Two Sisters In American Art Collector 2016

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Two Sisters Close in Age, Far Apart in Art Themes:

Bobbi’s Manhole Art Theme deals with “The Gateway to the Underground,” contrasted with her sister’s Ethereal Landscapes containing hidden Angels. Judie Pufpaff’s Theme: “The Spirit Within” contemplates “The Gateway to Heaven!”

Bobbi and Judie, sistersBobbi Mastrangelo and her sister Judie Pufpaff

Most of the Blog Readers are familiar with Bobbi Mastrangelo’s Manhole Art. This sculpture relief is featured in The American Art Collector 2016 by Alcove Books.

City of Orlando

“City of Orlando” by Bobbi Mastrangelo

Now you have the opportunity to meet her sister, Judie Betschen Pufpaff who tells us her story!  Here is her piece in American Art Collector 2016: “Walk in the Light” Isaiah 2:5

Walk in the Light by Judie Pufpaff

“Walk in the Light” by Judie Pufpaff

Judie says: “Sharing a childhood home gave us (and our siblings) opportunities to explore and create the life every child would love. Our parents encouraged the fine arts along with a very strong vein of independent thinking.

Imagine a home in the hills of Springville, New York that resounded with music and laughter. Our neighboring farmers probably rolled their eyes at the “city folk” trying to raise 6 children with chickens, a pet pig and acres of strawberries, while our dad drove into Buffalo each day where he sold Electrolux vacuum cleaners door to door.

Bobbi, baby Claire, Judie and our dog.

Bobbi, baby Claire, Judie and our dog in 1948.

Now, as I look back, I think of us as the Springville “Von Trap Family,” singing and playing whenever possible. Hard work, honesty, high marks in school, being fine citizens and good neighbors were attributes highly prized by our parents.

Bobbi and I were the oldest, enjoying all of the rewards and responsibilities as such. We were very different: Bobbi always looked for challenges, gave every endeavor 150%, while I chose easy, fun, pretty projects. I would plant flowers or run to the woods to read a new book, as Bobbi tackled a huge report or essay. I chose easy “A” classes, while Bobbi chose the most difficult.

The Betschen Bunch: Lois, Claire, Rick, Bobbi, Fred & Judie

The Betschen Bunch: Lois, Claire, Rick, Bobbi, Fred and Judie

We are still very different in creativity, Bobbi loves sewer grates while I paint landscapes of sunshine and flowers. I always choose “pretty and elegant” while Bobbi chooses unique. We are appreciative of each others talents and pursuits, as we are of our younger siblings, all very talented and ambitious. We are blessed!!!”
Your sister,
Judie Betschen Pufpaff from Williamsville NY

Bobbi Mastrangelo adds: “My sister Judie inspires me with her ethereal, sublime landscapes. Visit her website to see more of her exquisite landscapes.


Lois, Bobbi, Claire and Judie at The Castile Farm, NY 2006

Lois, Bobbi, Claire and Judie at The Castile Farm, NY 2006

After my sisters posted their comments, I added the above photo to show the fun we have when we are together.

Here is Judie’s recent art work that was exhibited with The Buffalo Society of Artists:

"Quietness and Assurance" (Isaiah-32:17) by Judie Pufpaff

“Quietness and Assurance” (Isaiah-32:17) by Judie Pufpaff

Two Sisters Close in Age: Far Apart in Art Themes

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Judie Pufpaff and Bobbi Mastrangelo: two sisters less than fourteen months apart, that is close in age, isn’t it? Judie looks upward for her “Spirit Within” landscapes. Bobbi looks downward for her Manhole Art creations.

Judie and Bobbi, little sisters
Little  Sisters: Judie and Bobbi We played in the hay and out in the fresh air as little ones. Dad and Mom moved us to the hilly farm country in Springville, NY when I was only eight years old.
Judie, Fred, Lois and I  woke up to the roosters crowing instead of city sounds.
We fed the chickens, our pig, Emma, helped with the garden and did some other chores.But when our work was done Judie, Fred and I were free to roam the pastures, meadows, and rolling hills, especially during summer vacations. Lois was toddler, too young to join us.
Bobbi with Baby Claire,
Bobbi with Baby Claire, Judie & our dog. Claire Ellen arrived when I was eleven years old.  Mom was happy to have Judie and me babysit. We were encouraged by our parents to do well in school, to be observant of the world around us and to enjoy life.

I remember many Christmas seasons when Judie and I painted the Living room windows (shown in the photo) in stained glass style using tempra paints mixed with liquid soap.Judie chose art courses at Griffith Institute (our Springville High  School) for her electives, while I opted to take Latin because that is what my friends were studying.Rick was born during my sophmore year. I was the oldest of six kids. Wow! The next year we moved to Cheektowaga NY where Judie and I attended Maryvale High School.Judie convinced me to take art classes along with her and I   am glad I listened to her advice.
Bobbi pinning on Judie's Art Award
Mr. Bill Little was a fantastic teacher and we both had guidance in art techniques and art appreciation. At this point, Judie was an “Art Star” and I was proud to pin the medal on her.
We both love to paint impressionistic landscapes. With the aid of The Jenkins PTA Memorial Scholarship, I studied Elementary Education at Buffalo State. Judie entered their art program and finished her freshman year. She continued her art studies at night with Bill Little and other art teachers.

My interest in art was rekindled after a few years of teaching Elementary School. A few years later when our children were small, I started taking art courses, one per semester at Stony Brook University. It was Dan Welden’s Print class that set me in a new direction. He declared that with constant experimenting in so many styles and themes, I had no identity. Dan advised me to select a theme or style. How do I do that, I wondered?

My Art History Professor, Lawrence Alloway, the author of “American Pop Art,” came to the rescue. He looked over samples of my art and noticed that circular shapes dominated my art. A page of Manhole cover photographs sparked my “Eureka Moment.” Manhole Covers were circular, with unique designs and were surrounded by a variety of pavings. That’s the theme I chose: Manhole Covers and Water Covers. I call them “Grate Works” of art.

Judie Pufpaff "Winds of Morning

Judie Pufpaff  “On the Wings of the Morning”


Judie’s landscapes are suffused with ethereal light. Three angels are hidden in each of her art works. My sister has an enlightened way of seeing and transforming her vision into art.


My work deals with the mundane: Sewers and Manhole Covers and Water Covers. We take them for granted and walk over them or drive over them. My visions are of iron castings on urban streets and sidewalks: embedded with gritty dirt and litter bits.

Bobbi Mastrangelo "Atlanta Engineers Sewer

Bobbi Mastrangelo “Atlanta Engineers Sewer”

So while Judie’s work points heaven ward with hidden angels, ethereal light and Biblical Titles….

My work regards the opposite direction. Sewer Covers, Manhole Covers and Water Covers are the gateway to the underground.

Judie and I are sisters close in age, but could our art themes be any further apart?
Your comments are welcome…



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