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Baby, it's cold outside

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

The end of the year is usually a time for reflection. The last ART YARD Advanced Studio on zoom of the fall semester, taught by Reg Lewis, worked from that theme with a lesson entitled: Reflection Multiplied: The Art of the Puddle (AKA) Mirror Mirror on the Floor. As this title augers, Reg’s session was filled with opportunities to dive into deep thought, share with each other, while we revel in both visual and verbal (written and spoken) art forms.

Screenshot from Reg's presentation

Reg summarizes: “Participating artists were tasked with creating a portrait as reflected, literally or symbolically, from a body of water. They responded with a variety of impactful reflections that inspired my reflections of each:

Karla’s monochromatic artwork featured a tree that represented her extended roots across a map as a reflection of her personal journey through a location from her past. The rich texture of the piece makes it feel to me like a treasured historical document.

Karla Prickett, Reflection Multiplied

Meridith’s wonderful watercolor portrait of a bird reflected an intimate moment for the feathered subject. Along with the perfect execution of the reflection, during compliments, students reflected on the familiar, almost human, expression on the bird’s face.

Meridith McNeal, Reflection Multiplied

Abby created a stunning mirror image of Beyoncé inspired from her latest album cover that for me recreated the portrait, increasing the presence of nature through the reflected image and evoking a moment of empowerment.

Abbrielle Johnson, Reflection Multiplied

Ed’s playful vibrant scene received the title of the egret pond with sharp cutouts reflecting a scene of peace and calm. The trees to me seem to symbolize the vibrancy found within a wintry atmosphere.

Ed Rath, Reflection Multiplied

Marilyn’s warm colors reveal a self-portrait originally taken as a photograph while viewing the Icelandic-Danish artist, Olafur Eliasson, in Florence at the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi. Her use of watercolor produced an effect which aptly substituted for the body of water, giving the illusion of an image atop of a puddle.

Marilyn August, Reflection Multiplied (inspiration and painting)

My own artwork served as a self-portrait in which I look at myself through the world and receive a slightly darker reflection than I would have initially imagined. It’s as if I’m fighting with myself in an effort not to drown in darkness.

Reg Lewis, Reflection Multiplied

My final reflection is that the reflections all exceeded expectation as they were layered, complex, and exceptionally beautiful."

Karla writes: “In thinking about puddles, pools of water and reflections, I decided my puddle would be an old map of my home town where I spent my entire life thru my first two years of college and returned to teach and coach at the community college after earning my art degree. It’s a small town of just over 5,000 people. The work is somewhat a self-portrait. The grown tree and water’s edge filled with experiences drawing from the roots of its existence and reflecting influences gathered and shared. The paper fibers inspired the organic approach.” She compliments “Meridith’s piece was wonderful! Loved the textures, composition and expressive birds! The picture plane really brought interesting levels to the surface. Really liked the egret silhouette back left and the egret reflections which turned the table on vertical. Sky and broken tree were great visual directives.” Karla ends her missive with these impressive statistics and images “It is -6 here [Salina, Kansas] wind below -30 with wind chill factor! EEK!”

Karla Prickett, Cold Snap in Kansas, 2022


Dennis and Fatima bring us more exciting work from ART YARD Art Matters at our new partnership school, The East New York High School of Arts and Civics, where our schedule is 2 afternoons per week - Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Arts and Civics student paintings in process Meet Cute lesson with Fatima Traore

Dennis summarizes: “We're in our 2nd week now and happy that our students are anxious and excited to begin each class. Classes start with good participation - recapping the last session and discussing the lesson plan and techniques learned. We're in the process of developing more detailed critiques - as our time flies by quickly, we'd been asking for volunteer feedback participation. We have moved on to 'compare and contrast' this week with ALL taking part. Miss M stated, during critique, that she was able to see students personalities show through in their pieces.

Critique at Arts & Civics

Working with Teaching Artist Fatima Traore, these high school students mixed and layered watercolor paints to achieve specific colors. Rahneen worked diligently to arrive at the exact peacock blue needed for her piece. And she succeeded!

Arts and Civics student painting Meet Cute

Arts and Civics student painting Meet Cute

Arts and Civics student painting Meet Cute

Arts and Civics student painting Meet Cute

An excellent group - with great support from Miss M - and Principal Little and the school's terrific admin staff (who stop in to visit and offer lots of compliments!).


We started the week with an end of semester ART YARD Winter Celebration in our studios at BWAC. While there were 18 of use who had RSVP'd who were unable at the last minute to attend (most of whom were feeling sick, and a few with travel woes) those who attended had a marvelous time!! We sampled a pot luck feast and enjoyed each other’s company as we caught up after a hectic semester.

Our annual art exchange was exciting. Artists who wish to participate bring an original artwork. We put names into the fez and draw to see which work we are lucky to add to our own collection!!

Sampling of works and happy new collectors from the ART YARD art exchange

When the BWAC galleries opened we went downstairs to view our Winter Trees throughout the BWAC Holiday Market.

BWAC President Alicia Degener invited ART YARD Artists to join in a holiday figure drawing session later that afternoon. Some of us cleaned up and readied the space as the BWAC folks arrived. Their model was a bit late arriving so Vera stepped up to the stage for the first pose.


Other Art News

Vera Tineo reviews World Wind a fantastic exhibition by Marina Zurkow in collaboration with James Schmitz on view at Bitforms Gallery, 131 Allen Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan through February 11, 2023

World Wind installation view

“Entering Bitforms Gallery I was struck with the choice of wall color, a purple, maroon which sets the tone as it almost seems polluted and a little sinister. World Wind is an exhibition by Marina Zurkow in collaboration with James Schmitz which explores the human contamination of our planet.

Marina created digital illustrations of crucibles that each contain a different part of earth’s experience. These prints are very strong, emotionally moving and have a really high production quality.

A piece that really stood out for me is Does The River Flow Both Ways?. I was mesmerized by this video animation projected to fill the entire back wall of gallery. I feel it put the ideas about pollution explored in World Wind into a narrative context that really made me think about how our personal waste affects others. As I watched I could track a factory and see how the exhaust travels to the ozone layer and begins to penetrates atmosphere.

Marina Zurkow and James Schmitz Does The River Flow Both Ways?, 2022 Custom software (color, silent), computer, screen or projector Animation assistance: Ewan Creed Edition of 5, 1 AP

To truly appreciate this video animation you must sit and observe. One third of the composition is above the surface of the water and the other two thirds we can observe the ocean floor. Watching we are confronted with a lot of information, characters and scenery moving, morphing and adding and subtracting. These shifts made me think about the shifts the planet has made over time.

The message I carried away with me is about how we impact each other in the world and the importance of action. I agree with Marina, we cannot let time pass without changing how we treat the planet and each other.” ~ Vera Tineo


Thanks to Maraya, I brought my niece and nephew to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Where we spent the day (and a 45 degree drop in temperature) looking art. Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina including works ranging from Dave the Potter in 1834 to contemporary responses by Theaster Gates and Simone Leigh on view through February 2023 is excellent!

Unrecorded Potter, Face Jug, 1850-1880, Simone Leigh, 108 (Face Jug Series), 2018

Woody De Othello, Applying Pressure, 2021

Colin was thrilled to find so may works he studied in Art History class his first semester at college. The huge Christmas tree on the first floor served as our mother ship as we ventured out to see the many varied artworks on view. Some of the highlights:

Photos of art on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Meridith McNeal


Delphine and I have both been working in the studio!

Delphine spent several hours on her latest piece.

Delphine Levenson, The Home In My Mind, 2022, alcohol markers on paper (detail)

Delphine Levenson, The Home In My Mind, 2022, alcohol markers on cut paper

Delphine writes about the piece: “A world of color reflects the senses, words and sounds that consumes me each day in the city people shouting in the street vehicles speeding by while airplanes and helicopters roar above this piece is just a glimpse of my mind that I can somehow manage to get on the paper.”


Here are my newest:

Meridith McNeal, Inside Outside Artemisia (Piazza Navona, Rome), 2022, watercolor on paper, 61x45”

Meridith McNeal, Inside Outside Bath (Trastevere, Rome), 2022, watercolor on paper, 39x25”

Meridith McNeal, Crow, 2022, cut shaped paper, watercolor and Jade glue 8x12x2”


We will be off until after the New Year. Wishing you the very best for an art filled year ahead!!


P.S. How lucky that you dropped in

So nice and warm

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