Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Camper makes the news...

The Happy Camper is featured in the press!
Check it out here.
To watch a fun, short video about my project go here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

win a painting!

I'm offering a chance to win your choice of Ralph or Alice at Keene Art in the Park!  Stop by my booth and ask me how to enter.

I'll be in my usual spot, near the front of the park.  Look for my giant red poppy to
find my booth (#78)!

Keene Art in the Park
September 1st & 2nd
Keene NH
Ashuelot River Park
Saturday & Sunday, 10am to 4pm

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mobile Art Gallery: a Kickstarter update

The pledges continue to come in on the Happy Camper Mobile Art Gallery campaign--I am now halfway to my goal.  A HUGE thank you to everyone who has made that happen!  I am so grateful for all of your support.

For those of you who are new to my project: I am converting a 1966 DeCamp Travel Trailer into a Mobile Art Gallery. I will deck out the inside (and outside) with a gallery hanging system, lights, and take it on the road to art fairs, farmers markets, street festivals and meet-ups with other mobile art galleries.  I've launched a Kickstarter campaign to make this happen.

Looking forward...I have until September 12th to make it the rest of the way.

In return, you'll receive original artwork starting at just $25.  I've been working on a fun, new reward--so you'll now have a choice of an original painting or this!  Hint: it involves vintage campers. Stay tuned!

Go here for all the details:

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects.  It has funded some pretty amazing ideas from a lot of creative folks. It is an "All or Nothing" deal.  I need to make my goal of $2500 by September 12th or I get nothing.

When you pledge, your credit card will not be charged until September 12th and ONLY if I make my goal.

Thank you!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Keene Art in the Park

The Portland Sidewalk Art Show was great! Thanks to everyone who came out--what a beautiful day it was.

I'm back in Keene now but there's no time for cat naps....

This weekend is my hometown show: Keene Art in the Park!

This is a really nice show set right across the street from my house in lovely Ashuelot Rive Park featuring over 70 artists with food, music, and a chance to win a painting (more on that soon).

I'll be in my usual spot (booth #78) towards the front of the park (look for my giant poppy to find me!)
Keene Art in the Park
September 1st & 2nd
10am to 4pm
Keene, New Hampshire

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

4 great things about Portland, Maine

Four reasons that Portland Maine is one of the coolest cities in the US

As I get ready for the 47th annual Portland Sidewalk Art Festival, I want to share a few reasons that make this small gem of a city one of the coolest places in the country.  Besides being the place where I met my husband Chris, it holds a particular place in my heart for its unique combination of great restaurants, art galleries, funky shops, and outdoor spaces.   Here are four reasons I find Portland to be a fantastic place to spend a weekend in the summertime…

1. Restaurants, restaurants, restaurants

It’s been said that Portland has more eating establishments per capita than San Francisco.  I’m not sure if that’s true, but it would be easy for me to dine on great food for at a least month without returning to the same place twice.  That said, I find myself returning to the Green Elephant on Congress Street again and again.   Everything on the menu is vegetarian, which is heaven for someone who is usually stuck with pasta primavera at a typical place.  Another great spot is the Pepper Club on Middle Street.  When we were young and struggling to make the rent, it was a big deal for Chris and I to save up $20 and ‘splurge’ on two entrees here  --20 years later it is still a favorite.

dusk, oil on canvas. ©2010 Kristina Wentzell sold

2. Beachcombing

The rocky coast of Maine has few beaches, but most of them are bunched up along the southern coast from Portland south to the New Hampshire border.  In the Portland area,
Bug Light is a great place to get a view of the city and find some amazing sea glass and other treasures, especially at low tide.  Within a twenty minute drive are Crescent and Scarborough beaches, both of which offer a great place for an evening stroll.  If you want to swim, try to time your visit during an afternoon high tide, when the incoming water washes over sand that has baked in the sun all morning, making the water much more tolerable than normal.
by the shore, oil on canvas. ©2010 Kristina Wentzell   sold

3. Islands

The city of Portland includes two community islands complete with regular ferry service.  Peaks Island is a commuter’s dream, just 20 short minutes from downtown, it is essentially a bedroom community surrounded by the Atlantic.  It’s a great place to bike or walk, get a bite to eat and even spend the night.  Cliff Island is more remote, facing the open Atlantic about an hour ferry ride from Portland.  There are a number of other resident islands served by Casco Bay Ferry Lines, and the regular
mailboat run is a fabulous way to see them all.

4. Outdoor dining 

One of the most stunning dining experiences in the area is
the Lobster Shack, a seasonal restaurant perched on the rocks of Cape Elizabeth, overlooking the open Atlantic.  You can watch lobster boats hauling traps, and let your kids scramble around on the rocks looking for creatures in the many tidal pools.  I’ve visited this same spot in winter when the Shack is closed and massive storms bring enormous waves to the Cape, blasting across the rocks with a furious roar.  In summer, the ocean tends to be much more calm, and the dependable sea breeze makes this one of the coolest spots to eat in Greater Portland.

once by the ocean, oil on canvas. ©2010 Kristina Wentzell

WCSH Portland Sidewalk Art Festival

I'll back in one of my very favorite cities for my third visit

follow the sun, oil on canvas. ©2012 Kristina Wentzell

Don't miss this show!

It is one of the best in New England--300 artists all set up in downtown Portland.  Lots of great energy, fine art & a lively crowd. When you're all done, there are a zillion great restaurants and shops to check out downtown and in the Old Port.

I'll be in my usual spot in Congress Square in front of the Portland Museum of Art.  Look for the giant, red poppy to find me!

47th Annual WCSH Portland Sidewalk Art Festival
August 25th (raindate 8/26)
Portland, Maine
9am to 4pm

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour Preview Show in Jaffrey

A prayer in spring, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches.  ©2012 Kristina Wentzell
available here

The Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour will be here before you know it! Set in the towns and villages of the Monadnock region, the tour includes over 25 fine artists in every medium from painting, wood turning, pottery, fiber, jewelry, to photography and more. This is a rare chance to get an inside peek into the working studios of the artists of our area.

In the meantime, the Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour is hosting a preview show at the Jaffrey Civic Center this week.  This is a great chance to meet the artists and see the art all in one location.

Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour Preview Show
August 20th - 25th
Jaffrey Civic Center
40 Main Street
Jaffrey NH
Opening Reception August 20th
6-8 pm

I'll be showing my painting A Prayer in Spring from my poetry series as well as many of my peonies.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

the Happy Camper Update

A big thank you to everyone who has supported my Kickstarter campaign so far! 

In just a few days, I'm already over 20% of the way to my goal.  This is important because Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal.  Read more about the project here.

In exchange for becoming a supporter of the Happy Camper: mobile art gallery project you will receive cool, original artwork. And I tried to make the incentives extra inviting.

If you've been thinking about getting one of the backyard chicken paintings--now is a great time.  For a donation of $100 you will receive one 8 x 8 original chicken painting (or a floral if you prefer).  These paintings are regularly priced at $150.

Remember when I said one of my goals is to have meet-ups with other artists?  Getting one step closer...

My friend and fellow Keene artist, Nicole Caulfield is working on a mobile art gallery of her own!  She has been hard at work retrofitting a 1980's camper.  Here are a couple of her sketches of her plans:

You can see Nicole's beautiful artwork and read more about her project here.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Help me KICKSTART a Mobile Art Gallery

Remember when I wrote about the happy booth and how my work makes people happy? 

Well I want to take the happy booth on the road by converting a 1966 DeCamp Travel Trailer into a moble art gallery

But here's the deal....I need your help!

I've started a Kickstarter campaign called The Happy Camper: a mobile art gallery to help pay for the costs. Go here to see my fun video and full description of the project.

What's in it for you? 

You'll get awesome, original artwork & my undying gratitude! (plus updates on the progress & an invitation to my launch party).

Thank you! Thank you!

coming soon...the Happy Camper

I have some exciting news from my studio. I am about to launch a Kickstarter campaign to convert this 1966 DeCamp Travel Trailer into a mobile art studio.

Lots more details coming very soon!

In the meantime, check out Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects.  Lots of cool stuff there.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pinterest Fridays: starry night

Welcome back to Pinterest Fridays. 

Vincent van Gogh. The Starry Night. Saint Rémy, June 1889
The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Today, I am featuring a few images inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night.  

There are two amazing videos on the board: Van Gogh's original masterpiece set in motion with a lovely soundtrack. It's absolutely mesmerizing. 

The second video is a recreation of Starry Night with over 7000 dominoes. Seriously cool.

As usual, there are some beautiful photos & paintings, including a couple by two of my favorite painters, John Traynor and Karin Jurick.

Go here to see the Starry Night Pinterest Board.

twilight, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches.  ©2011 Kristina Wentzell
this painting is available for purchase here

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

a painting in one minute

I've been wanting to make some videos of my paintings in progress for a while now.  The whole idea has been put on hold until I buy a little flip type video recorder (anyone know a good, inexpensive one please leave a comment!)

In the meantime, I decided to try making one of this peony painting with still photographs.  The video is a bit wonky because I didn't use a tripod but it was a fun little experiment.  Enjoy.

So, without further ado, I present: A Painting in One Minute

peonies in a glass vase, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches.  ©2012 Kristina Wentzell  SOLD

Monday, August 6, 2012

Where to find me in August: The Works Bakery & Cafe

I’ve mentioned before that many of the people who visit me at art shows call my booth the ‘happy place. 

Having my work displayed in a local restaurant gives me the opportunity to spread that happiness just a little further.  For the month of August, the Works Bakery Café will be featuring my paintings.

The Works Bakery Cafe ~ featured artist
August 3rd - Septembter 5th
120 Main Street
Keene NH

The Works serves tasty bagels and baked goods with great coffee, and is a local land mark right on Main Street in Keene.  I’m so glad to be back in this location that first  featured my art back in May of 2011.

Before Google Maps and online restaurant reviews, my husband and I enjoyed hunting down great places to eat in the cities and towns that we visited in our travels.  If it led to a great meal, it would become one of our regular places to visit on that route.   The Works is one of those places we discovered when Keene was just a cool town we passed through on our way somewhere else.  It’s also a regional chain, and their Portland location became a Sunday morning favorite when we lived there. 

The next time you’re in downtown Keene please stop by the Works to have a bite and enjoy a little art-inspired happiness!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Pinterest Fridays: glorious peonies

As I mentioned last week, on Fridays I will feature something on Pinterest that I think will be of interest to you. 

This week: PEONIES

peonies on the porch, oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches.  ©2010 Kristina Wentzell
this painting is available for purchase

The most extravagant and luscious of all flowers--blooming in spring, they seem to be our reward for making it through another cold, northern winter.

My grandfather (known as Kippy to us grandkids) grew peonies in shades of white, pink and the deepest fuschia in his wonderful garden.  By the time I came around, the peonies must have been at least 50 years old.  I remember standing in the middle of his garden, surrounded by masses of peonies and burying my face in the soft petals and drinking in their delicate perfume.  Transported, I was lost in a giant sea of pastel blossoms, their flowers the size of my little face.

Fast forward a few years, and I still feel that childlike bliss when I walk out into my own garden when the peonies are blooming. Be sure to read Mary Oliver's poem about peonies at the bottom.

Kippy's peonies, oil on canvas, 8 x 8 inches. ©2010 Kristina Wentzell SOLD

This weeks's Pinterest board is an ode to Kippy's peonies with all of my peony paintings through the years,  a few favorites from other artists (be sure to check out the painting by Ovanes Berberian), gorgeous photographs, a peony craft project, and some gardening tips.

See it all here.

peonies in a white pitcher,  oil on canvas, 8 x 8 inches.  ©2012 Kristina Wentzell
this painting is available for purchase here

I'll leave you with a poem by Mary Oliver.


This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers
and they open —
pools of lace,
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,
boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away
to their dark, underground cities —
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,
the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again —
beauty the brave, the exemplary,
blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

-Mary Oliver

peonies, oil on canavs, 8 x 8 inches.  ©2012 Kristina Wentzell SOLD