Back in early May, I set up a tent on a very windy day at Peters Valley's Annual Open House and Studio Tour. Despite the challenging weather, I began a drawing of a still life set-up featuring a tea kettle, mugs, and a tea bag in honor with my upcoming workshop, Painting the Texture of Tea. I invited anyone who visited my tent to add their mark on the painting. I wanted people to simply learn what it feels like to observe a color on a still life, mix it color and apply it to a canvas, simplifying the painting process to its most basic steps.
When asked to paint, most adults shied away expressing either inexperience or inability, to which I encouraged them to leap in and get a feel for the texture of the paint. I wanted people to simply learn what it feels like to mix one color and apply it to a canvas. Most people finally agreed (most kids readily participated) and ended up feeling terrific after doing so. That very basic act of putting paint on with a brush is very satisfying. Several people had never even picked up a paint brush, let alone painted with oils. It was very moving to allow people the opportunity to do that.
Now that my web site is mostly complete, I have time to get back in the studio and yesterday I made my first marks on the painting. My plan is to complete it, using the preliminary visitors' marks as the starting point. I will share my progress on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with #PVTeaPainting. Once completed I will donate it to Peters Valley's Annual Auction, set for Thursday, August 14th at the Walpack Inn. Click here for more information and tickets to the auction. And, if you're interested in taking a weekend workshop, learn more about Painting the Texture of Tea, which I will instruct August 15 - 17th at Peters Valley.
When I was on vacation to Boston last year I was searching for unique ornaments to buy for my son as a memento of our trip. Leaving without anything, I decided I would paint an ornament for him, I am a painter after all.
In the nick of time, I found some blank ceramic ornaments and came up with a design for both Joel and Auggie. We took Joel to Boston when I was pregnant with Auggie as a final weekend with just us. After Auggie was born, Joel started telling us he wanted to go back to Boston. No wonder!
Aside from him having us to himselves, we had a magical time in Boston. So many firsts: one of them, touching a starfish. I decided that would be the subject for his ARTament. It took him a lot of courage to reach into the tank and touch the sea creature. Afterwards he was so proud of himself.
Auggie also took his first trip on a plane to Rochester in December, so I decided to memorialize his trip with an ARTament featuring a plane. Though I prefer not to repeat a trip with a six-month old (not the easiest one I've experienced)!
I shared these on Facebook last year and the response was very positive, with several people conveying interest in purchasing some this year. So, after some thinking, I came up with the name ARTaments and am offering custom hand-painted ornaments for this Christmas.
In honor of my new web site, I'm offering $10 off all orders of ARTaments to those who share #ARTaments on Facebook or Twitter thru July 15th. This is a great opportunity to give or preserve a special memory. Learn more here.
FINALLY, more than three years in the making, TraillWorks.com has been redesigned and is now live! It's been quite a challenge over the past several years working with an outdated site and many designers who didn't quite get me. After much research, I decided to use a template site to help me construct and host, since I have little html knowledge.
There are still pages to complete and content to add and change, but after months of work, I wanted to share the new site. Now that it's hosted by Weebly.com, I will have the flexibility to update and change elements as my art develops.
So, take a look around, there's lots to see. What's new? I have a dedicated portfolio of my own work, including works in-progress, sketches and a page dedicated to commissions (still in design). There's a blog hosted directly on my site, but you can still link to my old blog on Blogger to see archived posts. The lesson page has been updated and most exciting of all; there is a shopping cart on my site! It's not quite finished, but soon I will announce when you can begin making purchases such as lessons and a new product: ARTaments.
In honor of the launch of the site, find the link to ARTaments on the site and share the page on Facebook or Twitter with #ARTaments. Each person who shares will receive $10 off their ARTament order.
Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Sometimes called the Kitchen God's Artist, I'm balancing mothering two energetic sons, a big mutt Ringo, making and teaching art. TraillWorks is the apron under which I create and teach. My own art develops mostly in my West Orange home studio, but is sometimes spurred through my teaching.
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Want to read more from the past? Click here to read archived blog posts from my previous blog on Blogger.
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West Orange, NJ
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