Sunday, February 6, 2011

Our Friend John Dugdale

Never forget who you are

We would like to take this opportunity to share with you the amazing accomplishments of our Friend John Dugdale and the School of Photography he is currently building.

John is offering many of his favorite works at half of their Regular Price in order to fund this amazing Project. What an opportunity you have to be a part of this Journey!


John Dugdale has achieved an international reputation as an artist who produces wonderfully intimate photographs. What's most remarkable about this fact is that he has done so in spite of severe medical conditions which could have ended his career. Widely regarded as a prominent commercial photographer, Dugdale turned his attention to his fine art after he lost his eyesight in 1993 to CMV retinitis, an AIDS related illness. Once sought after by such renown clients as Bergdorf Goodman and Ralph Lauren, Dugdale found himself alone, gaining strength from friends and family who never left his side. Completely blind in his right eye, Dugdale found himself seeing with less than twenty percent visibility in his left eye. While blindness ended his commercial career, he found himself free to explore his fine art, using friends and family members as studio assistants. Using an 8 x 10" camera, Dugdale created ways of setting up a photograph, relying on others to focus the camera. Working with the blue and white hues of the cyanotype, a process developed in 1841 which uses the sun to expose the sensitized paper, Dugdale found a way to avoid the darkroom and the harsh chemicals he can no longer endure and still create sensitive, affecting images. The results of his persistence are images which are both poignant and delicate, contemplative yet quietly potent. Dugdale relies on his memory to compose still lives, nudes and self-portraits which resonate with sadness, beauty, death and the joy of life. As he said in a 1998 interview, "The mind is the essence of your sight. It's really the mind that sees." Through Dugdale's images we are reminded of the works of Thomas Eakins, Julia Margaret Cameron and F. Holland Day. These historical references fuel the work with meaning that is both familiar yet unassuming. Whether it's an arm resting on a Victorian chaise, a man curled in the entryway of a cemetery, a vase reflecting sunlight on a mantel, or a display of tulips drooping onto a counter, Dugdale invites us into a sightless world where beauty exists and memories thrive. Through his work we understand the power of sight,
both real and remembered.

Empire Chair in the Gloaming

“The quietude that people respond to in my pictures is, in part, because of the way the pictures are made: no flash; no harsh electric light; not even the sound of the shutter—just a lens cap removed, and then gently replaced. This encounter provides, for me, a metaphor for looking.” -John Dugdale

This is a letter we recieved from John and we would like to share it with you.

Dear Friends,

This has been one of the most amazing summers of my life. As many of you know, my sight has been diminishing for some time now. It is down to about as minimal as it can get, and there is great hope right around the corner with stem cell research to restore at least some of my sight. What has not diminished for even a moment over the past 20 years is my love of photography.

During a quiet moment last year I looked around my farm in Stone Ridge and wondered what I would do with this beautiful place in a state of near blindness. What amounted to an opening in the universe became a thought in my mind, and The John Dugdale School of 19th c. Photography and Aesthetics was born. Every time I walk around the corner to the 50 foot long 18th century style newly built school house, I get a pang of joy in my heart that is indescribable. The classes will offer a bold departure from typical photography programs. It is my desire that students become immersed in the stillness of the past, relieved from the distractions of cell phones, computers, and the digital world. For two and a half days we will work in a wooden schoolhouse designed for this purpose, flooded with natural light, creating photographs with large format turn-of-the-century view cameras.

The real joy comes from knowing that the school was built over the summer with one print sale at a time. I have chosen for this purpose 24 of my favorite photographs printed on 16x20" golden toned silver gelatin paper, in a limited edition of 6. As we race ahead at the beginning of February, I have raised enough money for the building to sail comfortably into the winter; doors and locks, a finished chimney, and windows are in place!

The inaugural workshop will be at the beginning of May, and is covering one of my most beloved subjects in the world, spring flowers. Classes are already beginning to be booked.

There are still so many things to be done to the interior, plastering, paint, floorboards, paneling, staircase to the library, etc. I intend to have this beautiful building completed when I open the doors to the school in May. In order to achieve this goal, I am offering these 24 prints for sale at half their normal price, $2000 each. The same way that the money magically appeared for the structure of the school house, I am hoping the same will appear for the interior. It is my hearts desire to continue my journey in photography by surrounding myself with eager students of every age. I look forward to you joining me in the excitement and energy surrounding the school

Here are some of the images from the 24 pieces he is offering and the contact info on how to purchase them.

The John Dugdale School Collection

16x20” Golden Toned Silver Gelatin Prints
Limited edition of 6
All Print sales help support the building of the school, in preparation for classes beginning this May.
For inquires on prints please call 845.687.1840 or Email:

Mourning Tulips

The fruit of Orchards

Iannis with focusing cloth

Pink lustre tea

In the shadow of his beloved

Life's evening hour

The Artist's Mother

He who awakens

Houston Magnolia

We are ever in awe of you and your talents, John!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Destino is creating a lot of buzz across North America. In their short career together these accomplished young artists have already performed at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, 2009 Egyptian Embassy in Washington, 2008 Children\'s Miracle Wish Foundation in Disney World and the 2008 Miss America Pageant.

In 2009 they also toured across Canada with the acclaimed Rankin Family. Check the website often for the most recent updates and performance schedule.

Joey Niceforo (vocals)

Insight magazine declared that “Joey Niceforo has one of the most robust and exciting voices I’ve heard in a long time. He’s riveting on stage, his voice pins you to the song and does not let you go until the last stirring note.” He made his professional debut in Opera In Concerts’ Canadian gala, and has since performed several roles with them as well as performing in operas across Canada, the United States, Italy and the Czech Republic. In 2005, Joey was asked to be a member of the Canadian Tenors, which propelled the creation of the critically acclaimed pop opera group Destino. This year began with a national 18 city tour with the Rankin family. Some of Destino’s most notable engagements include performances at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 Vancouver Olypmics, the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas hosted by Robin Leach, and at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida where he shared the stage with Mary Osmond, most recently a debut concert at Carnegie Hall in New York city, as well as performances on Entertainment Tonight Canada, Canada AM, E talk daily among many others.

Terance Reddick (vocals)

Terance Reddick is a Las Vegas Native, but joins us from the Big Apple, New York City. Having his first baby steps in sin city he went ahead and stepped right on to the stage with such shows as Legends in Concert, Nevada Ballet Theater, Storm and the list goes on and on.

Mr. Reddick's debut show in New York was nothing short of breath taking as he shot right to the top as the lead in the Apple’s World Renowned Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

His gospel roots, along with his Boston Conservatory training has allowed him the freedom to move through his voice with ease.

"I’m a creator of sound, I am a listener of music". Terance Reddick

Roy Tan (piano/vocals)

In addition to his role as a vocalist, Singapore native Roy Tan also acts as the pianist and arranger for Destino. He started playing the piano by ear at age 4, with lessons commencing soon after, and has since been improvising alongside his formal training. This forms the basis of his style, which is classical training fused with contemporary musical styles of pop, gospel and jazz. Shortly after moving to Vancouver, Canada, he began playing for services in his local church at age 11. Roy later completed his Bachelor of music degree at the University of British Columbia, studying under esteemed Professor Robert Silverman. He has performed extensively throughout Canada, the U.S. and most recently Beijing and Vancouver for the 2008 and 2010 Olympic games.

Rosemary Siemens (violin)

Known for her versatility, passion, musicianship and style, violinist Rosemary Siemens has mesmerized audiences the world over since the age of three. Equally comfortable with classical and pop music, her diverse talents and improvisational skills have led to countless performance opportunities, including debuting a combined hip-hop / classical concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall; performing as the first instrumentalist ever at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican; playing at the Latin Grammy Awards in Miami; entertaining at numerous private concerts, including for Donald Trump at his estate Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach; and even opening Hockey Night in Canada.

Quotes and Reviews - Destino 4

Medicine Hat News

"Destino shook the rafters... and you didn't have to be an opera lover to appreciate it. Destino combines the musical passion and power of opera with the accessibility (and boy band good looks) of pop. The result was a concert that left a sold-out... crowd on its feet and begging for more."

Scene Magazine

"Each singer brings a distinct to the material presented and can be commended for a virtually flawless program, executed with professionalism and flare... Entertaining and uplifting, the music of Destino offers a heady mix of love and longing which is certain to delight audiences and win new fans to the popera camp."

Langley Advance

"The group members each have powerful, and equally hypnotic voices that tend to make women swoon and men nod and applaud their approval."

The Province

"The singing is so beautiful and moving, it just makes you want to weep."

Kingsport Tennessee Chamber of Commerce

" ...Simply phenomenal. Destino wowed the crown with their energizing, entertaining, and world-class performance. ...people were crying, smiling, and, at the end, erupting into thunderous applause... Destino effortlessly blends the soaring and beautiful sounds of opera music into a pops performance that leaves concert goers in awe and thoroughly entertained."

Available now at

Direct Link to Purchase CD: DESTINO

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Another Local Artist!

For some reason, every time we go to the show are drawn to interesting booths and many of the are in the Hudson Valley or the Berkshires. We are so excited to have another Local Artist in our Family. Look at these scarves! They are incredible! The colors are so vibrant and the fabrics are to die for! It's like wrapping your neck in a cloud!

Drawn to the textures, colors, and patterns found in nature, the resulting scarves are nubby and uniquely three-dimensional with a mixture of fabrics and tones. Those who wear them can express their own individuality and satisfy a need for style and comfort.

Sonya achieves the quality she strives for in her work by manipulating traditional knitting looms and finding innovative ways to use them. She enjoys experimenting with combinations of yarns that are effected differently by heat and water.

smARTWORKS, Inc. was founded in 1994 in order to foster an environment where Sonya could focus her work on designing and producing scarves. Her scarves are well regarded and are found in fine galleries, boutiques and craft shows in the US and abroad.


Fluid and highly-sculpted with a warm weight. Please note that this style used to be named "kelp."


High Fashion and Functional. The eyelet closure located at the neck allows you to thread the scarf through offering a snug, soft fit.


Luxurious cashmere in an eye-catching three dimensional stripe.


Unimaginably soft with an intricate striped weave alternating with solids that offers luxury and easy wear with a "thread-it-through" design.


Soft and wavy. Available in four stripe patterns: abstract, even, tweed, and wide. Please note that this style used to be named "stingray."


Scaled down in size, delicate and fresh around the face. Please note that this style used to be named "petit boa."


High fashion and functional. The mckay closure located at the neck allows you to thread the scarf through. Please note that this style used to be named "cascade."

Sonya Mackintosh believes in giving back to her community. That's why smARTWORKS, Inc. contributes to the local economy in ways specifically pertaining to animal rights, cultural organizations and health issues that are close to her.

Bellagio Sipping Chocolate!


Unbelievably Good!

This Hot Chocolate is soooooo delicious! Perfect after a day of skiing!

Cherry Flavor!

The ultimate chocolate indulgence developed by the chocolatiers at Bellagio®. This delicious, decadent chocolate dessert is infused with cherry and has a velvety-smooth finish. Their sipping chocolate is made with pure ingredients, including 100% pure cocoa powder and chocolate liqueur. Just add water or milk to create this superb chocolate experience!

Top Seller!

Bellagio Sipping Chocolate - Original The ultimate chocolate indulgence developed by the chocolatiers at Bellagio. This delicious, decadent chocolate dessert has a velvety-smooth finish and is made with pure ingredients, including 100% pure cocoa powder and chocolate liqueur. Just add water or milk to create this superb chocolate experience.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


We've added 2 new bio-fuel fireplaces!

Our Current bio-fuel fireplaces are fantastic! We have had no issues with them and they have done very well for us! Planika still has our favorite designs! They are way ahead of the pack when it comes to color and form. We LOVE them!

The reason we have added a few more fireplaces from a new line is purely based on size. That translates into cost as well. We have had so many requests for smaller fireplaces that we felt the need to source them out! Until now, we didn't know they existed!

This is the Capri!

It is perfect for tabletop! We have had a lot of requests for a Bathroom size fireplace. This is it! Low profile and High Design.


This one is Torino!

We have not carried a rectangular version. These Fireplaces will burn for 8 solid hours with a full vessel. That is almost 4 times as long as our current Fireplaces.