a church-like environment, giving the feeling you are outside and inside a Gothic cathedral at the same time. Ultimately, the committee felt I needed to go purely in the religious direction, so I came up with an illustration depicting 9 bible verses selected by the priest of St. Jo's, Father Brian Sullivan. The windows start with Creation and end with the Resurrection / Ascension.

On the scaffolding for the first time!
Color studies for the mural, done in marker
At the end of March, my current design was approved and then I waited for the warm weather to return. I picked up two sets of 5' scaffolding with my parent liaison, Jessie Martin, and her 70 year old mother who lent us her pickup truck and instructed me on putting it together and scaling it! Truly humbling to watch Jessie's mother climb all over the scaffolding as if she had been born on it.

Montana Hardcore Paint Markers, image from
Nativity and St. Joseph windows after completing the drawing at night.
I'm using a process that I researched thoroughly over the past year; projecting my image with an Art Prism and drawing the outlines with Montana Hardcore markers. This work required darkness for the image to successfully show on the wall so I spent about six, warm and dry weather evenings in April and May from 8:15 through 10 and 11pm drawing the design with a parent buddy, students, and my son and husband keeping me company. Numerous evenings Joel, my son, would cry because he had to go to bed and couldn't come to the mural. It was really special to have him see me work on this project and be so interested.

After my first painting session.
As of May 10th I finally began the painting. I'm using custom mixed acrylics special ordered from Golden Acrylics in New York state. They make amazing paints - this is my first time using them and I'm super impressed by the coverage, color, and texture of the paints. After I got into the project, I remembered learning about their use for mural work from my time at Pearl Paint. In about a week from ordering at Jerry's Artists' Outlet in West Orange, I had 5 gallons of artists acrylic. I'm using colors suggested by Marshall Okin at Jerry's - manganese blue, pyrole red, hansa yellow medium, bone black, and titanium white - all rated for permanence.The colors are really impressive on the wall.
Detail of Jesus from the Ascension / Resurrection Window
Ascension/Resurrection of Jesus Window, nearly complete as of 5/18
Crucifixion Window, started 5/19

I'm only working on the 2nd of the 9 windows and am hoping to complete any scaffolding work by the beginning of June. However, now that I see how long I am spending on each window, I probably have a good 70 hours worth of work ahead of me; which I'm fitting in around my retail hours at the gallery, my teaching schedule, and picking up my son from daycare. Whew! So if you'd like to follow my progress, become of fan of my Facebook page - that's where I'm posting daily updates. You're also more than welcome to stop by and watch me work.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Growth, Renewal, & Change

Marie Christine Murphy: Blue MorphoAmanda Gordon Miller: Birds and BranchesAmanda Gordon Miller: NestAmanda Gordon Miller: Nest With Three EggsAmanda Gordon Miller: Nest, Nesting, Nestle, NestledAmanda Gordon Miller: Pregnancy Portrait
Amanda Gordon Miller: Sweet WilliamAndrea Rosenfeld: Carnelian Lucite Coral Five-strand-braceletAndrea Rosenfeld: Carnelian MOP Jasper Pearl Fire Agate 5-strand Slant LoAndrea Rosenfeld: Cocobolo with Azurite drum aAndrea Rosenfeld: Copper Italian Marble Mookaite Crystal Silver NecklaceAndrea Rosenfeld: Crystal Teeth
Andrea Rosenfeld: Mixed Stone and Leather BangleAndrea Rosenfeld: Purple FlowerAndrea Rosenfeld: Reclaimed Wood PendantAndrea Rosenfeld: Silver and Sterling Pendant Eye Glass HolderAndrea Rosenfeld: Silverleaf Pearl Quartz Y-NecklaceAndrea Rosenfeld: Turquoise Pearl Sterling Aqua Howlite Blue Goldstone Glass Bracelet Healing Side
Andrea Rosenfeld: Two Strand Amethyst Turquoise Pearl Glass Jasper NecklaceBrenda Decker: Spring SkyBrenda Decker: Vernal AfternoonBrenda Decker: Vernal EveningBrenda Decker: Vernal MorningDavid Ohlerking: Main and Spring
Growth, Renewal, & Change, a set on Flickr.
Join us for the opening of the much-anticipated exhibit, Growth, Renewal and Change, the first group show of TraillWorks' 2012 season. Through Friday, facebook fans and newsletter subscribers can preview the work on Flickr and save $10 on every $100 on work they purchase.

Featuring the following fifteen artists' insights of Growth, Renewal, and Change, this show is a fitting start to the Spring:

The opening reception runs from 5 - 8pm on Saturday, April 21st at the gallery in Newton. Artist, Ron Hornung, will be guiding attendees throughout the evening in making a collaborative "Handala", an artwork based on a mandala made from hand tracings.

Food is being provided by Spring Street's, The Plaza Restaurant, this exhibit's Art Partner. Frank Desario will be serving up his homemade paella, grilled vegetables, and more, along with drinks provided by TraillWorks.

For more information about the artists and the exhibit, visit