Sunday, January 18, 2015

Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance (BACA)


Perhaps you have heard about this group which has been working on promoting the arts in Branford. I signed up to receive information, so I'm receiving their email reports. Here are the minutes from their January meeting, which may be of interest to you, especially if you are a Branford resident. For more information or to join their mailing list, contact Richard Blacher at


January 13 Monthly meeting (next meeting Tuesday, February 10, 7:00 PM)

Frank Carrano began the meeting by iterating our 3 major goals for 2015: 

-        Bringing back the “ARTS” to the Branford Festival. 
-        Gaining access to and establishing the Academy as a viable venue for arts events initiated by BACA.
-     Planning the first Plein Air “happening” on the green in late spring (annual – if it works as well as we expect).


The First Congregational Church on the green is considering allowing us the use of their facilities for arts and performance events.  Our thanks to Rev. Heeckt for his enthusiastic support (welcome [back] to Branford).

BCTV (Branford Community Television, Inc.) is interested in taping and airing our events.

Nominations for BACA officers:
            Chair:              Frank Carrano
            Vice Chair:     Robin Sandler
            Treasurer:       Rosemary Rubsam
            Secretary:       Richard Blacher


Branford Festival (June 20th): 
- reserving a number of booths and linking them, to be shared by several artists interested in showing and selling their work.    The cost (relatively nominal) of renting the booths would be shared by the artists. 

- having a “gallery” display of those artists’ works at the same time at the First Congregational Church which could remain on display that Sunday, June 21st (Branford Road Race – see: possibly attracting many of the thousands of racers, other participants, and viewers. 

Plein Air:
- having an exhibition/display of completed work(s) by these artists at the First Congregational Church or the Academy while they are painting on the green. 

- displaying the artists’ finished work the following week in store fronts/windows all around the green.  They would be for sale,    with the store receiving a commission for hosting the work.  

In our first news letter we asked for your suggestions/thoughts/ideas for possible arts and/or performance-related projects or events for Branford.  Several excellent ideas were put forth.  One idea was enthusiastically embraced – creating a public sculpture park at the Branford Train Station.  Needless to say, this would be a MASSIVE undertaking, with all sorts of likely obstacles (insurance, etc), but everyone agreed it would certainly be worth pursuing. If progress is made, the person who suggested it will be thanked publicly.

BCTV - in-studio interviews with individual artists and performing groups, and BACA members about planned or upcoming events.

Pursuing the idea of utilizing the huge tent erected by the Blackstone Memorial Library for their annual book sale in September, empty for several days prior to the sale.  They have offered to let BACA use it for art-related events.  


Meet with and establish an on-going dialogue with the Branford Economic Development Commission.

Establish a dialogue with the Branford Foundation for grants and/or fund raising.

We ask for your ideas/comments/feedback, and names/e-mails to broaden our data base.  PLEASE do forward this news letter to any (and all) you think may be interested in the (hopefully soon-to-be) burgeoning art scene in Branford.  Suggest that they contact me if they would like to receive these news letters and updates from BACA.  My e-mail:

And, if you would like to be/get involved in this exciting undertaking, please let us know.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Art donations for benefit event


I hope you're all enjoying your various mid-winter art courses, workshops, dvd's, and just plain studio time. For me, it's a course in abstract painting and some serious studio time. I'm sure you, too, are preparing for the upcoming show season. Soon I will be developing my annual show schedule and calendar, but for now, it's time to focus on production.

On another tack, A.W. Cox School PTO (elementary school in Guilford).is seeking donations of art work for a benefit event. Mary B is  donating a pet portrait commission, and she asked me to pass on this information about the benefit, in case any of you might want to also make a donation.  If you're interested or would like to know more, contact Lisa Labadia -

Stay warm, and keep painting!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Meig's Point - December 2014

Greetings to All,

An unbelievable NINE painters showed up for what must be our last paint-out of 2014 -- Keiko, Pam, Tina, Patty, Jay, Liz, Cheryl, Betsey, and me. If we had seen outside our windows at home the sky we saw when we arrived -- heavy with cloud -- I'm not sure we would have had such a good turnout. And the wind was blowing pretty strong -- enough to drive Tina back down to the beach with the rest of us. Seven of us dug in against the hillside, where it was pretty warm and sheltered.

Eventually, the sun broke through to make that sun trap that I had promised. Pam worked from her car again but touched base with us before leaving early.  Keiko found a sunny spot on Larry's Beach. While most of us set up facing the sea, with our backs to the land, Tina balanced on the boulders and worked a full sheet of luscious drippy-drooly watercolor multi-media again, giving honor to the bluff that gave us such fine protection. I just love watching Tina work!

After our wrap-up, Jay, Betsey, Cheryl, and I went to Cohen's (bagel shop) for coffee-and. A nice little finale to a good year. We painted out 27 times -- a bit short of last year's numbers, with all the rainy Thursdays. But  those of us who also painted with Jay's MAS group had an opportunity to get in way more than 30 outings. That's a lot of practice, and that's the idea -- at least in part.

Here's to a great holiday, safe travel, good health, and inspiration for the year ahead. And a year filled with sunny Thursdays!

Meig's Point


Monday, December 15, 2014

Call to Paint -- Thursday, 18 December 2014 -- 10 AM

Looks like an excellent forecast for Thursday -- 40 degrees, sunny, northerly winds -- another perfect day for Meig's Point, I think.  Let's plan to meet in the parking lot near Larry's Beach or on the beach below the bluff to the east. Same place as last time. It's just so well protected for these conditions.

I'll hope to see you there.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Special Critique Session -- John Massimino in Wallingford

Greetings to All,

Patricia Corbett is hosting a one-time critique session with John Massimino on Thursday at her studio in Wallingford.  Here's her invitation.  If you're interested, please contact her today to reserve your place. Since the weather forecast is not suitable to call a paint-out on Thursday morning, this could be a good backup plan. And if you've not visited Patricia's studio before, I know some of you will be putting all that space on your wish list from Santa.

Patricia's Invitation:

There is still availability for the special Master Critic Class to be given by well-known artist, John Massimino, Thursday, December 11th from 10:30am to 12:30pm.  You can bring 4 paintings and the total charge for the event is $10 for the 2 hours.

Perhaps you have some paintings that just don't quite give you the results you want. Bring them along. John is great at being able to look at a painting and pinpoint what it needs to "speak" to the viewer. Take advantage of this opportunity to make the paintings that you are not satisfied with "sing!" John said he would sing to get us in the "holiday mood" but he has laryngitis! He has always loved the music world as many of you know.
If you've never been to one of these workshops, give yourself the gift of a real treat.
  This session is by special request and who knows when it will happen again,

If you think you would like to take this onetime
event please let me know. Reservations are based on first come first serve.

The Event will take place at The Camelot Gallery of Fine Art, 310 North Main Street, Wallingford, CT 06492.  



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Meig's Point -- December 2014

At wake[up time, my thermometer said about 26 degrees, but by 10, it was almost balmy. Six of us painted -- Betsey, Judy, Hans, Pam, Tina, and me. Pam was recovering from surgery on her foot, so she painted from her car. Tina hiked into the campground to find her stream. The rest of us tucked under the bluff on Meig's Point Beach and basked in the perfect sun trap.The first thing I did was to chuck my winter hat, jacket, and gloves and unzip my fleece. It may be December, but we sure had a beautiful painting day.

Pam left early. When Tina joined us on the beach, just after noon, we were blown away by her multi-media masterpiece. She started with watercolor -- the blues -- then added acrylics -- the browns -- then went at it with charcoal and I think pen, and for good measure she used her fingernails to scrape out some sunlit branches. Masterful! And in about one hour.

Before returning home, Hans, Betsey, Judy and I drove to the Madison Senior Center to view the splendid exhibit by Joan McP and Sandy Kensler.

Meig's Point



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Call to Paint Thursday, 4 December 2014 -- 10 AM

It looks like it might be a beautiful day for Meig's Point, or Branford Supply Ponds, but I know some of you prefer more man-made vistas. So let's vote. They're saying moderate northwest breeze, but Meig's Point has good shelter down on the beach and plentiful sun. Guilford Green also has potential for making a sun trap, or possibly Clinton Landing or Clinton Town Beach.  Let me know by email where you would like to paint.

Wherever we go, I hope to see you there.