Tag Archives: carnegie pa

In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

In This Valley

Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 7:00 PM

Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Reception Hall, 2nd Floor

Library Avenue, ink sketch

Library Avenue, ink sketch

As a part of the celebration of Carnegie’s 120th year, I will share poetry and art inspired by my home town. The program is free and a reception follows the reading.

West Main Street, original pastel

West Main Street, August Afternoon, original pastel

Much of what I do is inspired by the place I live as I’ve walked the trails and streets of Carnegie and the surrounding area, watching the land and people change from my childhood. I’ll be reading about a dozen poems, some of which I’ve presented in prior poetry readings, and a selection of new works.

View from Beechwood, acrylic painting

View from Beechwood, acrylic painting

I’ll also have some familiar paintings and prints as well as recent sketches, paintings and photographs and I’ll have a selection of note cards on display from the set “My Home Town”. In addition, a selection of my photographs from the collections “Of Harps and Fig Leaves” and “Carnegie Photographed” will also be part of the exhibit.

Table of Glass, original pastel

Table of Glass, original pastel

You can see samples of poetry and art from my prior poetry readings at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall by visiting the poetry page on my website.

If you’re local, I hope to see you there!

main street carnegie

Main Street at Twilight, photo

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My Neighbor’s Laundry

painting of laundry on line

My Neighbor’s Laundry, acrylic, 6″ x 12″ © B.E. Kazmarski

This is a signed digital canvas print of an original acrylic painting, gallery-wrapped on wooden canvas stretchers with black paint covering the sides, ready to hang or frame as you choose.

This could be anywhere, but Carnegie really is a place where people still use their backyards to hang laundry. And it really is my neighbor’s back yard on a lovely summer morning.

I originally painted this for my home town’s annual art exhibit “Carnegie Painted”, and it was one of the very first acrylic works I’d painted since high school, but I could see the colors, see the canvas, see the texture of the paint and off I went. Interestingly enough, this is a small portion of a larger painting. There was a neat old barn of a garage behind it, but I just couldn’t work out the colors right but I loved the laundry, so I cut this out of the panel and framed it.

The original was 6″H x 12″W, but canvas stretchers are difficult to find smaller than 8″ so I just make a slightly larger print and gallery wrap it. I can also make an original size print and wrap it around a piece of 1/2″ gatorboard. I can also make other size prints as well.

You can find this 8″ x 16″ canvas print in my Etsy shop.

The original was sold but that summer morning lives on, available as this print and in the gallery “My Home Town” as a note card on my website.


Library Avenue, ink sketch

ink sketch of library avenue in carnegis pa

Library Avenue, print from an original ink sketch © B.E. Kazmarski

As I’ve watched this brilliant winter sunlight fill the day, the angled light reminds me of this ink sketch of Library Avenue in Carnegie, done about this time of year in 2007.

I carry with me a little pouch of art materials including pencils, gel pens, fountain pens, markers, charcoal and Conte crayons so I’m always ready to capture an image. As a contrast to working in pastel, I love drawing in ink because of the patterns I can make with lines to create shadows and textures, and it’s just right for capturing that beautiful stark winter sunlight on a cloudless day that shines nearly horizontally in early December, highlighting distinct edges and shadows.

This is larger than the usual 5″ x 8″ sketchbook, however, as I had started carrying a larger sketchbook when I was on my bicycle. This one was intended to be done on site, but to be honest the angle of the houses nearly defeated me. I had to start the drawing three times before I finally captured the acute angle and could start working on details. By then the sun had moved so far that shadows were very deep and I’d lost much of the fine detail in the facades of the houses. I had taken photos and ended up finishing it up at home.

“Library Avenue” is a quality digital print of an original ink sketch, image size 12″ x 16″, framed size 18″ x 24″. The print is 12″ wide x 16″ high, matted with a 2.75″ white acid-free top mat and a 1/4″ black bottom mat, framed with a 1″ wide matte black wood frame. The backing is acid-free foam core and the glass is premium clear glass.

I have this in smaller print sizes and as a notecard, but at smaller sizes even the best printing technique fills in the tightly-detailed areas.

You can find this print in my Etsy shop.


Pear Trees on Main Street

painting of main street carnegie

Pear Trees on Main Street, pastel © B. E. Kazmarski

Out of the mist and darkness of winter, spring emerges slowly until one day she is in full bloom on a breezy, warm and sunny morning on Main Street. This may not be my usual animal-themed artwork, but a piece near to my heart, inspired by this time of year.

When I was growing up, Carnegie’s Main Street was our “downtown”; we only went to Pittsburgh’s downtown on rare occasions. My parents grew up in Carnegie, walking this Main Street, I attended Catholic grade school not far from here and walked here myself as a child. My first full-time job was at the Isaly’s deli where, in the course of the week, you saw just about everyone who lived in town when they stopped in for lunch, for a chocolate chip Skyscraper ice cream cone or a pound or two of chipped ham for school lunches. When I graduated college and found an apartment on the bus line so I could ride the bus to work instead of buying a car, I walked down Main Street at the end of every day, passing the fruit market, butcher shop, shoe store, drug store, jewelry shop, even the Isaly’s, that had been there when I was a child, some for decades before that.

And so when I painted “Pear Trees on Main Street”, showing the block of Main Street from Broadway down to about Sansbury when the ornamental pear trees are in bloom, both the current day and all those memories, and all the stories my parents told me about Carnegie from their childhoods, worked their way into the painting.

On an April morning in 2003 when I turned my bicycle onto Main Street and saw the pear trees, the sunlight, the bustling nature of a street I remembered even from childhood, I snapped a few photos, started a quick, small pastel sketch, then packed it all away for another time. Later that year I was looking for sketches and paintings to enter into our annual community art exhibit, “Carnegie Painted”, and found the sketch, looked up the photos and finished it in time for the show.

This painting is a favorite locally, and I think in part it’s because a lot of other people who can remember Carnegie ‘way back when’ can see that memorable Carnegie Main Street under the current day image, that small town structure that makes Carnegie such a special place is still there underneath. It’s been a favorite of mine from the moment I finished it, and I think that’s one of the reasons why.

It’s also a favorite of people who have never been here because it simply looks like a friendly and familiar small town Main Street anywhere in the US—or in many other countries, for that matter.

Fidelity Bank in Carnegie purchased this painting for the opening of their new building at 100 Broadway Street, so I get to visit the original when I go to my bank. I still have it available as a print in my online gallery “My Home Town” and as a notecard in a set created from that show featuring a dozen of my favorite sketches and paintings from ten years of “Carnegie Painted”.


“My Home Town” Note Cards

image of note card

Pear Trees on Main Street

I’ve reprinted this set of one dozen different images from my entries in our annual exhibit, “Carnegie Painted”. This time they are 4.25″ x 5.5″ instead of 4″ x 6″—I was spending more time finding four different sizes of envelope and greeting card boxes and other packaging, so I decided to print these in a size for which envelopes and packaging are easily found.

image of note card

Library Avenue

I’ve been working with images of Carnegie, Pennsylvania since I moved back here after graduating college. I might seem to prefer the personalities of animals and the moods of nature, but I also love the look of a street lined with houses and trees, quaint old storefronts or someone’s laundry hanging in the back yard. The 3rd Street Gallery began hosting “Carnegie Painted” in the year 2000, encouraging artists to paint images of the town and exhibit them all together, and these images are some of my entries in that show.

Find the My Home Town note cards gallery in the Marketplace on my website to see the images of all the cards and to order. You can read the story of each image in my main gallery at My Home Town.

You can also find prints of this artwork on the My Home Town Originals and Prints page.


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