Winter 2020 Art Workshop Art Show: It’s Personal

Collage, paint, masking tape/foil on MDF/Megan M
Ball point pen on Bristol board/Spider man/Adelyn S
Colored pencil on drawing paper/shoes & hidden shoes/Catherine S

What do you know about a person when you look at their art? Any work of art reveals the artist, and this semester in “It’s Personal” twenty-three artists ages 10-17 have explored different mediums. These works are a little preview of the type of works that will be exhibited on Sunday, March 15 from 5:15-7:30 at 606 West Avenue.

Join us for a night of art and inspiration. For more information:

Spring Art Workshop and Young at Art Artists Display Work

On Sunday, May 5, 2019,  the students of the Spring Art Workshop program, will display their multi-medium 2D and 3D creation in their show “It’s a Small World.” Armed with an idea and photographs, the students spent the five weeks creating a single work of art featuring a background and foreground, while using a variety of materials. Some artists focused on the imaginary, while others chose real-life places. There were a variety of materials used to create the forms and images. Imagination and ingenuity played important roles in the program!

In the Young at Art program, the adult artists have focused on art elements: space, line, texture and color. Each of the five weeks of the program focused on a separate element. A variety of mediums were used from drawing pencils, charcoal, tooling metal and ink to pastel on Canson.

Come and join us Sunday May 5th from 5:15-7:30 for an evening of art and inspiration!


Winter 2019 Art Show and Reception: Art Through the Ages

On March 17, 2019, the twenty-two artists of the Winter Art Workshop program will display the work they created during the 10-week semester. Art Through the Ages brought the students techniques, tools, and inspiration from Master Artists: Picasso, Cezanne, van Gogh, Della Robbia, James John Audubon, and Roy Litchenstein.

Please join us for the show and reception. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Below are the invitations featuring the artists in Monday, Wednesday, and Friday sections.

Fall Art Workshop Artists “Ink It!”

On Sunday, November 18, twenty-five artists ages nine through nineteen will be featured in the Fall Art Workshop show, “Ink It!”. For 10 weeks, the artists have been studying different drawing techniques using ink. Their materials included India ink, alcohol ink, various ink markers, and ballpoint pens.

The artists drew, painted, collaged, and created with ink, rendering dynamic images which will be displayed in the classroom, and along the second floor corridor of Immaculate Conception School, where the afternoon classes are held. Master works of art were used to inspire the artists, who selected a work and created it using three different ink approaches.

Family and friends are welcome to join us for the show and reception starting at 5:30 until 7:30.

Martin Saints Artist Receives First Place Honors

img_6138Congratulations to Elizabeth Buentello, Martin Saints Classical High School student, who received a first place award at the Jenkintown Festival of the Arts on Sunday, September 16. Elizabeth’s work featured a statue from the Vatican rendered in charcoal, black colored pencil, and chalk on craft paper.

The show featured artists from Jenkintown Middle/High School, Abington Friends School, Martin Saints Classical High School students, and Art Workshop students.


Jenkintown Festival of the Arts 2018

img_6272Since 2011, Art Workshop artists have participated in the Jenkintown Festival of the Arts, which will be held this year on Sunday, September 16th from 1-6 pm.

Art Workshop artists from the 2017-18 program can select up to four of their works to submit to the Student Exhibit, which features work from Jenkintown High School and Middle School along with Abington Friends High School. This year, students from Martin Saints Classical High School, where Mrs. Cipolla teaches in the spring, have also submitted their work.

img_6271The work will line the scenic alley, Yorkway Place, which branches from Johnson Street near the center of Jenkintown. The beautiful Tutor buildings and trees lining the alley, make it a wonderful place to feature the work of young artists.

The show is juried and winners are announced at the grandstand near the gazebo on Leedom Street at 5 pm. Different merchants sponsor the prizes awarded to the students.

Please join us for a wonderful day of art, and a great way for the community to witness the creativity of our young artists!


Who is your muse?

Sometimes the hardest part of creating art is deciding the subject matter. The role of an art teacher is to inspire students to create art, even with unexpected subjects. That inspiration is a great motivator in the classroom.

My most favorite subject is family and faces. Recently, we celebrated my daughter’s 23rd birthday, and I thought about all the different works that I have done based on her face alone.

Drawing or painting what you love becomes reflected in the work! My most recent inspiration is my granddaughter Carmen. Babies are particularly hard to capture. The softness of their features is very challenging. More on Carmen later.



New Techniques in Painting Explored in Spring AW and YAA

The Spring 2018 semester of Art Workshop and Young at Art explored painting. These five weeks started with a watercolor-like painting process using instant coffee. The 26 artists were challenged to paint images of their own hands in a creative way.

In week 2, the artists used acrylics as a watercolor. It is always a challenge to isolate the white of the paper, and to think in translucent layers of color. For inspiration, the student used flowers. After a couple of short studies, they composed an 11 x 14 piece.

The final three weeks of the semester will be spent using the Flemish Style of Painting with acrylics. After completing a detailed, valued drawing of their work, the students will paint a raw umber (thinned with gel medium) layer, a “dead layer” (black and white), before adding color to their pieces.

Please join us on Sunday, May 6th for our show and reception at Immaculate Conception School, 606 West Avenue, Jenkintown, from 6-8 pm.

Mark Your Calendars for the Winter 2018 Art Workshop Show: Art Matters

Sunday, March 18 is the date for the Winter Art Workshop show and reception. The twenty-nine artists in the programs, ages 8 to 15, have studied why art matters. “Art entertains”, our idea for the first class, had the students create cartoons and animation drawings, “Art identifies” gave the students the challenge of using a grid, ruler, negative and positive space to recreate sports logos. “Art accessorizes”, which may have been the artists’ favorite piece, was based using design constraints (a shape and up to three symbols), to creat a tshirt. Those awesome shirts will be hanging in our classroom the evening of the show. We won’t give away the last couple of works…’ll have to join us!

Sunday, March 18 from 6-8 pm

Immaculate Conception School, 606 West Avenue, Jenkintown

All are welcome! Below are the invitations representing each artist:

Exploring the Flemish Method of Painting

I am not a big social media fan, but one advantage of having an Instagram account is following different artists and learning from them. Visually and artistically, dark values and contrast are appealing to me. I discovered the Flemish method through an Instagram post, did some research and found a great step-by-step tutorial from Carrie Lewis. Here is the link if you are interestedExploring the Flemish Method of Painting

The process involves layers of work: a drawing, then an inked-value study, an umbra layer, a “dead” layer, then several layers of transparent color. This process is generally done with oils and takes a long time, since each layer has to be completely dry before proceeding to the next step. I am currently working on a portrait of St. John Vianney for my son. The color layers are now in process but here are some of the stages:

I was curious to see if the method would translate to digital art, and created this portrait of my granddaughter, using the layered method:

Now, I am going to try that same method in acrylics, as a possible teaching moment for my students. Here is the start of a Nativity painting I am working on, the “dead layer” is in progress:

Update on the Flemish Method: I have found that this method translates well to acrylic and am in the process of finalizing the details (color layers) on the Nativity scene I showed in the previous picture:

I plan to introduce this method to my spring art students when we study different types of painting. The advantage here is that the layers can be dried with a blow dryer, so waiting is not a factor.

Here is my “almost done” version of St. John Vianney. I love how the color just radiates from the piece, and the darks are so saturated. I think that it must be due to the multiple layers, and dead layer underneath, since I noticed the same result in my Nativity painting:

I’ve started a new work of my latest muse, my granddaughter Carmen. My daughter captured Catalina and Carmen in a classic mother/daughter pose one afternoon on our side porch. The lighting of the shot was so beautiful, I had to paint it. Here is the beginning of the painting. I’m working hard on the “dead layer” so that the values are correct before I add the layers of color. The worst part of this method is the waiting!

A final update: Here is the finished work:

The painting was given to my daughter-in-law on her birthday.

Another project completed using the Flemish style of painting took much longer. This piece was a master reproduction, requested by a good friend of my youngest son. It is still waiting to be varnished, but I finally decided it would be “done.”