After attending last year’s Affordable Art Fair where The Art Students League had a booth, and after hearing about the generations of New York artists who’ve been members at “The League”, and after lots of talk and no action, I finnnnnalllllly pulled the trigger and signed up for the Drawing with Color art class twice a week.
To refresh your memory, The Art Students League is a studio style art school where classes are continually held throughout the year and students pay monthly. You merely come into class once you’ve started paying, rather than having a formal beginning to a class or semester structure. I believe the summer may be its own session but otherwise, we keep rolling.
The teacher is not present every class so students work independently. There are also additional weekly studio hours that students can attend to draw or paint from models.
The first day, admittedly, was kind of weird. It wasn’t the day the teacher was there and a lot of people were clearly continuing on their own independent projects. I did some sketches for the 2017 Spring Collection but without any other guidance and not my full panoply of supplies, I ducked out a bit early. Yesterday the teacher was there and I also brought a lot more paints, canvases and such to work with. Again, it was basically independent study with everyone working on whatever they had brought. The teacher was outgoing and walked around giving advice and opinions on the work.
Definitely not your typical art class but I can see I’m going to get a lot of work done and I appreciate his insights and feedback.
It came as a bit of a shock this morning that it was so chilly and windy outside. It shouldn’t have since it’s already October, but it’s been so beautiful for so long that I forgot it was fall and no longer summer! After a morning coffee date (and before visiting some potential new apartments this afternoon), I threw together some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
To be perfectly honest, the reason I went with oatmeal cookies was because I had a huge tupperware container of oatmeal taking up WAY too much room in the cupboard and I had to get rid of it.
The recipe I adapted from allrecipes is an eggless one, which is perfect because I don’t have any eggs, AND because I can eat the batter guiltlessly. A word to the wise though: don’t eat too much batter if raw oatmeal makes your tummy upset.
While the recipe doesn’t call for eggs, it does mean the cookies are a bit drier than a typical moist oatmeal cookie.
A few adaptations and tips:
Use all brown sugar to keep the cookies chewier
Use dark chocolate chips for a richer flavor (and to be slightly healthier depending on how dark you go)
Add a pinch of cinnamon for a fall flavor
Skip the oatmeal altogether, add the chocolate chips, wrap the uncooked dough in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator to snack on. Why must the cookies be baked to enjoy?
Here’s the recipe with my changes:
Ingredients & Procedure:
1 cp butter (slightly softened)
1 cp brown sugar (light or dark)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat the above ingredients until well-blended.
In a saucepan, boil 1/4 cp water and dissolve 1 tsp baking soda into that.
To the butter-sugar-vanilla mixture, add: 1.5 cp flour and 1 tsp salt (optional pinch of cinnamon) and stir.
Add the water-baking soda mixture and stir.
Add 2 cps oatmeal and at least 1 cp chocolate chips (to taste based on the darkness of the chocolate and how chocolatey you like your cookies).
Bake teaspoon-sized balls on parchment lined cookie sheets at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown
I feel like I’ve already been shouting it from the rooftops, but I’m just going to go ahead and drop this into a blog post too:
I’m having a Pop-Up Shop this weekend (Sat & Sun, Sept 17 & 18, 12-4pm) inside the West Elm on Broadway and W. 61st St in NYC!!!
West Elm is a national furniture and home decor store. They have a really cool initiative to promote local artists and makers through pop-up store-within-a-store events as well as carrying locally-made goods.
And what’s truly amazing is that they donate the space and don’t take a cut of any sales at the pop-up event. It’s really incredible!
As you can tell, I’m super excited (and somewhat nervous). Please come by and say hi! I’ll have some new, not-yet-on-the-website original paintings, as well as some reasonably priced prints.
Most people know that I have a few causes that are close to my heart: healthcare, women’s empowerment, the arts. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work and work-work raising funds and awareness, organizing, planning and jumping in wherever needed to give back, mentor and generally help out.
And over the years, I’ve asked for much support from my friends and family and community and have always been blown away by the resounding response.
In particular, through my work at The Brides Project and the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor, I’ve seen the emotional, financial and logistical challenges faced by a family dealing with cancer. It’s pervasive. It’s unmooring.
There’s always another person, family or community to help. And for me, this month, it comes in the form of a charity art auction for the Ackermann family, whose 2 and a half year old son, Brayden has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
I had never heard of this cancer, until a community of artists via Instagram decided to put together an art auction to raise money. DIPG only affects about 300 children per year, and what’s particularly scary is that Brayden was happy and seemingly healthy, until one day he lost use of the left side of his body. Of course his parents rushed him to Westchester Children’s Hospital, not knowing what to think.
How utterly devastating to learn that your child has a difficult diagnosis that’s rarely cured. And then to have to find the strength to do everything possible in the face of that and to preserve a normalcy and quality of life as much as possible for a child who may or may not really understand what is happening to him or her.
To try to help offset the financial worries for the Ackermann family, over 90 artists from around the world have donated pieces for an art auction to be held Friday September 16 – Sunday September 18. The auction will open on Friday at 7am Eastern on Instagram @brushstrokesforbrayden. Here’s the link for those that want to check it out or pass it along.
The artworks are currently being posted to that Instagram account so you can see what’s available before the auction opens. Opening bids are very reasonable, but hopefully we can raise a lot more money and awareness!
Please spread the word to your art loving friends, even if you don’t bid yourself. And if you find something you love, but don’t have Instagram, let me know, and we can discuss a proxy bidding system. I’m Artwork #9.
Thanks for always being there and exceeding my expectations.
I’ll be showing small and medium-sized acrylic paintings at the M1-5 Lounge in Tribeca this Thursday evening, August 18, 2016. Annnnndddd some of the paintings will be on SALE from prices listed on the website AT THIS EVENT ONLY.
This show, like the last one, will be hosted by Conception Events, however this time, instead of purchasing tickets, I’m giving away free tickets to the first 15 people who let me know they’re coming.
I’m thrilled to work one-on-one with friends and family and clients to paint something in my style that is uniquely for them. I’m always nervous in sending the final photos, hoping and praying that they will love it as much as I do. (Because when you work on something so much, you have to love it in the end…or else you would keep painting, as you’ll see below.) But what happens if they don’t love it? And how does this whole commission business work anyway?
The process is fairly simple and straightforward: you email me saying you’d like to commission a painting. We’ll talk about your budget, your space, the size of the wall, what colors you have in your mind, etc.
I’ll send you a contract with all of the agreed upon details and logistics like delivery date, downpayment and shipping. Even among friends, a contract formalizes everything so there’s no confusion or hurt feelings.
It works best if you already like my work and my style because if I try to recreate someone else’s style that you love, it probably won’t turn out how either of us wants. So there’s a bit of trust that I’m going to run with what we’ve discussed, and you won’t see it until the end.
Below is a commission I did recently; flip through the pictures to see how I changed and re-changed a particular section (upper-middle-right) that I wasn’t happy with: it went from too dark, to too blue, to starting over with white, to WAY too green, to the final peachy version in the end.
When I’m completely satisfied with the final product, I’ll send you some photos and we’ll set up a time to chat on the phone; but what if you don’t like what I’ve painted?
Well if it’s a matter of a particular area or tiny part of the work, no problem, tell me what’s bothering you, and I’ll tweak it. If it’s that you hate the whole thing altogether, you are under no obligation to buy it, but unfortunately I won’t be able to refund your deposit, since work has been done, materials purchased, etc. Iwill always try to work with you as much as possible to turn the painting into something you love.
I truly love collaborating on commissions and painting with someone in mind and working to make them happy. Obviously I love painting in general, but it’s extra special and purposeful knowing that a home is already being made for the piece.
What to collaborate? Use the contact sheet to email me about commissioning a painting! I have 4 commission spots left for 2016 and look forward to working with you!
Recently, a new underground shopping mall and food court has opened in the Columbus Circle subway stop. It’s brightly lit, well decorated and has some excellent options for coffee and dining, including Starbucks, FIKA, Dylan’s Candy Bar, Doughnuttery, Pressed Juicery, Casa Toscana and many more.
There are cute handmade jewelry stands down the center aisle, and all manner of shops from a wine store to a shop that has a mishmash of random novelty gifts and home goods (like a giant gummy bear piggy bank).
Inevitably there is a pizza place down there. And it is just called: Turnstyle The Pizza, as in, there is only one pizza place down here, and this is it.
So of course we were going to get pizza from there. It was only a matter of time being that it’s literally on our commute home from work.
One night, Mark stopped and picked up a large cheese pizza for dinner.
Looking good so far in its extra large New York pizza way:
But then I went to pick up a slice:
Ehhhhhh I can maybe even forgive a cheese slide, but I was overall disheartened at the way the cheese was kind of lumpy and crumbly and the sauce was particularly sweet and oversauced and the crust was particularly dry.
I mean, I ate it, duh. And maybe if you were really craving pizza, grabbing a slice down in the subway makes sense. But generally we can do better. That Italian Casa Toscana looks interesting to me, and they have gelato, so that might be the next place to try down in Turnstyle.
Has anyone else tried any of the other food down there?
Last Thursday I was thrilled to be included in the Conception Events Contemporary Art Show at the MI-5 Lounge in Tribeca. Conception Events is a pop up art gallery that features emerging artists. They actually found me on Instagram and said I should consider applying for the show, so I did.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the event, other than there would be about 25 artists, each with a 4ft by 5ft space to show as many pieces as you’d like within that constraint.
I’d done a little bit of stalking of my fellow artists ahead of time and I thought some of their work was great, and others just weren’t my taste. I was excited for the opportunity to show my work in person to friends, family and strangers, but I was also nervous that maybe my art wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the vibe.
I chose 5 new paintings to show that were all based on memories of Caribbean vacations we used to take as an extended family growing up. We tended to steer clear of resorts and instead stayed at small hotels or rented condos. We’ve visited larger islands like Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Aruba, but we also vacationed at less touristy islands (or at least that seemed remote in the late 80s early 90s) like Carriacou, Little Cayman, Grand Turk, Nevis and Dominica…I can’t say what these places are like now, maybe they’re swarming with tourists. But back then, they always seemed pretty quiet.
We would spend our days playing in the ocean, hiking, exploring the local markets, SCUBA diving and building ball rolls in the sand…not sure if anyone else knows what a ball roll is or if our cousins just made that up….but essentially it’s like a sandcastle but where you create a path for a racquetball ball to roll down and around and over bridges and through tunnels all made of sand.
As evening closed in, we’d read, play cards, shower and eat dinner, hopefully followed by a Snickers or Mars bar bought at a roadside stand.
With these paintings, I’m working to evoke the feelings of tranquility, peacefulness and joy I felt on those family vacations, where we didn’t have any cares, except maybe finishing the winter reading list assigned by school.
I showed 3 small acrylics on board, each 8×10 inches:
I had one medium-sized acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches:
And one large acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches:
The show ended up being tiring but fun. I was so grateful to the TWENTY friends and family that showed up to support me. That was really incredible.
I didn’t sell anything, but I learned a lot about what sort of paintings and price points I should consider for future shows. I learned I should bring more work than will fit in the space because you can probably squash it in or change some out halfway through the show. I learned I should bring flip flops and not wear heels to set up and tear down.
I also met some other very nice artists with whom I hope to keep in touch.
I haven’t had a chance yet to put these works up on hannahlowecorman.com but soon I promise!
Phew it’s been a while since I’ve whipped up any Martha Stewart treats in the kitchen, but last week I was inspired by the start of berry season, so I turned my Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook open to blueberry muffins.
Have I mentioned that I’ve been working in a bakery for the past 5 months? Mostly helping customers up front, but it’s afforded me the opportunity to sample some delicious cookies, quick breads, brioche and blueberry muffins.
At the bakery, our muffins typically turn out huge with tops that far exceed the size of the rest of the muffin. And that’s pretty much everyone’s favorite part anyway right, so what’s not to love? (My mind is jumping to Seinfeld: “It’s not, ‘Top of the Muffin TO YOU!'” with flamboyant Elaine hand gestures and then later, “I gotta haul some stumps”…such a hilarious episode.)
In pursuit of using up some strawberries from the fridge, I decided to make a batch of mini blueberry muffins and a batch of mini strawberry muffins. PS I only own a mini muffin tin. New York apartment and all that. PPS I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a strawberry muffin before. Have you? I was really quite excited at the prospect!
I’ve never really made muffins before, but I’m not sure why not since it only calls for very standard ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, milk, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and eggs. I think I’ve always been scared that my muffins will stick to the tin and I’ve been too lazy to purchase those little paper cups, which also seem sort of a waste to the environment.
So with this, I made to sure to super duper butter the muffin tin, not only in the wells but all along the ridges too because I knew I wanted to try to “overstuff” them to create the large muffin tops. Then I dusted the whole tin with flour and scooped in heaping spoonfuls of batter – first up was blueberry.
Since I was using a mini tin, I thought the cook time should be decreased but I wasn’t sure by how much. So I started with 15 minutes, they were clearly not done, so I turned the tray and put them back in for another 10.
They seemed to be slightly browned on top, so I pulled them out of the oven, let them cool for about 10 minutes and then flipped them over and banged the tray a few times (a new trick I learned at work) so that the muffins slide right out. I only had to manually pull a few out and they ended up breaking, mostly because the berries were at the bottom of the well and had melted and stuck to the pan.
I rebuttered, refloured and did the same with the strawberry batter, although I had even more batter to use, so I cooked for 27 minutes instead of 25.
The strawberry muffin tops were much wider than the blueberry ones and they had kind of baked into one another so the flip and tap method didn’t work and I had to use a little knife to help pop the muffins out, but none of them broke.
Toss the fruit with flour before folding it into the batter to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the tin.
fresh strawberries tossed with flour
tossing blueberries in flour mixture to prevent them from falling to the bottom of the muffin batter
Sprinkle sugar on top of the raw muffins before baking for an extra sweet crunch. I did this on the strawberries but not on the blueberries.
Bake the muffin tin on top of a cookie sheet (especially with a mini muffin tin) so that you have a wider tray to handle. It’s hard to grasp narrow edges of a muffin tin with oven mitts on.
These muffins were quite addicting and I ate at least 4 warm ones straight away. The blueberry ones were tart (small blueberries) and the strawberry ones were pretty sweet. I LOVED the way the strawberry ones smelled in the oven – like strawberry shortcake – and just like summer.
How perfect for July 4th to have some summer berry muffins that are red and blue and white (the muffin part?) – yum!
Exciting news to share with you tonight! I’ve been selected to show my work at a one-night exhibit called CONCEPTION Contemporary Art Show on June 30th!
I would love to have you there to support and celebrate this opportunity if you are in NYC. You can purchase tickets via this link: http://conceptionevents.com/artist/3gHl3ZJ6Qp (Please make sure to buy your ticket through my profile page rather than the main CONCEPTION Events page.)
When: Thursday, June 30, 2016
Time: 5-11 pm
Where: 52 Walker Street, M1-5 Lounge, Tribeca
I’m thrilled to be able to show my work in person and hope you can join me there.