* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fall In The Mountains

I have been in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina since early September.  Some of my painting buddies were with me earlier last month.

 We took a short trip up the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Here we are a 7,000 feet.

The weather was beautiful and so was the view!

We visited several waterfalls and had a delicious picnic.

The trees had just a touch of color, at the time.

We made some new artist friends, who had this pear tree outside their studio.  Thank you for your hospitality Joe and Mari.

We visited the apple orchard and bought fresh cider.  I'm going back for those apple fritters!

Nothing beats the fresh fruits and vegetables, right out of the fields!

Denette made a new friend in Hendersonville.  We also had a fabulous lunch and shopping trip!!

We didn't have time to paint, but took photos everywhere.  Maybe you will recognize some of the paintings I will be posting in the future.

One day we drove around looking for interesting barns for future artworks.

There are so many beautiful scenes in our country.  We loved the farmlands as much as the mountains.

The perfect finish to our day, a glass of wine and good music, overlooking trees and a creek.

Thanks for viewing my blog today.

Carol Schiff

Monday, September 26, 2016

Controversial Cubans, For Some Strange Reason

 "Hot Cubans"

Etsy deactivated this painting from my Etsy Shop and they are, quote, "making sure it meets their policies." I wish they'd tell me what the problem is, because I don't get it. Since it was a Cuban restaurant in South Beach, I thought the title was funny. Every Floridian knows about hot Cuban sandwiches, but maybe someone in the Midwest doesn't. There could even be a triple meaning. There they are, dressed in black, on a hot Miami street. And yes, they were nice-looking guys!


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Seascape, "California Bliss", 6x12" SOLD

It always amazes me how different the Atlantic is from the Pacific.  Here, on the east coast, we have mornings when the ocean looks like a big lake, hardly a ripple breaks the surface.

I don't have as much experience with the west coast, but it appears to be much more intense.  I have only been to the Pacific in northern California, where it is a deep, beautiful blue, unlike the semi-tropical waters we have in Florida, which can be a bright turquoise.

The reference image for this painting came from Shelly Smart's blog, A Year at the Beach.  She is not posting it anymore, but it remains a fascinating journal.  She posted images of her beach every day for a year.  Thank you Shelly, for sharing your images with me.

Carol Schiff

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Simonetta, 16x20 Collage on Canvas, Figurative Work, after Botticelli's "Birth of Venus"

This collage is made entirely of paper torn from fashion magazines. It is a partial view of Sandro Botticelli's famous painting, Birth of Venus. What a challenge! The fun part was her hair. Much of it is from Charlene Theron's "J'Adore" perfume ad. Collage, especially in color, takes me twice as long as oil painting--sometimes three times as long. I do love the result, though.

Simonetta was the woman believed to be the model for Birth of Venus. Read all about her life in our Pieces of 8 member Fay Picardi's book Simonetta.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Healing Ceilings, a story of love by Carol Schiff

I recently came in contact with a wonderful woman in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Amy Jo was a fan of my facebook page and sent me a link to her wonderful page called Healing Ceilings.  Amy Jo's husband just came through his second brush with cancer.  She and her husband were spending lots of time in the Cancer Care Center of North Carolina, he, getting treatment and she, waiting and observing. Observing the same people day after day, as they came in for their chemo or radiation treatments.  She decided to do something to brighten their lives and encourage them in their fight.

BlueBird of Happiness by Kathy Garvey
Amy Jo believes in the healing power of art.  She decided to brighten the days of these patients by giving them something inspiring to look at while they receive their treatments.  Out came those old, white, boring ceiling tiles to be replaced with individual tiles turned into creative art.  How she did this, I do not know, but she has single handedly installed hundreds of tiles in cancer care centers in the Raleigh area.

Peaceful Beach by Denette Schweikert

She contacted artists through Facebook and asked them to donate their work on ceiling tiles that she somehow supplies.  Nothing stops her.  When I saw her posts and decided to donate, she arranged for me to go to my local Lowes (in Florida) where I picked up a box of the proper tiles at no cost to me.  Naturally, I involved my painting group, Pieces of 8 and gathered additional volunteers from them. One of the group, Cindy Michaud, who summers out of town, was following the journey on Facebook. Being a person who does not let grass grow under her feet, she contacted Amy Jo and so far, has painted 6 tiles for the project.

Road to Sunshine by Cindy Michaud (2 tiles)

Garden of Inspiration by Cindy Michaud (4 tiles)
Everyone wanted to do peaceful scenes filled with inspiration.

Sailing the Bay by Mary Warnick

Ocean Sunrise by Carmen Beecher

I decided to do 3 typical scenes of North Carolina:

Abstracted Sea by Carol Schiff

Carolina Marsh by Carol Schiff

Mountain Mist by Carol Schiff

Did I tell you each tile is 24x24"?

Now that the tiles are complete, Amy Jo has done a "shout out" on Facebook to bring them home to Raleigh.  In her words, "The Love Train is leaving the station".  She will find volunteers who will transfer the tiles from place to place until eventually, they will be delivered to her hands for installation.

A story of love and compassion and determination.  The next time you think "What difference can I make"?

Think of Amy Jo.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Abstract Seascape | Daily Painting | "Tropical Blues" by Carol Schiff | 6x8" Oil SOLD

Living close to the sea, I find it turns up in my painting in both a representative and non-representative form.  I guess this little daily painting falls somewhere between the two.


 I painted this with a palette knife.  I like texture and feel it adds additional interest to my art.  I was thinking about the beautiful greens and blues of the tropical waters off the coast of Florida.  Further south they turn the most amazing shades of azure, but that will be another painting.


I almost always show my paintings in black frames.  It would be hard to find an artwork that would not work well with black and it just makes the colors pop.

Start planning that tropical vacation today!


Don't forget to pin it on your vacation board.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fall Leaves in Fabric

It's fall and that makes me think of leaves. The colors are so amazing and the patterns in them inspire me. I'm particularly fond of the beautiful sea grape leaves here in Florida.

I wanted to create some permanent leaves to sew up for my living room  - that just happens to have a lot of red, orange and purple. My goal was to match these colors. (Those are pillows made from Moroccan Fez hats that my parents brought back for me.)

I made a rough sketch of the idea.

And then drew up my leaves as individual files in Adobe Illustrator. I captured the colors from my pillows to use as the main colors.

After creating the individual leaves, I pasted them into Photoshop using a 54 x 36 150 dpi file so that I could see how many leaves I could get on a yard of fake suede to be printed at Spoonflower.  I added details and texture in Photoshop as well as some cutting lines. Then uploaded the digital file to Spoonflower's web site. (Spoonflower is awesome! It's a totally USA company and it's less expensive to print to fabric than it is to paper! Check it out at www.spoonflower.com.)

My fabric arrived back in less than a week. Unfortunately, I don't always get the colors I want. We all know that issue. My red looks like salmon! But it still worked in the room.

I cut, stitched, turned, quilted and wired to create my leaves.

I still need to find just the right vase and wire them to be tall like my sketch, but I now have some beautiful leaves for year round in my living room.