The Kitchen Project: Oil Paintings that Capture the Spirit of the Cipolla Kitchen

Over the past year, we have updated our kitchen in a couple of key ways. Brand new quartz counters replaced the old tiled ones. Just last week, a professional range was installed. (Yes, I was coaxed heavily by my husband to get the range, and it is awesome.)

I spend much of my free time divided between teaching, cooking, and studio time (when I am lucky). Above our cabinets is a two foot blank space, and I have started a project to fill that space, using a medium I am still practicing, oils. The goal is to fill the space with still life images that capture the spirit of our kitchen. I have decided to include some black and white images for impact. There will be four 18 x  24 canvases, two 11 x 14, and four 8 x 10 paintings.

Here are some of the works, which are in progress. I need to evaluate them all once the 10 paintings are complete.




Fun with the Apple Pencil

Here are some “custom emoji” I created for my family, using the Apple pencil. Procreate allows you to import images. With a touch of the finger on the iPad screen, you can steal colors from the image, so that your work looks authentic.

(Top left to right: “Mexican” for my daughter-in-law, “Photographer” for my niece, “Shopper” for my sister, “Snow Angel” for my daughter-in-law (inspired by a funny video of her in the snow), “Snow day” for my son Dave.)

So much fun!

Technology and Art


Just before Christmas, my iPad took a tumble onto our hardwood floors, creating a spider web of a screen. I was devastated, and my children knew it. They had given the iPad to me for Mother’s Day almost four years ago. I found that the iPad was a great tool to use for my classes, for creating art, and listening to music.

So what did they do? Encouraged by their dad, they purchased for me a new iPad Pro, which was about three times bigger than my original iPad. But the best part came in January, just in time for my birthday–the Apple Pencil. I have been learning and creating in this new medium. Of course, I thought it would be easy, but like any type of art, it takes time and practice.

Above is my most recent work (in progress). I am discovering how to use all the different aspects of the Procreate app (a great deal for $5.99) and how to use the pencil. Someday, I will post my ‘custom emojis’ which were really fun to make.

During our 24″ snowfall, the Apple Pencil and this work kept me busy.

Winter Art Workshop Classes are Forming Now

The week of January 4th is the first week of Winter Art Workshop classes. Students in grades four and up will meet Monday, Wednesday, or Friday afternoons at the Jenkintown campus of St. Joseph the Protector School. Classes begin at 3:30 and run until 5:00.

Each semester of Art Workshop has a creative theme. This semester “Art in the Ordinary” will focus on creating art from ordinary objects and using ordinary objects as inspiration for artwork. As always, students will be focusing on art concepts such as design, mass, line, color, space, and compositio. The style of each individual artist is encouraged, as the students end each class with a group critique.

There is a show at the end of the 10 week semester. The tentative date is Sunday, March 13th from 6:00-8:00 pm.

Further informaiton can be found on the Art Programs and Registration pages of this website.


After eight weeks of classes, Art Workshop and Young at Art artists showcased their work at St. Joseph the Protector’s Jenkintown campus on Sunday, November 15. Over a hundred parish members, friends, and family were treated to a variety of works in the show “Celebrating 150 Years of Immaculate Conception.”

Tooled metal, inked images on old photographs, colored pencil studies, and coffee on watercolor paper were just some of the mediums featured in the show.

Along with these works, the students created an eight foot by six foot two-panel canvas mural, depicting images from Immaculate Conception’s church. The work was designed by two former Art Workshop students, Sarah Depman and Aine Playdon, who also participated in the painting process.

Look for a slideshow of the work in the next few days!

Building a Mural Takes Time and Planning

As Art Workshop and Young at Art artists progress through our fall semester, our focus is on completing the two panel mural which will hang in the second floor rear stairwell of the Saint Joseph the Protector School’s Jenkintown campus.

IMG_4666In keeping with our theme for the semester, the students, along with two former AW artists, have designed their portion of this massive piece, which will measure 8′ x 6′, two 4′ and 6′ panels hung side-by-side.

Although our show date is drawing near, the artists have made real progress. The design parameters are drawn, and lines are taped off. Work has begun on the 3D tops of the columns (mimicking those in Immaculate Conception Church). A colored pencil work is part of the design process. Students were given Bristol board in the same shape as their portion of the stretched canvas. After deciding on an image, they lightly sketched their designs on the Bristol board, then layered colored pencil to create a full-color study.

From the full-color study, students will transfer the image (tracing paper is a handy tool!) to the main canvas, and then rebuild their work using acrylic paints. The layering of the colored pencils teaches the artists about color choices and what they have to consider when mixing paint for the IMG_4667final version. Also, background choices are an important part of the process.

Stay tuned as we worked on this piece with the goal of presenting it to the Immaculate Conception community on Sunday, November 15 at our Fall show!

custom artwork/art classes