Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The always elegant Chrysler building

Mr. Mark's Chrysler I
Oil on canvas
12x9 inches

A friend of mine works in a building with spectacular views in all directions. He shared this photograph with me and I thought it would make a wonderful subject for a painting. The light in the city changes constantly and in this particular view the dramatic sky surrounds the Chrysler building, one of New York City's most iconic and beloved buildings. This is a quiet and reflective painting, with all of the noise and activity of the streets out of sight and far below.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I'm going to see The Boss on Broadway!

Springsteen on Broadway Pillow 2
16x16 inches

I am a long-time Bruce Springsteen fan, ask anyone who knows me well. I tried to get tickets to see Springsteen on Broadway via Ticketmaster and had no luck. But wait...this is a feel good story so keep on reading.

A friend/collector who used to live in LIC not far from my studio and who is also a longtime Springsteen fan, messaged me asking if I had any luck getting a ticket and I said I'd never received a code, so alas, I would probably never see the man perform live again as ticket prices were through the roof and nearly impossible to find. She managed to purchase two tickets. Her friend, trying for the same date, also got through and purchased 2 tickets so they decided to use the friend's tickets.

My friend then offered me a ticket at face value, $700.00!!! I wrote back thanking her but saying I could never afford it and she could probably sell them for A LOT OF MONEY. As an afterthought, I asked if she would consider bartering a painting for a ticket. She immediately wrote back, YES, but was concerned that since she lived out of state, getting a painting would be difficult. I assured her it was fine, I could ship the painting out via UPS. It turns out she had a particular painting in mind, one that she had seen several years ago which she loved and regretted not buying. Well, I just happened to have that painting in the studio so I wrote back saying it was hers.

But, she said, that painting is much more expensive than $700.00. She didn't want to take advantage. I replied this was a special circumstance. She then offered me the two tickets and my reply was, "FANTASTIC!". She didn't want to scalp the tickets, preferring instead to have them go to a friend/fan and I turned out to be the lucky one. Come January I and a good friend, another long-time fan, are going to see the show.

So, to sum up, in a very round about way, it looks like I will get to see the Boss on Broadway after all. I'm still not happy with the ticket system and the obscene ticket prices as it is a real disservice to the man's many fans, but I guess that's showbiz. The bar has been raised pretty high and for those prices he will really have to deliver an amazing performance. Springsteen is quite the showman so I don't think I'll be disappointed. And the reviews have been glowing.

Springsteen on Broadway 8
16x16 inches

As I am a quilter these days in addition to being a painter, I was inspired to create 8 pillows and 2 wall hangings in celebration of Springsteen on Broadway which I've posted on my ETSY site. They would make a wonderful gift for any fan and this being the holiday and gift-buying season I figured what the heck.

You can check out my fabric creations at The Florin Collection by sjfstudio at

Springsteen on Broadway Wall Hanging 1
16x12 inches

I'm gonna boogaloo down Broadway to see Mr. Springsteen tread the boards of the Walter Kerr Theater this winter, WOOHOO!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Lost Music Row

Remembering Music Row
Oil on canvas
12x9 inches

48th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues was famously known as Music Row and for good reason. Walking down this street, one would find shop fronts filled with glittering musical instruments of all kinds. And if you looked up, you might see windows filled with more of the same. I did that one day while walking and was intrigued with the small gargoyle-like figures adorning the facade of a building along with the selection of horns displayed in the windows. The sign in the window says "Open" but sadly, Music Row is no more. Many of the shops have either closed for good or relocated due in part to the rising rents and redevelopment of the area. One can still find the musical instrument of their dreams, but not on 48th Street.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Reflections on Sixth Avenue

42nd and Sixth Avenue Reflections
Oil on canvas
24x18 inches

A new reflections painting today. Just completed this one and had a really wonderful time painting this piece. The location of this scene is in the area of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue, lots of glass facades to be found in the neighborhood making for some interesting painting ideas.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Reflections along Broadway

"Reflections in the West Fifties"
Oil on canvas
24x18 inches

Working on a new series of reflection paintings and recently completed this one. I was walking north on Broadway around 56th Street when I caught this view with my camera. Once again, the older building reflected on a shiny glass facade of newer construction. With all of the building going on these days, I think I might be painting reflections for a long time to come.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Allied Artists 104th Exhibition

Photo of "View from Kenmare"

I was delighted to receive word that my painting, "View from Kenmare" has received the Giovanni Martino Family Award for Realistic Landscape in Oil in the 104th Annual Exhibition of the Allied Artists of America, on view at the Salmagundi Club.

Looking forward to the reception and awards presentation on Sunday, September 17 from 1-4pm at the Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue (at 12th Street) in New York. The exhibit is large and the gallery is filled with many very fine pieces.

Always so gratifying when an artist receives recognition for their work.

Monday, August 21, 2017

NY Artists Equity 2017: 1947 exhibition

LIC Jackson Avenue Reflections
Oil on canvas
24x18 inches

I am delighted to be one of 7 artists chosen to exhibit in the upcoming 70th anniversary exhibition of New York Artists Equity. We were asked to look through a list of the founding artists and choose the one who was an influence on our work. I chose Charles Sheeler. This new painting depicts some of the ongoing construction reflected in the glass facades sprouting up all over Long Island City and Sheeler's work was an inspiration.

Here is the statement that accompanies the painting.

The paintings of Charles Sheeler, one of the founding members of New York Artist Equity, intrigued me after first seeing them at MoMA and the Whitney when I was a young art student. As a member of the Precisionist movement, Sheeler’s scenes of the urban industrial landscape greatly influenced my own work. An accomplished photographer, Sheeler used his photography as a basis for his drawings and paintings and I too work from my photographs. Sheeler’s “Stacks in Celebration” are reminiscent of my studio view of “Big Allis”, the ConEd plant in Long Island City. “River Rouge Plant”, a painting of industry and manufacturing are not unlike the LIC neighborhood I first came to in 1980. And “Upper Deck”, a beautiful painting in stark muted tones of whites and grays reminded me of Whistler’s works, which I greatly admire. My painting, “LIC Jackson Avenue Reflections” pays homage to Charles Sheeler in that it is very much an urban landscape capturing the ongoing development of a community painted in a clean, crisp style.

The exhibition is on view from September 6 - October 7, 2017 with a reception on Wednesday, September 6, from 6-8pm.

For more information here is the press release.