Wednesday, December 26, 2018

SmeatonTower Light House by Kolene Spicher

Painting a Red and White Lighthouse in Plymouth Devon, South West England 

Photo is a little blurry  but it reads,
Taking time out to enjoy life! 
I have painted a lot of lighthouses in my day, but this is a new one for me.  I really enjoyed working on this project.  The three in the front to the left of the light are Grace, Rick, and their doggy Reedus who is enormous.   

My style has always been to paint the ships and the boats in that "folk" style and gathered all around the light.  Reedus and Grace are the joy of Rick's life.  I can tell how he communicated about them.  I love the red and white tower and it reminds me of a lighthouse that I painted before.  I can't remember where it was, but it was red and white!  

The frame is a good one and one of my better frames that I own at the time.  It is a mortised frame and happens to be a tiger maple with lots of lots of age.  Perfect for England! 

The blue is in the turquoise family so it really makes the orange warm tones pop. 

Here's a shot that I snapped outside so that you can really see the color correctly.  

In this shot you can see how the frame just pops against all that wonderful blue color.  The light is solid and diffused so it eliminates those hot spots that I typically get when photographing behind glass.  

Hope you enjoy! 

Merry Christmas Rick and Grace and Reedus!! 

Kolene Spicher 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


Nautical one of a kind pieces
of art on pottery 

Kolene Spicher 

I am working on a painting at the moment for a gentlemen who wants the Smeaton Tower painted 
from Plymouth, UK.  As I drew the lighthouse (and I will blog about it later), I was thinking this would be cute on a pot.  

I decided to put some of my Polkadots on this piece.  I have them on the opposite side of the lighthouse painting.  

This is slightly blurry, sorry! 
This little guy needs fired yet.  It is still in its basest form, almost! 

This also needs fired.  The colors will change.  Unfortunately, a lot of times as you fire, some of the colors are less vibrant.  What you paint is not always what you get, almost never, actually, LOL. 

The shape is slightly different from the other lamp bases, but I think it will go well with the one that I still have (in living room).  I will use it till it sells, smile. 

I loved the big round light that I sold at wilton.  Here is a peak!

This has a great gold lined shade, compliments of Restoration Hardware.  I love their shades, actually. 

This vase is hand formed from a slab.  The top is sort of irregular and this was done on purpose.  See how the rose sort of falls in that V.  
This vase in the front is porcelain.  The vase in the back right, which happens to be of the Bay (any bay you'd like), is earthenware.  I am really into the uneven top edge, don't know why, smile. 

These sort of speak for themselves.  But, you can see, there is a lot of artwork on these pieces.  They are all one of a kind.  

I got some mugs back recently, too, unfortunately they had some issues.  However, I know what I did wrong.  

Here are some pictures.  I have 8 more mugs ready to paint with similar imagery.  

This one with the green sails I LOVE.  The surface has some issues, though, so I will keep this one and make more that are similar because the imagery is good and attractive. 

Black sheep mugs for the farm! 

I love  making mugs.  They sell easily and they make people smile, that is a good thing.  People that have followed my artwork over the years know that I love primitive art.  I found this little girl so sweet.  This mug turned out, too! 

That's about it for now.  I will have some more to blog about next week because I have already started to paint my Christmas orders.  I have a good bit to fill so I will be talking away in the near future.  

Thanks for looking.  


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Nautical Pottery by Kolene Spicher

Christmas Gifts! 

I am working on a number of pieces right now.  With Christmas right around the corner, I think they will make fabulous gifts.  I have a bunch of stuff getting fired as I type this.  Here are a few pieces that were still too wet to go in! 

This jar or pot is around 5 1/2 inches tall.  It is decorated the whole way around!  

This one is an order 

I love round things.  Here's some rounder scenes! 

I am in love with silhouettes! 

This is a Right Whale

For whatever reason, I didn't photograph the sailor.  There's one there!  It reads:

This 10th Day of August, This ole' sailor spotted his first 
whale right off shore!  He was 29 feet long. 

Love the orangey pinks on the horizon.

This is going to be another light.  My other lights turned out great.  
The one sold, so I needed to make a replacement to
keep my living room in balance LOL. 

This light is about 11 - 12" high.  It has my seascape colors, etc, the whole way
around it.  It looks slightly washed out in this photo but in real life it has 
nice color. 

I don't know if I showed you my finished vase.  This guy is about 18" tall.  It was slab built and carved.  I love hand-building. 

The platter is a Greg Schooner! 

Hydrangea was compliments of my friend Susan.  I planted that wonderful bush in 2008. 
Let me know if there's something that you might like for the holidays.  PM me or follow me on instagram, which makes it really easy to see all my new stuff.  Kolene_Spicher is what I go by! 

I love all things polka dotted!  

Sometimes you can do things with pottery that are a bit unexpected.  Like I had a bowl (cylinder shaped) with polkadots and I needed something to put an antique Christmas tree in that I had picked up about 30 years ago.  Every year, I struggled to display it in a pleasing way.  One day I did this! 

Happy Holidays!
Merry Christmas! 


Kolene Spicher 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Moby Dick depicted by Pennsylvania Artist Kolene Spicher

Ahab Seeks Revenge

A Nantucket looking Painting 

His Name was Ahab and he lost his leg one day
while being stoved by this great white whale... 
Recently,  I was sitting waiting on an appointment for a test.  I waited and waited and then decided that I needed to illustrate while I waited.  Might as well make some money whilst I sat!   To my delight, there were some markers and paper designed to entertain children laying on my right.  I guess I am still a girl at heart!    While I sat, I also noticed that there was a trailer for a 2015 Moby Dick movie which was directed by Ron Howard.  This caught my interest and was my inspiration.  I like Ron Howard, Happy Days.  Anyways, I updated old Moby and Ahab, I gave him my signature polka dotted hat and put a smile of sorts on that old whale.  The bird is for fun  and so is the fish.  The book tells what Ahab was thinking.

Upon arriving home, I went into my storage area and found this yummy looking period lemon gold  frame.  YES, that will be my choice.  I love the way the golds and the blues work together.  I am using up some of my favorite frames that I have been hoarding.  

Here's another yummy antique frame that I recently picked up.  I love the watercolor tones in this piece.  Both Ahab and this ship are available for purchase.  Message me if you are interested.  

The whale at the bottom is sold, but I thought it would be fun to show you what I have been working on since getting home from Wilton, CT.  The show was amazing and I thank all my wonderful customers that came out and supported my efforts.  

Back to Ahab... 

The photo is a little dark but here it is in its entirety.  

The story line goes as follows.  Ahab's ship was stoved by this aggressive angry white whale.  During this process, Ahab loses his leg.  Bad news for everyone.  Ahab is vindictive and stubborn  just like that ole whale.  He's going after it!  He's going to avenge his leg.  That whale, come Hell or high water, is going down!  LOL.

"I know not all that may be coming but be it what it will.  I will go to it laughing.  It is not down on any map,
 these places never are!"
These sentences are cumbersome and problematic.  Even as I proofread it, I want to change the wording, but it is what he said.  So be it!  I love this storyline.  I always have been fascinated with whales.  Such a glorious large monster that mysteriously roams the seas.  Aren't we fortunate to still have these creatures?


Kolene Spicher 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Donation to Wilton Historical Society, 2018

Happy Whale 
by Pennsylvania Artist 
Kolene Spicher 

The shipshape in the birds' eye piece front and center is what I chose this year to donate to the Wilton Historical Society's American Artisan Show fundraising event.  

Each year we pick a piece to donate because let's face it, preserving our history is important and this society does a lot of good in their community.  I am happy to be involved with this event.  

This frame is a sweet one.  It has some age, and I believe it is an antique but barely.  Some of my frames are really old, 19th century, this one is probably 50 years old.  

The ship is watercolor in technique and there is a little pen and pencil work in there,  too.  It is carefully antiqued and the paper is thin like rice.  

I like to photograph my work with other pieces of my work.  My art will all hang well together.  I generally paint with a similar palette.
Thanks for taking the time to look today.  If you can make it to the show, it will be wonderful.  It starts Thursday evening, November 1, 2018 at 6:30.  The opening night is a fund raiser and is $125 a ticket.  This piece will be auctioned off at that event.  If you can't pay that price tag, please consider coming on Friday and/or Saturday.  The gate is $10.  It is held at the Wilton, Ct Historical society, Wilton, CT.  


Saturday, October 20, 2018

My pottery challenges

Navigating thru the clay and glaze choices 

Black clay vs a soft brown earthenware with manganese 
There are so many choices when it comes to clay.  I sort of gravitate toward the darker clays.  I just love the rich tones that come thru and the warms and browns that pop up randomly.  But this clay comes with problems.  It has to be fired to a lower cone.  People often push it to cone 6 and hope for the best, but I so heavily decorate my pieces that the likelihood of there being issues with the surface are very probable.  Still I try...sigh.

Many times I get one or two pieces back that I love, most of it is not acceptable and chalked up to "learning"and receive the hammer.  

This one turned out and I am going to keep it.  It's pleasant to look at but it didn't fully pass the Kolene test.  Are there blisters?  No,  Is the glaze smooth? yes. Does it hold water? UHHHH,  NO.  I had to put something inside it to place the flowers in.  Alas, this will be used (probably) for Christmas cards.  It really is pretty and someone would probably even buy it, but it didn't pass the test.  I am picky for a reason, folks. 

The bowls I will keep but only till I come up with ones that are more perfect, they have some blisters.   I will gift them to some friend who will appreciate them for what they are.  I should have fired them to Cone 5 instead of 6.    However, The vase is a keeper.  I like this vase and it passed all the above tests.  

These vases are pretty, very.  They hold water.  They look great, but I don't care for what they feel like on the inside.  They didn't pass.  It's really okay with me, finally, that I am not getting much back that I like.   At first I was so discouraged.  I would push and push myself, staying up to all hours, not sleeping, trying desperately to figure out what the Heck I was doing.  Now I just accept, there are rules to clay.  Until I figure them out, there will be learning curve of what not to do.  

I did not go to school for this, after all. 

This has a few issues and didn't fully pass all the tests, but it is very pretty and I am going to sell it.  It will be a table lamp when it is done and I bought a great shade off of Restoration Hardware for it!  It really looks nice next to my wall art.  

This is just plain white on the inside.  You can't see it but there was something
that fell into the glaze at the bottom, which turned it right away into a second. 

I am leaning toward letting the insides of the cups being plain without glaze, just maybe a wash.   Why try to hide that beautiful brown?  I am not going to anymore (for now).  It is just another step. 

This was a collaborative piece that I did with my friend Wanda.  She's a very seasoned potter.  Everything comes out shining colors with her.  I am so happy to know someone like her.  She's friendly and helpful and full of knowledge that she is willing to share.  Can you see the manganese in the clay?  That's the spots.  Some people love them, others not so much.  I do love this clay but think that it might be better without so much decoration.  

Thanks for looking.  When I finally have a website for the pottery, I will be ready to start selling some.  Once it makes it to that website, you can buy with confidence.  I will accept returns, but I don't have the website ready yet.  It doesn't much matter, I am not quite ready to start selling.  
Warm regards to you on this fall day.