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. (I do that) 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) .


Sketch on site, paint in the studio

Allegheny River from Highland Park Bridge by C. Skinger

“Downriver view from Highland Park Bridge”  SOLD                                                                   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.

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 much of 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.


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



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



Mobile Sculpture Workshop needs our support

Mobile Sculpture Workshop apprentices Ben and Haydon

I read this and donated. Teens are so important! To support this apprenticeship/mentor program, what could be easier, more direct and concrete? Do our universities need support? Yes. Do our museums and libraries need support? Yes. Community Centers? Yes. But so does this grassroots group Mobile Sculpture Workshop need our financial support, a tiny yet growing art/welding/teens & mentors institution. DEFINITELY!! Teens are paid a stipend during their apprenticeship and their mentors also need our support. Why does this speak to me?

Soldering and welding is a big part of my family story, so I am happy to contribute to this program, the Mobile Sculpture Workshop. This great City Paper article tells more about them. Read it and become inspired about what they are all about. Much more inspired than my words here.

The Mobile Sculpture Workshop is for training and mentoring  high school students in the skill of welding in the Pittsburgh area with its proud history in steel. Welding has both obvious industrial application as well as sculptural, art, entrepreneurial  and maker tradition. The Mobile Sculpture Workshop program connects area high school students to mentors who are helping shape Pittsburgh’s footprint in a more artistic, and often scrappy (in the best sense) way. It is obvious that this is a great program in so many ways, and worth supporting. The Mobile Sculpture Workshop is a pilot program from Pittsburgh’s Industrial Arts Cooperative, a collective of metalworkers and sculptors who have installed many public works over the past 20 years, for instance at the Carrie Furnace  which by now most folks have heard of. What a great idea! Let’s all pitch in.

On another wavelength Carrie Furnace was also the site of filming the 2011 Antiques Roadshow segment  ‘Tough Love: Iron and Steel Jewelry.’ Producer Adam Monahan said ‘Here is some of the most elegant jewelry the world`s ever seen, and it`s fashioned out of iron and steel.’ Just another branch of the story of metals. Do I need to say the words:  Out of this Furnace?

I mentioned that soldering and welding is a big part of my family story and here are three examples.  Our son Adam Horn  2013 BFA Metals and Jewelry Design RIT, School of American Craft (with professors Leonard Urso and Carlos Caballero-Perez) was totally energized when he learned welding and working large as part of that RIT major, and would have gravitated to this program as a teen had it existed. Nearby my cousin Lynda LaRoche  retired Professor of Jewelry & Metals at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and recipient of the Niche Award (Niche is for excellence and innovation in American and Canadian fine craft) Art Educator of the Year 2011, was also an influence.  Pittsburgh resident (the awesome) Sharon Massey  now holds her former faculty position at IUP. My father Joe Skinger  Silversmith and Sculptor in Vermont was also an influence, by the presence of his work and general influence  in our lives. He was largely self taught, but also took advantage of the GI Bill studying metal working in England at the London Central School of Arts and Crafts.

I feel I can imagine how important an apprentice/mentor relationship can be for the teens who get involved with Mobile Sculpture Workshop. When I was 14, I worked for my father full time during that summer when he lost his only assistant. I spent the summer taking notes from his discussions of each design of his that I would then execute with cutting, soldering and filing, becoming familiar with his jigs and practices.  Because of the memory of this experience I can well imagine how much a teen can learn by participating in the Mobile Sculpture Workshop. Our son will remember learning to solder at a younger age at my husband John Horn’s lab.

But if you do not have access to metals instruction in high school as our son did, and you do not have family members who have pursued metals as a career, or a dad with a lab, or a GI Bill how would you be able to make that connection to melting metal, forming it and making things? We absolutely need programs like Mobile Sculpture Workshop for our young people, who cannot otherwise learn these skills except perhaps in Community College at an older age to serve the welding needs of the fracking industry. At that point they may never again have a training experience or life experience that is art related or would suggest alternative routes to application of welding skills except as it relates to industry. And yet in a way industry is what this is all about. No one says they must go into art. But teaching and learning skills of making can trigger all sorts of ideas and applications. Ideas we need.

So friends I hope you will join me by contributing in any amount possible to Mobile Sculpture Workshop. These kids are learning and getting paid a small stipend. Their teachers and mentors need our support too. Every dollar means so much to this worthy program. Here is their facebook link. Like them to follow their developments.  I have resisted Twitter so far so go find that on your own.