Despite the gloomy winter, with its rain last weekend and COVID-required restrictions on business throughout the state, many are stuck working from home, if not out of work altogether.
In Riverbank and Oakdale, one entrepreneur has had to pivot, as many across the country have done. She has gone from running an art instruction studio in downtown Riverbank, to creating holiday scenes for businesses and homes in both towns.
Artist and teacher Alise Frosceno, owner of Stuff and Things Art Studio, at 3220 Santa Fe St., Suite C in Riverbank, has been busy in the last few weeks, decorating the windows.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, she was busy in downtown Riverbank, sketching out, then finishing a double window spread on the windows of Pizza Plus, also on Santa Fe Street, between Third and Fourth streets.
Originally, she had planned to work on three different storefronts in that block that day, but rain and the threat of more forced her to confine her efforts to just Pizza Plus. Its storefront features a protective overhang, where the others do not.
Frosceno has an interesting technique for beginning her window projects.
Passersby downtown will have noticed an all-white paint version of the art she will be painting. This is taken from a layout she creates on paper, then sketches onto the windows.
They form the layout of the scene to be painted, which she overlays with colors. She says the white undercoating gives a textured base to her art, but where she wants things to be less three dimensional, she paints a second coat to thicken up the color.
By this week, barring continuing rain, she should be able to complete her other two projects, across the street, Glam Hair Salon and Get Toasted Mimosa Bar.
This past Saturday, Frosceno did have a helper, Charmaine Washington, who worked on some of the details around the edges while the main work was being done.
Some of those details include a string of multi-colored, old style Christmas lights, but interspersed among them were pizza slice ornaments hanging down.
Washington was working somewhat as an apprentice with a dual purpose.
She was earning money to return to Mexico on a mission with her church, but was also learning the painting techniques to be able to teach them while there.
Downtown Riverbank can be considered a bit of an ‘art’ center. Within three city blocks, there are four murals and a statue in public view.
And now, a number of holiday scenes grace business windows up and down the street.