Thursday, May 31, 2012

Keene Art Walk: 50+ artists on Main Street

Keene Art Walk starts this week!

Just got back from setting up my pieces at Ann Henderson Interiors (99 Main Street). Summer's bounty is the theme for my display with poppies, sunflowers and bachelor buttons blooming in a full riot of color.

This is a great event with 50+ area artists displaying their recent work all up and down Main Street.

Stop by and say hello during the opening tomorrow night, 5-7pm.

Keene Art Walk
99 Main Street, Keene NH
June 1st -10th
Opening reception: June 1st 5-7pm

"summer's bounty" in the window of Ann Henderson Interiors, 99 Main Street Keene NH

PS: Those of you who have been waiting for an update on the chickies...stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

upcycled garden art: Garden Glimmers

Garden Glimmers

 Created by artist Terri Wentzell (my mom), these sparkling garden sculptures are created from interesting combinations of vintage glassware mounted on copper posts.  Each of these upcycled sculptures is different from the next.  They catch the light even on a cloudy day and provide a great complement to your favorite flower bed or can stand alone as a perch for birds.

Garden Glimmers were one of the featured items at last year's Art Under the Birches: an art in the garden show, June 16th & 17th, 2012.

To receive my newsletter with updates on upcoming shows, Happy Camper Mobile Art Gallery events, sneak peeks at new work, and special offers go HERE.

Go HERE to see my 2013 schedule.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Art under the birches

Come share two of my favorite things: my garden and art.

This year I decided to combine the two with Art under the birches: an art in the garden tour at my home/studio.  This unique show will give visitors an inside peek at my most recent paintings and into my private garden, a little oasis in the city.

Birches, oil on canvas, 40 x 20 inches.  ©2012 Kristina Wentzell

I’m also pleased to announce a few special guests who will be joining me.

My friend and fellow Mass Art grad, Caryn King will be displaying her latest work.  Caryn’s paintings are expertly and sensitively rendered animal portraits, from cows, chickens and pigs of our area's rural farms to owls, foxes & rabbits of New England's wild places.

Romeo, acrylic, ©2012 Caryn King

In addition, Art under the birches will feature some outdoor sculptures by local artists and some fabulous upcycled garden artMore on that later.

Come see what's on the easel and in the flower beds.  Join Caryn King and me for a unique art show in my garden.

Art under the birches
June 16th & 17th
Sat: 10-4 Sun: 12-4

87 Ashuelot Street
Keene, New Hampshire

Pop in any time, sip a glass of wine or lemonade while enjoying the flowers, plants, (and a few backyard chickens!), and of course, art.

Monday, May 14, 2012

5 things I've learned about chickens in 4 days

The chicks are here! 

Our adventure in raising backyard chickens has officially begun.  I've only had them a few days but I have learned a few things already. 

mother hen, oil on canvas.  ©2010 Kristina Wentzell

Want to see more chicken paintings? Check out this fun video I put together.

1. Chicks sure are messy. I read this beforehand, but boy has it proved true. Tiny chicks are impossibly cute balls of peeping fluff that also possess remarkable athletic abilities right from birth.  They scratch and shuffle and peck around in their brooder like little possessed demons scattering pine shavings in a three foot radius in the air and all around their box.

coming home from the feed store!

2. Chicks start their flying lessons early. We learned this quickly, when opening the door to their brooder (in our case, a wire guinea pig cage) and a couple of them came running and flapping towards the opening and actually got a little bit air born.  Luckily, we were able to stop them in their lemming like leap to certain death.

unpacking the little peepers

3. The contended peeping of baby chicks is the best sound.  It lets a person know everything is all right with the world.  I’ve taken to bringing my laptop in their room to work while listening to their happy little cheeps and shuffling noises.

4. There should be a yoga pose called the chick. My chicks do this hilarious stretching exercise of extending one leg waaaaay out straight behind them while simultaneously leaning sharply forward and stretching the same side wing out. There are cat, cow, and cobra poses…why not chicken?

5. A chick can fall asleep like a drop of a hat.  My chicks can fall asleep in about 1.5 seconds. They will stand still, close their eyes, and slowing fall face first into the shavings…staying there sprawled out like a drunken sailor. Once I realized they weren’t dead, it became quite funny.

Do you have your own flock of backyard chickens?  I'd love to hear from you!  Tell me your chicken stories. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

CSArt: your art shares are ready!

I just finished up the second batch of CSArt shares.  Folks will be picking up their paintings in my studio this week--which is always a fun time.  I love passing along the delight of flowers.

Wondering what Community Supported Art is all about? 

It's hard to choose which seasonal flower to paint fo the art shares--there are so many! I walked around my garden to see what was poking up and went to a few area greenhouses (I should leave my wallet at home when I do that, I'm like a kid in a candy store).

iris by Vincent Van Gogh

What settled it was a lovely and unexpected gift from a friend. 

She recently went to see the "Van Gogh Up Close" exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Lucky you if you got to see in person! Knowing I was not going to get there in person myself, my friend bought me the exhibition catalog book. 

What a treat that was and the next best thing to actually going. 

Leafing through the pages was the perfect reminder of why I've always admired Van Gogh's work: the wonderful textures in his paintings, the expressive brushwork, the japanese influences in his florals, and of course the colors.

So when I turned to the pages with his iris paintings, the decision was made.

Feeling inspired?  There is still time to join in on the fun. Send me an email and we can discuss.

iris, oil on canvas.  ©2012 Kristina Wentzell

iris 2, oil on canvas.  ©2012 Kristina Wentzell

iris 3, oil on canvas.  ©2012 Kristina Wentzell

Sunday, May 6, 2012

what to do in mud season

Early May in Rangeley, Maine is mud season.

The north country doesn’t really have spring like the rest of us…the long, cold winter up there sort of just segues into a season of fog, chilly raw days, and mud. Lots of mud.  It’s a bit early for fishing, much too cold to swim, all the locals get out of town to Florida for the month, and every restaurant in town closes down.

It’s real quiet.

On the drive in to town, in the last 50 miles or so we passed not one car on the state highway.

We did see 4 moose.

So, when my family went to Rangeley this week for a few days, our entertainment options were a bit limited.  There is one thing to do this time of year that is an annual rite of passage. 


Fiddleheads are the curled fronds of a just emerging fern, harvested as a vegetable.  Nearly everyone in town has their secret fiddleheadin’ spot.  They tend to grow in wet areas along the rivers.

My grandfather took me fiddleheading when I was younger. He was a quintessential old Maine guide, tough and woods savvy.  He always knew of a good spot to find ‘em.  He picked fiddleheads by the gallon and stored them for the year.  He would eat them boiled, steamed, canned, fried, in pancakes and even pickled.  Some studies show that fiddleheads eaten in large quantities can be toxic but he lived to be 99 years old.

So, this week we went off to that same spot by the Dead River my grandfather took me to go fiddleheading. It was still a bit early and the fiddleheads were on the small side.  We were only able to scrounge a few.  My two little charges were skeptical, or shall we say, not as familiar with the delights of fiddleheads.  But that’s okay, they’ll get there...fiddleheads are a learned appreciation.

For those of you on my mailing list, you might have noticed the delicate, curled fronds on the back of every postcard.  Now you know the story.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

opening reception this Sunday!

Hi folks,

For those of you in the Mondanock area, I hope you can join me this Sunday at the lovely Sunflowers Restaurant  in Jaffrey, NH. 

I will be hosting an artist reception for my collection of paintings "of independent hues".   You can read more about the collection here.  The paintings will be on display through June 4th.

Opening Reception
Sunday, May 6th   3-5pm

Sunflowers Restaurant
21 Main Street
Jaffrey NH