A Blue Moon for New Years 2010

The full moon this New Years Eve is a "rare blue moon".
About once every 20 years there are two full moons in in the month of December, thus the popular term - "Blue Moon".

For some strange reason lost in time, the term blue moon has nothing to do with the actual color of the moon, just it's timing in the night sky.
The next one won't appear until the year 2028.

On the event of this New Years Eve's Blue Moon, I'm posting a plein air painting I painted in the moonlight a while back to bring in the New Year 2010.

"Moonlight on Church St."
Dry media on paper
18" x 12"

"Christmas Treats" A Pastel Painting by Katherine M Schneider

The upcoming holidays are a time of exciting sights, sounds, and tastes some of which I have pictured in my pastel painting "Christmas Treats".

As we start the annual whirl of activity for this time of year, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season.

"Christmas Treats"
Pastel on paper
8"x 10" unframed
11.5"x 13.5" gold framed under glass
Price: $250.00

Paintings of Katherine Schneider on Exhibit at Roper Hospital through January 2010

Art Exhibition News Release:
Katherine Schneider is a featured artist in the Roper Hospital rotating gallery exhibit.
Kay's paintings are hanging in the new admitting hallway near the front entrance.

"Plantation Smoke House" is one of 18 works on exhibit November 11, 2009 - January 30, 1010 at Roper Hospital 316 Calhoun St. Charleston SC.

White Point Gardens Bandstand Restoration Nearing Completion 12.09

I've been asked to post information about the progress of the White Point Gardens bandstand restoration by a reader in England. This is what I saw when I visited the park last week (Nov. 09).

The bandstand foundation has been completed. It supports a lower floor with 5 steps on the east and west sides. Support footings are in place to install the restored original cast iron columns and cornice. Here's a link to a post on the cast iron restoration.

The roof remains suspended waiting to be lowered into place.

Restoration of the bandstand should be completed in January 2010.

Here's a link to earlier posts about the project and White Point Gardens.

And here's a link to photo's of the completed renovation of the Bandstand in White Point Gardens in April 2010.

Plein Air Charcoal Drawing at the Irvin House Vineyard Festival 2009

It was a beautiful day under the majestic oaks of the Irvin House Vinyard for the annual "Blessing of the Vines" Festival.

The Reverend Gregg Snyder from St. Johns Episcopal Church led a progressive blessing of the winery buildings, the grape vines, the Irvin family and gathered guests.
It was a spirited event with participants following Father Snyder around the vineyard adding rousing acclamations to each of the blessings.
After the blessing ceremony, all returned to picnic under the trees, enjoying the beautiful weather, live music, food, wine and craftsman displays.

A "plein air" (drawn on location) charcoal and pastel drawing of the Irvin House "Blessing of the Vines" Festival 2009.

Plein Air Paint Out at Charleston Vineyard 11.14.09

Grab your paint brushes, drawing materials, or camera and head out to Charleston's only domestic winery the Irvine - House Winery and Vineyard this Sat (11.14.09) to join local artists who will be attending at the 7th annual Blessing of the Vines Festival. In addition to providing a great opportunity to paint en plein air "in the fresh air", the festival will include blessing of the vines, live music, wine, and a BBQ cook off.

Here's a link to the Irvin - House Vineyard website for directions and more information about the day's activities.
PS: The paint out is not a sponsored activity of the festival, just a great opportunity for artists to do what we love to do - Paint Out! Check this link to the Charleston Outdoor Painters (COPA) site for more information.

A Visit to the Coastal Carolina Fair Youth Art Show 2009

It's Fall and time for the 53ed Annual Coastal Carolina Fair!

For information about the 2009 Coastal Carolina Fair including a map, scheduled events and entertainment visit http://www.coastalcarolinafair.org.

My family and I always enjoy the fair food, entertainment, and exhibits. This year the evening fireworks display over the lake was spectacular!

One of the most popular exhibits at the fair is the Youth Art Show which displays artwork in a wide range of styles by students 6 to 18yrs old from Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley counties.

The fair presents numerous ribbons and awards which are highly prized by their young recipients. For the past 14 yrs. my husband and I have had the pleasure of sponsoring an award at this Youth Art Show "to recognize outstanding talent as well as to encourage the further growth and development of promising young artists".

Congratulations to the winners of the 2009 SCHNEIDER ART AWARDS:
Haley Ewers: Cane Bay High School,
Ellori McPherson: Wando High School,
Gabriello Wolfe: School of the Arts.

If you're going to the Coastal Carolina Fair this year be sure to go by and see all the exciting, creative artwork at this year's 2009 Youth Art Show in the Fine Arts Building.

Oil Painters of America 5th Annual "Great Paint Out" 2009 at Poplar Grove Plantation, Charleston, SC

Members of the Oil Painters of America (OPA) gathered at Poplar Grove Plantation near Charleston, SC for a weekend of plein air painting in celebration of OPA's 5th Annual "Great Paint Out".

The event provided participating artists from SC (and Ga.) the opportunity to paint in a setting of beautiful SC Lowcountry vistas at the site of one of the oldest former rice plantations in SC.

Artists Kay Schneider, Bill Davidson, Sara Jane Reynolds, Caroline Francis, Mary Edna Fraser, June Seel, Christopher Sherry,and art enthusiasts Sparky Howard and Robin Heutess gathered in the afternoon on the dock at Rantowles Creek to paint and visit.

Pictured at left-Sparky Howard "helps" Chris Sherry with his painting.

Event organizer Sara Jane "Sally" Reynolds, June Seel, and Robin Huetess enjoying the creek views.

This year's paint out included music by visual and performing artist Mary Edna Fraser and Anne Goold.

Mary Edna and Anne entertained the artists with spirituals and folk songs, with the painters joining in for a chorus or two.

As the afternoon light faded from the creek, everyone agreed that the beautiful music added greatly to the creative experience of the day.

"Evening Light on the Marsh" a plein air oil painting from the Paint Out by OPA member Katherine M. Schneider.

Hanging the 25th "People's Choice Art Exhibit" 2009

The theme for this year's 25th annual People's Choice Art Exhibit sponsored by First Federal and The Center for Women is "Art and Soul of a Woman, Celebrating the Female Spirit".

Along with the other members of the exhibitions committee, I spent the afternoon organizing and hanging over 100 show entries.

The works by the exhibiting members of the Charleston Art Guild represent or symbolize women in deed, spirit, or appearance in a broad range of styles and media.

I will be on hand for the opening of the exhibit tomorrow Oct. 2, 2009 at First Federal, 34 Broad St. Charleston, SC from 9am to 5 pm. The Exhibit is also part of the Charleston Art Walk tomorrow evening (Oct. 2, 09) from 6 - 8 pm. Light refreshments and libations will be served.

The 25th People's Choice Art Exhibit will be on display at First Federal 34 Broad St. Oct. 2 - 14 2009 during weekday business hours 9am to 5pm.

Pictured at left: "The Dolphin Watchers" by Katherine Schneider.

Marsh Plein Air Drawing

It's important to keep all the tools in my "artistic toolbox" sharp so I'm drawing and sketching today to study shapes and forms from nature.

Besides, it's relaxing and enjoyable.

"Reaching for the Marsh"
Charcoal and white pastel on paper
Drawing : 10.5" x 14"
Matted and Framed : 19 x 23.5"
Price: $150.00

"Mossy Marsh Oak" A Plein Air Painting Using a Toned Surface

In my plein air painting "Mossy Marsh Oak", I used a warm color on the painting surface to enrich my oil paint. The warm tone of the canvas adds contrast to the cool blues and greens in the landscape. It also gives impact to the highlights in the Live Oak, Spanish moss, and marsh.

The painting panel was prepared several days earlier and allowed to dry.
Once on location, I lightly sketched the scene in charcoal on my painting surface.
Next, I worked over the sketch with thinned oil paint to establish the composition.

I then painted the horizon line, marsh and sky. The form of oak tree in the foreground was painted last, to build on the values of the sky and middle ground marsh.

As the afternoon sun began to set, I was able to see the last rays of the sun highlighting the marsh, creek and live oak. These highlights were added quickly by "etching" into the layer of oil paint revealing the warm tone of the panel.

I hope you like the result of "planned spontaneity" by using a pretoned canvas in this plein air painting of sunlight on a Mossy Marsh Oak.

"Late Summer In the Marsh" Plein Air Drawing and Painting by a Lowcountry Creek

There's a hint of fall in the Lowcountry this week. The weather is perfect for plein air painting in the marsh with a slight breeze and no bugs.

I started with a preliminary charcoal drawing of the marsh scene before painting. I often bring my sketch book to work out design issues in a composition. Drawing is a useful tool - it sharpens artistic observation and is a good "creative warm up" for painting.

Here's the final plein air painting of the marsh scene in oil. I've adjusted the composition to include the bend in the creek. This change leads the viewer's eye from the foreground around the bend of the creek into the marsh rather than off the page as in the earlier charcoal drawing. I've also lowered the horizon line to include more sky.

Painting is a "process" as well as a "product". Hope you like the result.

"Late Summer in the Marsh"
11"x 14"
Oil on cradled panel

"Shrimp Trawler on the Creek" Use of Color and Value Contrast

The painting "Shrimp Trawler on the Creek" is an alla prima oil painting I'm working on for an upcoming show.
In it, I've used value and color contrast to portray sunlight breaking through storm clouds over a Lowcountry creek. The yellow of the afternoon sun contrasts with the dark blue of the storm clouds adding a sense of drama and visual interest to this otherwise peaceful scene.
The painting is is one of several new pieces in progress to be included in a show I'm having this fall in Charleston.

A visitor to the studio says it reminds him of one of his grandmother's nursery ditties "Shrimp Boats Is A-Coming". It's a charming old southern folk song with these lyrics:
"Shrimp boats is a-coming there's dancing tonight. Shrimp boats is a-coming there's dancing tonight. Won't you hurry, hurry, hurry home. Won't you hurry, hurry, hurry home. Shrimp boats is a-coming there's dancing tonight".

Riley Iron Works Foundry Origin of 1907 White Point Gardens Bandstand

Recent restoration of the circa 1907 bandstand at White Point Gardens has revealed a foundry mark with Charleston origins on the bases of the cast iron columns.
Dustin Clemens, Project Manager of the White Point Gardens Restoration Project for the City of Charleston Parks Dept. took this photo of the John F Riley Iron Works foundry stamp from a bandstand column undergoing restoration on Aug. 13, 2009.

A John F Riley operated his foundry on South St. in Chas. in the early 1900's according to research by Dr. Nicholas Butler, Manager of the Charleston Archive at the Chas. Co. Library. This John F Riley was the brother of Andrew J. Riley, the grandfather of Charleston's present mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr.

Aug. 15, 2009, I had a chance to see the restoration work in progress at Charles Blanchard Construction Co.. Numerous layers of old paint and rust have been removed and a coating of primer paint has been applied to the ironwork. The columns, with the foundry mark now clearly visible after removal of decades of paint are resting on wooden supports awaiting additional repairs.

David Rowland, of TonMar Industries is seen here restoring one of the 8 bandstand arches. The grey areas on the arches indicate the locations of original foundry repairs to the iron work due to casting flaws. These areas are undergoing additional stabilization and restoration.

As a sculptor who has both built and cast from molds, I appreciate the skill and degree of complexity that was involved in casting this ironwork. Looking at the riveted attachments and casting supports inside the iron arches was a trip back in time.

The fact that these cast iron columns and arches of the bandstand have withstood the damaging effects of over 100 years in a subtropical climate of heat, humidity, salt air, and hurricane force winds is a testament to the work of the John F. Riley Iron Works of Charleston, SC.

White Point Gardens Bandstand Renovation Progress Aug. 2009

As of Aug. 2009, restoration work of the White Point Gardens bandstand has removed the circa 1934 foundation and steps, the original cast iron columns, and decorative arches.
The tiled roof has been raised and is presently resting on steel I beams awaiting completion of the new foundation along with re-installation of the original cast iron columns and arches.
The $273,500 price tag to renovate the 1907 bandstand has not gone without comments in this era of widespread economic downturn, however supporters of the project state that the bandstand generates revenue for the city from rental of the space by wedding parties and is an "iconic structure" worthy of restoration.
The band stand has become a prominent landmark and favorite destination for brides and visitors during it's 107 years in White Point Gardens, but some question the need for such extensive rebuilding of the structure rather than a more conservative and less expensive preservation project.

In a recent post to "Paint Charleston Daily", a reader states the following: "The band stand is completely made of cast iron. The casting was done by Riley iron works in 1902. Does anyone know if this is a descendant of the present mayor and what the cost was back then to cast the columns and upper arches? And, where was Riley iron works foundry? David"

I haven't heard of the casting history of the bandstand before this comment. Anyone know any more information about the Riley ironworks foundry? (Click here for my post about Riley Iron Works in Chas, SC).

PS - Here is a link to pictures of the renovated White Point Gardens Bandstand in March 2010.

Oil Painters of America

Katherine M. Schneider has been accepted as an Associate Member of the Oil Painters of America (OPA). With over 2,900 members, the Oil Painters of America is one of the leading organizations in the country dedicated to the support and preservation of representational art.

The Oil Painters of America membership includes many of the most accomplished contemporary artists in the country including Kevin Macpherson, William Schneider, Daniel Greene, and Everett Raymond Kinstler.

"Sunshine on Hampton Plantation" A Plein Air Painting of a Southern Mansion

Painting in the shade of the Washington Oak this afternoon, I was glad I remembered to bring lots of bug spray. With recent summer showers, the mosquitoes were out in force. I was swarmed so badly I'm surprised I have any blood left.

Bug spray and a portable bug zapper improved the situation and I had a wonderful afternoon painting at one of my favorite locations - Hampton Plantation Historical Site.

"Sunshine on Hampton Plantation"
Oil on cradled panel
Dimensions: 11" x 14"
Price: $450.00

I had the pleasure of meeting internationally famous author and painter, Kevin Macpherson when he was in Charleston this spring. Mr. Macpherson creates beautiful, award winning paintings using a limited palette of only 3 primary colors (yellow, red, blue) with white. In his books and workshops, he teaches the importance of mixing "harmonious colors and sensitive grays".
Although I like to use a few more "tube" colors on my palette for convenience, I am working on mixing a wider range of grays and neutrals. Here's a photo of my palette showing the mixtures I've been experimenting with recently.
The shadows and sunshine in the painting "Sunshine on Hampton Plantation" gave me an opportunity to try out these new neutral mixtures while working with color harmony and accurate values. I feel the painting succeeds in portraying the effect of light and shadow on the white mansion due to the use of a wide range of warm and cool grays.

"Evening Light at Hampton Plantation" A Plein Air Painting of a Historical Site

I took advantage of the cooler weather today to paint "en plein air" (on location) at Hampton Plantation State Historical Site.
The magnificent "Washington Oak" framing the plantation house's stately front portico with moss draped branches is the subject I chose to paint this afternoon. The tree is said to have been saved from being cut down to provide a better view from the newly built front portico by President George Washington during his visit to Hampton Plantation in 1791.
Now a mighty live oak, the tree was named in his honor.

The lengthening evening shadows falling through the tree's branches and across the front lawn create an interesting value contrast in my plein air painting of Hampton Plantation, the stately home of South Carolina's first poet laureate, Archibald Rutledge.

"Evening Light at Hampton Plantation"
Plein air oil on cradled panel
Dimensions: 11" x 14"
Private collection

A White Ribbon Tribute to Master Blacksmith Philip Simmons

Master Blacksmith/Artisan Mr. Philip Simmons' passing at age 97 has resulted in plans to honor his long and productive life in the SC Lowcountry. For many years Charleston has proudly recognized the talents of this native son who has spent a lifetime creating beautiful ironwork for local homes and gardens.
In his honor, the city is hanging white ribbons on all of Mr. Simmons public ironworks.

While Mr. Simmons's beautiful downtown gates and decorative public ironwork are widely known, he also produced many smaller, less recognized works such as the wrought iron handrails designed for "Afterglow", the Mt. Pleasant home of the Muschick family.

When asked if he would accept a modest project at the home, Mr. Simmons replied to Mrs. Rose Muschick that "no project is too small". "That's what I do" was his cheerful reply.
The resulting pairs of graceful wrought iron handrails have been beautiful additions to this home and garden for many years.

In his honor at his passing, the family has hung white ribbons on these two pair of smaller but greatly admired and appreciated wrought iron handrails designed and installed by Mr. Simmons and his apprentice.

He will live on in the memory of those who admire him and his distinctive artwork in iron.