Two Sisters Close in Age: Far Apart in Art Themes

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…



18 replies on “Two Sisters Close in Age: Far Apart in Art Themes”

Dear Judie and Bobbi,
Seeing the picture of the Springville house brought back many fond memories. It was almost like I was back there while sitting here in my office. I think the artist gene runs in the family. I have contemplated recently taking an art class since I did a water color at a woman’s convention. I was amazed at how great I did!!! I love you both. I will be in Buffalo the middle of September and will give you a call.
Your Cousin, Chris
Dr. Christine Hensley-Robbins
Certified Recovery Support Specialist

Hi Bobbi & Judie,

I have beautiful artwork proudly hanging in my home painted by my dear cousins. Yes, each theme is entirely different, but the thread of genes runs through them both. Their Dad and my Mom were brother and sister. Somehow, that talent missed me! Besides their immense talent as artists, they both have such wonderful personalities and positive outlooks on life. God bless them both.

Cousin Shirley

Bobbi…I didn’t realize that you and your sister were toe heads when you were little…Ange

Dear Bobbi,

What a great message. So glad for you and your sister. You are both great artists. What an adorable picture of you both.

Bobbi, I am not artistic, but I do have an appreciation for your talent. Janet Hannaway showed me her Christmas present from Mike. She is so proud of the drawing of the Amiens Cathedral. It means so much to her. Can hardly believe you drew it when you were so young. Keep up the good work.

Do you have other sisters and are they artists, too?
Bev Lahn
Solivita Soprano

Dear Bobbi,
I read with interest Two Sisters close in Age.
I’m very proud of you, with “Water Works” sculptures, as a many award-winning artist. “Water Works” and “Buckeye” are sure to be admirable Art Exhibits.
I wish I may live to visit them.
Seeing Judie Pufpaff’s “Winds of Morning”, it reminded me of the scene of Pippa’s Song by R. Browning.
I love her soft touch of colors, making a beautiful contrast with green leaves.
And it gives us relief, calmness, soothing, what word do I want? yes, heavenly peace!
Say hello to her.
Masayuki Shiga

Dear Masayuki Shiga,
How fortunate I am to know such a sensitive, cultured person.
We have been penpals since 1984 and our correspondence (Japan to the USA) is
one of my treasures of life.
Bobbi Mastrangelo, American Artist
This is the poem you mentioned in the comment above.
Pippa’s Song

The year ‘s at the spring,
And day ‘s at the morn;
Morning ‘s at seven;
The hill-side ‘s dew-pearl’d;
The lark ‘s on the wing;
The snail ‘s on the thorn;
God ‘s in His heaven—
All ‘s right with the world!

~Robert Browning. 1812–1889
The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919.

Dear Bobbi,
You continue to amaze me with all of your “connections” and accomplishments!!! Thank you for making me part of your blog.
The actual name ot the painting is “On the Wings of the Morning” Psalm 139:9

Which is even more perfect for your pen pal, Masayuki Shiga’s choice of poetry… I do love the feeling he creates with his words, and your answer to him.

Thank you for sharing……………
Love you,
Your Sister
Judie Pufpaff

Hey, is that you and Judie as babies ???
That’s funny… she looked out,…
while you thought to simply look down,
for beauty !!!!

Thanks for the update…talk to you soon….
-Doug Winicki
The Utility Pole Guy

Looks vary much like the dreamer and the realist.
Both Judie’s and yours can result in interesting
and attractive works of art.
I like the man hole covers and often think of you when
I see something unusual in my travels.
Congrats to both of you and may you
have many years of ceativity left.
God bless.
Mary Ann Haring Sanchez
Your Maryvale Classmate

I am so impressed to know Bobbi and now her sister Judie…
through this blog…
Bobbi is very talented and reaches out to many people..
because she is a great pen pal….she connects with many people…
and continues to keep in touch…
I am in Bobbi’s book club in Solivita…
and so happy to have met her..
susan raff

Hi Bobbi!

This is a beautiful story about sisters!! You had a caring,sensitive family who instilled creativity in their lives. While both sisters became artists, each one followed her individual talents. Both subjects are beautiful and it is interesting how different each subject is and both can bring pleasure to the viewer!
Thanks you for the work that each of you contributes to those who follow the arts!

Marilyn Abt

Michael Seyers,

I have a soft spot for vacuum cleaner salesman.
My Dad, Herman Betschen raised six kids selling
Electrolux Vacuum Cleaners.
In fact for Mr. Little’s Art and Design Class
I created three visuals ADVERTISING ELECTROLUX
A face with huge glasses…
A face with a big rubber nose…
and a stuffed rubber glove (hand)
So good luck with all your vacuum cleaner sales!
Bobbi Betschen Mastrangelo

Dear Bobbi and Al,
First let me thank you for sending Judie Pufpaff’s artwork “On the Wings of the Morning” and your fine photo and some postcards of “Grate Works.” They were safely received and not damaged in any way.
“On The Wings Of The Morning” gives us sunshne and happiness every day in our living room and is the adminiration of our guests. I’m very proud of it.
I’m very fond of the words 「和、示、福」 written in your card to our family.
It’s very cool, too.
I repeat my thanks, in which all of my family join me.
Sincerely Yours,
Masayui Shiga

Hi Bobbi,
When I read the Houston Chronicle yesterday I couldn’t help thinking of you. There’s a local artist Randy Twaddle who has found art by looking up to the telephone wires rather than looking down at man hole covers.
I’ve always been fascinated by your manhole art and the fact that people don’t take time to notice art forms in everyday life. (Unfortunately I’m one who is guilty of not observing the beauty of the things around me in everyday life). I’ve attached the article for you about Randy Twaddle’s art based on power lines in case you are interested. You and he should have a 2 person show called “Up and Down”!

Please give my best to Al. We’re working on our 50th high school reunion to be held in 2014. I think of you both all the time.
Stay well,
Peter J. VanDerlofske, CLU, CHFC President
Polaris Benefits, LLC
13231 Champion Forest Drive, Suite 305
Houston, Texas 77069
281-569-2982 Extension 302

Dear Bobbi,

One year later, It’s such fun to read the comments of your “Web” friends. Bless you for having so many contacts and keeping in touch with all. You continue to amaze me, with your many faceted creativity.

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