| 24 March, 2014 19:50
We are getting an early jump on Renee's birthday with a painting for her. Since the painting has been done in oil it will take a little while longer to dry, so it seemed unwise to cover it up in gift-wrap paper. So she is discovered it first when I posted it to a Facebook page. A painting seemed to be the only way I could give her a birthday bouquet of flowers that would not tempt the destructive curiosity of our mischievous cats. It's also a tribute to Renee's skills as a lyricist. (Ask her to sing, "Nothing Could Be Stranger than to See the Blue Hydrangea on Long Island" -- sung to the tune of "Nothin' Could be Finer.") And, finally, it fulfills her request for a painting of our house.
Happy birthday to the woman who brightens my life far more than the sunshine on these hydrangea.
| 07 March, 2014 17:11
I am thrilled to have been selected for a position as artist in residence at the Weir Farm National Historic Site for part of this coming summer. The Weir Farm is the only site run by the National Park Service that is devoted entirely to a portion of our art history. Julian Alden Weir was a central figure in American Impressionism. In addition to Weir, five other artists lived and worked on the property across three generations. For the last 37 years, as a 60-acre farm with about 15 buildings, the site has been adminstered in trust by the Park Service. In addition to encouraging visitors to visit the historic home and studios as well as paint on the property, the site hosts an artist in residence as well.
Renee promises she will wash and iron my beret before I go.
| 17 February, 2014 11:19
I've been having fun making little videos from time to time. Here's a feature-length video you can watch in two minutes and seventeen seconds.
At the end you'll feel like you've spent some time in my studio.
You've had your shots, right?
| 14 February, 2014 22:36
Late November Afternoon, diptych, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
If this looks typically suburban Long Island that's because it is. But the building is actually on Main Street (route 25a, for those of you playing along on Google Maps) in Cold Spring Harbor, a very 19th century sort of village around the corner from Renee and me.
I shot the reference photo back in November and took forever to get this painting launched. Then it languished for months before I made enough progress to see it through to the end.
Renee wants to know what's with these air conditioners hanging out of windows in my paintings. I just paint what I see. They don't look ugly to me in the late afternoon sun.
| 02 February, 2014 17:12
The crowd for the opening of our new gallery in Hastings-on-Hudson this afternoon was so big that it spilled out onto the sidewalk and street. A line formed to get in to see our first show. The village fire marshal admitted 4 at a time only when others left.
Not bad for an afternoon when most of the rest of the world is off somewhere to watch the Superbowl with friends.
This was a 'soft opening' because we still have some work to do and a more official opening will be a little farther down the road when we, the member artists of the co-op, will mount a show of our own work. This show was a juried photography show open to photographers from around the country who submitted work for consideration and possible inclusion in the show.
Our new space is a FAR, far better location and considerably more space with a high tin ceiling and two galleries. Photographers who are exhibiting came with friends and family as did lots of people from the village curious about the new business on Main Street.
And next week a sampling of work by our cooperative's member artists goes on display up the street at the village hall. Clearly this charming town perched on a bluff above the river is happy to have us there.
| 01 February, 2014 16:02
OK, change of pace. This one's not an oil painting. Or was that much already clear?
This is a linocut print on handmade Japanese mulberry Kozo paper. It's my contribution to a print exchange conducted by the Brooklyn Art Library this spring. In a print exchange, each printmaker creates an edition (in this case twelve impressions of this image) and swaps the edition for prints from other printmakers. There will be hundreds of artists participating in this exchange so the ten prints I get back will be from artists chosen at random.
You may be wondering why one submits 12 copies of his or her print but gets back only ten. That's because the Brooklyn Art Library will keep two copies, one to exhibit and one for its archive. Nonetheless this is a pretty painless way to acquire an instant (if small) art collection. All of the prints are to be issued on sheets that are 5 x 7 inches.
The theme of the exchange this year is "Let this be a sign." And my contribution is called, "Have you seen my keys?" A sort of good luck/wishful thinking/token print.
Anyway, since making this, I have not misplaced my keys.
| 18 January, 2014 13:13
Under the West Side Highway at 126th Street, NYC. Otherwise known as Riverside Drive with its splendid views of the Hudson as one travels up to ward Fort Tyron Park and the Cloisters, this is a peak at the underside, thanks to a photo by friend and colleague Ellie Goldstein. The Google Streetview is below. My own twilight-inspired color scheme prevails in the painting to highlight the rust and age of the design. Admittedly the structure is in better shape than my painting might imply.
| 17 January, 2014 20:47
Back in late November I posted an image of the underpainting for this composition with an orange sky and blue metalwork, pretty much the opposite of what you see here now. That technique is known as indirect painting and has been used by many schools of art beginning with Flemish artists in the Northern Renaissance.
The painting is farther along now, in fact fairly close to being finished. Some areas along the top need re-working. They don't always take two months to finish but this one is big, 36 x 48 inches and the composition is a bit unusual for me. Based on a photo taken by Upstream Gallery colleague Ellie Goldstein who encouraged me to pursue this in paint.
| 15 January, 2014 20:56
A little video that shows my contribution to the Sketchbook Project this year. My book will join others that are shown in traveling exhibits around the country. In my case the book will be seen in Chicago and a handful of other Central U.S. cities this summer.
Details available as summer approaches.
| 10 January, 2014 22:17
OK, magnolias don't bloom in January in this part of the world. But this maybe gives you an idea of how slowly I work. This particular bloom occured last June and it's taken me this long to commit it to the 30 by 40 inch coarse Russian linen in my studio.
We have two magnolia trees in our yard, each about 14 to 18 feet tall. They were part of a landscaping project we started about ten years ago. They're filling out nicely now and they both carry some gorgeous blooms each summer.
I'm not sure yet whether I like this painting or not, but it certainly was fun painting a big ole flower up close on some cold and (now) drizzly January days.
Don't know what kind of beetle that was. He may have been slow but he was determined.
| 05 January, 2014 16:54
This is the largest painting I've worked on in some time. It's on side-by-side 30 x 30 inch canvases. The view is of an old building up in Coxsackie, New York, on the western side of the Hudson River. A religious group came into the town some years ago and has been trying to restore a number of the old buildings, apparently with mixed success. When Renee and I were there about 18 months ago the local building inspector had declared one of their restoration projects unsafe and posted closure notices on the building.
The building pictured in this painting was at an intersection in the oldest part of town. Even in their drastically decayed state a number of these buildings retain some stately grandeur. I liked the way the sunlight turned the roof so glowingly hot against the cool shadows of the front of the building and the foliage there.
| 01 January, 2014 18:47
Do you know about the High Line in Manhattan? The old abandoned elevated rail line has gradually been transformed into a remarkably popular urban walkway and park. The 'park' now extends from Gansevoort Street (3 blocks below 14th Street) north to 30th Street, or about a mile. IT's an exhilarating stroll in warm weather with fun, elevated views across lower manhattan and up into midtown.
I looked up to see if I could spot any pedestrians on the High Line one day last fall. I couldn't but I could see the bright brick facade of an old building on the other side of the High Line catching the late afternoon sunlight. This sketch is derived from a cell phone photo I grabbed at that moment. Soon to be a major painting.
| 18 December, 2013 20:46
Every once in a while somebody we know moves to a wonderful new home and we're in awe of what an amazing place they've found. Our friends Bill and Mary Jo sold their distinctive older home in Northport saying they wanted to live in Manhattan. They found a great place with a spectacular view looking north from Stuyvesant Town. I had heard they had a terrific view but I really was unprepared for what we found. So unprepared that I only took a single picture from their window with my cell phone. As Bill told us later, if they had to buy the place it would have run into the millions. But as a rental in a series of buildings currently looking for tenants they found an affordable deal they could manage.
This painting represents perhaps only about one twentieth of their view, which also includes a huge chunk of midtown (looking up from the south), the East River, bridges over same, Brooklyn and Roosevelt Island. The case could be made that this couple died and went to heaven and we got to visit them. The view is that grand.
| 16 December, 2013 13:33
I drove out to the opening reception for the annual member's show at the historic 1838 Mills Pond House in Smithtown on Saturday in a wintery dusting of snow, unsure who might show up. Perhaps others were like me brave enough to venture out but uncertain who else would do the same. So it was quite a surprise to see such a large and friendly turnout. It was gratifying to have my painting, House on the Water, named best in show, an award that means they'll give me a show there in 2015. Also gratifying was that they hung the painting over the marble fireplace in the front room. It is a grand old house with very high ceilings.
| 09 December, 2013 18:29
Search this blog:
Calendar Of Posts
- This One's For Renee
- Weir Farm Artist in Residence
- My two minute feature-length film
- Late November Afternoon
- 'Soft Opening' of our new gallery
- Have You Seen My Keys?
- Under the West Side Highway at 126th Street
- No longer in my underpaints
- All details shown actual size . . .
- A Magnolia Blooms in January