It's been over four years now since I've had the pleasure of showing my work with my mom's jewelry. When I operated TraillWorks as a gallery in Newton, NJ, I had a permanent collection of her work on exhibit and the pleasure of selling many pieces to a great number of clients. We both have had many changes since then, and when a childhood friend and former neighbor from Easton, PA, contacted me about having a show at her hometown library, I jumped at the opportunity to invite my mom to join me.
Mother Daughter will feature a collection of pieces by both of us, all completed in the past few years. My Red Carpet Icons, apron paintings, giclées, note cards, and a selection of small new watercolors, including prints of my blueberry painting, "June's Pearls," will be available. My mom will be including several pieces influenced by the colors and textures of trees. Her recent jewelry is created using sterling silver, precious metal clay, torched copper, along with beads and stone. References to leaves and branches, along with blue, green, and brown colors of nature, dominate the work. Of particular interest is the ginkgo leaf, due to it's symbol of survival, along with its intriguing fanlike shape.
A little bit about my mom: she was born in Allentown, PA and began making jewelry in high school with James P. Musselman. Her love of jewelry making developed then and grew during an intensive course she took in Mexico, after completing college at the University of Toledo where she earned a BA in art education. Her uncle (my great-uncle "Fred") was a painter and owned a hotel in Taxco, known for its silver mining and crafting of jewelry. Upon returning she took a job teaching art in Scotch Plains, NJ, and began making jewelry which she mainly sold to her colleagues. After marrying my father, they moved to PA to raise me, at which point she halted her jewelry making. It wasn't until I opened up my gallery in 2008 that she began taking classes and crafting jewelry again.
If you can't make it to the exhibit, but are interested in seeing the works, please email me and I'll share what I can. You can also follow me on instagram to see snippets of the show.
MOTHER DAUGHTER: Jewelry by Martha Traill Schaeffer and Paintings by Jennie Traill Schaeffer. Hosted by the Oceanic Free Library, located in Rumson, NJ. Exhibit runs for the Month of October.
Although I have found ways through our modern food system to incorporate blueberries in my diet year-round, I always anticipate Jersey blueberry season. Even growing up in PA on the border of NJ, it was a much-anticipated part of the summer. Back in 2012, while on our annual family vacation to Cape May, my husband and I discovered a local jewel, Beach Plum Farm. We rented bikes, plopped our then 3.5-year old on the back, and rode out to West Cape May in search of local produce. Not only did we enjoy the ride and the food, but were astounded by the beauty of the farm.
Upon entering, at the time, was a front garden, planted in an English-style, with herbs, flowers, and smaller vegetables. We were welcomed to follow the rustic seashell path to the back of the farm to tour the rest of the crops and stumbled upon ripening blueberry bushes. Amazingly, this was the first time I had ever seen them in person. The shades of blue got me thinking of my palette and which pigments I would use; surely manganese, a little ultramarine, maybe turquoise, definitely some pthalo.
The work above was created upon my return from several photos I took. We've been back to Cape May since, but have had another son in the meantime and haven't had the opportunity to take the bike ride out to the farm. Hopefully we can make it work this August when we take our annual trip, now that the youngest is capable of sitting in a bike seat and the oldest has the endurance to probably bike the distance himself.
In the meantime, I'm offering the above piece at a reduced price in honor of the start of Jersey blueberry season, now through Friday only, along with a summer print sale of my works available on Fine Art America.
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Our local ShopRite is selling flats of Jersey blueberries that I keep hoarding. I used to be able to freeze the extras, but with a family of four, and a 3-year old that could live on them alone, they aren't making it to the freezer. (Great tip: you can pop the blueberries directly in the freezer in the clamshell). Enjoy!
It's not every day that you get to announce your art has been included in a digital magazine with 36 other talented artists from around the world. Well, today is that day! The April issue of Women in Art 278 just came out and my work is featured on page 27.
Women in Art 278 was established in 2013 to showcase the work of women artists. The first issue featured 27 artists that represented 8 countries, which is where the magazine's title was derived. The magazine can be explored digitally for free, or purchased in print form. Check out the list of artists included in this issue. Thank you Women in Art 278 for the inclusion!
In reading the issue, Liesl Marelli, the magazine's editor, writes that she is seeking submissions from artists of photos depicting their own art studios and why they are perfect for them. The magazine is hoping to offer examples of ideal studios to artists aspiring for that perfect creative space, to learn what makes a studio function and promote creativity.
So, in that vein, here are a couple of shots of my studio and why it works for me. Though still not my ideal for several reasons (mainly running out of space and little vertical storage for stacking paintings), it works for me now because it is in my home and allows me to do the following:
If you have studio shots to share, send them to Women in Art 278, attention of Liesl Marelli. Enjoy the magazine and all of the art and artists to explore.
Red Carpet Icons: New Works by Jennie Traill Schaeffer (ok, me) are on exhibit now through early March at the Valley's own Hat City Kitchen. I spent the better part of the end of the year producing several new pieces around the theme of the red carpet. Many of the works feature appliances, including several Crock Pots, a toaster, and espresso machine, along with a few baked goods and "thrones" of the home. The Crock Pot, in particular, was a pivotally important cook's tool. Through my research I learned it was the vogue appliance of the 1970s and I made the connection to the red carpet. Many of my appliances in past works (one included here, St. Mixer), were sainted with halos and personified in a way. This seemed to be a natural transition for me. All of the works in the exhibit are in oil (with the exception of one relief print), employing vivid colors and thick textural paint.
We had a soft opening reception in December during Valley Arts' monthly Artists Salon. Thank you to several of my friends and artists who showed up to support me. Thank you especially to Jeremy Moss, local artist and Valley Arts volunteer who helped me hang the show and invite me to exhibit. And, thank you to Patricia Rogers from Masconsumption.com who has Tweeted, Instagrammed, and paid me incredible compliments on my work. Luckily the work is up for two more months over the course of two more Artist Salons, tonight, January 11th and next month on February 8th. Please come down between 6 - 8pm to see the work, enjoy a drink or appetizer, and chat. I'll have 2016 Calendars and Assorted Prints / Small Works set up during the salons for sale also.
While I may not have actually painted or drawn an original artwork every day, and may not have even made it into the studio, when I look back at what I've actually accomplished, I'm astounded! I chose to voluntarily participate in artist Leah Piken Kolidas' Art Every Day Month 2015 challenge. Looking back over the month and seeing my paintings in one place, I'm amazed by the number of works I've created in a short period.
Caring for two young kids, a husband who is traveling out of state three days a week, and my teaching schedule has not been easy. Some days are harder then others and I wonder why I do this to myself. But, at the end of the day, or in this case, the month, the fruits of my labor (as well as the growth in my kids and special time we've spent celebrating 7th and 40th birthdays, Thanksgiving, and more) has been worth it. I know when I've been painting, drawing, or creating in my studio, I'm a happier mom, artist, wife, and all around person. And, even if I'm not creating my own work in the studio, every day I am creating for my kids and my students. But this was a month dedicated to my own growth in my artwork.
I still have more work to do for my upcoming solo show at Hat City Kitchen, slated to open on December 14th. But I feel more confident than ever in my ability to meet my goals in the studio. Thank you to Leah and the community that she has developed that helped keep me accountable, and to my husband and kids for understanding the late nights and weekend work time. If you're in the NJ area on December 14th, please consider joining me for my opening of my first solo show in several years, over a delicious Cajun-style meal at Orange's Hat City Kitchen, in the Valley Arts District.
Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Deemed the Kitchen God's Artist by NJ Savvy Living for my sainted appliances, I'm now known more for my vibrant, meditational paintings of chairs set surprisingly in landscapes. Since relocating to NC from NJ, mothering my two sons, and caring for our rescue pup, Cider, took the lead. Now, that my Durham home studio is renovated it's open again for virtual art coaching and the resumption of my personal art and commissions. The work I make is inspired by my joy of teaching, exploring nature, and traveling. On The Teaching Artist Blog, I share my approach to teaching and educate my readers about my creative process.
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