Friday, December 30, 2011



The View From Randy Orzano’s Studio

Mixed Media Drawing by Randy OrzanoTraveling northwest to the foothills of the Berkshires in Sharon Connecticut last week with fellow artists Dianne Parmalee and Marc Chabot, we went in search of the farm inhabited by artist Randy Orzano. The goal of our expedition was a studio visit to the upcoming featured artist in the Flanders artist lecture series and “ Art of the Earth” challenge.This art and environmental education outreach initiative, conceived by education coordinator and farm manager, Dianne Parmalee, will focus on  raising an awareness to specific issues concerning the environment. The first such challenge will center on the plight of our pollinators who are critical to both maintaining biological diversity and our food supply.

Mixed Media Drawing by Randy Orzano


grassesThis year marks the 50th anniversary of Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust. Flanders  has always had an strong connection in the arts with an active committee of art professionals. Art has now been  formally included  in its official mission statement. This is much in keeping with the vision of its founder, artist Natalie Von Vleck and opens the doors to an expanded program for adults in the coming year. This will  include events that highlight the connection between art and the environment. (I'll be posting more on that in the future).Mixed Media Drawing by Randy Orzano

3bees Mixed Media Drawing by Randy Orzano

hivedetailThe work of Randy Orzano reflects the vision of this conversation with nature through art- making.  Both a beekeeper and an artist, Randy works in the true spirit of collaboration with nature. His studio, where he prepares his mixed-media pieces, is located at the base of what once was an ancient mountain.  It is a sentinel presence guarding the edge of a patchwork of tawny fields. These most ancient geological formations make up the character of Northwestern Connecticut. Worn down through the ages from majestic peaks formed by the crashing of continents a half a billion years ago, into the gentle hills we find today. It is a reminder of the passage of time.  Such is the vista from the window of Randy’s post and beam studio. The cool light of the December sun is warmed in a space that is lightly fragrant with honey and wax that is produced on the Sharon Valley Shepherds Farm. Mixed Media Drawing by Randy Orzano

Randy works in tandem with the some of the residents on the Orzano’s farm creating delicately, poetic mixed -media drawings.  He described, in our studio conversation, how this way of working evolved. Previous to this series he was involved in portraiture. Working from predominately photographic reference he said, “I just hit a wall” and needed a new direction that would more authentically address the things in his life that he held as meaningful. Randy Orzano and Marc Chabot (Curator for Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust)

This new direction emerged when he was working on some drawings of his children and let them make their own drawings on the pieces.
This playful collaborative evolved and continued over a period of time. Eventually he was able to synthesize his concern with the state of nature and the process work with his children into his current insect collaboration. Randy Orzano’s Studio

Initially He experimented with placing drawings in the hive and let nature take its course. He says he actually forgot about those first drawings and that it was his wife, Gretchen, who was the one to first retrieve them after being in the hive for several months. From there a new process and way of conceptualizing his work was born.
Randy Orzano’s Studio

bee1smalltools of tradeThe process entails creating perceptual drawings of the creatures he works with, in this case the bees.
Randy then places these drawings directly into the hive. The bees “work” the paper through chewing and leaving their “mark” whether that is wax deposits or propolis.
(Propolis is is a botanical resin used for sealing small areas in the hive for protection. It comes in a variety of colors depending on the region where the honey bee is collecting and the plants it collects from).
Mixed Media Drawing by Randy Orzano

Randy will be presenting at Flanders in late spring He is in a group show at the Hotchkiss Library in Sharon, Connecticut in April. The show opens  on April 7th. For information on hours and directions  please visit the library's website. Hotchkiss Library
Randy Orzano can be reached at: or 860-364-0592
For more information on Sharon Valley Shepherds Farm and to get some really gorgeous honey, adorned with Randy's drawings visit Gretchen Orzano's beautiful blog.
For information about Marc Chabot please visit his website
Mixed Media Drawing by Randy Orzano

For more information on the state of the honey bee please visit the links below.
Bee article and about the effects of pesticides from the Natural Resource Defence Council

Randy recommends the a good read and some additional links

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Partridge in a Pear Tree?

How about Mourning Doves in a Maple?About 14 of these creatures were having a roost at sunset tonight.

Mourning Doves in the Maples- Bridget Grady

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Feed the Animals!!

Graphite Drawing by Bridget Grady
Here is a sneak peek of the forth-coming holiday card I was commissioned to illustrate by Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust.

The proceeds from the sales of the cards will  go toward  the feeding the animals who reside at Flanders.

The card's design incorporates some of the resident Shetland sheep and an invented likeness of artist Natalie Van Vleck as their shepherdess.

Natalie Van Vleck was  an artist, farmer, and an environmentalist.She had the vision and foresight to preserve the property that gave her such creative inspiration from the impact of a beginning trend of  suburban  sprawl developing in the 1960's. Her vision remains an enduring gift to residents and visitors to the town of Woodbury.

For information for where, when, and how one can purchase these cards in the very near future!:
Contact Dianne Parmalee, (who herself is both an artist and current shepherdess to the flock), at Flanders.  or visit
Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust
5 Church Hill Road
Woodbury, CT 06798
Telephone:  203-263-3711
Fax:  203-263-2214

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sketchbook Randomness

Graphite on Paper-Bridget Grady

A couple of  random pics from the sketchbook.Purely from invention.One never really knows where they come from or where they will end up:)!

Graphite on Paper-Bridget Grady
Graphite on Paper-Bridget G

Sunday, November 20, 2011

International Painting Annual !

Painting by Elsa Munoz
The Manifest International Painting Annual, Volume I publication has finally arrived this week!!!!! I am so excited to be included in this peer reviewed catalog and feel privileged to be in the company of some really fine painters!

"Conversation with Pieter and Paul" by Bridget Grady
The book is beautifully designed and printed and contains images from the finalists as well as texts on the topic of painting. 

According to the preface page in the publication, "Manifest received over 1200 submissions from 430 artists in 46 states and 26 countries." The works were selected by an anonymous blind jury of arts professionals in the fields of art, design,criticism, and art history.

Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center is an arts organization that continually hosts high quality exhibitions of artworks from a variety of  studio-based disciplines.

Paintings by Cole Carothers
Here are some pics from the catalog.The photos do not do the publication or works justice.

Paintings by Dana Saulnier
Manifest's bookstore contains some great publications on contemporary art that are beautifully produced and well worth the modest purchase price.
To obtain a copy of the International Painting Annual  click below

For more information on this exhibition or the Manifest Creative Research Center please visit their website.

To obtain a copy of the International Painting Annual  click below

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Crop Circle Show Pic's

Tina,Hugh,Anne,Mat,Billy,Kristie,and Jay setting up
Artists-Janice Bielowa,Hugh O'Donnell,Bud,Eileen,Dad,and Ritchie
Milo, Joyce, and Dad
A little belated but after Alfred, a week without power, and a complete computer meltdown here is some pics from the show.We are slowly collecting more pictures and video but here it is for now.Apologies for the blur! The evening itself was a blur with over 200 hundred stopping by and staying for some art, food, wine and song! We were so happy with the turn out and support from our friends,family, the artists and musicians, and new friends we made!! THANK YOU you all!!!!! and Thank You Nancy!!!

Blue Horse Arts Studio  
Installation View

Billy Cactus and Jay Foster on Mandolin

Image Right
Billy Cactus,
Dan Sharkey's knee,
and Jay Foster on Mandolin


 "Sea Turtle"
Mantang Gonzales 
Sea Turtle - Matang Gonzales
Artists- Moniera Stotz,Lee Cordon, Hugh O'Donnell


Artist Barbara Grossman and Guests
Watching The Electric Bakery

Cupcake - Haute - Couture Anne Flynn

Visiting Witches Brenda and Robin


                                                                                                                              Image Left
                                     Kristie O' Donnell,
                                    Matang Gonzales,
                                    and Carol MacDonald

Kevin,Alex,Jay, and Dan


 Image Right
Electric Bakery
Kevin,Alex,Jay, and Dan

Gabby,Kristie,Billy,Jay,and Dave

 Image Right

Between Sets
Gabby,Kristie,Billy,Jay,and Dave

Georgia, Ginny, and Eileen Coladarci

                              JFoster Music Studio 
                             Gallery Room View
                             Georgia Sheron Photographer
                             (Sorry for the blurry pic:)!)
                             Ginny, and the fabulous
                             Eileen Coladarci



Image Right Top
Mosaic Artist
Heiu Morgan

Image Right
" Family Portrait
A Piece from Georgia Sheron's 
Documentary Series

 A very special thanks to our  "Lord of the Land" Steve Shappy!!
A major supporter of the arts unbeknownst to the area and probably even himself!!!!!!!
Thank You ! Steve from Jay and Bridget!!!!!!

A Blurry End ! Sometime Around Midnight!

Dad, Steve, and Fran

Friday, October 28, 2011


Image detail- Anne Flynn
Anne Flynn takes the cake (or the cupcake :)! in this case, when it comes to delving into the deeper meaning of a simple object.The recipe for her confectionery exploration, start with a rich imagination, infused with metaphor, fold in a poetic sensibility blended with sweet and evocative color, add a heaping tablespoon of humor, and bake over time. Savor the experience. I'll let Anne take it from here:)!

I am interested in the relationship between image  and  meaning, especially  images that arise in dreams, imagination and fantasy. As a product of psyche, these images have multiple valences that arise both from personal history and from the collective through culture. My painting is about my process as these images arise and engage me. I do not start with a specific intention. Instead I allow the unconscious meaning to meet me in the work and express itself. It is often many months before the meaning of the piece becomes clear.

 For the Crop Circle project,  I was given  cupcakes from the local market as a focal point . As I began engaging the image of the cupcake I found myself thinking about what a cupcake might represent apart from its literal existence as  a confection. What might cupcake conjure up  in the poetic world of our psyche?

Marcel Proust very famously used the idea of the taste of a small cake in evoking the themes of of memory and nostalgia in his extended reverie "Remembrance of Things Past" when he wrote:

"Many years had elapsed during which nothing of Combray, save what was comprised in the theatre and the drama of my going to bed there, had any existence for me, when one day in winter, on my return home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines", which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory - this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all powerful joy? I sensed that it was connected with the taste of the tea and the cake, but that it infinitely transcended those savours, could, no, indeed, be of the same nature. Whence did it come? What did it mean How could I seize and apprehend it?

For Proust, the madeleine was an image invoking involuntary memory. How would I apprehend the cupcake? 
Gone But Not Forgotten- Cupcake Parchment,Plexi, and Wood- Anne Flynn

The first painting that came out of this process was a straight image of the objects, or was it?  Perhaps it was the sheer giddy indulgence I felt when I ate one that prompted me to think of the analogy to the feeling of first love. The second painting was "The Garden of Eden", in which the cupcake started to represent something about temptation, and at the same time the regressive pull into the blissful state of merger before consciousness.  Next, the  cupcake dress appeared, which seemed to be addressing  ideas about femininity. This lead to the series of ufo cupcakes, at which point I found myself thinking about the wonder of looking at such a familiar object anew,  without any preconceived ideas. Next came  the monoprints with the biological forms drawn into the paper cups, and finally the piece entitled "Gone But Not Forgotten" in which many brown  empty cupcake cups are coiled into a pine  box  encased with a transparent lid. 

For the nine weeks since inception of this project, the cupcake was alive and generative as an image, rich in potential  meanings for me. As with any other process, it had a life of its own that is reflected in the progression of the work. Engaging with it expanded my understanding not only of cupcakes but of the unfolding creative process itself. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Image by Jay Foster

It's almost here!!! The opening of the show is this Friday from 7-9PM.Fine Artists,Fine Farmers, Fine  Musicians, and Fine Food! So come on down and support our local farmers and other artisans!!!

I've been slacking on the posts and the painting as of late because I've been scurrying around getting the spaces ready and attending to the last minute details. Some of the work is still coming in! And its looking like over 90 works for this event!!!! (A word of warning, if one is expecting to view 90 still life paintings you will be in for a surprise!). Lee Cordon, a late comer to the event (but definitely worth the wait!), delivered four gorgeous paintings today. Her piece on Gustafson's Farm is stunning.Anne Flynn's interpreted works inspired by the cupcakes of La Palette have to be seen to be believed.

I regret I haven't had a chance to represent all of our local farmers or those participating in the Farmer's Market but that work will continue for me through out the year!I would like to say a special thanks to Steve Shappy, the owner of the building, for being so supportive of this show, and the one's in the past, as the Porter Street Artist's Collective. Doreen Breen, the force behind the  Farmer's market and promoting the artisan's in the area, is especially deserving of our thanks! And Eileen Coladarci ROCKS!!!!!!


  Exhibition Hours 
 Saturday,October 29th thru  Sunday,November 5th
 or by appointment 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bill Gusky in Crop Circle!

The Saint of Suburbia- Bill Gusky
I think Bill Gusky's, (a multi- talented, multi-media artist, and author), words speak more clearly to the motivating spirit instigating this project than I can express,so I gladly hand the keyboard over to him! Thanks Bill!

My take on Crop Circles -- Bill Gusky

My family moved to Watertown well after regulations and costs and a host of other factors had begun to do in the local farmers. It was my distinct pleasure to experience these rural spaces as a teen-ager for hours at a time, as the sometimes tacit guest of farmers who had little reason to be so generous.

Drink in a New Century- Bill Gusky
 Henry Church very graciously allowed me to roam his fields as I learned to make art from the landscape. His children Henry and Maria were also very accommodating. I recall watching Maria dive into the partly frozen pond one late-winter afternoon. I spent hours drawing the buildings and animals, sitting in the shack down by the pond watching the sun move window light across the old wood floor. I remember the amazing smell that lifted off the wild plants when the sun hit them in late October.

I recall a first snow, fat white tufts that made the huge volume of air over the fields visible. I recall a watercolor painted at 1 a.m. in early November, steam lifting off the pond in full moonlight. The washes kept freezing into crystalline patterns and I had to breathe on them to get them to settle into the paper. I learned a lot about drawing and painting on that farm. I owe the Churches a lot for that.

Peter Plungis spoke to me at length when he found me sitting outside his house one evening, drawing an outbuilding the open door of which revealed a large tool with a long bent wood handle. His hands were big as frying pans and they swallowed mine up when he shook it. I courted my wife out on the other side of his property, in winter wheat grown tall and heather green, her pink sun dress echoing the flecks of cloud in the peach-colored twilight sky. You get a few perfect visions in life that you want never to let go of; for me that's one.

Feed the Beast- Bill Gusky
 Further down route 63 I sometimes diverted onto a dirt road that coursed up a tall hill between corn fields, studying the great murders of crows that congregated after the harvest. I was amazed by their social structure, the way they'd post sentinels who always announced my entry into their boundary, the way one crow would make a distinct call and pause, waiting until another made the exact same call a few moments later. The blue jay they'd slaughtered for whatever reason, laying in the road, the back of its head pecked out.

I became lost for a time after my first year of college. Almost as a reflection of that I began walking out among the farms late at night. I usually walked down Linkfield Road past Gustafson's farm, where the road seems to ride the crest of a hill and the apple trees plunge to either side, into rolling waves of land. A giant tree, maybe an elm, had died some years back, all its limbs had been hacked off and this massive peeling trunk seemed to stand guard outside the always-immaculate white buildings. Linkfield wound around into Basset, and with no street lights and no flashlight it was often pitch black, with a pale sifting of starlight or the merest hint of  a moon that sometimes rose as I walked. Someone owned fields down that way as Basset turned toward Northfield Road, and I still don't know whose fields they were. But one night in May, probably 2 a.m., a full moon gleamed on long silver grass that blew in the waves of unseasonably warm breezes. I crossed the barbed wire and flopped down in that grass, becoming one with that perfect place and time.

Headlock-Chumley-Startled Stewardess-Orgasmic Cat-Bill Gusky
 So the farms around here have affected me greatly. These experiences are built into who I am, even if I don't generally paint landscapes anymore. My painting for Crop Circles, Just a Local Sheep, is just a goofy celebration of the growing popular realization that local farms and farming are very valuable resources. It's exciting to think that we may be teetering on the cusp of an American rebirth in which small farms find new life. Imagine kids today in greater numbers than since the 1950's, being allowed again to live out full lives and careers in a tight relationship with the land, with crops and animals. It's a sweet vision.
-Bill Gusky

Bill Gusky-Digital Stereo-Scopic Image
  Image Left
The Inertia Garden (Meditation Availed Deeper Insights, image 9 of 21) -- 2011 -- right-side image of digital stereoscopic pair-Bill Gusky

Bill Gusky's Statement
My work brings together visual data from a variety of cultural sources: old TV cartoons, lottery tickets, internet memes, old candy wrappers, packaging, family photographs, decorative patches and print ads, to name just a few.

I paint elements from these disparate sources, as well as original elements, using a range of styles, from expressionistic to hard-edge, abstract to realistic, or in imitation of a specific industrial arts, graphic arts or international style.

The result of all this is that each of my paintings is a kind of knot in a massive multicultural multi-temporal tapestry. My process enacts the hyper-connectedness of this era in which everyone is a cultural processor. We're forced by circumstance to gather from the elements that constantly stream in from around the world, to break them down and use them to build memories and lives and art and, to the degree that it's possible, a useful understanding of our place in the world.
To see more of Bill's work go to

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Matang Gonzales in Crop Circle!

Matang Gonzales
Matang Gonzales
Matang Gonzales, feeling the need to create and become more involved in the local art scene, enthusiastically signed on when he was asked to participate in the Crop Circle Show and we are excited to have him!
One never knows what will manifest from this artist's mind and hand whether it be drawing painting,sculpture or animatronics! One thing is for sure, there will be a completely different take on  his foray into the Farmer's Market than one would expect  and I personally can't wait to see what becomes of it! 

Matang Gonzales

After several shows in NYC, with favorable reviews from the New York Times, Matang Gonzales stepped away from the world of fine arts, and focused on commercial illustration and product design. Working and studying under many talented conceptual artists and designers, he sharpened his knowledge and skills and eventually became the Design Director of ToyBiz, the Toy Division at Marvel Entertainment, a position he held for four years. He has since returned to rural Bethlehem CT, where he continues to illustrate and design toys for various clientele and license holders, including Marvel, Mattel, Disney and Nickelodeon.


Matang Gonzales

 For more information on Matang or to contact this artist see the links below.
Matang’s link and corporate resume
 For more in -depth biographical info check out Eileen Coladarci’s blog
For a variety of projects he has worked on see this one.