Robert Burns dinner coming up. Should we go?

Phipps Conservatory and Robert Burns sculpture Pittsburgh, PA

Ink drawing by Carol Skinger.     A print can be purchased here.

Each year the St. Andrews Society of Pittsburgh hosts a Robert Burns dinner including traditional piping in the haggis, Taste of Scotland Buffet, traditional toasts, and Burns recitations. Membership in the St. Andrew’s Society of Pittsburgh is open to men and women of all ages. The St. Andrew’s Society of Pittsburgh offers several classes of membership including those have no ancestral ties to Scotland, but have an interest in Scottish life and heritage.

It sounds sort of interesting since I have never done it before. I am not Scottish and neither is my husband. We do like scotch though and that’s part of it. I’m perhaps only somewhat  interested in Scottish life BUT we did meet at a bar in Boston (really Brookline) called the Tam O’Shanter or simply the Tam which I just learned in googling closed in the 90’s. Does that count? And later I did draw a tam o’shanter on Robert Burns head in my silly ink drawing of  Phipps Conservatory and the Robert Burns statue in Oakland which is the university area in Pittsburgh. Finally hearing Burn’s recitations after imbibing, that part sounds good! Oh dear…attire is Highland evening dress if you have it. Otherwise, formal evening wear or business dress is good as well. I guess I could do business dress if we do it. February 3, 2018 is the date so IF we do it we have to decide soon. Tickets here.

And then there is The Big Lang Syne: The Cheer’ly Men’s Toast to Robert Burns at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls in Millvale Saturday night at 8PM  January 20, 2018.  Probably should try that to gauge interest. “Join The Cheer’ly Men to celebrate their 3rd anniversary as Pittsburgh’s Shanty Band and raise a glass to Scotland’s Favorite Son, Robbie Burns! There will be dancing, some Scottish tunes, a few short toasts and of course, all of your favorite sea-faring songs! Come sing and dance with us as we kick off 2018!”

My ink drawing shows skaters and skiers on a winter day in Pittsburgh. Drawing shows Robert Burns by sculptor John Massey Rhind, Botany Hall 1901, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 1893,  Cathedral of Learning  1937,  Scaife Hall, University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University.  Rhind, also a Scotsman, depicted the poet in knickers and tam o’shanter, a hat named for a character in Burns’ famous 1790 poem Tam O’Shanter. Here’s a photo of the statue. Here is the poem. Yikes! It’s long!

The very first Burns supper was held in memoriam at Burns Cottage by Burns’s friends, on 21 July 1801, the fifth anniversary of his death; it has been a regular occurrence ever since. The first still extant Burns Club was founded in Greenock in 1801 by merchants who were born in Ayrshire, some of whom had known Burns. They held the first Burns supper on what they thought was his birthday, 29 January 1802, but in 1803, they discovered the Ayr parish records that noted his date of birth was actually 25 January 1759. Since then, suppers have been held on or about 25 January.

Burns Cottage, the first home of Robert Burns is located in Alloway, South Ayrshire, Scotland. It was built by his father, William Burness in 1757. Burns, Scotland’s national poet, was born there on 25 January 1759. It is a simple two-roomed clay and thatch cottage and has been fully restored to become part of Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

Finally what I hope brings me to Scotland itself one day is to see at least some of or even all of the route of my mom’s bicycle trip there in August 1938 with her college roommate Jean. Her photo album of the trip includes the map and  diary. Bucket list stuff…

Ink drawing Copyright Carol Skinger

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Aspinwall Portrait

“Aspinwall” original painting by Carol Skinger  24″ x 31″

“Aspinwall” a painting of the rooftops of Aspinwall from Route 28 is original painting by Carol Skinger. It is a watercolor, gouache & ink painting on 400 lb watercolor paper, $950 framed and is in my solo art show and for sale at Cooper Siegel Community Library   in Fox Chapel, PA May 14, 2017- March 15, 2018. 25% of each sale benefits the library.

Prints available 11″ x 14″ printed on watercolor paper $55. Larger prints suitable for a 16 x 20 are $80. A high resolution scan has been made for future reproduction uses which can be generated (larger prints and other uses).

Where Brilliant Railroad Bridge meets Aspinwall is the beautiful new Aspinwall Riverfront Park which recently received  some awards. Art critic Mary Thomas reports the awards in Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Architect Eric Fisher won the AIA People’s Choice Award for his design re-purposing the  Aspinwall Marina.  AIA awarded this project  a Certificate of Merit in Historic Preservation.

Details of my painting are seen below.

Detail from my full size painting “Aspinwall”

At left the chateaux style yellow brick building is on Maple Avenue in Aspinwall, PA. It  is a former convent of Saint Scholastica Church in Aspinwall built in 1925.  The architect  of the former convent Edward J. Weber was a native of Cincinnati who studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and traveled throughout Europe. He came to practice in Pittsburgh, where he had a number of Roman Catholic commissions, of which this convent was one. Weber clearly loved the medieval period, even writing in 1927 that this was when, “art was at its best.” In this convent, he seems to have been inspired by the 15th century Château du Moulin in the Loire valley, which clearly was the inspiration for Central Catholic High School in Oakland. Information  on the architect thanks to historian Frank Kurtik, Docent at Heinz Memorial Chapel and a former Heinz family archivist. Very near it is Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy (formerly called St. Scholastica School), and Saint Scholastica Church.

Detail from my full size painting “Aspinwall”

The red brick church sitting more or less in the center of the painting  is the Aspinwall Presbyterian Church. Everything but the church’s tower burned down in 1999 and was rebuilt immediately. The sanctuary a KSBA Architects design has a wood-beamed ceiling and interior cross plan with a wide center aisle and holds a 40 pipe Luley type organ.  Four large Hunt Studio designed stained glass circular windows illuminate the sanctuary.

Brilliant Railroad Bridge a truss bridge spanning the Allegheny River beyond, was built in 1904 by the Pennsylvania Railroad as part of a bypass of the narrow tracks around downtown Pittsburgh. The rail line has been out of use since the Azcon Metals scrapyard on the outskirts of Aspinwall ceased functions around 2010. It connects Aspinwall with Highland Park. On the Aspinwall side it lands at the  Aspinwall Riverfront Park and at the other end is very near Choderwood, a house was built by the Corps of Engineers in 1905. The property is a unique private residence that sits on the Allegheny River at the Highland Park Dam. Choderwood is an “ideal space for individuals planning smaller scale events and gatherings. Perfect for intimate weddings, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, family reunions, special events, birthday parties, corporate retreats, or relaxation.”

D.J. Bryant, a designer at AE7 Planners and Architects, proposed a bike and pedestrian use for the Brilliant Railroad Bridge  an ambitious new idea—the Brilliant Branch Rail-to-Trail—in a July 2017 Next Pittsburgh article.  It would increase connectivity and access to safe, affordable transportation options for several communities in the city. I hope this becomes a reality. Open link for exciting renderings.

An ongoing discussion of road access to a future Riverfront 47 development has activated public involvement and interest and is under discussion.  To clarify things the folks at Aspinwall Riverfront Park created this statement.

Hydroelectric power could be fueling the homes and businesses being developed in the Riverfront 47 project along the Allegheny River in Aspinwall and Sharpsburg by 2020.

The current issues in December 2017 are a new PennDot proposal and gathering public input around entrance and exit isPennDot prosues between Highland Park Bridge and  Route 28.

At far right in the painting is Highland Park Bridge. Approximately 57,000 vehicles use Route 28 in the area of the bridge every day. There are discussions about an improvement to access to the bridge from Route 28.

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Fox Chapel Living 8/2017 article about Carol Skinger Art Exhibition at Library.

Thanks to Fox Chapel Living (August 2017 issue) editor Lisa Corna for the opportunity to the subject of her monthly “Business Beat” profile in the beautifully printed glossy.  The circulation is 2300 in the community. My solo show at Cooper Siegel Community Library will be on display through March 15, 2018. As artworks sell people take them home the same day they buy them. The library benefits 25% on each sale which includes original paintings, prints and greeting cards.

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Rustbelt Kayaking!

Kayaking Near Brilliant Railroad Bridge, watercolor and gouache by Carol Skinger

My watercolor & gouache painting titled Rustbelt Kayaking is part of my solo show of 40 works at Cooper Siegel Community Library 403 Fox Chapel Road in Pittsburgh (Fox Chapel) 15238. On the walls from May 14, 2017- March 15, 2018 , a public reception was held  Saturday June 24, 2017.   Each purchase benefits the library 25%.

This original painting sold in mid summer but there are high quality framed prints of it still for sale, as well as unframed prints which can be purchased from me or through the library.

It is quite new that Venture Outdoors and Kayak Pittsburgh are renting kayaks at Aspinwall Riverfront Park.  Here are their 2017  rates and hours of operation:


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Painting of Aspinwall at Cooper Siegel Library in Fox Chapel

Aspinwall, PA by Carol Skinger

Solo art exhibition of 40 works by Carol Skinger at  Cooper Siegel Library

Opening Reception: Saturday June 24, 2017 from 2-5PM free and open to the public

Overall  dates of Exhibition: May 14- November 8, 2017

Painting by Carol Skinger of the rooftops of  Aspinwall, PA  as seen from Route 28, painted recently to be part of my solo art show of 40 paintings at our local library Cooper Siegel Library  in Fox Chapel, a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA.  I am thrilled to say it’s up now and ready for your eyeballs. Artworks can be purchased. There are a number of other paintings in the exhibit of nearby places too. This original 30 x 22 watercolor and gouache painting is for sale and because I got instant requests for prints I will have prints of it available next week. The show will be up for 6 months and purchases can be made at the library. 25% of each purchase benefits the library.

Neighborhood: Fox Chapel     Map Link:   Cooper Siegel Library

Cooper Siegel Library Hours:

Mon 10AM – 8PM Tue 10AM – 5PM
Wed 10AM – 8PM Thu 10AM – 8PM
Fri 10AM – 5PM Sat 10AM – 5PM
Sun 1PM – 5PM (Please note: There are no Sunday hours in the summer)

Progress images of this painting

sketch of Aspinwall, PA by Carol Skinger

progress on Aspinwall, PA painting by Carol Skinger






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Carol Skinger Art Exhibition at Cooper Siegel Community Library

Tom Otterness Sculpture & Slide Aspinwall Riverfront Park

Carol Skinger’s watercolor of the playground sculpture/ slide at Aspinwall Riverfront Park. Sculptor: Tom Otterness

Solo art exhibition of 40+ works by Carol Skinger at  Cooper Siegel Community Library in Fox Chapel,  PA

YEAH and THANK YOU! Cooper Siegel Community Library in Fox Chapel has asked me to keep my exhibit up a few more months into the first quarter of 2018. So it will NOT be coming down on November 8, as originally planned.

Most pieces are for sale as well as prints. Greeting cards of the artwork are for sale at the desk (credit cards accepted). Unlike a gallery or museum show, the work goes home with the buyer the day it is purchased so there has been new art on the walls to replace pieces sold.

At 4PM Sunday September 10, 2017 I will be leading a 20 minute experience called “How to Make and Abstract Painting” in the McLaughlin Room at the library. Part of a “How to” Festival, it is free to the public.  Whole schedule and info here.

To come see my art show now through Winter 2018 and or to come to any of the free workshops this Sunday here is the address: 403 Fox Chapel Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412-828-9520 Neighborhood: Fox Chapel Map link to library:

Mon 10AM – 8PM Tue 10AM – 5PM
Wed 10AM – 8PM Thu 10AM – 8PM
Fri 10AM – 5PM Sat 10AM – 5PM
Sun 1PM – 5PM (Please note: There are no Sunday hours in the summer)

I will be glad to meet you there if you contact me through my website here .

Publicity about Carol Skinger’s Art Exhibition at the library: August issue of Fox Chapel Living has a 3 page article  . The Herald (Trib)  July 31, 2017 issue had an article . Pittsburgh Post Gazette June 23, 2017 had an article . 


Facebook “like” page is Carol Skinger Artworks

Carol Skinger is best known for her landscape watercolor & gouache paintings bold in style, drawn from the imagination, of both abstract and recognizable places. Watercolor, gouache, ink and pastel, are her primary mediums.

For her  solo show at Cooper Siegel Community Library in Fox Chapel May 14, 2017- late winter 2018  look for some views from her imagination and for views of the area served by the library. Some works in the show are of Aspinwall including Aspinwall Riverfront Park, Greenwood Cemetery, Hitchhiker Brewing Co (former Fort Pitt Brewing Co) in Sharpsburg, and various scenes Carol admires from her frequent local bicycle rides.

Her work includes commissioned work often custom house portraits of which there will be examples. She has done paintings of homes locally in Fox Chapel, Aspinwall, O’hara, Indiana Township, Squirrel Hill, Oakmont, Sewickley, and other locales.

Carol resides in Fox Chapel and has lived in Pittsburgh for over 30 years. Originally from Vermont she grew up in the Lake Champlain Islands and in Stowe at the foot of Mt. Mansfield.  After graduating from college in the Bay Area with an Art degree, she moved to Boston and developed a career in architectural space planning and interior design. Carol met her husband, John Horn, in Boston and they relocated to Pittsburgh when he became a professor of Neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh in the medical school.  In recent years, Carol has intensified her lifelong love of drawing and painting and has become active in the Pittsburgh arts community.

Education: California College of the Arts (BFA). Additional studies at Instituto Allende, Mexico, Boston Architectural Center, Carlow University and Truro Center for the Arts.


A few pieces in the exhibit:

Kayaking Near Brilliant Railroad Bridge, watercolor and gouache by Carol Skinger

Kayaking Near Brilliant Railroad Bridge, watercolor and gouache by Carol Skinger

Original painting SOLD, however  prints are available

Carol Skinger Sharpsburg, PA from Rt 28 green sky

Sharpsburg, PA Watercolor and Gouache

Original painting SOLD, however  prints are available

Sharpsburg, PA watercolor and gouache by Carol Skinger

Original painting SOLD, however  prints are available

Recent :

-Solo Art Exhibition Cooper Siegel Library May 14, 2017- late winter 2018

-Invited Artist summer 2016 Brett Yasko’s The John Riegert Show at Space Gallery – Pittsburgh

Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh 2015 received a Best of Show Prize (one of three) from Freyda Spira, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Skinger’s series of 6 paintings of mobile homes.

-“Internationally Inspired: A Response to the 2013 Carnegie International”  3rd Street Gallery, March 2014: A series of paintings bound in a book, inspired by seeing Carnegie International.

– 22″ x 30″ print of her ink drawing of “Sixth Avenue” in the collection at The Duquesne Club Pittsburgh

-Cover Art:  In Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac on August 20, 2015 he read from Paul Martin’s most recent book of poetry Floating on the Lehigh published by Grayson Books. My painting was licensed for use on the cover.

– “Small Works” exhibit juried by Joy Borelli — Honorable Mention for “Homage to August Wilson”.

Fein Arts Gallery “Urban Dreams” exhibit, sponsored by Pittsburgh Society of Artists, juried by Kathleen Zimbicki — Jurors Award for “Fake Urban Plan for East Liberty”.

Illustration:  Schenley Park Pictorial Map was licensed for use to illustrate Western Pennsylvania History, Fall 2015 issue. Article: What’s in a Namesake? Mary Schenley by Jake Oresick. The drawing itself done in the late 1930’s, and never had color. Carol rescued it from obscurity, added color, text and various notations. She sells the print on her website as well as at gift shop of Senator John Heinz History Center and Staghorn Café.  Sizes are 18” square and 30”square.

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Phone, write? email? facebook? tweet? Send a postcard to your elected officials

Post Card- Dear Elected Official

Post Card- Dear Elected Official

A packet of 24 postcards  4″ x 6″ can be purchased here

A packet of 12 postcards   4″ x 6″ can be purchased here

My post cards are blank on the back. Write your own message. There is nothing about my postcard  that suggests it is left or right or center leaning. I simply could not find any post office that was not out of postcards so I designed my own. So many folks are trying to communicate with their elected officials that the post office ran out of postcards. I am using them to write my senators and congressman and other elected officials. Folks feel email is not getting through as they seem to get boiler plate message back with no sense they have been heard. People have burned out on waiting to leave a message in voicemail. So snail mail is coming back! You feel like when you send it with a simple message to your elected officials offices, it will be read and counted.

Don’t be rude and don’t be anonymous. Put your full return address so it is clear you are their constituent. Our elected officials like to say this ground swell of communication and protest  is being organized by professional activists. I can tell you this is just me, an artist who decided I want to communicate with my elected officials. I want to let them know my thoughts, one or no  two things at a time.  My first postcards were about asking for my US Congressmen to support 1. a full investigation into the Russia connection with our election 2. pursue Trump’s tax returns to be made public.

It’s easy to find out who your elected officials are by searching find my elected officials. Voila. I did it for you. They usually have more than one snail mail address, so pick one.

Everyone comes up with a preferred method to keep in touch with elected officials over things that are important. If you have tried phoning and other methods, perhaps a simple post card will work for you. Being a citizen means voting and knowing who your elected officials are. Make a list and put it on your fridge. It does not matter whether you voted for them or not, once elected they represent you. Even if you never voted in your life, they still represent you. Being a better citizen is a little like deciding to get in shape by exercising. To exercise as a citizen is to be informed, to pay attention to the news, and to pay attention to how your elected officials voted. To communicate with your elected officials, let them know if you appreciate how they voted send them a post card. Or especially let them know how you hope they will vote on upcoming legislation, send them a post card. We are a nation of laws. Things change, and its usually people who change them. It matters. It all matters. Any way you decide to communicate with your elected officials is meaningful. It all counts. Its not just a “feel good” thing. They ACTUALLY  do count the communications they get and what their constituents are saying to them. Be sure to include your name and return address and zipcode when you write a postcard. If you don’t do that, they won’t count it. If finding your local elected official means knowing what county you live in and you are not sure what county you live in- check this site.



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Two artists who prefer small


“With his strong self-imposed limitations, the veteran abstract painter Thomas Nozkowski is a model for younger artists daunted by the infinite possibilities in contemporary painting. His drawings and paintings, scaled to fit in cramped apartments and the back seats of sedans and made according to a rigorous routine at his Hudson Valley studio, convey a remarkable sense of freedom within constraint. Ranging from free-flowing forms to rough grids to branching, map-like compositions, his works on canvas and paper are all connected by his subtle color shifts and responsive hand.”…

And Duane Michals, photographer and art collector  also extols the not huge and therefore more intimate in a video on Carnegie Museum of Art website.

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Sixth Avenue drawing goes to the Duquesne Club!

Sixth Avenue Pittsburgh by Carol Skinger

Sixth Avenue- Pittsburgh by Carol Skinger

A 22″ x 30″ archival print of my ink drawing of Sixth Avenue- Pittsburgh has been purchased this spring of 2016 by the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh.

Prints of this pen and ink drawing on archival paper 8 1/2″ x 11″ can be purchased here. Contact me for larger sizes.

Now I am in the collection of the Duquesne Club which is very cool to say! They have an important art collection. Anyone who has been in there will not forget seeing Charles Russell’s “When Shadows Hint Death”!


The Duquesne Club appears on the right in the foreground of my ink drawing Sixth Avenue Pittsburgh. Other things seen in drawing: Trinity Cathedral, First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, the Granite Building, EQT Plaza, K&L Gates Center, Wood St Galleries, Wood St. T Station.

The Duquesne Club was the strictly the old boys network until 1980 when women could become members.

“Women were first welcomed as guests at the Ladies Cocktail Bar in 1934, but not as members until 1980. Yet, in this age of egalitarianism, the Club has thrived as has its art collection that most small museums would trade their marble columns for. It boasts a curator, published catalog, docent-led tours and distinguished Art Society in charge of new acquisitions.”  Read more:  The Duquesne Club: An exclusive retreat for the corporate elite by Jean Horne

Another article Duquesne Club’s art has reflected the city’s power and history by Patricia Lowry has more about the art collection, the history and the architecture of the Duquesne Club.

A smaller archival print was purchased previously for the Archives of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh at Trinity Cathedral, which is directly across the street from the Duquesne Club. The Archives are open on Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 4:30, but people need to set an appointment for research. Call 412-232-6404 x 138. The Archives are located on the third floor of Trinity Cathedral, 328 Sixth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.

I first penned this drawing to add to my ink collection for a Black and White show curated by Kathleen Zimbicki.

My friend Pittsburgh artist Cynthia Cooley painted this piece for the Duquesne Club a while back.

Cynthia Cooley Duquesne Club.jpg.w560h446


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Phipps May Market and Pittonkatonk – both in Schenley Park

Schenley Park

So many many things going on! I will be an art  vendor at  Phipps May Market on the big front yard of Phipps for two days.
May 6, 2016  Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and May 7, 2016  Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Please come and enjoy the whole place! To locate Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens look to left of Panther Hollow Lake.

During the day Saturday starting at 12 noon and going for several hours there is also something fun and wonderful right next door in Schenley Park. Pittonkatonk- The May Day Brass BBQ is held annually on the first Saturday in May (Saturday, May 7) in Schenley Park at the Vietnam Veterans Pavilion. Watch a video of it. If you look at this map, the Vietnam Veterans Pavilion is in upper right right under the sign that says Bowling Green.

If you like modern maps better here is the drive or walk map from Phipps to Vietnam Veterans Pavilion. The place can be confusing!

Of course I will have my Vintage Schenley Park Map for sale which you can order here if you cannot make it. And if you are in Greenfield you can pick one up any time at Staghorn Garden Cafe 517 Greenfield Avenue Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15207.

They are also sold framed at Framework 5868 Forbes Ave Squirrell Hill.

Phipps May Market




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