Sunday, December 18, 2011

Victorian Christmas music hall and library concerts

our most recent concert at the East Greenbush Library concert series
(note: in the poster we are wearing Renaissance attire, but we do have Victorian attire)

here is the press for the event:

Last year, we performed a Christmas concert for the Troy Music Hall with our whole band (4 of us) to a crowd of about 800 - 1,000:
that's half the stage with a big grand piano on it with organ pipes above it (the side boxes go up 3 stories and there is a big balcony in the rear)
we have been told by many respected performers that it has the best acoustics in the country!

And we've been performing for years for the Victorian Streetwalk in Saratoga Springs, NY. I used to also perform for the Troy Victorian Stroll through the 1990s (before meeting Jim, my music partner) and I performed at a sold out Christmas concert at the North Pointe Concert Hall in Kinderhook, NY years ago.

For the Kinderhook concert, we performed a couple of songs on the radio before hand and it was broadcast all the way to Amherst, MA - Woodstock, NY - the Adirondacks - Utica. People contacted us to buy CDs from that live performance. It was wonderful to get such a positive response.

For library and art center concert series, we make the experience educational and come dressed in appropriate Victorian attire. We talk about the style of dress during the era, about the instruments that were used at the time, the origin of the songs and the hammered dulcimer (the musical instrument that Jim plays for many of the carols as it has a bell-like quality and is perfect for this style of music). Since we also perform a wide variety of Renaissance songs and instrumentals and we are known for this music (through concert series, Renaissance faires and my CD of Renaissance songs, Wing'd With Hopes), we often incorporate this music and its carols into the program and repertoire. 

We would love to perform more concerts in this genre!

If you are reading this and you know someone who might be interested in featuring us, contact us through this e-mail address: SaratogaFaire (-(att)-) (Note: what is in the parentheses should obviously have an @ symbol, but we didn't want anyone to spam us!).

You can check out our music through the following sites:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

performing and experiencing the 2011 Saratoga Springs Victorian Streetwalk

"Victorian Christmas" sketch
© Lise Winne
available from my on-line Artfire shop through this link

In the usual tradition (originally started on my website in 2005), I'm recapping this year's Victorian Streetwalk.

This was the first year in about three years where I wasn't getting over a cold, infection or some other malady. And because of that, it was a joy to perform (note to the uninitiated: performing isn't all roses and clapping; at this level, the level of the every day average non-star performer, it sometimes means hefting heavy sound equipment in a nice dress and shoes often in terrible weather, children trying to strum your instrument while you are performing, and a myriad of other situations -- some outright comical -- that I originally planned to use as the focus of this blog, and perhaps will in the future).

In fact the only distraction happened just before leaving for the gig. A childhood sweetheart (the first one, a brief dating experience in eighth grade -- and someone I hadn't seen since I was a freshman in highschool) friended me on facebook. So, as I'm leaving the house, memories from childhood come rushing back. I hadn't really thought about this part of my life at all since leaving it behind so many years ago and all of a sudden the memories became overwhelming. Mind you, these weren't exactly happy childhood years for a myriad of reasons: let's just say they were riddled with a lot of anxiety because my brother who went to the same school came home beaten with shredded clothes repeatedly only because he had long hair -- I had been punched a few times too because a certain crowd at the school took it upon themselves to study their classmates and were suspicious that I wasn't who they thought I was, i.e. possibly not part of acceptable mainstream junior high society (what if they really knew us! shudder!).

When you perform, you can't give into any overwhelming feelings no matter what is going on in your life because the job entails a great deal of focus for everything to come out right. My job entails two instruments (vocals and a stringed instrument) and I also have to keep track of what everyone else in the band is doing. While the Victorian Streetwalk is just two of us and isn't a high pressure gig like the Troy Music Hall, it is always packed and a group is always standing in front of us watching what we are doing. So, the childhood memories were squelched.

I love performing in this environment once a year -- the main street is totally devoid of cars; it is totally packed with marching bands,  jugglers, carollers, horses, wagons, food vendors and townspeople, many dressed in Victorian attire. The wonderful thing about this festival is that all of the performers are local. And the costume element is something I've always loved and brings me back to the days when I used to perform at Renaissance faires with the Spirites Consort.

Jim, my music partner at this event, is just starting to assemble a Victorian outfit. I already have one, but I was trying to sew a long red skirt (didn't quite finish it, but used it for the Victorian Christmas concert we put on at the East Greenbush Library the following Sunday).

We love playing at Dawgdom! We love the fact that we are helping to support a small business and helping the "buy local scene" in our own hometown. The happy dogs -- even the little toy dogs that put on the ferocious act like they are going to rip a great dane's head off -- are a plus.

After we packed up, the streetwalk was still in full swing and we went to listen to John Kribs and Doug Moody playing across the street. They looked so classy, dapper and handsome in their Victorian garb. I have so much admiration for John as a human being -- a true being of light -- and it comes across in the Sam fund which he started for musicians with health issues. He is a great musician too and he has made music his life despite lots of hardships that musicians are faced with these days and the scarcity of venues.

Then we headed over to Celtic Treasures where I show my greeting cards and where our Sartatoga Faire CD, Saratoga Romance has a place to be seen in our community. We visited Paul (the store owner), John Cromie and Tommy Wadsworth. They were already busy packing up, but they invited us with them for some post Streetwalk revery. Paul treated me to some Irish Sweet Potato fries (so nice!) and Jim to a Guinness Stout.

It is so wonderful to be part of this community and I feel proud of my community when I'm part of an event like this!


It looks like MYSPACE is up and running again (yippie!) which is the best way to hear soundclips of our music:

MY RENAISSANCE BAND'S (this myspace site seems to be the most loved)

sketch available through:
(note: the reason I refer to the accompanying illustration as a sketch instead of a drawing is because it was done quickly and does not have the thoughtfulness and proper perspective that a finished drawing would have, despite its details and embellishments).

Friday, December 9, 2011

Extra Long Handmade Pepper and Salt Scarf for him and her

Here's the newest in 100 percent natural colored wool:
These are available in my Artfire shop.
Keep in mind these are extra long and we (the models) are tall people (I am 5'10" and Jim is 6'1"), so on a smaller person they might come to ankle length (?). You can always wrap it around and around. These are made from one hundred percent pure wool with lanolin, my favorite kind of yarn for a scarf. Lanolin (a natural sheep oil) makes the wool much more durable, more waterproof and even warmer. Of course, it also means you shouldn't wash it in soap unless you have to as soap will strip the oil.
Jim's outfit details:
Jim's scarf is made by me and available through through this link
Jacket by Calvin Klein
Shoes by Wolverine

Lise's outfit details:
the scarf is made by me and available through through this link
Vintage White Coat by ILGWU (made in the USA)
Purple Eggplant Velour shirt by L.L. Bean (made in the USA)
Boots by Timberland


Jim is a member of the same band I perform with, Saratoga Faire
here is Saratoga Faire's CD on CD Baby

purchasing my art and clothing:
Artfire on-line store

Monday, November 28, 2011

fuschia scarf to wear with a jacket

Here is the second edition to my handmade clothing line on If you haven't been reading along, I started out with an extra long mulberry scarf. As I said in that previous blog post, I have made my own clothes for years and wanted to offer the kinds of clothes I make for myself to the general public.

These photos were taken about a week ago on a windy day. This is how the scarf looks with a black wool blazer jacket:

I decided I'd also try it with a casual Acadia National Park fleece jacket:

Here is what the stitching looks like close up:

Here is a closeup picture of me in the Acadia National Park fleece jacket and the scarf:

outfit details:
the handmade scarf is available on through this link
Black wool blazer by Spitalnick
grey Acadia National Park jacket by Green Brand Sensegal (made in the USA)
Earrings by Cheryl Gutmaker (made in the USA)
Shirt by International I.N.C. Concepts (made in the USA)
Boots by L.L. Bean

my links:

on-line stores:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

You saw it!
I'm running Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions:
on some holiday art and cards there is free shipping, free gifts, coupons and other goodies...

Just stop by my Artfire shop.

Enjoy the season!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Angel Bliss of Music from the Ethereal Realms

Angel Bliss of Music
from the Ethereal Realms
© 2011
(you may have to click on the image to see all of the details)

This piece is again inspired by Bliss McIntosh's corn husk and milkweed winged angels. Bliss's work is viewable HERE.

I am on a roll. I made Angel Penelope of the Grain first (which you can view from this blog post). This is the second in the series.

I will have her available as a print and as greeting cards in my Artfire and Etsy shops as well as at a number of galleries and gift shops in my area (and, yes, she will be available at the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Center's 2011 holiday show). Look for her in the next couple of days.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Valley Artisans Market open house, ad design

the ad design I created for our gallery's open house

specs: it had to be a black and white ad, it had to be long and skinny to fit into Hubbard Hall's program book (Hubbard Hall is a non-profit performance opera house in Cambridge, NY), it had to announce our 30th year anniversary, gift bag and open house.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

mulberry scarf, extra long

Mulberry Scarf, extra long
part of the new handmade clothing line I'll be offering

I have made my own clothing for years, so I thought I'd make some of it available to the public (first time ever).  Working in so many mediums is a result of having to teach a lot of mediums to art students in the public schools (yes, I have a masters degree in art education).

All of the details on length, etc, are available in my online Artfire shop (my online shop of choice as I can have a lot of categories, a lot of mediums and unlimited listings and where artists are treated respectfully).

Two of these are presently available.

Here are smore photos of the extra long mulberry scarf:

And, yes, I am the model, but I hope to have another model for the new line eventually.

MY ARTFIRE ON-LINE STORE (art, CDs, clothing)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Tree (a christmas tree where I got a little wild with the border!)

The Tree
© 2011
(probably looks a little less blurry if you click on the image)

As a greeting card it looks like this:

Is the tree a little overwhelmed by the border design (which I admit was a lot more fun than painting the tree!)? Or is this a nice change from the usual holiday cards? Would love to hear your comments.

The cards are available in my Artfire shop (and perhaps in my Etsy shop around the holidays). Also available this season in a number of holiday art shows in my area.



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Angel Penelope of the Grain

Angel Penelope of the Grain
(after Bliss McIntosh's corn husk and milkweed winged angels)
© 2011

Available on-line HERE. She may also be available as a print soon and via my ETSY SHOP during the holidays.

Here is a blurry photo of my inspiration:

Corn Husk and Milkweed Winged Angel holding a trumpet by Bliss McIntosh
(find more of her work HERE)

As it turns out, we are sharing space in a gallery (Valley Artisans Market) for the holiday season and probably beyond (perhaps until next summer). Thus began the inspiration to do some work based on her pieces.

And as it turns out (to my delightful discovery upon finishing this piece) the face of the angel looks a lot like Lisa Lynne! Check it out:

face of Angel Penelope

Lisa plays the harp (as well as a variety of exotic instruments) and she has produced many, many CDs of enchanting music. The horn that the angel plays might just fit in with the rest of her collection. Check out Lisa Lynne's website HERE.

I have been inspired by Bliss before. Here is a piece from 2004:

Angels of the Seed Celebrate New Life
© 2004
When I was zooming in on the grain part while designing "Angel Penelope of the Grain", I was struck by how many bugs were clinging to it (hope you'll be able to detect them in the pictures on this blog). All the bugs are captured in the final piece, though it is harder to see them than in these photos. Anyway, here they are:

bugs in the grain
(part of the job!)




Sunday, October 16, 2011


sneak peak

I have been very distracted by house issues, but I hope to be blogging again soon. The above photo is representative of some pieces I have been working on since January. I just have to find time to photograph it all.

Just wanted to let my readers that I am still here and hope to be back at my regular routines of making art soon.

In the meantime (in my spare time when I just needed to relax), I put together these Etsy treasuries:

And here are my own links:



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Maple Witch

Maple Witch
© 2011

If you've been following me from my previous post, my intention is to produce more statement-oriented work in the future.

But in the meantime, I have "Maple Witch" to show you which is in my usual line of art work. She is part of a series of witches that fly through the sky with the autumn leaves. (The last one I made was "Oak Witch" which can be found on this blog post).

She is for sale in my Artfire shop year round as a greeting card (and possibly as a print in the near future) and in my Etsy shop during the Autumn months and in all of the usual brick and mortar stores listed on my website.


MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

devastation from Hurricane Irene and how it has touched my life

what Hurricane Irene did to a road less than a mile from where I spent many of my childhood years
(you may have to click to get a bigger picture)

For a change, this post isn't about art. Frankly, the devastation that Irene has caused to my childhood heart and home from that time has made it hard to create the usual kind of fantasy, Renaissance and holiday art and music I am known for. In fact, it is an event like this that makes me do a double-take, wondering what I am doing with my art (and life in general). I feel so sad about what has happened as I still know many people from the area. 

The sadness has intermingled with another sadness over the death of a childhood friend from the same area around the time as the hurricane, someone who put his life out for other people, someone who gave selflessly to those less fortunate.

This next picture is a road (that hurricane Irene turned into a river). It is the road my parents drove on a lot. I drove on it too when I got my license, in fact I barreled down it with abandon because it had so little traffic. You can see the remnants of the road where the dog is standing:

I have heard from a number of sources that the municipality in which it dwells will probably never rebuild it: they will just consider it a "lost road".

The next picture is a road going into the nearby town, only a few miles down the road:

Many people in the area have lost their homes permanently because insurance doesn't pay for flooding.

I have a bit of that "innocence lost" kind of feeling at this time. This was a wonderfully idyllic place to live as a child. It was rural, mountainous and one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen anywhere. And the community! ... let's just say it was a childhood of peace, beauty, deep conversations and purpose in world-wide causes. Think "underground railroad" with lots of like-minded people.

It was such a stark contrast to the life I have now where community is tenuous and often baffling, where I seem to have stepped "down a rabbit hole" and haven't come out yet, for lack of a better metaphor. Where do I find the child I once was who was part of causes, fighting for rights, helping others struck by prejudice and injustice and speaking out fearlessly? 

I am not finding it in my recent art. And that is a part of me that is missing that I suddenly wanted back in the wake of this recent turn of events. In fact, life as a child was sometimes so intense (and sometimes dangerous) that I used art as an escape. Obviously I am still escaping and not using art to engage. This is what struck me about the hurricane. It blew into my mind and woke me up about that. Perhaps I need a new path.

When I look at the piece I did just before the hurricane ("Hurricane of Doves and Hearts" on this page), it began to have a new poignancy for me. Indeed, as in the painting, my childhood home of love and peace was disrupted by a hurricane. I hope the doves and hearts are just merely displaced, not missing.  

maple leaves in autumn, gift tags

maple leaves gift tags
© 2011

From my original artwork:


MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oak Witch

Oak Witch
greeting card design
© 2011

This was inspired somewhat by a member of our gallery in Cambridge, NY who makes figures out of leaves and plants. I decided I'd like to try my own version, using drawing techniques with plants instead of pure collage.

The original is a whopping 10.35" x 15.75" because the oak leaf was so big (I believe it is the leaf from a red oak). I found it on the Skidmore campus. 

The wonders of making art so big is that details can be refined and can later be shrunk. She in my Artfire shop and will be for sale during the autumn season in my Etsy shop. I'll also have her for sale in the next couple of weeks in select brick and mortar shops in my area (check website for gallery and shop listings).


MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):


frustration with leaving comments on blogs

I was wondering why it was so hard for folks to leave comments on my blog! I had noticed that when I was designing the gallery tote bag, no one left me comments, but e-mailed me instead (I got over 20 e-mails from members of the gallery as well as some graphic designers I know).

Then when Karen Anne Brady left me a comment on my latest entry, I discovered I couldn't leave a comment back on my own blog!

I found out that Bloggers default settings only allowed certain accounts (ones which require additional passwords, profiles, personal information and agreements of TOUs). It used to be that Blogger automatically allowed comments, because it is a google account which you have to sign up to use, after all. But this is not the case any more. Even the open ID does not work (at least when I have tried to use it -- when you try to leave a comment, it erases the comment instead -- and I usually have to e-mail the artists my comments instead). Previous to the new settings, I used to leave comments on other people's blogs and my Blogger picture (the one to the right where I am wearing Celtic green and holding a guitar) would show up, but that isn't allowed any more either.
Anyway, having learned a lesson, I tried to figure out how to change the comments section of this blog to allow anonymous comments again. I succeeded after nearly ten minutes looking for the settings (it isn't intuitive at all). Even leaving comments on my own blog, I am relegated to being an anonymous user (so weird).

If any of the artists I follow wonder why I don't leave comments any more it is because of these default settings (most of you have the default settings "on" like I did).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

pin oak leaf in heart

Leaf in a Heart
© 2011
greeting cards or prints
original artwork is 11" x 15.5"

Okay, back to greeting card designs! I've been designing many of them for Halloween and Autumn and will be listing the others soon.

This was the first design after coming off of pure painting fun in August (whatever painting I could fit in around the busy schedule of keeping shops stocked, a seconds sale, going to Celtic music sessions, home improvements and making a tote bag design, etc.).

I have this one available in my Artfire shop. I will also have it for sale in Autumn in my Etsy shop. And of course, I'll have it available at my usual brick and mortar shops in my area in the next couple of weeks.


MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):


Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane of Doves and Hearts

Hurricane of Doves and Hearts
© 2011
inks on Arches watercolor paper
(copyright watermark does not appear in actual painting)

I was originally going to name this piece Windswept Doves and Hearts V (to be part of the series), but it seemed to have a lot more energy than all of the other previous paintings. Since Hurricane Irene is on its way, I thought this title was also more appropriate.

Painting with inks almost makes this psychedelic. The others had watercolor or acrylic.

I look at these paintings as diversions. I seem to be drawn to the subject matter when I can't have full concentration powers. They are my version of meditation paintings, I suppose.

 I don't have this one for sale anywhere yet because I've been having trouble uploading images (computer problems and file corruption). I will edit this page as it becomes available to buy.

Here is the simple line drawing before adding color:


MY MUSIC LINKS (hear clips):


Thursday, August 11, 2011

the busy-work aspects of selling art

This is the new banner I had to make for my Artfire shop because they made the avatar huge
and moved it from the left to the right. I didn't feel like I had a lot of time, and don't know how many banners I'll have to make in the future, so I rushed through it.
I wonder if they'll move the avatar to another place again.

This is the banner I originally had. I like it more, especially because I could fit in my artwork, but it didn't work with Artfire's new studio design. I put a lot more time and effort into it and it shows. You can see that I still had to push part of the design to the right
(where the avatar used to be -- a smaller avatar than the one in use now):

This next design was my first try before settling on the design at the top of the page. It still kept some of the ideas of my old design. Unfortunately, I had to scrap this because the avatar covered up half
of my unicorn relief sculpture and all of the shamrock (sniff, sniff): 

At the same time all of this needed attention, Etsy (my other on-line shop), enacted some changes to the listing process. Hitherto, listing items was mostly about timing because the default search was always recency. The reason why timing is critical in a recency situation is that you had to guess when people might be on Etsy shopping and get your listings on then (as recently listed items were always on the first pages of search). It meant people in England were listing at midnight or later to be seen. In Australia they were often listing at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning. This was crazy-making (as a lot of things on Etsy have been -- they seem to be trying to clean up their act lately) and a lot of sellers just renewed unsold items throughout the day, every day, to give them a boost in the rankings rather than risk the chance that their items wouldn't be first in the category search pages. I'm glad Etsy changed the listing procedure from recency to relevancy, but it meant that yesterday and today was about changing my tags (tagging is much more critical in a relevancy structure than a recency structure -- it is how buyers find items using keywords for a specific type of search).

The weeks before all of this, I had to deal with designing, making and buying display units for some of my brick and mortar shops, designing a tote bag, printing my images on teeshirts, packaging cards and writing a letter to a perspective buyer, shopping for art supplies and latex paint, creating signs and flyers and cleaning my studio.

All of this is work I don't get paid for (except the teeshirts) and it took up the good part of three weeks. It is part of what running an art business is all about, though.

I do miss creating my own art. I'm lucky if I even get in a half hour day these days. I see the light at the end of the tunnel however (doing a preliminary dance!).