A fun group show opening, a gallery membership, and a new look

Unfinished underpainting for the first painting in an as-yet untitled series of nudes
Above: Unfinished underpainting for the first painting in an as-yet untitled series of nudes: oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in.

What a breath of fresh air — for me, anyway, and I hope for you: a new design for my website! It’s still not fully functional with all the capabilities of the new template, but it’s at least as functional as the last. All things in good time.

Cooperative Gallery 213, 213 State St., Binghamton NY
Cooperative Gallery 213, 213 State St., Binghamton NY

This week I got some good news, following my application and interview for exhibiting (full) membership at Cooperative Gallery 213 in Binghamton: I was accepted! I am SO looking forward to working with this group of serious and highly skilled artists to show our work in the heart of the Binghamton Arts District. Also eager to get involved in some of the public arts projects connected to the gallery, with friends old and new who are already members.

My pieces in Members Only: clockwise from left, Unlikely Dance: Beethoven Oaks, Melusina. and The Grove
Still life by Linda Ciallelo
This wonderful still life by Linda Ciallelo is in the Windsor Whip Works members’ show. © 2015, Linda Ciallelo. Used with permission.

Last night, Sweetie and I went to the opening reception of the Members Only group show at Windsor Whip Works Art Center. It’s an unjuried show, so the quality varies widely, but there’s some stunning work there. (The show runs through March 1.) And it was a fun party — a full house, shoulder-to-shoulder, a really nice refreshment spread, and a really fun bunch of people, several of whom are my new colleagues at Cooperative 213.

So while a forecast major snow storm envelopes us over the next couple of days, I’ll be getting further into the first of a new series of paintings — top of this page — so far untitled. Looks like this will be a satisfyingly productive year for me; hope it is for you as well!

‘Tis the Season, at GreenBoat Design

Cards and earrings from GreenBoat Design
Cards and earrings from GreenBoat Design. now at Old Barn Hollow Market

It’s now the season of Yuletide, and Christmas, and Hanukkah, and whatever other festival of light you may celebrate. And we love giving gifts. I have a few ideas to offer, in several different venues:

At Old Barn Hollow Market, on Vestal Avenue in Binghamton, I’m showing and selling Yuletide cards and earrings. It’s a lovely little store, full of the wonderful aroma of gluten-free baking, produce, and, at this time of the year, handcrafted gift items.

At the Fine Arts Society’s December Members’ Show at City Hall, you’ll find 3 pieces of my artwork (yet to be decided), as well as the artwork of many other talented FASST members — and on opening night only, December’s First Friday on December 7, you’ll find more of my earrings along with one-night crafts by other artists and artisans.

Cooperative 213 Holiday Show
Cooperative 213 Holiday Show, 213 State St., Binghamton NY
At Cooperative Gallery 213, on State Street in Binghamton, I’ll be showing more artwork and earrings, and perhaps some Yuletide cards as well, along with dozens of other Cooperative members showing their work and gift items in the annual Holiday Show.

And at the Broome County Arts Council gallery, State Street, Binghamton, also opening on December 7, you’ll find 2-dimensional art originals from me in the BCAC Members’ show there.

Profile: graphite pencil on paper, 5.5 x 8.0" unframed - Glenda Blake
Profile: graphite pencil on paper, 5.5 x 8.0″ unframed – accepted for the National Small Works Competition

The National Small Works Competiton show at the Windsor Whipworks Art Gallery, Windsor, NY, opens on December 1, and my drawing, Profile, is one of the juried pieces in that show.

AND… although I’m a great proponent of shopping local — which, by the way, is the only way you can find my earrings — remember my Etsy shop, and that you can shop local by clicking the “Shop Local” link on Etsy’s front page. Also take a look at my in-progress gallery on Fine Art America, where you can buy giclee prints of my work — and the work of other local artists — on canvas, paper, and many other substrates and formats.

Quite the exciting season. Let it snow!

A quick summary of the pre-holiday art season

Profile: graphite pencil on paper, 5.5 x 8.0" unframed - Glenda Blake
“Profile”: graphite pencil on paper, 5.5 x 8.0″ unframed – accepted for the National Small Works Competition

Life is not dull. In the past two or three weeks I’ve:

Hurricane Sandy, Alexandria VA
Hurricane Sandy, Alexandria VA
  • had what seems to have been whooping cough (pertussis), while sitting out Hurricane Sandy in Alexandria, VA. Thrilling combination. Still have the leftover hacking cough.
  • set up and sat at the American Civic Association’s Holiday Arts and Crafts Bazaar, which suffered mightily from lack of publicity.
  • taken on publicity duties, official and unofficial, for the December 2012 Members Exhibit of the Fine Arts Society of the Southern Tier and the Windsor Whip Works Art Center’s weekly life drawing session.
  • Kindred Spirits contradance
    Kindred Spirits contradance
  • photographed Binghamton Community Dance’s Kindred Spirits Day of Dance (contra and English Country) for Unlikely Dance, and culled through the resulting 2700-plus photos, reducing them to 500 or so.
  • posted a couple of hundred dance photos on Picasa.com and shared them with the respective dance organizations (not public due to privacy concerns).
  • had a piece accepted into the National Small Works Competition at the Windsor Whip Works Gallery (about which I’m thrilled!)…

Busy times!

Now preparing work for group holiday shows with the Fine Arts Society of the Southern Tier, Cooperative Gallery 213, Broome County Arts Council, The Art Mission and Theater… and Old Barn Hollow Food and Artisan Market, where I’ll be selling the earrings I make.

Earrings by GreenBoat Gallery
Earrings by GreenBoat Gallery

Will blog separately about some of these items when/if I get the chance!

Life Drawing Sessions at Windsor Whip Works Art Center: You are Needed!

Important Note, 6/23/16: Windsor Whip Works Art Center has suspended their life drawing sessions. They may start up again in the future.

Life drawing – drawing the nude from a live model – is valuable to any artist’s practice, and one of the basic building blocks of art education. Drawing from life in a timed session enhances working speed, visual acuity, and the experience of being “in the moment.” It is not about sexuality or “cheesecake.” It is about perception of form, line, shadow, and proportion. It’s about the courage, creativity, and grace of the model. It’s about our attempts to capture, on paper, all of these qualities.

We’re fortunate in the Southern Tier of New York to have a regularly scheduled life-drawing venue at the Windsor Whip Works Arts Center — 98 Main Street, Windsor — most Thursdays, 6-9:00 PM. The three-hour sessions start with one-minute warm-up poses, working into progressively longer poses. There is no judgment or grading; it’s a convivial and welcoming group of fellow artists of various skill levels.

However, without enough steady participants the WWW cannot afford to keep the sessions going. Please join! If you’d like to car-pool from Binghamton/Johnson City, contact me. To be put on the email list for monthly session schedules, contact the Windsor Whip Works. The cost is low – the artistic rewards are high.

Walk-in price (not prepaid) : $15 per session
5 sessions for $60 for non-members (Save $15)
5 sessions for $50 for members* (Save $25)
Sessions you attend need not be consecutive, and there is no expiration date.

*Membership Fees for Windsor Whip Works Art Center :
$25 Students (21 yrs. & under)
$25 Seniors (55 yrs. & over)
$45 Regular Membership
$65 Family Membership
$500 Lifetime Membership
*Membership also entitles you to discounts on artist workshops sponsored by the WWW.

From the sketchbook

In the last couple of days I’ve gone to the life-drawing circle at Windsor Whip Works and out for the evening to the bar at Number 5 Restaurant (the latter with my sweetie), and have put my sketchbooks to good use. The bar sketches are in a 7 x 10″ book, the nude studies in an 18 x 24″, so the scale was quite different, one night to the next. I do love drawing from life. Here’s some of what I’ve done.

(These are not planned for my online Etsy shop, but if you’re interested in buying prints of any, let me know — the sizes and prices would run the same as those in my shop.)

It don’t rain but what it pours…art!

Thursday was an eventful day, in terms of artistic new beginnings.

First I got a call from BCC Continuing Ed asking if I’d like to take over the instruction of a summer non-credit course called Painting with Pastels, as the scheduled instructor couldn’t do it — of course I said yes, though it’s been a while since I’ve used pastels. I re-wrote the course description somewhat, ran out to the bookstore and the art supply store, and brought home an excellent book called “Pastel Pointers,” by Richard McKinley, and a new set of soft pastels to replace the old incomplete set I had. I have until June 6 to brush up my skills and put together a lesson plan, and I’m psyched. Until then, I’ll be working only in pastels. They’re similar enough in working method to colored pencil that I’ll have my skills and know-how back well in time. I love teaching. I also love being pushed back into a medium I once knew well, and will soon know even better.

While I was out shopping for pastels, a former colleague at the New Hampshire college where I worked as a designer until 2010 — she’s now the head of the department — called to ask if I’d be interested in doing some freelance design work for the college. I surely would. I loved working there, did some of my best design work for them, and know all or most of the people involved. It was an exploratory call — nothing for sure yet, but I’m excited and hopeful.

Then in the evening I finally got myself to the mostly-weekly figure-drawing circle at the Windsor Whip Works Art Center — a real breath of fresh air. I haven’t drawn from a live model for several years, and have missed it terribly. It was a small, friendly group, with a good (if very chatty) model, and I enjoyed it immensely. I’m pretty pleased with the results, for the first time out in so long, but in live figure drawing the process is more important than the product, as far as I’m concerned. It’s like yoga for artists — immediate payback in stretching, relaxation, sociability, and play, and long-term benefits in attitude, confidence, and eye-hand fluency. I must make this a regular part of my practice, even if I can only make it once a month.

Here are a few of the pieces I brought home last night — all except the last one are done in Prismacolor Stix (colored pencil in the shape of a pastel stick). For the last — a longer pose — I broke out the new pastels. (I’m not planning to offer these in my online shop, but if you’re interested in buying a print of any, let me know.)