Tag Archives: Watercolor

Meet the Artist in Residence: Emily Long

Emily Long is one of our current artists in residence at Main Street Arts. During the month of August, 2017, she will be exploring new mediums and working on a series that explores the idea that everything is fluid and connected—finding commonalities and relationships between ourselves and our surrounding that inevitably confirm our greater humanity. We asked Emily a few questions about her artwork and studio practice. 

Emily Long

Emily Long

Q: Tell us a little bit about your background.
I was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. At an early age I was enrolled in multiple art programs at my local cultural center, Snug Harbor and was constantly creating things at home thanks to the support of my parents. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into an art focused high school in New York City and continued my interest in visual arts and museum studies in undergrad at Fashion Institute of Technology. Beyond creating my own art, I am passionate about art education and currently work for the New York Historical Society (NYHS) and Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.

Q: How would you describe your work?
My art is fluid. I am interested in exploring the relationship between one’s self and their surroundings. A majority of these works are illustrated with watercolor but I am always excited to add a new medium into my work.

Work by Emily Long, water color and ink

“Raw Synergy Recognize Symmetry”, Emily Long

Q: What is your process for creating a work of art?
For every piece my process is a little different depending on how much time I am able to give myself to create. Some days I will jump right into a watercolor illustration. Other days I will spend hours researching symbols and their significance; taking notes on how they can be added into a work.

Q: What is the most useful tool in your studio?
My primary medium is watercolor, naturally my paintbrushes are my most used and useful tool in my studio.

Emily working in her studio at Main Street Arts

Emily working in her studio at Main Street Arts

Q: Who is your favorite artist and why?
Choosing a favorite artist feels like telling one’s children who the favorite is. With that said, I love Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh for her fearless use of multiple mediums and line use, Gustav Klimt for his use of gold, and Georgia O’Keeffe for her composition and abstraction. My favorite local artist was my childhood neighbor, Andrea Phillips.

Q: What advice would you give other artists?
Just keep working. Don’t be afraid to “waste” your materials or become upset if you create something you do not like. You have to get the “bad” art out before the masterpiece.

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Work by Emily Long: NY Time Dime (left), and Majority Too Big to Ignore (right)

Q: What are your goals for this residency?
I have had a recent interest in working with gesso and printmaking. I am excited to experiment with new mediums and making my work more sculptural while at Main Street Arts Residency. Recent projects have been inspired by folklore and myths. I plan to explore these themes with the exploration of new mediums.  

Q: What’s next for you?
In the fall, I will return to work at the museum. As for my art, I will be turning an old office space into my studio, where I hope to spend most of my free time.

Q: Where else can we find you?
On my website: emilysarahlong.com and on Instagram.


Emily is teaching a crocheted cacti gardens amigurumi workshop on Saturday, August 12 from 12 to 3 p.m. at Main Street Arts. Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting small stuffed creatures/objects. Sign up on our website to reserve your spot!

Inside the Artist’s Studio with E. L. Ryan: Creating a Watercolor Still-Life in 5 Steps

Hello fellow art lovers -

It’s a warm, rainy, December evening here in Ithaca; not too typical of western New York this time of year! It’s this type of inclement weather that for me, forecasts a painting night.

Welcome to the studio!

Welcome to the studio!

For my introductory post, I wanted to give you readers out there a little more than an “about the artist” spiel. So here is a quick tutorial to describe one of my favorite painting techniques; in this case, to create a simple still life in just a few steps.

I work almost solely in watercolor, a medium that folks often tell me is “the most unforgiving,” or “the hardest.” I beg to differ – I’ve had a lot of practice, no doubt, but you can turn all the “cons” of watercolor into “pros” with time, patience and technique. There are difficulties with every type of painting, sculpture, what have you. That being said, I hope that if you are interested in painting with watercolor, but intimidated to work with it, that this tutorial might give you a fresh perspective, allowing you to delve into water paint in a whole new way.

Here’s our subject:

To celebrate the seasons of both coasts, I've chosen a persimmon and a sprig of juniper.

To celebrate the seasons of both coasts, I’ve chosen a persimmon and a sprig of juniper.

STEP 1: SKETCH IT OUT
You don’t want to put a lot of detail in here. Keep in mind that this isn’t a drawing, you’re just setting up for your painting. Think light pencil strokes.

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STEP 2: THE WASH
Where is the lightest point of your subject? In this case, it’s the highlight on the persimmon. I left a couple highlights on the juniper berries as well. Everything else is darker, right? So paint everything else! Choose a neutral color, and bring your paint all the way to the edges of the paper.

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STEP 3: ESTABLISH YOUR VALUES
This step gives your subject a little body. Choose another (perhaps complementary) neutral color, and loosely block in the shadows and midtones. A lot of detail is not needed.

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STEP 4: ADD IN YOUR COLOR
Ok, now you have your subject defined. It’s time to put the color in! Add a little color into the back and foreground too. Keep your palette simple – limit yourself to just a few colors.

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STEP 5: ADD THE DARK, DETAIL, & FINISHING TOUCHES
Now that your subject is colored, you need to finish it off with the darkest value. This will make it pop! Add a little texture, color the background a bit more, etc. Voila! You have a little painting, in just 5 steps.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST

E. L. Ryan (F.K.A. Emily Falco) is an artist nationally recognized for the romantic quality portrayed in her watercolor representations of everyday perspectives. In this early stage of her career, she has lived and painted throughout New York State, from New York City through the Hudson Valley to the Adirondack Mountains and into Ithaca where she currently resides.

Ryan’s work has garnered national attention as a featured artist in American Artist Watercolor magazine, and on NBC’s Martha Stewart Live television program.  Since 2008, Ryan has continuously exhibited her work in solo, joint and group shows, including a recent solo exhibition at Cornell University. She holds a B.F.A. from The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City.

For more information please visit: http://elryanart.com

Stop by Main Street Arts to see two of E. L. Ryan’s watercolor paintings in our current exhibition, Small Works 2015 (one of which was an award winning piece!). Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by fabric sculptor & collage artist Jody MacDonald.

2015 Workshops

Call or email the gallery for more info and to reserve your spot in our workshops, camps, and drawing sessions.

April

Drawing with Coffee
Saturday, April 18, 2015  |  10 a.m.–12 p.m.
$15/person (includes materials and pastries)
Drawing with a variety of materials, including coffee, while enjoying coffee and sweets. This monthly workshop will focus on the experience of drawing in a relaxed and casual environment. Call or email the gallery for more info and to reserve your spot!

May

Drawing with Coffee: Perspective
Saturday, May 16, 2015  |  10 a.m.–12 p.m.
$15/person (includes materials and pastries)
Draw in a relaxed and casual environment while sipping coffee and eating pastries! This month the focus will be on using perspective to draw buildings in downtown Clifton Springs from the balcony at Main Street Arts.

Workshop: Stretching a Canvas
Saturday, May 23, 2015  |  1–3 p.m.
$25/person (includes materials)
Stretching a canvas is a basic skill that every artist should have! This workshop will teach you all you need to know about this valuable skill and you will leave with fresh canvases ready for painting.

June

Watercolor Workshops: $25 per session or $60 for all three (includes materials)

Workshop: Watercolor Basics
Saturday, June 13, 2015  |  1–3 p.m.
Learn the basics of watercolor painting, including how to choose and prepare your paper, the properties of watercolor paint, how to mix and layer colors, and more.

Workshop: Watercolor Still Life
Saturday, June 20, 2015  |  1–3 p.m.
Learn new watercolor techniques by painting a still life from direct observation. This workshop will focus on value ranges and textures.

Workshop: Plein Air Watercolor
Saturday, June 27, 2015  |  1–3 p.m.
In this workshop create plein air watercolor paintings in beautiful downtown Clifton Springs. Paint from buildings, foliage, and more.

July

Student Art Camp!
$15 per session or $50 for all four
Afternoon art sessions at Main Street Arts for students in grades 6–12. Projects will include portrait painting, drawing from life, and most importantly using your imagination!
Grades 6–8: July 7, 9, 14, 16, 1–3pm
Grades 9-12: July 21, 23, 28, 30, 1–3pm

Drawing with Coffee: Flowers and Plants
Saturday, July 18, 2015  |  10 a.m.–12 p.m.
$10/person (includes materials and pastries)
Draw in a relaxed and casual environment while sipping coffee and eating pastries! We will be drawing flowers for this month’s session in the garden across the street at Warfield’s.

Workshop: Bookbinding with Bradley Butler
Saturday, July 25, 2015  |  1–3 p.m.
Make your own sketch book or journal in this hands-on introduction to bookbinding. You will learn variations on the basic pamphlet stitch and leave with some small notebooks and a larger sketchbook or journal.

September

Drawing with Coffee
Saturday, September 19, 2015  |  10 a.m.–12 p.m.
$15/person (includes materials and pastries)

October

Drawing with Coffee
Saturday, October 17, 2015  |  10 a.m.–12 p.m.
$15/person (includes materials and pastries)

Workshop: Mask Making for Kids
Saturday, October 24, 2015  |  1–3 p.m.

November

Drawing with Coffee
Saturday, November 21, 2015  |  10 a.m.–12 p.m.
$15/person (includes materials and pastries)

December

Workshop: Decorating Paper with Bradley Butler
Saturday, December 19, 2015  |  1–3 p.m.
$25/person (includes materials)
Try your hand at designing your own decorative paper! In this two hour workshop you will use stamping and marbling techniques to make beautiful papers to use as gift wrapping or as works of art all on their own. Call or email the gallery to sign up. (please note that this is not a “paper-making” class, we will be decorating commercially made papers)

View our full list of events here: Events
View our list of Free Monthly Film Screenings here: Film Screenings

Inside The Artist’s Studio with Alicia McGloon: Finding Myself

My name is Alicia McGloon, and I am a watercolor artist/jewelry maker. I currently live on campus at the New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, where my husband Ryan is a full-time student. I have my degree in Fine Art and a DBA  as Simply Divine Details, the brand I have created for my watercolor jewelry. I also work full-time as a bank teller (I know, working both sides of the brain).

my humble little studio -  we have a 2 bedroom dorm suite, the 2nd bedroom serves as my studio space.

My humble little studio – we have a 2 bedroom dorm suite, the 2nd bedroom serves as my studio space.

After graduating, I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my art. The one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted my work to be a part of other people’s lives in a practical and affordable way.

I stumbled upon the idea of putting my watercolors into jewelry settings. Through research, I taught myself how to adhere glass to small paintings, work with the metal and jewelry findings, and where to buy good quality components and supplies.

A large drafter's filing cabinet houses all my glass pieces and pendant settings as well as sheets of watercolor paper.

A large drafter’s filing cabinet houses all my glass pieces and pendant settings as well as sheets of watercolor paper.

Some artists creating similar jewelry use prints of their larger works, shrunk down to fit the jewelry. I paint each small painting individually to make every piece unique and one-of-a-kind. Of course, in going this route, I have ruined quite a few little paintings when something goes wrong during the post-painting process. Sometimes the resin doesn’t want to cooperate, or a piece of glass is chipped after adhering it to the painting.

Still, every successful piece is worth the risk, because in the end it’s more than just a painting. People wear my art knowing that each one is irreplaceable because it is not mass produced.

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these little flower paintings are about the size of a quarter.

These flower paintings are about the size of a quarter.

this little frog is half an inch in size and is one of my all-time favorite paintings.

This little frog is half an inch in size and is one of my all-time favorite paintings.

I use a one-part resin to adhere the glass to the little paintings. After the resin has dried, I use a heavy-duty pair of scissors to carefully cut around the glass and then clean up the edges.

I use a one-part resin to adhere the glass to the little paintings. After the resin has dried, I use a heavy-duty pair of scissors to carefully cut around the glass and then clean up the edges.

After cutting out and cleaning up the glass, I use the resin to glue the piece into the setting.  When that is dry, I finish by adding the additional findings, such as a chain for a necklace, or the wires for earrings.

"Red Flower" original watercolor 1"x1",  set in antiqued brass and glass.

“Red Flower” original watercolor 1″x1″, set in antiqued brass and glass.

One of the greatest highlights of my work is how personal it can be. I have many customers who see my work and immediately have ideas of how they would make it their own.  People get excited as they tell me their thoughts. I have had such fun creating custom orders, from favorite animals to tiny portraits of loved ones. Painting such small portraits has really pushed my limits artistically.

I really feel that I have finally found who I am as artist and look forward to growing in my art and seeing where my passion takes me.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read a little about me. You can stop by the Main Street Arts Gallery Shop to check out a selection of my jewelry. I am also on many social media sites where you can keep up to date with my jewelry, including the Simply Devine Details website!

simplydivinedetails.com | Facebook | instagram | twitter | pinterest

Check out our last Inside the Artist’s Studio post, by abstract painter Bradley Butler.

BLOOM, etc. by Kevin Harwood

Kevin Harwood’s exhibit “BLOOM, etc” Upstairs at Main Street Arts features a selection of drawings from the artist’s self published Illuminated Magazine, BLOOM, along with watercolor paintings.

Kevin Harwood, "Bloom"

Kevin Harwood, “Bloom”

Harwood’s paintings provide a humorous take on life in the Finger Lakes, riffing on local characters and situations unique to the area.

Kevin Harwood, "Bloom"

Kevin Harwood, “Bloom”

Harwood’s refers to his watercolors as “Haiku watercolors”, because each painting is composed of only three to five brush strokes. These paintings are beautiful because they are so simple.

Kevin Harwood, Haiku Watercolor

Kevin Harwood, Haiku Watercolor

Stop by to see Kevin Harwood’s solo exhibition Upstairs at Main Street Arts! His work will be here through September 27, 2014. You can see more information about exhibitions at Main Street Arts here.

Exhibition Dates: August 5–September 27, 2014

“Birds in Nature” – Wood Sculpture by Don Howell & Paintings by Mark Stash

Birds in Nature is one of our current exhibits at Upstairs Main Street. Don Howell’s brightly colored bird carvings and Mark Stash’s  tightly rendered watercolor and gouache paintings interplay, combining 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works in a complementary way.

Mark Stash, Feeding at Fallen Tree, watercolor & gouache

Mark Stash, Feeding at Fallen Tree, watercolor & gouache

Don Howell, Eclectic Parrot, wood carving

Don Howell, Eclectic Parrot, wood carving

These two artists may work in different mediums, but their appreciation of nature ties their work together. Both Stash and Howell’s depictions of birds allow us to appreciate their presence in the natural world surrounding us.

Stop by to see the show! These carvings and paintings should really be viewed in person to fully appreciate their vibrant colors and detailing.

Exhibition Dates: June 6–July 26, 2014