Retro Sorrento

Illustrated and Handmade designs

oil painting

Bagg's Square Facing South

Building Illustration, Illustration WorkMaria ValleseComment

Over the past several years, Downtown Utica has seen a resurgence of business activity - new restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, offices, bakeries, etc. A favorite spot of mine is Bagg's Square. This area surrounds Utica's Union Station (home to many Indie Garage Sales!), extending under the Genesee Street overpass. The Tailor and the Cook has an interesting read on this area's history and revitalization on their website

This past spring, I created a mixed media painting of Bagg's Square, facing south and including Utica Coffee Roasters and The Tailor and the Cook. 

I created this piece using a mixed media technique that I've been playing around with on and off for the past 8 years or so. A combination of oil pastels, oil paints and colored pencil on a textured surface gives me just the color saturation and appearance I've been looking for. 

I start with my sketch, which I create on paper at the site (I also take several photo references for color which I use later on) and working from that guide I create a drawing with india ink on my final board. 

Then comes the fun part - layering pastels, paints, and colored pencil little by little to create the right texture and colors to reflect Bagg's Square! 

The finished product dries for a few days and then is sprayed with a fixative to preserve its colors. I then scan the image at a high resolution and have it printed on archival paper - and that's when it comes to you! 

Hinckley Reservoir Adirondack Chair

Custom PaintingsMaria ValleseComment

This past August I was asked to create a retirement gift for an employee at the Mohawk Valley Water Authority. The woman who contacted me, Donna, had a few ideas for the gift and we eventually decided upon an Adirondack chair with a landscape scene of Hinckley Reservoir, facing the dam. 

Hinckley Reservoir Adirondack chair, facing the dam. 

Detail of hand lettering on the front of the Hinckley Reservoir Adirondack Chair. 

On the back of the chair we included all of the MVWA's logos, past and present. 

Back of Hinckley Reservoir Adirondack chair, with MVWA's past and present logos. 

The chair was created using oils and some acrylics. It just so happens that a good friend of mine has a camp directly across from the dam, looking right at this scene. I was able to work from my own sketches and photos, and a few photos contributed by my friend - something I don't get to do often when it comes to custom work. 

Detail of landscape painting of Hinckley Reservoir.