an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

art exhibit

“Safe”, original framed pastel

"Safe", pastel, 15" x 20", 2015 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Safe”, pastel, 15″ x 20″, 2015 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

This painting is entitled “Safe”, 15″ x 20″ , done in soft pastel on Strathmore pastel paper.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

This work was one of my new paintings for the 2015 Wings & Wildlife Art Show at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. It’s called “Safe”, done pastel from my photo references. It’s the two does who have visited my backyard for the past two years. They would often scurry through my woodland garden to the overgrown area between all our yards when I came outside, and though they were in plain sight of about six houses they apparently felt they were safe—and they were, really, because when I looked at the reference photo for this I wondered why I’d taken a photo of the brush at the end of the yard, and then I saw the ears.

The original is framed with a 4″ white acid-free mat and a 1.25″ white painted arched wood frame.

You can find the original in my Etsy shop along with framed and unframed prints.

SHIPPING AND CHARGES

Shipping within the US is included in the cost of each print.

Prints up to 16″ x 20″ are shipped flat in a rigid envelope. Larger prints are shipped rolled in a mailing tube unless otherwise requested; flat shipping is an extra cost because it’s oversized.

GICLEE PRINTS

The giclees are printed on acid-free hot press art paper for a smooth matte finish using archival inks. Giclee is the highest quality print available because the technique uses a dozen or more ink ports to capture all the nuances of the original painting, including details of the texture, far more sensitive than any other printing medium. Sometimes my giclees look so much like my originals that even I have a difficult time telling them apart when they are in frames.

I don’t keep giclee prints in stock for most of my works. Usually I have giclees printed as they are ordered unless I have an exhibit where I’ll be selling a particular print so there is a wait of up to two weeks before receipt of your print to allow for time to print and ship.

DIGITAL PRINTS

Digital prints are made on acid-free matte-finish natural white 100# cover using archival digital inks. While digital prints are not the quality of a giclee in capturing every nuance and detail of color, texture and shading, I am still very pleased with the outcome and usually only I as the artist, could tell where detail and color were not as sharp as the original. Digital prints are only available up to 11″ x 17″ and some of the prints are cropped to fit standard mat and frame sizes.

Digital prints have at least 1/2″ around the edges depending on the size of the print. All are countersigned by me.

CANVAS PRINTS

Because the standard size canvas prints are not proportional to the original painting, canvas prints of this painting will have a portion cropped off.

I usually have at least one of the smaller sizes of canvases on hand, but order larger ones as they are ordered because I have limited storage space. Smaller canvases are a 3/4″ in depth, Canvases 12 x 16 and larger are 1-1/2″ in depth. I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or sometimes I slip in a color that coordinates with the painting. This canvas mirrors the edges of the image around the sides.

FRAMED PRINTS

I do all my own framing and can custom frame a print for you. Please ask.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


A Day In the Woods: 2011

Looking Forward
Looking Forward

Looking Forward

One of my favorite photos from a visit by my great niece and nephews a few years ago, “Looking Forward” was included in my exhibit, “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail 2015“.

I enjoyed this day so much, and this photo has become one of my favorites of all time for so many reasons: the literal and metaphorical meanings behind my great-niece standing in shallow water, looking upstream, the ripples rolling out from her, she is growing up; the colors and spatters of sun on the water, and how much she reminded me of myself at that age, going barefoot and carrying my shoes, which I still do as I was standing barefoot in the water behind her with my camera, and the practicality of a bathing suit she can grow into, tied in a knot in the back because it was a little too big for her right then. I have a large print of this in my home to enjoy and wonder how I caught such a moment.

I spent a Sunday afternoon in the woods along the Panhandle Trail with my great-niece and and great-nephew, 9 and 11, just to run around, explore, be outdoors and make up our own activities with whatever was there—paths up and down hills, wildflowers, trees, a stream (Robinson Run), a trail made from an ex-train track (rail-to-trail), and an absolutely perfect day.

And we did. We did everything. I was so happy to have someone to play with, a few sun-warmed black raspberries and muck on our feet. Above is one of my favorite photos for the light, the color, the composition and the memories; that might have been me forty-odd years ago wading in a stream barefoot, carrying my shoes. It’s my great-niece Cassidy, just as fearless as I was then, and we were joined by her brother Kyler. We enjoyed exploring the woods, but we liked being in the water best. They live in Savannah, GA now, 88 degrees “is kind of like what it’s like in the spring,” but their streams happen to have alligators so they can’t go swimming like you can here.

And the rope swing…there is nothing like swinging on a rope swing, even if you don’t go too high it’s just that feeling of freedom, letting go, waving your feet around—the things that usually carry you around are off the ground!

Yes, their great-aunt was right there in the woods and the water and the rope swing with them, who do you think showed the way and was the first in the water and the first on the swing? But I had the camera so there were no photos of me.

The white signature you see will not appear on any prints purchased. I sign each print by hand.

SHIPPING

Shipping within the US is included in all the prices listed. All shipping is via Priority Mail. Prints are shipped flat in a rigid envelope. Canvases are shipped in a box to fit with padding. Since this original is small it is also shipped in a box with extra padding.

FRAMED PRINTS

The photo is matted with Arctic White acid-free mat and a solid wood white frame. Frames may vary in style and finish, but are always about 1″ wide. Framed prints are signed on the photo and on the mat.

Other custom framing options are also available for a special quote. Please ask if you’d like another option.

PHOTO PRINTS

Prints are made on acid-free gloss photo paper using archival digital inks. I usually leave an inch or two of white around the print for easier frame fitting. All prints are countersigned by me.

Larger sizes are available than what I have listed, so please ask if you want a special size.

CANVAS PRINTS

I usually have at least one of the smaller sizes of canvases on hand, but order larger ones as they are ordered here because customers often want a custom size. Smaller canvases are a 3/4″ in depth, Canvases 12 x 16 and larger are 1-1/2” in depth. I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or sometimes I slip in a color that coordinates with the painting. This canvas is wraps around the sides.

Shipping cost is included.  You can find the photo in my Etsy shop.

……….

Included in Inspire Me Monday on Create With Joy.

Inspire-Me-Monday-Button-1502

0/If you’d like to be informed about new artwork plus sales and specials before everyone else, please sign up for my Art & Merchandise e-newsletter. In September I’m planning an autumn-themed artwork sale as well as a review of an exhibit from 2008 entitled “My Home Town”, with a few originals as well as many prints still available, and a special set of notecards. “Art & Merchandise” is a separate list from my Creative Cat e-newsletter if you’re already signed up for that one.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


“Summer Sunset, On the Run”

Summer Sunset, On the Run
Summer Sunset, On the Run

Summer Sunset, On the Run

This image was also one of the very popular photos, and one of my favorites, in “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail 2015” this past weekend.

This photo is “Summer Sunset, On the Run”, standing in Robinson Run late on a hot afternoon to cool my feet and watching the glow of the sun move ever downward through the trees, lighting the leaves with a glow and capturing tiny highlights on the water. It’s the definition of “cool”, and a place I visit at the end of nearly every summer walk to cool down and rest, listen to the trickle, gurgle and rush of the water as it moves down its course past me.

Those circles you see in the bottom left are intentional. They are called “sun flares” and happen when sunlight enters the lens directly and are often a rainbow of colors.

It’s right off the Panhandle Trail in Collier Township, PA, and part of my “Sun Shadow Ice and Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail” exhibit. It’s so exciting to share some of my favorite places with people who might never otherwise see them.

This photo is 9″ wide x 15″ tall, and is framed in a 1.5″ solid walnut frame with a 1.5″ white mat. Mat and backing are acid free, glass is premium clear. All framing is done by me.

Shipping cost is included.  You can find the photo in my Etsy shop.

. . . . . . .

If you’d like to be informed about new artwork plus sales and specials before everyone else, please sign up for my Art & Merchandise e-newsletter. In September I’m planning an autumn-themed artwork sale as well as a review of an exhibit from 2008 entitled “My Home Town”, with a few originals as well as many prints still available, and a special set of notecards. “Art & Merchandise” is a separate list from my Creative Cat e-newsletter if you’re already signed up for that one.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

 


“Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail 2015”, August 28 and 29

Panhandle Trail Exhibit 2015
Panhandle Trail Exhibit 2015

Panhandle Trail Exhibit 2015

SUN SHADOW ICE & SNOW

seasons along the panhandle trail

Paintings, sketches and photographs

Opening Friday August 28 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
through Saturday August 29 noon to 9:00 p.m.

Panhandle Trail quarry area as part of Rock the Quarry

. . . . . . .

I’ve been visiting the Panhandle Trail for nearly 15 years with my bike and on foot, for exercise and inspiration, more inspiration than exercise, packing in with backpacks of camera equipment and art supplies. I’ve taken thousands of photos along the trail and off in the woods, but I’ve also done a number of sketches while there in pencil, charcoal, pastel and watercolor, and arriving home in my studio to do more from photos. I’ve collected a number of these for an exhibit, but not in a gallery—right on the trail, where I’ve spent so much time and found these inspirations. It’s the place where I found the scene of one of my favorite paintings, “Dusk in the Woods”.

Last year’s show was such fun that I’m including all the artwork from 2014 as originals (the ones that didn’t sell) and prints. I’d planned new paintings, but many people who visited my booth wanted to know about photographs. For that first year I’d only included artwork, and only originals, from all the years I’d been painting and sketching on the trail. After so many requests about photos I’d decided this year I would debut some of my favorite photos from all the years I’ve been packing out with photo equipment.

Also included are prints of trail artwork I’d sold years ago, various prints and note cards. You’ll find:

  • all original paintings that are available
  • framed prints of select photos included in the exhibit
  • framed digital prints of select paintings included in the exhibit
  • digital prints of all the photos in various sizes
  • greeting cards and note cards of many of the paintings and photos

You’ll find me in my tent during Rock the Quarry, the annual fundraiser for the Collier Friends of the Panhandle Trail. I’ll have my exhibit set up and also have a display of prints, photos and notecards I’ve created over the years of scenes from along the trail and off in the woods. Once Rock the Quarry is over, they all come home with me so this will be your only opportunity to see them all together, although I will set them up as an online gallery as I have been setting up each of my exhibits.

A portion of sales of art and merchandise during Rock the Quarry will benefit the Collier Friends of the Panhandle Trail.

Scroll down to see a gallery of the art and a gallery of some of the photos included in this year’s exhibit.

Click here to see a list of posts featuring last year’s artwork in “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow”.

So join me at Rock the Quarry August 28 and 29

I use this trail all the time, and part of my giveback is to maintain their website and the little bit of social networking that we do, along with photographing things. I always volunteer during the event, usually in the kitchen dishing out easy food, but this year I’m giving something different.

rock the quarry

Rock the Quarry 2013

What’s the quarry? The Panhandle rail line, which was removed to build the trail in the old rail bed, runs right through a century-old limestone quarry, a portion of which is still actively quarried. The quarry ponds are there and that and the woods around make a natural gathering place. For more information on the event including maps and parking, please visit www.panhandletrail.org.

Paintings and prints of paintings included in the exhibit

Clicking on any image in the gallery will bring up a full-size image, and you can also see the images in a slideshow.

Photos included in the exhibit, about half of what I’ve included

Clicking on any image in the gallery will bring up a full-size image, and you can also see the images in a slideshow.

……….

Included in Inspire Me Monday on Create With Joy.

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Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


© 2015 | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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Exhibit: My Home Town

Pear Trees on Main Street, pastel, 10 x 12, 2003 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
"Pear Trees on Main Street", pastel, 12" x 10", 2003 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Pear Trees on Main Street”, pastel, 12″ x 10″, 2003 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

My Home Town

AN EXHIBIT OF PAINTINGS & SKETCHES

Thursday July 30, 2009, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Babyface’s Carnegie Grill, 36 East Main Street, Carnegie

I love the look of a street lined with houses and trees, a variety of storefronts or someone’s laundry hanging in the back yard; people making their little bit or space unique. I’ve been entering these works in our annual art show, ”Carnegie Painted”, since the year 2000. I’ll have 24 pieces on the wall plus prints and notecards of those and more. Peruse the walls and see if you can identify the views of these familiar streets and places.

Well, those were the days. This was my 2009 annual exhibit, another event in July. Carnegie Painted was an annual exhibit hosted for ten years featuring paintings and sketches of Carnegie, encouraging artists to come and sketch en plein air. I entered at least two if not four images in the show each year for ten years, and in 2009 I selected the originals that hadn’t sold and some of my favorites as prints and put together this exhibit, and also chose 12 images to print as note cards.

Because I’ve sketched so much around Carnegie, these are some of my favorites because I remember not only the scene but the moment, stopping for 15 or 20 minutes on a walk down to the bank to do a sketch, in all seasons. Some were done from photos, but that’s because you can’t always stand and sketch in a snow squall, or standing in the middle of the street.

I still have just a few originals but all are available as prints. The most popular are available in my Etsy shop, so click click this link to find all that’s available on Etsy. Below is a gallery of all the images in the exhibit.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

 


Original Painting: “The Rope Swing”

"The Rope Swing", pastel 14" x 20"

“The Rope Swing”, pastel 14″ x 20″

Earlier this year when I imagined organizing an exhibit of landscapes I’d on sketched and painted on, and of, the Panhandle Trail, this image was the principal image I envisioned and has become my symbol for this exhibit, “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

I hadn’t done this painting yet, but for years I’d planned a painting of this iconic rope swing, which everyone who’d grown up in the area knew about, and for all the years I’d considered having an exhibit like this, on the trail, as part of the annual event, the decision to finally paint this also made me decide this was the year to do it. I usually volunteer a few hours in the kitchen and walk around to take photos, and this will be really fun.

How did we kids live through our childhoods with things like rope swings available to us? I was thrilled to find a rope swing the first time I went exploring off the trail years ago and took a few swings on it myself just for fun, and when my great nieces and nephews came to visit from Savannah, a visit to the trail and the rope swing were tops on the list. Here are a few photos of them on the trail and swinging on the swing.

I pictured this painting to be in high summer, when the sun is bright and hot and the woods are dark and cool, and just coming upon the tree and the swing, the stream running past, standing in the deep darkness underneath looking at the lacy sunlight on the leaves of the tree and lacy shadows on the packed dirt beneath it and the swing itself silhouetted against the brightness beyond, in that moment when the potential is there, just before you decide to go for it.

The spot where this swing hangs is also one of my favorite places off the trail, and I visit there each time I use the trail, in all seasons—in mid-summer to have a dip into Robinson Run where there’s a nice pool there with water that’s always cool, and in winter to see the stream in winter, covered with ice and snow piled in the woods.

So there it is, the old rope swing, waiting for you off in the woods. Go and have an adventure! You can find the painting in my Etsy shop.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

 


“Morning on the Creek”

"Morning on the Creek", pastel, 22" x 29", 2008 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
    "Morning on the Creek", pastel, 22" x 29", 2008 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Morning on the Creek”, pastel, 22″ x 29″, 2008 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A placid morning canoe trip on Chartiers Creek as the sun spills over the top of the hill, and a goose and goslings head upstream. Of course, I couldn’t paint this while paddling, but I kept it in mind for later. I wear a small digital camera around my neck while canoeing and probably spend more time taking photos than paddling, and I’ve tipped the canoe more than once while swinging around trying to focus on a heron flying overhead. It’ s a good thing Chartiers Creek averages about 1o inches deep most of the year.

detail of landscape painting

Morning on the Creek, detail top left.

This scene is in June somewhere near Peters Township and Upper St. Clair where the creek’s channel is still winding in its traditional channel of oxbows and hairpin turns with high banks and deeper pools and rocky ledges in many places, alive with the calls and flight of herons, wood thrushes and kingfishers as well as the more common cardinals, jays and sparrows, and the occasional fish jumping out of the water. It’s difficult to believe you are paddling past back yards and the parking lots of industry, under the interstate and through a golf course.

detail of landscape painting

Morning on the Creek, detail top right

I did a small study of the top section of this image several years ago in preparation for this painting, which is sold but I have prints of this one as well. I have a series of photos from this canoe trip and many others, which are all worthy of artwork, but this spill of sunbeams broken by the tree trunks, touching the leaves with bright gold and shining a spotlight on the surface of the water is simply so descriptive of the summer creek, the one that I remember from my childhood when it was still fairly wild and overgrown all up and down its corridor, that I kept returning to it.

pastel painting of sunbeams through trees

“Sunbeams”, pastel, 6″ x 8″, 2002 © B.E. Kazmarski

I had originally intended to paint just the creek and its banks, but when I looked closer at my photos I found the little family of Canada geese floating along in the shadows. Even though Canada Geese are not native to the watershed, and are, in fact, invasive in some areas, they are such a common sight that I still welcome their entry on the scene.

goose and goslings

A goose and goslings.

This piece was the signature painting at my second annual poetry reading and fine art show at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, “Winter Twilight”; those long nights of midwinter can inspire some very deep thoughts. Even though this piece depicts summer, I painted it during a series of those longs nights, remembering the sweet and mild June morning, full of life and sound. Visit my website to see more artwork and read the poetry from that reading.

This painting is an original pastel on acid-free two-ply natural white drawing board to which I applied Art Spectrum Colourfix fine pastel ground tinted light green.

The image size 22″ x 29″, painted in 2008. I framed it in a custom plain matte black moulding with a 4″ acid-free white mat. Framed size is 30″ x 37″, and you can find it in my Etsy shop along with a variety of digital prints, giclee prints and canvas prints:

  • Original, framed or
  • Painting only
  • 11″ x 14″ Digital
  • 22″ x 29″ Giclee
  • 11″ x 14″ Giclee
  • 24 x 18 Canvas
  • 20 x 16 Canvas
  • 14 x 11 Canvas

For local friends, this painting is on display at Wesbanco in Carnegie, 100 Broadway Avenue, Carnegie 15106.

pastel painting of sunbeams through trees

“Sunbeams”, pastel, 6″ x 8″, 2002 © B.E. Kazmarski

“Sunbeams”

Incidentally, the preliminary sketch for this painting, “Sunbeams”, included above, is also available as prints. While I love the detailed finish of the original in that top area I love the loose quality and contrasts in the sketch. Find it in my Etsy shop.

. . . . . . .

If you’d like to be informed about new artwork plus sales and specials before everyone else, please sign up for my Art & Merchandise e-newsletter. In September I’m planning an autumn-themed artwork sale as well as a review of an exhibit from 2008 entitled “My Home Town”, with a few originals as well as many prints still available, and a special set of notecards. “Art & Merchandise” is a separate list from my Creative Cat e-newsletter if you’re already signed up for that one.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

 


Exhibit: 100 West Busway

"Flower Cart", digital image, 12 x 18 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

100WB web.qxd

In 2006 I came up with the idea for a totally different exhibit from the usual exhibit of just paintings. I decided to turn my bus ride, explained below, into a multi-part exhibit of 125 4″ x 6″ photo prints and 13 finished 2-D works, each in a different medium, created from one of the 125 photos. The numbers of photos and works organized themselves; I culled the 800 photos I’d taken on one bus ride, June 22, 2006, chose 18, then got as many done and framed as I could between then and July 27 when it opened.

I wanted as much uniformity of presentation so that the images could stand out even more. The original and digital paintings were different sizes, but all were matted with plain white mats in 1″ matte black frames, and hung above the 4″ x 6″ photos, all horizontal, each of which was mounted on foam core and then mounted on the wall 2″ apart about 4′ up from the floor in a line around the room so it was like a dotted line on a street. The painting created from the small image was hung above as close to that image as possible. In 2008 I hung the show a second time, in the front entryway of a coffeehouse in Carnegie with big glassed-in display areas on either side of the door, the paintings on the walls and the small photos in a line on the glass, facing outward. I also had them in a digital photo frame in the corner of the window. I sadly have no photos of either exhibit—I couldn’t take any, and forgot to ask anyone else.

Just below my original text to describe the show I have the slideshow of small images (when I had this set up on an old HTML site I actually had a slideshow that let the images creep across the page so they looked a little like the dotted line, but that isn’t available on this template). You might wonder what inspired me at the beginning of the slideshow but as we travel on you’ll see the interesting people and buildings and flower sellers and graffiti and unique views, and then overall you’ll see what is always fascinating to me, beginning in a very green and treed neighborhood where I live, along the Ohio River and into Pittsburgh’s downtown, then around behind old neighborhoods to where all the colleges and universities and grand old buildings live, then back along the Monongahela River, to the trees, and back home again. Below that is each of the original and digital paintings in the order they hung. I hope you enjoy looking at this.

WHY?

Views of the rivers and city streets and tree-covered hills and the activities of people have always provided entertainment for me while riding the bus. I’ve long carried a camera to capture my everyday surroundings, and now my digital camera allows me to snap even more photos.

A ride on the West Busway, my usual route, shows a variety of scenery from the verdant hills and open space of the still-suburban areas through small neighborhoods and shopping districts to the bustle and congestion of downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland and the open vistas along the rivers.

Those extemporaneous images have often been the subject of artwork done in my studio, either rendered in traditional 2-d media or in digital techniques on the computer.

This show is both a simple document of the ride and of the visual inspirations to be drawn from the places and people along the way. Don’t trap yourself in your car and sit in traffic. Ride the bus and look out the window and see your world.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Original and Digital Paintings

"Misty River Morning", watercolor, 9" x 12" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Misty River Morning”, watercolor, 9″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“MISTY RIVER MORNING”, VIEW THROUGH THE WEST END BRIDGE, ALWAYS ONE I LOOK FOR WHEN RIDING INTO PITTSBURGH, FOR MORE READ HERE

 

"Our Golden Gate Bridge", digital image, poster edges and color saturated, 12 x 18 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Our Golden Gate Bridge”, digital image, poster edges and color saturated, 12 x 18 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“OUR GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE”, FT. PITT BRIDGE,DIGITAL PHOTO, FILTERED IN PHOTOSHOP, FOR MORE READ HERE

 

"City Textures", collage, 10" x 12" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“City Textures”, collage, 10″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“CITY TEXTURES”, LACE CURTAINS, SOCKS AND UPHOLSTERY FABRIC ON FOAM CORE, ALL PAINTED OVER WITH GESSO TO ENJOY THE TEXTURE, FOR MORE READ HERE

 

"Flower Cart", digital image, 12 x 18 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Flower Cart”, digital image, posterized, 12 x 18 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“FLOWER CART”, LIBERTY AT MID-TOWN TOWERS, DIGITAL PHOTO, POSTERIZED (THIS ONE TECHNICALLY SHOULD NOT BE IN THE SHOW BECAUSE I TOOK THE PHOTO IN THE SPRING, BUT IT’S ONE OF THE ONES THAT INSPIRED THE SHOW, AND I LIKE IT A LOT.)

 

"Where? and When?", black and white photo, 12 x 18 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Where? and When?”, black and white photo, 12 x 18 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“WHERE, AND WHEN?”, LIBERTY AT SIXTH, DIGITAL BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO THAT JUST LOOKED LIKE AN OLD PHOTO OF PITTSBURGH BECAUSE THE ROW OF BUILDINGS IS UNCHANGED

 

"Pennsylvania Station", ink and watercolor, 10" x 12" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Pennsylvania Station”, ink and watercolor, 10″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“PENNSYLVANIA STATION”, INK AND WATERCOLOR, FOR MORE READ HERE

 

"Waiting Bench", watercolor, 10" x 12" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Waiting Bench”, watercolor, 10″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“WAITING BENCH”, WATERCOLOR, I LOVED THE COLORS AGAINST THE LIMESTONE

 

"A Trip to the City", pencil, 9" x 12" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“A Trip to the City”, pencil, 9″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“A VISIT TO THE CITY”, A MENNONITE COUPLE ASKING DIRECTIONS, PENCIL, FOR MORE READ HERE

 

"Old Oakland", pastel, 12" x 18"" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Old Oakland”, pastel, 12″ x 18″” © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“OLD OAKLAND”, A BLOCK OF FIFTH AVENUE NOT YET “IMPROVED”

 

"Sah Side Slopes", photo, 12" x 18" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Sah Side Slopes”, photo, 12″ x 18″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“SAH SIDE SLOPES”, PHOTOGRAPHED FROM BOULEVARD OF THE ALLIES ACROSS THE MONONGAHELA RIVER, BECAUSE I JUST LOVE THE MIX OF HOUSES AND TREES ON THAT NEARLY VERTICAL HILLSIDE

 

"Gateway Clipper Reflections", oil pastel, 12" x 18" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Gateway Clipper Reflections”, oil pastel, 12″ x 18″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“GATEWAY CLIPPER”, REFLECTED ON THE RIVER

 

"Tunnel Vision", photo, 12" x 18" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Tunnel Vision”, photo, 12″ x 18″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“TUNNEL VISION”, JUST A FUN ABSTRACT SHOT

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this exhibit! Originals are available as marked; if you’d like to purchase one or a print of one, please send an e-mail to bernadette@bernadette-k.com. See other annual solo art exhibits here on Today.

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This post is shared on Inspire Me Monday on Create With Joy

Inspire Me Monday

Inspire Me Monday

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


My Feline- and Nature-themed Stuff at “The Outlet Barn”

Display from the other side.

Display from the other side.

So who would think a drafty old unheated honest-to-God barn from a long-time farm would be a hot spot for unique art and decorative items?

The Outlet Barn Garden and Art Center has been in business in this very same old barn for the past 20 years, with a list of loyal customers and new people stopping every day. They close on Christmas Eve and reopen on April 1, weather permitting. I’ve had a display of greeting cards and art there since 2011 when the Agway closed, but at that time I was the only artist. This year they’ve set up an area for many artists to display in this open and rustic setting, so I have a nice space with an antique entryway piece and and wall space to hang things.

Display from one side.

Display from one side.

Because the barn is just that—an old wooden and unheated barn—I have chosen things that can be easily dusted or cleaned, or are in packaging. That makes it perfect for my handmade keepsake boxes and wall art, trivets and garden flags as well as a selection of framed and packaged prints of feline, flowers and nature photos. I’m excited to be expanding my selection of floral and landscape gift items in addition to my feline gift items. I will have a small selection of note cards and greeting cards, but because the place is open I often have difficulty with the envelopes sealing shut, even in packaging.

Gift items.

Gift items.

I began visiting there because the place looked like the sort of place I’d like to check out, not carefully coiffed or neatly arranged, but artfully arranged and colorful outside, and inside just crowded enough in the semi-darkness of the old barn that I could take my time to peruse without feeling overwhelmed.

Garden flags.

Garden flags.

I ended up moving things into there because the former manager of the Agway I had been selling at was friends with Kathy, The Outlet Barn’s owner, and simply went to her and said I’d be over with my things, she’d like them and me. Life should be filled with such friends. Kathy herself is the one who artfully arranges things in a way that makes people passing on the road find it hard to resist, and is also a master with ribbon and grapevines and such and creates all the wreaths and swags sold throughout the year, often custom-making them for long-time customers. She also makes beaded jewelry for sale in the shop.

Packaged, matted and framed prints.

Packaged, matted and framed prints.

She also holds events with local musicians playing jazz and folk and alternative in among the gargoyles and gazing globes, or out back in one of the sample gazebos or on the deck.

Canvas prints.

Canvas prints.

And I can’t forget the enthusiastic rescued chocolate lab named Irish Malarkey, named so because his eyes were green when he was a puppy, who rides in with his human every day. He carefully checked each of my boxes for treats, in between trotting around the place with that huge destructive lab tail without overturning as much as a small terra cotta flowerpot.

Irish Malarkey.

Irish Malarkey.

Supporting a local small business is important from both standpoints, from buying and selling, so in addition to placing my things there on consignment, I also promote the places where my things are consigned. I’ll share notices of events, which will be of greatest interest to local friends, and also of things I find there that you might enjoy—feline-themed of course But there plenty of animal-themed things about the place, plus really cool gargoyles.

Feline-themed planting pots.

Feline-themed planting pots.

I have a love-hate relationship with retail. I love to create my artwork and even to create the derivative items from it like cards and notepads and prints, and the best way to get my artwork known is to create and sell these things, but it takes time to drive around and visit shops, introduce myself, deliver the goods and maintain a display; if I seem to have disappeared now and then, this is why—calling and driving around, following up suggestions from friends to visit and introducing myself and showing a few representative pieces of what I have for sale. The actual sales from this might break even for expenses and time, but the real benefit is in finding new customers and making new friends, and just sharing my inspirations. Finding a shop where I also have other reasons to visit just makes it better.

And there’s another constant—animals and animal rescue. One door closes and another one opens as our friends share us with their friends. It is not a loss and a gain, but simply a change.

Where to find The Outlet Barn

The Outlet Barn

The Outlet Barn

The Outlet Barn Garden Center

4577 Campbells Run Rd Pittsburgh, PA 15205

outletbarn@gmail.com – Phone: 412-494-5190

If you see merchandise pictured here, whether it’s mine or not, that you are interested in, please follow the link to The Outlet Barn website or let me know. The website is not an online store for things in the shop because there’s just too much, but Kathy will be glad to give you a few details and ship something to you if purchase it with the possible exception of a concrete gargoyle.

Handmade furniture and ceramic gift items.

Handmade furniture and ceramic gift items.

Below is a gallery of things in the barn, and another slideshow of other artisans’ items.

Here are a few of the artisans’ displays.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


The Extraordinary in the Ordinary

The post card invitation to my first solo exhibit.
The post card invitation to my first solo exhibit.

The post card invitation to my first solo exhibit.

“The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: Celebrating the art in everyday life”

In every moment of every day, everywhere I go, I see something extraordinarily beautiful and inspiring.

I left my day job to work at home as a commercial artist, fine artist and writer on January 1, 2000 after freelancing as a graphic designer and participating in art exhibits hosted by membership organizations. One of the primary reasons I left my day job to work at home was to have more time to develop my career as a fine artist and “get to my writing” whatever that worked out to be, so one of my first priorities, since I already had a list of regular customers, was to plan my first solo art exhibit.

I actually began planning in January, only waiting because I really wasn’t totally certain when I’d leave my day job, but a local gallery where I’d hung my artwork for years would be the place, and they could fit me in later in the year. I was grateful because other than promoting it I had no idea what to include or what to say.

I’d been working in advertising and promotions for years so the place to begin was a title. I had a good idea of what inspired me and that was what I wanted to use, but how to sum it up? I remembered this phrase, “the extraordinary in the ordinary”, from something I’d read over the years and it stayed with me, and I knew it fit well with my work: finding those moments that took my breath away and interpreting them as best I could in whatever medium seemed to suit the moment best, from my cats to landscapes to flowers and the streets of my home town.

I would have an opening reception on a Friday night, and then an afternoon reception on Sunday.

The back of the post card invitation to my first solo exhibit.

The back of the post card invitation to my first solo exhibit.

The artwork I chose the exhibit was, well, just about everything I’d done to that point in my life…I’m a little embarrassed when I think about it, but I was almost afraid I’d never have another chance! But as much as I liked the older paintings, the image I chose for the post card was a newer painting done in a looser style, and though not en plein air I had tried my best to capture that feeling of walking up a path and seeing this, and carrying that inspiration into my little painting. It’s called “Into the Woods at Frankfort Springs”, stepping into the wooded path and seeing the sun-splashed clearing, the ancient cabin, the dense shadows and brilliant sunlight; I didn’t get a good clear photo of it before it went off, so the image is a little soft.

“Into the Woods”, 10″ x 9″, pastel on Wallis pastel paper, 1999 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

In addition to the artwork I worked my writing into the exhibit by pairing images with poems or essays or statements to make little flyers that I could print out on 8.5″ x 11″ paper and mount on the wall. I used the poem Clouds featuring the autumn landscape from my four seasons series because those purple clouds are just as much autumn to me as the colorful leaves.

One of the poems included in the show.

One of the poems included in the show.

I had all the artwork framed and only had to organize it, and planned my post cards, the food and publicity and the program, back in those days when you still faxed a press release and color digital printing was available but expensive. I thought I had it all well in hand until my brother suffered a traumatic brain injury at the end of April, and his care and progress through the system made me consider postponing or cancelling the show because I wanted to give my show all of me, not the leftovers, but friends and the gallery owner convinced me that wasn’t necessary. I was also a little scared, and I was glad everyone insisted I follow through. I worked on the program between work at home and doctor appointments, designing it to be printed at home on my trusty laser printer using some of my art in pencil and charcoal and ink, and I settled on legal size paper in a light kraft color, which I tried to represent here but did not, but that’s okay. You can see some of the art in the pages of the program, and a list of the paintings, some of which I still have, and many you can find by title on my main website.

Program cover for my first solo exhibit.

Program cover for my first solo exhibit.

Inside left if my first solo exhibit.

Inside left if my first solo exhibit.

Inside right of my first solo exhibit.

Inside right of my first solo exhibit.

Back of program for my first solo exhibit.

Back of program for my first solo exhibit.

In the end I didn’t sell much but I knew it was because I hadn’t curated the content. I learned quite a bit, and decided having shows wasn’t so frightening after all, and that I’d look for opportunities to have others because I already had ideas for new artwork, and how better to share it? It was not too early to start thinking about my exhibit for 2001 so with ideas from my first exhibit I decided that June was probably a good month since my commercial business began to slow down about that time and I could have all new artwork.

I did have an exhibit the following June, deciding on an easy setup at a local Borders book store. I would have the walls in the cafe for all of June, setting up early morning on June 1. I focused on the new art I would do, even measured the walls, and started with the ones I most wanted to do.

Post card for my second solo exhibit.

Post card for my second solo exhibit.

But it wasn’t to be as I’d planned. My brother continued traveling through the system after his brain trauma ending up in a nursing home though he was ambulatory and able to care for himself; he had years of healing ahead and needed a safe place that would care for him after seizures and with piles of medications. But through the months, as I drove our mother to visit him, I noticed she was changing somehow…and I knew something was wrong. After pestering her doctor we began blood tests and x-rays and discovered she had lung cancer, and in May 2001 she had surgery, had complications and nearly died, moving from hospital to a critical care facility. I decided to go through with the exhibit, not knowing how her health would turn out. I was self-employed, this was my income and I’d taken so much time away already I felt I had to follow through.

Program cover for my second solo exhibit.

Program cover for my second solo exhibit.

I hadn’t done most of the art I’d wanted to do, but I had done a few, including “Birches 1: Autumn Showers” and “Birches 2: Radiance”, two pieces where I’d experimented with new styles and media as I’d intended the exhibit to be all about experimentation, but that was good enough along with a few smaller sketches. I did cull through the art I had on hand, much of which had been in my exhibit in 2000, and chose the pieces I thought worked together in color and style, and still mixed the content.

“Pepper in Bowl” above was a sketch I’d done of just that, a pepper that somehow was left in the enamel bowl on the deck after I’d washed them. Why not sketch it? I designed the post cards to be printed on my own color printer, on photo paper gloss-coated on one side I’d won in a contest, and I had to use big margins because my printer was just that way. But it was still fun, and people liked the theme.

Back of post card for my second solo exhibit.

Back of post card for my second solo exhibit.

It all cheered me up too. I also printed out the program on paper at home on my laser printer; the front is above, here is the art list and the back page.

Art list for my second solo exhibit.

Art list for my second solo exhibit.

Back of program for my second solo exhibit.

Back of program for my second solo exhibit.

I met some wonderful people during that exhibit, even while managing my mother’s and brother’s health. I sold a dozen works, important for my income in the slower months of the year, and still keep in touch with some of those customers today. My mother recovered and went home at the end of the summer, though she ended up in personal care, very much weakened. My brother slowly recovered and I found a program that could help him rehabilitate over the long term.

I decided an annual exhibit was an important way for me to encourage myself to focus on creating new work, experimenting with different media whether new or familiar, and finding out where my aesthetic senses were at that point so I wouldn’t stagnate. I missed 2003, but I did have solo exhibits of some sort each year in all the other years since I’ve been working at home: “Winter White”, February 2004; in 2005 I had a little shop and had monthly exhibits of new works; “Wild Inspirations” in February 2006 and also “100 West Busway” in July; 2007 through 2014, excepting 2012, I held my annual poetry readings with an exhibit of my latest artwork at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall; in 2009 I did my two photo exhibits at ACFL&MH, “Carnegie Photographed” and “Of Harps and Fig Leaves”; and “Sun, Shadow, Ice & Snow: Seasons on the Panhandle Trail” in August 2014.

So it’s 2015, and what will I do this year? I am also planning another Panhandle Trail exhibit, and what got me started on this whole thing was I decided it was time to review my previous exhibits to see what I’ve accomplished and what I might do next, including possibly doing a ten-year update of one or another. I actually didn’t realize I’d done so many exhibits. But I think I’m planning a photo exhibit as well, and am looking for a place and a reason to do an art exhibit.


This is shared in Friendship Friday on Create With Joy.
Friendship Friday.

Friendship Friday.


“Winter Sunset Reflections”

"Winter Sunset Reflection", 7" x 17", pastel on black paper © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Winter Sunset Reflection”, 7″ x 17″, pastel on black paper © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It’s not winter yet but the trees are bare and today’s afternoon and evening sky were completely free of clouds. Just after the sun dropped below the horizon that pure blue of twilight smoothed the sky but for the glow above the horizon. I knew it was coming and hurried to my favorite place to watch the sunset, on a hill with a long view of the landscape, then traveled down to the valley to the Panhandle Trail to see this sight once again.

I painted this scene for my August exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail” during Rock the Quarry, the annual fundraiser for the Panhandle Trail.

I decided to do this painting at pretty much the last minute, though I’d been visualizing it for years. The scene is one I’ve often seen along the trail on a winter evening. This painting was done from a photo I’d taken one of those winter evenings on the trail, a clear, cold day with a cloudless sky at sunset, the sky reflected on Robinson Run. The velvety darkness of the land contrasts so completely with the brilliance of the sky and its reflection on the water and, simple as it is, it’s always been one of my favorite images.

I used black Canson charcoal/pastel paper and only painted the areas of light and finally achieved what I’d been visualizing.

PURCHASE THIS PAINTING, AND SEE MORE ART

This painting is available for sale, framed, in my Etsy shop, along with prints.

You can see other paintings from this exhibit here.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


Award of Excellence for “Snowfall”

pastel paitning of snow
pastel paitning of snow

“Snowfall”, pastel, 11″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I submitted three paintings and I learned that I’d won an award in the South Hills Art League annual juried show. Above, “Snowfall”, which I’d shown in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”, won in the second highest award category, “Award of Excellence”. Of the three pieces I entered I’m surprised this one was a winner, but I like snow, so why not? The original is for sale, framed, for $250, as well as prints for $25.00 each, which I will add to my Etsy shop after the opening reception tonight along with the other two paintings.

If you are local, please join us tonight:

Opening reception Saturday, October 11, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Exhibit open Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Galleria Of Mt. Lebanon
1500 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15228

Below is the story behind the painting, and below that are the other two paintings I entered in the exhibit.

It isn’t always eternal summer on the trail, though memories might make us think so. Winter is my favorite season to paint. I love the subtleties of color and shape with snow in the air and on the ground, and on the trail I am often all alone with the quiet of a winter day, or a gentle snowfall.

In this case, I was glad for the time alone and quiet, and my art materials. This is from several years ago, one of the sketches I’d actually done in the front seat of my car during a late winter ice and snow storm, with a personal connection. I’d moved my mother to a personal care home in a neighborhood adjacent to the trail and often combined visits to the trail and visits to my mother. She didn’t care at all for trails, but she thought it was pretty cool when I would pull up in front of the home on my bicycle in shorts and a tank top to visit and cool off and eat my lunch on a summer afternoon when all the other daughters were in jogging suits driving minivans. Though my mother suffered from a number of heart and lung conditions she was overall well but weak, though she often suffered from mild dementia; visits could be troubling.

So it was this winter day when I had driven there. The roads were cleared but the trail was not, still, I wanted a dose of nature after my visit and knew of a spot close where I could pull up next to the trail. Not a mark was in the deeply fallen snow, and I decided I would not be the one to leave mine, it was just too perfect. The snow was falling too heavily to work outside my car, so I angled my car just right and sat in my font seat and began a sketch, then decided I should leave before the roads grew worse.

I’d always intended to finish this off, adding some bare trees fading into the distance in the heavy snowfall, but I think there was a reason I stopped at this point, and I think it captures this snowy afternoon and my conversations with my mother as it is.

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A Bend in the Road (sold), prints available

pastel painting of woods on back road

“A Bend in the Road”, pastel, 14″ x 22″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

 The Swimming Hole, $350

pastel painting of three kids in swimming hole

“The Swimming Hole”, pastel, 17″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


Evening Flowers, What a Nice Event

The flowers on my table gently touched by evening light.
The flowers on my table gently touched by evening light.

The flowers on my table gently touched by evening light.

The sales were good, and the contacts I’ve made too, but the best part was meeting people who recognized the trail they know and love right where it happens, and letting people know that art can happen in unexpected places.

As I’d mentioned, I’d wanted to host the show at the event to be sure the people who used the trail, who typically attend the trail’s annual fundraiser, would see and enjoy it. And for the number of people who stopped to look at “The Rope Swing”, and then came in and recognized even more, it was highly successful. I heard stories about the swing, and many people recognized the sites of several of the works and told me exactly where that was so I know they’ve walked the trail and the woods as much as I have. I also had the opportunity to tell people I’d done about half of the works right there on the trail, not home in my studio. People don’t always realize that artists often work on site, “Even in the snow?” Sure, I said. That’s how I capture the essence of the scene. A painting is not just what you see, it’s also what you hear and smell and touch and taste, and being there while you work gets it all into the painting.

Art booth in festival

My booth on Saturday.

We often don’t find the things most familiar to us very inspiring simply because we are so accustomed to seeing them, and often don’t “see” them at all anymore. The fact that I found the trail and surrounding area, their neighborhood, the place they called home, to be an inspiring subject for art made a lot of people smile and comment that was why they liked it too, that was why they’d moved there.

Best of all were the kids’ assessments of my art, these paintings of the places they played, the places they’d remember all their lives. “Your stuff is pretty good,” they said. “This is really nice art,” looking serious and nodding their heads. They were serious, and I took it as a compliment. A big compliment. Coming from a ten-year-old boy or a couple of 14-year-old girls, that was huge. I hope one or more of them take a new look at this beautiful place when considering photography or painting.

I wish I’d had the chance to photograph people browsing my art, but I’m kind of glad I just didn’t have the time to.

Me smiling at my flowers as I'm identifying them.

Me smiling at my flowers as I’m identifying them.

And I also had a number of friends visit me, and a few who helped me set up and who I could also share a few favorite places with, namely the site with the rope swing, which was directly behind my booth in the woods. One couple came with me to fill my vintage kettle with water for the wildflowers I would gather to have in my display, and on the way there and back walking through the woods I showed them the rope swing and proceeded to identify all the wildflowers around us, walking encyclopedia as I can be.

Walking along the trail through a spot of sunlight.

Walking along the trail through a spot of sunlight.

It occurred to me then that it would be nice to have some photos of me walking through the woods with wildflowers. We didn’t really have time when we got back to my booth so I let it go, but decided today how much I’d like to have some photos of that walk and asked if they would mind coming back and taking a few photos since they knew the walk we’d taken and what I’d looked like, and the type of photos I wanted.

Walking between two tall maples, like the entrance to an enchanted place.

Walking between two tall maples, like the entrance to an enchanted place.

Michelle agreed, so I donned the same clothes as yesterday and we got a few nice photos. And who knows, they may be paintings as well some day. But at least I know what I look like!

 

Thanks, Michelle!

Thanks, Michelle!

Because it was so hot and humid and I didn’t want to greet visitors covered in sweat I wore a silk skirt and a lightweight cotton camisole. That worked well, but the effect of humidity on my hair made it totally frizz, even after a recent henna and olive oil treatment. Ah, summer.

Read more about my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”. Take a look at paintings from this exhibit.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


My Booth Friday Night

My exhibit Friday night.

My exhibit Friday night.

Last night was a lovely night–a little warm and humid but well attended, lots of visitors, the rain held off until after we left and I’ve sold a few things already! I had wanted to share this photo on social media last night but simply could not get enough of a signal so I’m posting it here. Hopefully I’ll be able to share today–after a foggy, soggy morning has turned into blue skies with pretty puffy clouds.

Looking forward to a great day during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”. Take a look at other paintings from this exhibit.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “Winter Sunset Reflections”

"Winter Sunset Reflection", 7" x 17", pastel on black paper © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Winter Sunset Reflection”, 7″ x 17″, pastel on black paper © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I decided to do this painting at pretty much the last minute, though I’d been visualizing it for a long time. The scene is one I’ve often seen along the trail on a winter evening. This painting was done from a photo I’d taken one of those winter evenings on the trail, a clear, cold day with a cloudless sky at sunset, the sky reflected on Robinson Run. The velvety darkness of the land contrasts so completely with the brilliance of the sky and its reflection on the water and, simple as it is, it’s always been one of my favorite images

I used black Canson charcoal/pastel paper and only painted the areas of light and finally achieved what I’d been visualizing.

You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”. Also take a look at other paintings from this exhibit.

. . . . . . .

If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “Spring Woods Trail”

pastel painting of a trail in the woods
pastel painting of a trail in the woods

“Spring Woods”, pastel, 8″ x 12″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

The decision was: do I paint this steep section of the trail looking up from the bottom, over the tops of all the new plants sprouting from the leaves and debris and up into the tree tops, or down from near the top, with little bits of Robinson Run far down off of the edge?

In the end I liked the downhill view better for its perspective and the fact you could see the trail at your feet, plus, with many trees at eye level, you could see so much more of that wonderful spring green.

I’d considered this one so long that I’ve only just painted it, though I took the photos a few years ago. I’d actually planned it as an acrylic painting, seeing all the potential for gentle textures on the surface, but when it came down to it I returned to my old friend, pastels, and did a lot of finger painting.

You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”. Also take a look at other paintings from this exhibit.

. . . . . . .

If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “Colorful Autumn Trail”

pastel painting autumn trail
pastel painting autumn trail

“Colorful Autumn Trail”, pastel, 8″ x 10″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Here is one for the season upcoming. This painting doesn’t have as big of a story as others, but I will say it’s hard to paint along the trail in autumn—or anywhere else for that matter. The overwhelming colors, especially on a sunny day, have me running from place to place looking for the best spot to paint until the narrow window of good sunlight on an autumn day is past, so I end up working in my studio.

I like to capture the tree-covered hills and water and sky and just plain nature in most paintings because the trail itself isn’t a very interesting feature, being just a flat limestone chip path. But in this case, in autumn, it provides a break in the riot of color and also an area to feature those long blue shadows of the trees themselves. That’s really why I chose this scene when I came home with a head full of colors and shapes. But after organizing the art for this exhibit and realizing how few autumn sketches I have, I have given myself an assignment for this autumn.

You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

. . . . . . .

If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “Snowfall”

pastel painting of snow on trail

“Snowfall”, pastel, 11″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It isn’t always eternal summer on the trail, though memories might make us think so. Winter is my favorite season to paint. I love the subtleties of color and shape with snow in the air and on the ground, and on the trail I am often all alone with the quiet of a winter day, or a gentle snowfall.

In this case, I was glad for the time alone and quiet, and my art materials. This is from several years ago, one of the sketches I’d actually done in the front seat of my car during a late winter ice and snow storm, with a personal connection. I’d moved my mother to a personal care home in a neighborhood adjacent to the trail and often combined visits to the trail and visits to my mother. She didn’t care at all for trails, but she thought it was pretty cool when I would pull up in front of the home on my bicycle in shorts and a tank top to visit and cool off and eat my lunch on a summer afternoon when all the other daughters were in jogging suits driving minivans. Though my mother suffered from a number of heart and lung conditions she was overall well but weak, though she often suffered from mild dementia; visits could be troubling.

So it was this winter day when I had driven there. The roads were cleared but the trail was not, still, I wanted a dose of nature after my visit and knew of a spot close where I could pull up next to the trail. Not a mark was in the deeply fallen snow, and I decided I would not be the one to leave mine, it was just too perfect. The snow was falling too heavily to work outside my car, so I angled my car just right and sat in my font seat and began a sketch, then decided I should leave before the roads grew worse.

I’d always intended to finish this off, adding some bare trees fading into the distance in the heavy snowfall, but I think there was a reason I stopped at this point, and I think it captures this snowy afternoon and my conversations with my mother as it is.

You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

 

There’s still some of summer left, so jump in and have a splash! And I hope to see you this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

. . . . . . .

If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “The Swimming Hole”

pastel painting of three kids in swimming hole
pastel painting of three kids in swimming hole

“The Swimming Hole”, pastel, 17″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

This is another of the images from the Panhandle Trail I’d wanted to paint for quite some time–or should I say, I wanted to finish for quite some time. It’s a few kids in a nice deep pool in Robinson Run along the Panhandle Trail. You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

This painting was actually visualized during one of the visits with my great nieces and nephews and I knew I’d have to paint it, but this one came about in bits and pieces, and I’ll say it evolved over a period of years. I took a photo during one visit in 2010, but that wasn’t enough information when I decided I wanted to catch the whole scene, not just the kids in the water so I went back to the spot and took more photos on my own, but no one was in the water and it just wasn’t right.

On another visit in 2011 I took lots of reference photos from different angles and even did a small pencil sketch, then individual photos of them in the water, knowing I could never get out my pastels and paint them right there. In my studio the following year I lined up my photos and visualized something pretty close to this but couldn’t get a feel for it from just the photos, so I took my pastels to the trail the next summer, 2013, and laid down the basics of this sketch while there, trying to capture the colors and light and positioning of everything. I didn’t have all the colors with me which I needed and I knew I’d be working on it in my studio to add the kids in the water so I knew I wouldn’t be finishing it right then. I set the sketch in my holding area for more work, and there it sat.

Until, honestly, last week. Though I’d been intending to get back to it over last winter, thinking of the joy of revisiting a hot summer afternoon in the swimming hole in the middle of a cold and icy winter, I just never did. Even when I decided to do this exhibit and pulled it out, I still just couldn’t visualize everything. I pulled out the sketch and the photos of the kids in the water, and it just wouldn’t come together. Something was missing. One sunny afternoon passing by the trailhead I just decided to go there, parked my car, took off my shoes and walked off to this area in my “work clothes” as I’d been meeting with a client, held my skirts up above the water and waded as far as I could. A few more photos and I was ready.

I got home and planned where in the water the kids would go, made a composite from one of the original photos, added the kids into it in Photoshop according to what I was visualizing, and finally, after four years, finished this painting! And as it ended up the “three kids” were based on my one nephew who just happened to be in the right spot in the water at the right time.

I love painting water, and never give myself enough of a chance to paint it. I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on all the details in the water as well as the direct and reflected light and the colorful shadows on the kids, the way the mid-day sun fell on the water, alighting the top layer of the brush and just touching leaves in the trees with brilliant highlights and creating deep shadows underneath. It’s part of what I think of when I think of summer.

Like the rope swing, how did we kids live through our childhoods jumping into a deep pool of water in a creek off in the woods? For me, unless the water smelled really bad or it was filled with something I didn’t want to touch, I was in it. Water is irresistible to me—if there is water, I at least have my feet in it, if that’s at all possible, and even when it rains I’m out in it for a bit, or standing in the gutter along the street in front of my house letting the rain water run over my feet. I think most kids are like that, and while there are dangers in places like swimming holes, avoiding dangers is not always the best way to deal with them. Instead, learning how to safely use the swimming hole can help teach a life lesson about observation, caution, and when to let go and enjoy things that aren’t manufactured for our use. That’s one of the joys, and lessons, of nature.

There’s still some of summer left, so jump in and have a splash! And I hope to see you this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

. . . . . . .

If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


New Painting: “The Rope Swing”

"The Rope Swing", pastel 14" x 20"

“The Rope Swing”, pastel 14″ x 20″

Earlier this year when I imagined organizing an exhibit of landscapes I’d on sketched and painted on, and of, the Panhandle Trail, this image was the principal image I envisioned and has become my symbol for this exhibit, much as I love some of the others in the collection.You can see it along with others this Friday and Saturday during Rock the Quarry in my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”.

I hadn’t done this painting yet, but for years I’d planned a painting of this iconic rope swing, which everyone who’d grown up in the area knew about, and for all the years I’d considered having an exhibit like this, on the trail, as part of the annual event, the decision to finally paint this also made me decide this was the year to do it. I usually volunteer a few hours in the kitchen and walk around to take photos, and this will be really fun.

How did we kids live through our childhoods with things like rope swings available to us? I was thrilled to find a rope swing the first time I went exploring off the trail years ago and took a few swings on it myself just for fun, and when my great nieces and nephews came to visit from Savannah, a visit to the trail and the rope swing were tops on the list. Here are a few photos of them on the trail and swinging on the swing.

I pictured this painting to be in high summer, when the sun is bright and hot and the woods are dark and cool, and just coming upon the tree and the swing, the stream running past, standing in the deep darkness underneath looking at the lacy sunlight on the leaves of the tree and lacy shadows on the packed dirt beneath it and the swing itself silhouetted against the brightness beyond, in that moment when the potential is there, just before you decide to go for it.

The spot where this swing hangs is also one of my favorite places off the trail, and I visit there each time I use the trail, in all seasons—in mid-summer to have a dip into Robinson Run where there’s a nice pool there with water that’s always cool, and in winter to see the stream in winter, covered with ice and snow piled in the woods.

So there it is, the old rope swing, waiting for you off in the woods. Go and have an adventure!

. . . . . . .

If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


“Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail”, August 22 and 23

I'm having an art exhibit!

I’m having an art exhibit!

SUN SHADOW ICE & SNOW

seasons along the panhandle trail

original paintings and sketches

opening friday august 22 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
through saturday august 23 noon to 9:00 p.m.

panhandle trail quarry area as part of Rock the Quarry

FEATURED WORK: “The Rope Swing” 14” X 22” Pastel

. . . . . . .

I’ve been visiting the Panhandle Trail for nearly 15 years with my bike and on foot, for exercise and inspiration, more inspiration than exercise, packing in with backpacks of camera equipment and art supplies. I’ve taken thousands of photos along the trail and off in the woods, but I’ve also done a number of sketches while there in pencil, charcoal, pastel and watercolor, and arriving home in my studio to do more from photos. I’ve collected a number of these for an exhibit, but not in a gallery—right on the trail, where I’ve spent so much time and found these inspirations. It’s the place where I found the scene of one of my favorite paintings, “Dusk in the Woods”.

Click here to see a list of posts featuring other artwork in “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow”.

quarry pond

The Quarry Pond

You’ll find me in my tent during Rock the Quarry, the annual fundraiser for the Collier Friends of the Panhandle Trail. I’ll have my exhibit set up and also have a small display of prints, photos and notecards I’ve created over the years of scenes from along the trail and off in the woods. Once Rock the Quarry is over, they all come home with me so this will be your only opportunity to see them all together, although I will set them up as an online gallery as I have been setting up each of my exhibits.

A portion of sales of art and merchandise during Rock the Quarry will benefit the Collier Friends of the Panhandle Trail.

So join me at Rock the Quarry August 22 and 23

I use this trail all the time, and part of my giveback is to maintain their website and the little bit of social networking that we do, along with photographing things. I always volunteer during the event, usually in the kitchen dishing out easy food, but this year I’m giving something different.

rock the quarry

Rock the Quarry 2013

What’s the quarry? The Panhandle rail line, which was removed to built the trail in the old rail bed, runs right through a century-old limestone quarry, a portion of which is still actively quarried. The quarry ponds are there and that and the woods around make a natural gathering place.

Music, food, science demo, games, raffles, bonfire, fire trucks, fun for all ages.

For over ten years, Rock the Quarry (RTQ) has been an annual tradition. RTQ features two days of music, food, and fun. Each year, RTQ showcases up-and-coming local musical talent. Day two of RTQ features lots of activities for the kids as well as the Grand Rubber Duck Race and the traditional Sunset Remembrance Ceremony.

For more information on the event including maps and parking, please visit www.panhandletrail.org.


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Dressy Lamps

A paper lamp by Katy DeMent.
A paper lamp by Katy DeMent.

Dress Lamps

From across the street, a lingerie display? But not among the art galleries during Unblurred along Penn Avenue.

Close up they are actually lamps, handmade paper garments and sculptures by paper artist Katy DeMent wired with a light so they cast a soft and natural light through her handmade paper.

A paper lamp by Katy DeMent.

A paper lamp bodice3 by Katy DeMent.

Katy told me, “I’m a seasoned paper maker from Atlanta (20+years, teaching at Society for Contemporary Craft and Phipps locally) now living in Highland park. I was not in that space during first Friday as I had work in 4 other places including the Hotter than Hell fashion show at Glass Center that evening, (Garfield art works) , had my skeleton as part of Artists Against Fracking, and Most Wanted Fine Art had another paper dress. ”

A paper lamp by Katy DeMent.

A paper lamp dress by Katy DeMent.

You can find Katy’s work on her Facebook page, and she also has an Etsy shop—you’ve got to see her handmade paper wedding dress. She’ll be at Three Rivers Arts Festival June 12-15 left of the big stage.

 


“In This Valley”, Thanks for Being There

me with my art
me with my art

Me with my art.

Usually I read all new works at my poetry readings, but this event was also part of the celebration of Carnegie’s 120th year so my poems focused specifically on sites and events in Carnegie. I read, as usual, 12 poems, two of which were new, one written specifically for this reading to an audience of about 30 people, friends, family, and others who I’d never met.

I always introduce the theme and give a brief narrative for each poem before reading it, and a summary afterward. My readings also include an exhibit of art and photographs and while this is also mostly new, this exhibit was taken from my collection of photos and sketches from around town in a collection I call “My Home Town” as well as most of the 32 photographs in the collections “Of Harps and Fig Leaves” and “Carnegie Photographed” which are a permanent exhibition in the Reception Hall. This year it included a few new street sketches, paintings and photos and note cards on display from the set “My Home Town” and “Eye on the Sparrow”. Two pieces were borrowed from their owners, all the rest are for sale, both originals and prints.

art exhibit

The full display of art for this exhibit.

Much of what I do is inspired by the place I live as I’ve walked the trails and streets of Carnegie and the surrounding area, watching the land and people change from my childhood. Most of my poems began with something I saw, which often has multiple levels of inspiration for me and can inspire many different works. I photograph everything I possibly can and I may never use that photograph but sometimes it becomes a work in its own right. Then it may immediately or later become a sketch or painting, then possibly a poem and even some times a short story. You’ve seen and read the beginnings of these many times here on Today.

snow falling in old cemetery

Snow in the Cemetery

I ordered the poems according to the time frame they referred to. It’s interesting to see how the context of reading a poem can change my own reading of it and the poem’s reception. For instance, I read August 28, 1941 the first year I wrote it in all seriousness, despite the sometimes comical notices included in the classified ads that made that poem, in the face of the imminent world war. Last night reading the prices and products and comments from that era provided natural humor for everyone in the audience that felt completely appropriate and perhaps the last line referring to the storm on the horizon was even more gripping after our laughter.

Several poems were about or referred to things that I’d…found in the trash, and why they were found in the trash was part of the reason I included them and wrote a new poem. Many homes around town had been owned and occupied by only one family from the 1930s or 1940s to today, and contain a lot of things people kept for various reasons, things that tell a story about life in that house, and the eras the house was occupied, typical of Carnegie and towns like it. August 28, 1941 was one of those poems, and a new one entitled The Cabinet for a cabinet made in 1946 which I’d found during the time my mother was critically ill, and because WWII was “her” era the carefully handmade cabinet had touched me deeply, thinking of someone returning from overseas with all the pain and trauma and trying to get back to “normal” life.

belted kingfisher

Kingfisher on a branch watching the water for fish.

The kingfisher I saw the other day, though, was what brought it together for me, and I wrote a poem focused on the changes that have been and those to come for Carnegie, and gave a narrative about what the kingfisher means in ecology and how our change from industry to small businesses had made a positive change in our landscape we probably hadn’t realized, cleaning up the very creek that was the reason Carnegie had been founded where it was so long ago, and that the kingfisher symbolizes the rebirth from winter to spring, transition and adventure, and hope that Carnegie is in for some positive change after all we’ve done to build and rebuild our town in this valley.

As I have done with past poetry readings, I will post the poems and images in a virtual reading on my website. The artwork will remain in the Reception Hall until the end of March. And hopefully I’ll finally have my newly-printed poetry books!

I was so excited and comfortable at this reading that I felt it was my best yet of all six. Thanks to Maggie Forbes, executive director of the ACFL&MH for hosting me.

I read these poems, those that appear here are linked and you can read many others at allpoetry:

Snow in the Cemetery

Vintage

Bridal Wreath

August 28, 1941

The Cabinet

My First Decision

Memorial Day Parade

After the Flood

Dogwoods

Flocks of Children

The Kingfisher

tables of art and cards

Detail of what’s on the tables.

And here’s a slideshow of some of the art that’s there:


In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit
In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley

Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 7:00 PM

Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Reception Hall, 2nd Floor

Library Avenue, ink sketch

Library Avenue, ink sketch

As a part of the celebration of Carnegie’s 120th year, I will share poetry and art inspired by my home town. The program is free and a reception follows the reading.

West Main Street, original pastel

West Main Street, August Afternoon, original pastel

Much of what I do is inspired by the place I live as I’ve walked the trails and streets of Carnegie and the surrounding area, watching the land and people change from my childhood. I’ll be reading about a dozen poems, some of which I’ve presented in prior poetry readings, and a selection of new works.

View from Beechwood, acrylic painting

View from Beechwood, acrylic painting

I’ll also have some familiar paintings and prints as well as recent sketches, paintings and photographs and I’ll have a selection of note cards on display from the set “My Home Town”. In addition, a selection of my photographs from the collections “Of Harps and Fig Leaves” and “Carnegie Photographed” will also be part of the exhibit.

Table of Glass, original pastel

Table of Glass, original pastel

You can see samples of poetry and art from my prior poetry readings at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall by visiting the poetry page on my website.

If you’re local, I hope to see you there!

main street carnegie

Main Street at Twilight, photo