Thursday, March 27, 2014

Painting The Texture of Tea

Maybe it's the second cup of coffee, the time to myself, or that I truly love painting and I forgot how much I missed it! I just finished my first real painting since I closed up my gallery last year in April, and I'm truly giddy. I missed my lunch, I'm blogging, trying to use up every last second before I have to pick up my son at the sitter's. 

Tea Reflections, Oil on Canvas, 8" x 8", ©2014  Jennie Traill Schaeffer

I've been working on this off and on since last Wednesday; about three or four painting sessions, maybe a total of six hours. This piece was done with a sample set of oils by M. Graham, including only five colors: napthol red, azo yellow, ultramarine blue, phthalocyanine green and titanium white. I loved the consistency and color quality of these oils; buttery, dense, and bound with walnut oil something new I'm trying. I'll touch on this in a future post.

I began this piece with a quick colored pencil drawing, then started applying local color. I gradually built up more local color, thicker paint, and finally the brightest highlights and whites. The part I had the most trouble with was the tea bag. I began trying to replicate all of the highlights and text on the bag (it's a Stash tea bag), but it never seemed to work (my brushes are too thick) and the detail took away from the tea cup. I finally ended up destroying all of the detail on the bag by brushing over it with some of the creamy yellows from the mug. It felt good to make that very committed risk; the outcome is much better. 

Can't wait to share more future paintings with you. But, in the meantime, I'll be submitting this work to the Annual Faculty and Studio Assistant Exhibition in the Sally D. Francisco Gallery from May 31- August 3, 2014 at Peters Valley Craft Center. 

If you're interested in exploring painting tea and its paraphernalia, then consider joining me this summer for a three-day workshop, Painting The Texture of Tea, at Peters Valley in beautiful Sussex County, NJ. You can visit me and get a preview of the upcoming workshop during their annual Bevan's Day Open House on May 4th, where I will be painting throughout the afternoon. Hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's been Some Year! A Look Back . . . and Ahead.

I hate to say that it's been more than a year since my last blog post, but heck, I've been a bit busy. Unfortunately with our life in flux last year (selling and moving so quickly, closing my retail gallery and studio in Newton, having a baby, and now adjusting to life with two children) I never made a formal announcement about the birth of Auggie (pictured below). Considering all of our life changes, I've been on an extended maternity leave from my business.

This month I've found a part-time sitter for my youngest - five hours a week -which feels like an eternity of time! So, little by little, I am weaning from my maternity and settling in by painting some new pieces, preparing for an upcoming workshop, teaching some lessons, redesigning my marketing materials, and beginning a web redesign! I will be blogging more in the forthcoming year, but I'm home full-time with a 10-month old and my 5-year old when he is not in pre-k, so at this point I'm not ready to schedule a commitment. 

Here's a brief visual overview of what I've been working on over the past year:

One of the few sketches (Joel watching a movie) I completed prior to giving birth to Auggie.
Living in a temporary apartment for six months, boxes were everywhere.
Most of my art supplies were in storage, inaccessible.

August (Auggie) born May 15th
Joel snuggling with his little brother (summer '13)

Shot of the STUDIO - TraillWorks on the 3rd Floor. I was ready for lessons by the end of September.
We purchased a home in West Orange and moved in at the end of August.

Joel breaking in the studio, making woodblock prints place cards for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Our new home in West Orange during the December snow storms.

Auggie growing up, March 2014

In my next few blog posts I'll share more about some of the art I've managed to squeeze in over the past year, as well as lessons and workshops I've been teaching, and some other shots of my studio. In the meantime, stay in touch with me on Facebook or Twitter, where you'll find me the most. It's great to get back to the studio, and to my art!