Great Weather for Plein Air Painting In the SC Lowcountry

My painting and easel  set up on a quiet country road.
As the light faded, a family of deer wandered across the road.
They move soft as shadows.

Sunlight filtering through live oaks on a country road and cool fall weather made for great painting in the ACE basin today.  I'm working on a larger canvas (36"x48") that will take several painting sessions to complete. 

Pictured here is my custom made canvas panel with an under painting of neutral grey-green and dark tones. Next, I'll work on developing abstract light and shadow patterns in the trees. It's often useful to simplify a subject with this much visual "information". Including too much detail will weaken the overall design and cause the painting to look cluttered. 

 I'm working to create a painting about softly filtered sunlight and sheltering live oaks on a road less traveled. A scene of timeless beauty increasingly hard to find ...

Katherine M. Schneider Contributes to Book "Art Is a Powerful Language: Willard Hirsch The Man-The Artist"

"Art is a Powerful Language" compiled by Jane Hirsch
displayed with terra cotta bas-relief sculpture of
Katherine Muschick Schneider
by Willard Hirsch

I was honored to contribute to a new book about Willard Hirsch (1905-1982)  "Art Is a Powerful Language : Willard Hirsch -The Man, The Artist". 

The book, published in conjunction with  retrospective exhibitions at the Gibbs Museum of Art (Sept 21-Dec.30,2012) and Brookgreen Gardens  ( Jan 26-April 21,2013), is a compilation by Jane Hirsch of essays and photographs of her father's life and works spanning 50 years. 

Angela D. Mack, Executive Director of the Gibbs Museum of Art has this to say about the book "Art Is a Powerful Language is a much-overdue account of Willard Hirsch. His sculptures have long been part of the artistic landscape of this region, but until now little has been written about his training, career, and influence. Along with William Halsey and Corrie McCallum, Hirsch dominated artistic production in Charleston after World War II. He Became part of a long tradition of area art instruction that has led to what many refer to today as a second Charleston renaissance."

Katherine Schneider in her  studio
attaching Hirsch L hinges to  plaster cast mold
circa 1979
I was one of many young regional artists who benefited from Mr.Hirsch's training and instruction. He taught me the value of working from life, often using inventions of his own in the creation of artwork.  I feel fortunate to have known and worked with him in his Queen St. studio in the 1970's.

Willard Hirsch (1980) working in his
studio at 2 Queen St Chas SC.
Even at this late stage of his career, Mr. Hirsch was actively working on numerous public and private projects. He was a man of sharp wit, firm standards, and great integrity.  As this book documents, his work displays a depth and breath of creative ingenuity rarely seen.

"Art Is a Powerful Language Willard Hirsch- The Man, The Artist" is available from the publisher Home House Press at and the Gibbs Museum of Art

Iconic Charleston Sculptor Willard Hirsch (1905-1982) Honored at Gibbs Museum of Art

In 1979, Sculptor Willard Hirsch viewed his bronze -"Stephan"at his
Gibbs Museum of Art retrospective exhibition
 curated by Martha R. Severens
Willard N. Hirsch "Charleston's Sculptor" (1905-1982) is being honored by an exhibition at the Gibbs Museum of Art and the release of a new book of his work spanning a career of over 50 years.

At the preview reception for the 2012 exhibition "Willard Hirsch: Charleston's Sculptor", Jane Elizabeth Hirsch and Jacob Alexander Hirsch, Hirsch's children, spoke about their father's lasting contributions to Charleston and it's arts community. They noted that in addition to completing numerous public and private sculptural works, Mr. Hirsch was a pioneer of fine art instruction in Charleston and founding member of the Charleston Artist Guild.

A new book "Art Is a Powerful Language  Willard Hirsch-The Man, The Artist" has been published in conjunction with the 2012 exhibition. The book, compiled by Jane Hirsch, includes essays by art historian and former Gibbs Museum of Art curator of collections Martha R. Severens, wild life painter Anne Worsham Richardson, family members, friends and students. In addition, the volume is filled with impressive, high definition photographs by Douglas Pinkerton illustrating the beauty and diversity of Mr. Hirsch's sculpture.

The book "Art Is a Powerful Language Willard Hirsch-The Man, The Artist" compiled by Jane Elizabeth Hirsch is available at the Gibbs Museum of Art Museum Store and from the publisher, HomeHouse Press.

The exhibition "Willard Hirsch: Charleston's Sculptor" is on view at the Gibbs Museum of Art 135 Meeting St. Charleston SC from September 21-December 30, 2012.

Additional essays in the blog about Willard Hirsch link here.

Oil Painting by Katherine Schneider Chosen for Cover of New Book "Carolina Christmas: Archibald Rutledge's Enduring Holiday Stories"

"Carolina Christmas:
Archibald Rutledge's Enduring Holiday Stories"
Edited by Jim Casada
Oil painting by Katherine Schneider
A oil painting of Hampton Plantation by artist Katherine Schneider has been chosen for the cover of a new book "Carolina Christmas: Archibald Rutledge's Enduring Holiday Stories" edited by Jim Casada published by the University of South Carolina Press.

"Evening Light on Hampton Plantation" an original oil painting done on location at Rutledge's ancestral home was selected by the publisher for the cover. (click here for more information about the painting).

The book features a collection of holiday stories by Archibald Rutledge (1883 -1973) one of the most prolific outdoor and nature writers of the 20th century and the first Poet Laureate of South Carolina. 

Copies of Carolina Christmas are available in the Charleston area at Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million,  Waldenbooks, Blue Bicycle Books, the Ravenous Reader, the Preservation Society of Charleston Bookshop, Historic Charleston Foundation, and Middleton Place.

Sketching On A Summer Evening

I've always admired the way sunlight and shadows move in the branches of ancient live oak trees. Lately I've been sketching these light effects and the movement of moss blowing in the summer breeze through the trees. I'm hoping to be able to evoke  the spirit of these graceful trees in an upcoming series of paintings. 

Here's a recent sketch I did of a moss covered branch of a live oak in the evening breeze.  Love these old oak trees - so strong, enduring, and graceful in all types of weather... 

"The Dolphing Watchers" an oil painting by Katherine M. Schneider

Few creatures in the ocean inspire as much pleasure and excitement as dolphins. My painting, " The Dolphin Watchers" captures a moment when three women on the beach near Fort Moultrie spot wild dolphins in Charleston Harbor.

As they shield their eyes from the afternoon sun, one girl points to the spot she's just seen the dolphins surface, another strains to see these beautiful, playful creatures, as a third tries to capture the memorable moment with her camera. The energy and excitement of their encounter with the dolphins is conveyed in my painting by their body positions and the use of  bright colors in the summer sunshine.  

"The Dolphin Watchers"
Oil on canvas panel
10" x 10"

"Twilight Moon Rising" An Oil Painting by Katherine Schneider

"Twilight Moon Rising"
Oil on Canvas panel

This month the moon has been rising early in the eastern sky. It's already ascended high above the horizon by twilight-the time between sundown and full darkness in the evening.

My painting "Twilight Moon Rising" catches the brief time when the moon shines softly as it rises through the fading light over the marsh.

National Arbor Day 2012

Happy National Arbor Day 2012.  "Lowcountry Morning Glow" is my plein air painting of a SC Lowcountry marsh hummock with the state tree - the Palmetto.  What a great day to get outside and celebrate the beauty of trees.

"Lowcountry Morning Glow"
oil on panel

CAG Signature Art Exhibition 2012 Popular Draw for Collectors and Guests

The 2012 CAG Signature Art Exhibition was off to a banner start at the Charleston Visitors Center with interested guests and a record number of early sales this past Sunday.

71 painters, photographers, and sculptors from throughout SC had works juried into the exhibition which began to attract appreciative viewers and collectors even as the artwork was being hung by the exhibitions committee.

The Exhibition will be on display at the Charleston Visitors Center, 375 Meeting St, Charleston SC,through April 21,2012. An Artists Reception will be held Sat., April 21,2012, 6 -8pm.