Stress reduction with pictures of greenery!

Carol Skinger's SchenleyParkMap 1

Most folks would agree a walk on a path in the woods or in a park is rejuvenating. After a few minutes you leave your cares behind. Data suggests that a short duration of viewing green pictures may help people recover from stress. Read a New York Times article here on this subject by author Gretchen Reynolds.

If it were that simple to lower stress by mentally taking a walk through this pictorial map of Schenley Park wouldn’t that be a great addition to your home or office, or as a gift to a family with a new baby?

But who needs an excuse to fall in love with the Schenley Park Pictorial Map? Penned in the late 1930’s a time in history we cannot call stress free, perhaps  the illustrator found it calming to draw the park. I found a print of the black and white ink drawing in the 1980’s while researching the park. I was so enchanted by it I added color and a brief park history.

Prints in two sizes are always available from me and can be ordered here.

If you love pictorial maps here is a link for more reading.

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Staghorn Garden Cafe carrying Schenley Park Pictorial Map

015 - Copy

Kate Morris of Staghorn Garden Café and I have at times been neighbors at Carrie Nardini’s I Made it Market events where artists and makers of all sorts come together for one or two days to sell directly to the public.

Kate has told me more than once she would like to carry my Schenley Park Pictorial Map in her Staghorn Garden Café in Greenfield which she and her husband Mark own and operate. Today I brought her a framed map and several of the maps in both sizes in tubes. So if you want to pick up a map you can go there and buy one. Usually you have to order it from my website, or call me to meet somewhere to get it, or come to some event where I am selling it as I do not own a store.

In late 2014 Kate and Mark who both have graduate degrees in architecture opened Staghorn Garden Café in Greenfield. Bill Driscoll of City Paper wrote a piece about it and here is another article  by Joanne Klimovich Harrop for the Trib.

Satellite map showing Staghorn Garden Cafe

Look for the fat red dot just below Schenley Park in the satellite photo on left  to see where they are at 517 Greenfield Ave in Greenfield, a Pittsburgh neighborhood. My Pictorial Map below is drawn from a different orientation with west at bottom of map.

Carol Skinger's SchenleyParkMap 1

Staghorn Garden Cafe offers food and coffee and tea as well as locally made gifts including her own terrariums. Coffee is Zeke’s Coffee from East Liberty.

Kate and Mark reach out to lots of folks to be part of their business. In a crowded field of food trucks which opened in 2015, Driftwood Oven stood out. (NEXT Pittsburgh listed them as 15 notable food businesses opening in 2015- both restaurants and food trucks)

Every Friday 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM Driftwood Oven parks their truck next to Staghorn Garden Café and you can order an outstanding meal and eat it inside!

Greenfield is adjacent to Hazelwood to the south, Oakland and Schenley Park to the north, and Squirrel Hill to the east. Staghorn Home & Garden Café a stone’s throw from where Andy Warhol with his family attended church and less than a mile from it to walk or drive. Here is a picture of that church:

St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church s sides - Copy


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Poetry and Art in Pittsburgh, 3 events to attend!

Amelia will read her piece from Writing to Art workshop. She stands in front of her choice: Carolyn Pierotti's painting "Conversation"

Amelia will read her piece from Writing to Art workshop. She stands in front of her choice: Carolyn Pierotti’s painting “Conversation”

Saturday January 16 at 12 noon – 3 p.m. at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts address

Pittsburgh- April is national poetry month but Pittsburgh has its own ideas. This weekend on January 16, 2016 there are 2 Poetry & Art events. And later in the month at the Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl on January 22, there is a third one at Space. This was not a plan it just happened on its own. Kind of poetic isn’t it? And the way it worked out if WORD + ART is your thing you can attend them all! First stop January 16 Shadyside/Point Breeze; second stop Millvale; later in the month downtown.

Come one and all to the Closing Event of Pittsburgh Society of Artists 50th Annual Exhibition. Jurors for this year’s PSA selection were independent curator Petra Fallaux and visual artist and Carnegie Mellon professor Patricia Maurides. Many of the writers in Laurie McMillan’s Writing to Art workshop the previous weekend who created poetry addressing individual artworks will bring their poetry and read it in front of the artwork they selected to write about. Be there. Many exhibiting PSA artists will be on hand to hear the writer’s responses. Open to the public. A very different set of observations and thoughts regarding an individual artwork may occur to viewers as they hear the writer’s words.

Laurie Arnold Writing to Art Workshop Writing to Art Workshop Pittsburgh

How lucky the 26 people were who attended this wonderful program, connecting with art through writing, including  10 year old  Amelia Staresinic who was recently accepted to CAPA in the Writing and Literary Arts program. You will be amazed to hear her written response to Carolyn Pierotti’s monumental painting titled Conversation.

Spoiler alert I went to the workshop and I will be reading my written piece to Lisa Bergant Koi‘s large abstract painting “Departure”.  By design I did not look at the title when I created my written expression about her painting, so you will not hear about a departure.

The week before the closing it was 57 degrees and sunny in Pittsburgh, in JANUARY! Laurie McMillan lead an all ages, all abilities “Writing to Art” Workshop as she has done many times for Pittsburgh Society of Artists.  A group of 26 people, writers and non-writers met to experience Laurie’s writing guidance on Saturday January 9, 2016. Participants were responding with creative writing and poetry to the artwork of the 50th Annual Exhibition of the Pittsburgh Society of Artists.

Laurie is a therapeutic writing facilitator in Pittsburgh who uses the magic of poetry to inspire people to get in touch with meaningful material that can alter the course of their life story. She is also a nurse and gardener and enjoys a vital literary community in Pittsburgh.

Saturday January 16 evening from 6 to 9 p.m. at Panza Gallery

Verse Envisioned: Poems from the Post-Gazette and works of art they have inspired

Panza Gallery address

**Anesthetic by artist Aimee Manion

by artist Aimee Manion

The Verse Envisioned project is a book and a gallery exhibition of poetry and art. It is a celebration of Pittsburgh’s brilliant artists and writers.

Saturday January 22 Gallery Clawl downtown  The Mountain and the Bumble Bee at Space

Space gallery address

Space gallery Pittsburgh

The Mountain and the Bumble Bee (Trib article by Kurt Shaw) brings together selected works by contemporary artists and poets who confront broadly defined notions of landscape as both cultural icon and raw material. Working in a variety of media including photography, sculpture, painting, digital media and poetic verse, featured artists maneuver the complex web of references contributing to our understanding of landscape. Scenes from Hollywood westerns abut survey photographs and miniature paintings to highlight America’s often‐contradictory role as both steward and exploiter of the land.

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Licencing my work for use: Schenley Park Map

Carol Skinger's Schenley Park Map - OptSchenly Pk map in Mary Schenley article Fall 2015 - OPT

I was excited when the quarterly magazine Western Pennsylvania History Magazine contacted me about using my Schenley Park Map (on the left) to illustrate a stunning and thorough 14 page article (125 citations!) about Mary Schenley titled “What’s in a Namesake” by Jake Oresick. It was published in Fall of 2015. Their publications are beautifully printed and designed and I could not be more thrilled to be part of it. This is the spread page where my map appears.

Listen to an NPR story about Mary Schenley written and produced by Margaret J. Krauss where she and  author Jake Oresick talk about Mary Schenley.

I am always happy to discuss licence agreements to use my work, and in the case of Schenley Park, the park has been  a passion of mine since moving here from Boston years ago. Obviously this is a Depression Era drawing and I am not old enough to have drawn it myself. As an artist, when I found the black and white drawing in a file it broke my heart to think Pittsburghers had no way to enjoy this map.

So I added color, information, history and a red border to make it more compatible with the Frick Park Map which people love to frame together as a set. I never set out to be a map seller but no one else I approached would take it over so I decided to do it myself. It brings such pleasure to so many people who love that park and it is a beautiful piece to get lost in while studying it.

The BIG audience for my print are children and men! Yes Pittsburgh women, or men  who do not know what to get for your husbands, or folks who have to come up with a great memorable baby present but don’t want to contribute to instant landfill, or alumni of Pitt, CMU and Carlow who are not fond of pennants or logos, this is your go to gift!

You can purchase it from me and it is here on my site in two sizes. It is a wonderful help in keeping my art supplies stocked and dealing with various dollar and cents issues we all have!

If you would like to discuss licencing any of my work shoot me a message through my site.

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RIP Dawn Hazelett

Winter on the Island (2)

I cannot believe hearing the news that another of the wonderful generation it seemed would simply always be there, has gone, Dawn Hazelett. She and her family were always there when I was growing up in Stowe. Weekend in and out you knew you would see Dawn and her husband Bill somewhere on Mt. Mansfield skiing. I had years of happy memories skiing with their kids  David, Susie and Ann. Susie and I am some other girls our age had what seemed to be  limitless good times skiing down Mt. Mansfield from top to bottom with as little time on a trail, and as much time in the woods as possible.

I never got see see their beloved Stave Island on Lake Champlain, but in 2011  my childhood friend Susie commissioned me to create a painting of Stave Island for the family to enjoy. She sent me a remarkable book of photographs. I began to develop the painting.

progress stave island 5 progress stave island 6

I decided to paint it in winter and Susie told me how delighted they were to see it in a season where they can never see it, as it is not accessible by boat or seaplane in winter. Susie passed along to me the fact  that her mother Dawn was especially intrigued to see the lights on in the boat house which made me happy to know some fond memory was perhaps activated.

Stave Detail Carol Skinger

I will always remember Dawn Hazelett so very fondly. A very loving, calm  and steady presence.

They were both remarkable, unforgettable people. I will include a little more reading here  (a Tribute to Bill from Senator Patrick Leahy in Capitol Words) and here (article about Bill’s part in ski history from Skiing Heritage March 2008  site with lots of great stuff and a very cute picture of Bill and Dawn skiing in 1947) .

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Sketch on site, paint in the studio

Allegheny River from Highland Park Bridge by C. Skinger

“Downriver view from Highland Park Bridge”                                                                    Watercolor ad Gouache

I like the idea of plein air painting, I really do but I don’t like doing it, at least it seems that way. Where would I go to the bathroom if I stood out on the bridge to paint this? Would I  dump a few gallons of water from cleaning my brushes over the side? Even if that was OK and its not, there is a chain link fence. The amount of stuff I would schlep is not appealing but it happens sometimes and I have been known to say I  like plein air painting, and in truth there ARE moments when I like it, but mostly I like the idea of it. Though working on site is good for sketching I rarely take a painting all the way through at the site.

People ask if I use photos when I create a painting. I very often do. Here are a few I took  to visualize a composition for this painting.  I see this view so often when driving over the bridge I wanted to paint it. There is a sidewalk on the bridge and I recommend walking it to slow down the view you see when driving.

“Downriver view from Highland Park Bridge” is for sale here. A list of things seen in my painting is at the bottom of this post.

Some of the many pictures I took to help visualize this scene:c000 Lock No 2 Pittsburgh - Copyc000Downriver view from Highland Park Bridgec000Downriver view to Lock No 2 from Highland Park Bridgec 000 62nd Street BridgePittsburgh -

I walk out on the bridge and do a quick sketch and take a bunch of pictures.  Then I put together my ideas indoors, where there is a sink, a bathroom, heat and air conditioning. Oh and a computer where I look at my photographs. So no. I am not a plein air painter. Not often anyway. I even take pictures of my painting while I am painting it and seeing them on a big screen helps me know what to do next. Pathetic words for a real plein air painter! What you can see in this  painting looking downriver from Highland Park Bridge:

Lock No.  2 on left at foot of Morningside . The bridge you see is the 62nd Street Bridge. The first neighborhood on the right is Sharpsburg and the docks and island nearest you are where, in 2015 you can rent a pontoon boat at Sharpsburg Islands Marina. The water tower is in Sharpsburg. A new plan is underway to develop a wonderful waterfront park.  It is  the vision of Susan and Currie Crookston.  The Crookstons generated community support from the three municipalities the property runs through, Sharpsburg, O’hara and Aspinwall. The new  Aspinwall Riverfront Park which you cannot see in this view.  It is on the right and it is just on the upriver side of Highland Park Bridge.

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Riverview painting commissioned for bookcover

Down River Orange Glow by Carol Skinger

On Garrison Keillor’s radio broadcast  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 where my Riverview painting was commissioned for the cover. It is Garrison Keillor’s daily summary of poems, prose, and literary history. The publishing process? The poet himself searched images of paintings of rivers online arriving at my  website where  paintings of the Allegheny River are housed. Martin contacted me directly and made the introduction to his publisher Grayson Books who commissioned the use of the river painting he especially loved for the cover.

Contact me about licensing or commissioning one time use of my images.

Poems by Paul Martin. Cover Art by Crol Skinger


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Cycling Pittsburgh – 3 print sizes now available

Cycling Pittsburgh

Archival Ink Jet Prints

to order Small click here

to order Medium click here

to order Large click here

Archival Inkjet Printing, also known as Pigment or Giclée Printing, is the preferred digital printing choice for artists due to its longevity and versatility.

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New and better prices Schenley Park Map


Running now on my website, prices of the two sizes are slashed. I was able to order nough quantity to bring the prices down.

18″ map (matches height of Frick Park Map) reduced from $85 to $45. order here

30″ map reduced from $135. to $95. order here

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A Best of Show Award from Freyda Spira for my paintings of Mobile Homes


Paintings of Mobile Homes by Carol Skinger


 Series by Carol Skinger

So thrilled to share the news I received a Best of Show Award from Freyda Spira, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

My series of 6 paintings of mobile homes, trailers and manufactured homes were accepted for exhibit at a Pittsburgh Society of Artists juried art show titled “Intr(au)spective” at the 56th Annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival (TRAF) in Pittsburgh June 5- June 14, 2015.  Venue was 937 Gallery 937 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh PA 15222

Juror Freyda Spira, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art awarded 3 Best of Show Awards and my series received one of them.

Brandon Getz wrote about the exhibit here.

For this exhibit 92 artists submitted 160 pieces of artwork. Spira selected 34 pieces by 30 artists to be shown. My second submission was also accepted titled “Trailer Toile”.

Serving as juror for PSA’s Intr[au]spective is Freyda Spira, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and specializes in Early Modern German art and works on paper. Spira has curated exhibitions including, Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2012); and Imperial Augsburg: Renaissance Prints and Drawings (2012). Presently, she is curating an exhibition entitled Prints & People: The Building of a Metropolitan Collection, 1916-1966, which will be accompanied by a catalogue (2016). She has also curated numerous smaller exhibitions on nineteenth and twentieth century visual culture, including Legends of the Dead Ball Era, Century Posters, Life Magazine and Pop Art, and A Sport for Every Girl.

Freyda Spira Juror’s Statement:

“50 years ago a hardy band of eight artists formed the Pittsburgh Society of Artists with the mission to facilitate and promote the exhibition of original art by its members. Today more than 380 artists living within a 150-mile radius of Pittsburgh comprise PSA. The title of the show is a playful twist on PSA’s 50th anniversary nodding to the periodic table and the 79th element of gold, but it also reflects the interior life of the artist and the introspective nature of traversing the mindscape where the image and inspiration for the artwork first appear.

The provocative work submitted for the Intr(Au)spective exhibition ranged from beautifully detailed craftwork, to abstract paintings, sculpture, and prints. As varied as the artists who submitted the works, the questions posed, lives exposed, and continuing battles fought spoke to the underlying idea of the exhibition and demonstrated not only the artists own musings, but also set into motion open-ended reactions. As a juror, I was constantly engaged by new ideas, new ways of seeing, and this was a complete pleasure. The three works that I selected as “Best in Show” prompted in me the greatest introspection. Unscenic? (2015) posed the question of pride in our home, and captures the movement of the eye as it crosses a familiar but perhaps not faultless landscape, creating snap shots with the fugitive media of watercolor and gouache. Untitled (Salt 0806) (2015) fascinated as the perfect rendering of details of the mind as it distills and crystallizes into actionable thought. Unsee (2015) rather than bringing into focus the movement of the mind hides it beneath layers of wax and collage, leaving the viewer to search and grapple for clarity.
As the juror who had the privilege to select the works for the Intr(Au)spective exhibition, I thank the Pittsburgh Society of Artists for this honor and congratulate the guild on reaching this special milestone and a future that shines brightly towards its next 50 years.”

-Freyda Spira
Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York


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