Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Up On the Roof

A picnic al fresco

"LIC/Tar Beach"
Oil on canvas
10 x 10 inches

Walking through the snow, sleet and rain this morning, I got to thinking of warmer weather, hopefully just around the corner, and this painting came to mind. I was looking out of my studio window one day and saw several friends hanging out on their roof, having a picnic. This peaceful scene was set amid factories, smokestacks and the 59th Street Bridge in the background. I cropped the photo I had taken to really focus on the sky - hazy, soft clouds, space and light. One of the reasons I like having my studio in Long Island City is that much of the neighborhood is still low-rise and the open and ever changing sky is a real delight to the eye.

Last week-end I was at Art-O-Mat talking about the paintings in my current exhibit when a young couple stopped to chat. The woman was intrigued by this painting, and I asked her if she was one of the women in the painting. She wasn't but had lived in the neighborhood for several years and spotted her old apartment house in the foreground.

One of the great pleasures of this exhibit for me has been the conversations I've had with the folks stopping by. I've learned a lot more about the history of the area, and the personal stories and anecdotes that viewers have shared have been priceless. Several nice sales, with stories to go with each one. The exhibit is up for 2 more week-ends, closing on February 8th. Click here for more information.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Citicorp Reflections

Glass and construction

"LIC/Citicorp Reflections"
Oil on canvas
10 x 10 inches

Love painting those reflections. This view of a new condo building under construction was reflected in the Citicorp building in Queens. When Citicorp went up in 1989 it was unique in it's size in relation to the neighborhood and it's glass facade. Most of the surrounding older buildings were of brick, wood and stone, and built on a much smaller scale. Twenty years later there is far more glass and steel to be seen. I really enjoy these reflection paintings in that the abstractions of shape and color make for a challenging painting. I liken the experience of painting these reflections as those of puzzle pieces - fitting one square at a time next to its neighbor to create the whole.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pulaski Bridge View

Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens

View from the Pulaski Bridge
Oil on canvas
15 x 30 inches

I was walking over the Pulaski Bridge between Greenpoint and LIC last summer after visiting the studio of an artist friend and took this photo. It captured many of the aspects of the neighborhood such as St. Mary's Church steeple and the 59th Street Bridge. One of the buildings in the painting, Cangro, has since been torn down and a new structure is being built. So, the view on canvas is now, in a sense, an historical record. I enjoyed painting on this long horizontal format as it provided a way to stretch a bit.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Changing Spaces"

Artist shows us a glimmer of L.I.C.'s yesteryear

59th Street Bridge Reflections"
Oil on canvas
36 x 30 inches

A nice article appeared in this weeks issue of The Queens Chronicle, Qboro section, written by Paul Leonard, Assistant Editor. Two paintings are also reproduced in the paper with this painting reproduced full-page on the cover of the Qboro section which features arts, culture and living articles. Very nice publicity indeed.

To read the article online, click here

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"Our Neighborhoods"

A new year, a new show

Eldridge Street Synagogue"

Starting the new year off with two of my photographs in an exhibit at the Franklin 54 Gallery entitled, "Our Neighborhoods." A group of photographers affiliated with the Creative Center have been meeting for the past year exploring the subject of neighborhood and I chose to focus my attentions on the Lower East Side, especially the older synagogues, some of which have found new life. The Eldridge Street Synagogue has been wonderfully restored over a 20-year period, and is now known as the Museum at Eldridge Street. It also functions as an Orthodox synagogue, it's congregants celebrating Sabbath services and holidays. Other times it serves as a museum. One can come here to learn about the immigrant and spiritual history of New York and the building itself is absolutely gorgeous, one of my all-time favorites, and you know I have a few. This photograph just might become a painting, I'm feeling inspired.

"Angel Orensanz"

The Angel Orensanz Foundation of the Arts is another former synagogue that now hosts an active visual and performing arts schedule.

"Our Neighborhoods" runs from January 3-29, 2009 at the Franklin 54 Gallery, 181 Christopher Street, NY, 212-627-8690. Click link for more information.