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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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.

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Carol Skinger_Composition Vertical 1       Carol Skinger_Composition Verical 3

Carol Skinger_Composition Horizontal 2       Carol Skinger_ Composition Horizontal 4

Which way to show my new watercolor painting? Anyway you want. “Composition” will be presented in the first orientation shown at upper left in Pittsburgh Society of Artists 49th Annual Exhibition at Panza Gallery Opening reception Saturday October 11, 2104 from 6-8:30pm. Awards and a gallery talk by the juror will be at 7PM.

Juror: architect Paul Rosenblatt of Springboard Design.

Overall dates of show:  Saturday October 4−Saturday October 28, 2014.

Panza Gallery hours are: W, TH, F: 10−5pm Sat: 10−3pm

Map to gallery

I never take having a piece accepted into a show for granted.   181 works of art were submitted by 98 members from which 53 pieces of artwork by 40 artists were selected for exhibit. It is always more fun to squeak through the door than not have work accepted!

This composition with layer after layer of a gradual pigment buildup in stripes was especially meditative.

Carol Skinger_Composition Vertical 1


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Warhol Museum Celebrates 20th Anniversary


I am excited to say that as a tiny part of the ongoing circus at the Warhol Museum which had  a BIG BASH May 17, 2014 my images of Warhol’s childhood home in Pittsburgh, his high school (Schenley), as well as an image of his family church (did you know he was devout all his life?) are available for purchase as greeting cards in the new enlarged  shop at the museum. I am really appreciative that the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh has been a long time supporter by making my images available in the Warhol gift shop. The Warhol Museum is one of the Carnegie Museums.

Warhol'shome green sky purple brick - CopyWarhol's Dawson St home FACADE yellow brick - Copy

These are two of my altered images of the house on Dawson Street in Pittsburgh where Andy Warhol grew up in with his parents and his brothers Paul and John. He lived there for 15 years, from 1934, when he was 6 until he left for New York City in 1949 after graduation from Carnegie Tech, now CMU. Before buying this house the family lived in a series of rented homes. He could walk to the secondary schools he went attended  and to college from their home in Oakland, the University area in Pittsburgh. Saturday art classes at Carnegie Museum were an easy walk as well as the family church (read more).He was identified as artistically talented in public school and attended the museum art classes at no charge, which was the norm then. The museum still offers art education to students in grades 5-9. It  has recently stopped offering adult art classes, though will continue with adult workshops where it is related to a specific exhibit.

Read here and here and here about the  celebration and what the museum has done to re-invent itself. Oh, and here is another from NY Times. On Saturday May 17, 2014 the Pittsburgh museum that interprets the life and work of Andy Warhol  celebrated  its 20th anniversary with a sold-out black-tie gala for 650 people. Admission @ $500 is sold out. Collectors, donors and people who worked with the shy superstar dined and danced, then viewed the recently rehung collection starting on the 7th floor and previewing the new show on the 2nd floor  Halston and Warhol: Silver and Suede. Read more and see some pics  for who came into town to attend.

The free part of the weekend is  Community Day and it started when the  Gala ended at midnight. To celebrate of the kickoff of the Warhol’s 20th anniversary and American Art Museum Day, the museum will be open continuously from midnight to 5 p.m. May 18. Special activities include DJ duo AndrewAndrew from New York, midnight-2 a.m.; hands-on art-making and studio programs exploring Warhol’s artistic practices, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; author talk and book signing for “Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up” by Bob Colacello, the editor of Warhol’s Interview magazine, 3 p.m. All events are at the Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Side.

One thing the Warhol Museum wanted to address in the redesign was the fact that visitors have been coming to the museum for 20 years from all over the world, but often leaving without understanding  that Andy Warhol was from Pittsburgh and that is why it is located here.  Just a few blocks from the museum is the house Gertrude Stein was born in but the Steins moved to Oakland, CA was she was a baby so you cannot say she was from Pittsburgh in the same way.

gertrude stein house_20110504_3121 - CopyCarol Skinger's Gertrude Stein House  800

Here are a few more of my images of Warhol’s high school and church the St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church:

photo posted on post-gazette.comSt. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church s sides - Copy







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Internationally Inspired: A Response to the 2013 Carnegie International

Carol Skinger painting of Carnegie International 2013

Carol Skinger’s piece “Family Portrait in the CMOA Permanent Collection”  22” x 12”Watercolor, ink,  color pencil 

Pittsburgh PA- The Carnegie International has been especially engaging since it opened October 2013.  I have 9 pieces titled “Carnegie International Sketchbook Project”. accepted for exhibit in the Pittsburgh Society of Artists (PSA) exhibit responding to the International titled “Internationally Inspired: A Response to the 2013 Carnegie International”. Show runs March 8-March 29, 2014.

Site is the 3rd Street Gallery in Carnegie, PA at 220 3rd  Street Carnegie, Pennsylvania 15106. Regular gallery hours AFTER the March 8 opening are: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11-4pm.

Internationally Inspired” is a creative response by members of PSA to the 2013 Carnegie International.  After viewing, reading and researching the exhibit PSA members used their artistic creativity to channel their reactions.

It was on my 4th visit to see the Carnegie International when I came across the work of Iranian artist Rokni Haerizadeh. The invitation to turn the pages of his painted book, wearing no white gloves, or being removed from it by a glass case or apparently hovering guards was exciting! I found the immediacy, the lack of preciousness, and therefore the remove from words like archival, acid free, work for the ages, DON’T TOUCH was inspiring and freeing. It made me want to run home, open the many drawers of collected art supplies, grab some paper and start making art around the subject of the Carnegie International. I found the screen itself was also a subject of my new pieces. So many people are using digital cameras in museums now and in many cases museums are fine with that. The screen of a phone being used as a camera, the lens of the film crew from WQED, and the TV screen imagined in Helen and Scott Nearing’s home are a few of the subjects in my sketchbook project. Each page can be purchased individually for $250. Watercolor, compressed charcoal, ink, pastel and color pencil are the media.

If you are the kind of person who wants to immerse yourself in articles and reviews of the 2013 Carnegie International here is a list of links. Study and go to the Carnegie International (which ends March 16, 2014) and by all means come to our opening March 8, 2014!

Local public television affiliate WQED made an 8 minute video about the 2013 Carnegie International here. I happened to be in the museum the day they were shooting, and this is one of my 9 pieces.

Carol Skinger WQED shoot at CMOA International (2)

Carol Skinger’s “WQED shoot at 2013 Carnegie International ”  22” x 12” Watercolor and Pastel. WQED’s  Tonia Caruso hosts in front of the Phyllida Barlow sculpture “Untitled: upturnedhouse”  which CMOA purchased. With producer Jill Neely, and Museum spokesman Jonathan Gaugler, and a bystander.   Alberto Giacometti’s “Walking Man I“ seen.   

This first article is about the re-hanging of permanent collection for this Carnegie International and why, is written by Graham Shearing, a collector, critic, curator, consultant and writer who has lived in Pittsburgh for nearly 20 years.

Andrew Russeth  reviewed the Carnegie International  for The Gallerist.  

Philip Anselmo writes for City Paper about Iranian artist Rokni Haerizadeh’s work  here 

Peter Schjeldahl’ piece for the New Yorker “Play Time: The Carnegie International” is worth reading, and so is Roberta Smith for the New York Times. “Global Extravaganza, but on a Human Scale”.

Jonathan Griffin, a British writer and critic based in Los Angeles writes about it in Art Agenda here.   

Bill O’Driscoll of City Paper writes about Transformazium, an artists’ collective based in Braddock in his article “The Carnegie International returns, this time with more local flavor: Curators look to bring the world to Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh to the world”.

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“Last Minute Shopping” Dec 15, 2013 at Boyd Community Center


Come on out and support local arts makers and crafters at Boyd Community Center in O’Hara Township! Open 12 – 6 pm on Sunday, December 15, 2013.  “Last Minute Shopping” by I Made it Market (open this link to see all info & the artists and makers) founded by Carrie Nardini and Nina Barbuto, is holding a final opportunity  to  shop local. By now everyone is aware that there are local artists, crafts people and makers working hard to connect with local markets everywhere.  In Pittsburgh you may have MEANT to go to one or both of the hand-made-I-made-it-DIY (do it yourself)  type venues that are now past.  Did you want to go, hope to go and mean to go but then your couch beckoned?  It happens!  “Handmade Arcade” was Dec 7, and “I Made it! for the Holidays” was the weekend before Thanksgiving . But you can still have the experience at “Last Minute Shopping” at Boyd Community Center 1220 Powers Run Rd, Pittsburgh, PA ‎.

Did you know the aging former elementary school which currently houses Boyd is closing in on final fundraising for a new center? Come to this IMI Last Minute Shopping opportunity and learn something about new exciting plans for a new community center! Here is an architectural drawing of the new center!


No amount is too small to donate to make it a reality. It will be called Lauri Ann West
Community Center. The architects are Steve Cupcheck and Bruce Pollack of RSSC and  you can see additional elevations on the Lauri Ann West
Community Center facebook page. In November O’Hara Council offered a matching grant proposal where it would use tax dollars to match up to $1 million in private donations and hopefully see the construction complete by 2015. More here.

1467373_219546054836471_586718821_n   I take great pride in the fact that as a citizen I got involved with sharing my response to the first set of concept plans for the community center a few years back, when it was entirely low and linear. I more than hinted that  the agricultural history of the area suggested that the context of a barn building or two would be a reasonable goal for how these buildings could take shape, and I provided a bunch of examples of adapted barns.  The most exciting I had seen then was Herman Miller Design Yard at their headquarters in Zeeland MI, in the glory days when I got Lear jet rides to these places based on my corporate space planning and interior design career. Herman Miller used modified prefab barn structures, hopefully suggesting a possible route to an economic approach to a barn raising for  the communities of Fox Chapel School District. The response to my input re: “think barn” was very positive at the time and so I was pleased to see the elevation drawing as it has evolved, and every time I drive by the sign near Squaw Run Park I feel a sense of involvement.

I will not be a participating artist this year, but I really hope you will come out to support the artists who are, visit Boyd Community Center and learn about the future of Boyd, which they hope will be completed in 2015. Oh, BTW Route 28 is working much better these days if you have been avoiding it. And there is Route 28 news: as of November 25, the 31st St Bridge is now open again.

Boyd Community Center has partners, and programming and event partners. I sincerely hope they (and you) will do everything possible to attend  “Last Minute Shopping”, and to share  the information in this post with their audience. you can help by sharing it too! I look forward to attending as a last minute shopper myself!

Meantime I am stocking some venues with my latest on my Schenley Park Map printed on ceramic tiles, and painting some custom house portraits. Prints on paper of Schenley Park Map are $99 for 30″ print, $65 for 18″ print (matches height of Frick Park Map). The ceramic tiles (decorative only)  are $25 for 8″ tiles and $15 for 4 1/4″ tiles. The prints you can order online from me. If you want tiles just shoot me an email.




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