Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Flatiron District

A bird's eye view from 23rd Street

"Flatiron District #1"
Oil on canvas
24 x 18 inches

A new painting to share with you today. I've been keeping busy with several projects and commissions of late and hope to be sharing some new paintings in the coming weeks. Here's one fresh off the easel.

One of the projects I'm working on is creating a new series of the Flatiron and Gramercy Park areas of Manhattan along with two other artists whose subject matter is similar to my own. We three live and/or work in these areas and know them well. One artist is a printmaker, one is a printmaker/painter and I'm a painter, so it will be an interesting mix of work. We're planning on exhibiting this work sometime in the fall of 2010, so we've got plenty of time to really explore these areas and portray them in our respective mediums.

This is my first painting and I found the perspective really interesting. I was on the balcony of a building on 23rd Street and Broadway and got some wonderful photos. This view is looking north and the street configuration below is what caught my interest. The city is currently redoing roads and making some areas more pedestrian friendly. A portion of the roadway in the 23rd Street area was paved over and decorated with potted plants, stone blocks and tables and chairs. I'm not sure that I would want to be sitting literally in the middle of traffic, but that's the idea.

I have blocked in several new paintings and I'm ready to begin work on them. Look forward to an interesting painting series ahead.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Washington Square Art Show week-end

Annual Memorial Day stand-by

Photograph of Emily Trueblood in front of her booth featuring her prints

This week-end I stopped by to visit two artists whose work I really like. They each had booths at the annual Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit and have been doing this show for a number of years. Emily Trueblood is a terrific printmaker who often focuses on the architecture of New York. Is it any wonder that I am drawn to her work? Not being a traditional printmaker myself, I collect prints of New York. Two of Emily's pieces, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building hang in my home. Really lovely work.

Photograph of Linda Cromer in front of her prize winning watercolor painting

My next stop was to visit the booth of Linda Cromer, a wonderful watercolor painter, specializing in still-life. Linda and I met several years ago at an awards dinner - we were both receiving awards for our work and had a lively conversation that evening and have kept in touch ever since. Linda won first place for her watercolor. While I was visiting the booth she made a nice sale and several people stopped by to tell her how much they loved her work. Every artist needs to hear that and I was glad that Linda was getting some great feedback.

It's a wonderful thing to belong to a community of artists. To be able to talk about each other's work, support one another at shows and to enjoy the artistic visions of others involved with the creative process.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NAWA Exhibits at UBS Gallery and Salmagundi

National Association of Women Artists - 120th Anniversary Exhibition

A few nights ago I attended the opening reception of "A Parallel Presence" at the UBS Gallery on 6th Avenue and 51st Street in Manhattan. The show commemorates the 120th anniversary of the National Association of Women Artists and features works from the permanent collection whose home is at the Zimmerli Museum of Rutgers University. Works by members spanning the decades such as Louise Nevelson and Idelle Weber can be seen along with a recent sculpture by my artist friend Pam Cooper, which I was delighted to see displayed. The show runs through July 31, 2009 and is free to the public, so if you're in midtown, stop by.

Photograph of Pam Cooper with her sculpture at the UBS Gallery

Another show currently on view is NAWA's Annual Exhibition, a large group show at the Salmagundi Club on Fifth Avenue and 12th Street in a lovely old brownstone. My painting "Remembering Tower Records" is on view and I was delighted to learn that it had received an award when I visited the show yesterday. I have been a member of this organization since the 1980's and my painting, "Gold Dome", is part of NAWA's permanent collection, of which I am very proud. The exhibit is open to the public through May 29th.

"Remembering Tower Records"
Oil on canvas
9 x 12 inches

Thursday, May 14, 2009

9th Avenue Food Festival 2009

Here we go again

"March Watch"
Oil on canvas
32 x 40 inches

My favorite street fair is happening this week-end and I'll be walking up and down the avenue, camera in hand. I try not to miss this annual event - it has proven to be a wonderful place for ideas and I've done many paintings over the years of 9th Avenue and the festival.

This painting is unusual in that I took several photos of people in their windows and created one collage painting. Folks would be looking out their windows or sitting on their fire escapes during this festival in the 70's and 80's but it is not a common sight anymore. Perhaps this is due to the gentrification that 9th Avenue has experienced, the newer glass-fronted building facades, or a passing of the older residents to whom sitting in one's window and checking out the street action was a common sight.

I do sometimes stop and choose something to eat - this is, after all a food festival. If you're a chow hound this festival is great way to sample foods from all over the world. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and this year's festival will be as great as the many I've attended in years past.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gallery Hopping

Madison Avenue and Chelsea - two shows of note

Last week I attended the opening reception at the George Billis Gallery in Chelsea for artist Stephen Magsig. This Detroit-based realist painter likes to paint buildings, and I always like to see how other artists handle similar subject matter to my own. His daily painting blog, "Postcards from Detroit" is worth checking out, small daily paintings of his Detroit neighborhood. Having followed Stephen's work online it was a treat to see the paintings up-close and to meet the artist in person. This show is up through May 23rd, so if you're in Chelsea, stop in and have a look.

Last night I visited the reception for "Semi-Abstracts", paintings of artist Roberta Crown at the Ezair Gallery on Madison Avenue. Roberta's work is very different from my own in style - her's has a more "Kandinsky" feel, loose brushwork, lots of color and energy. We've known each other since the 1980's and it was very nice to see Roberta's paintings on display in this intimate, well-lit gallery space. This show is up through May 31st.

As an artist I know only too well how much work goes into preparing for an exhibition and it is always gratifying when people come out to see the work. I try to make it to the shows of artists that I know and feel strongly that it is very important to support one's fellow artists. Congrats to both Stephen and Roberta!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Music and Art

Pete Seeger's 90th Hootenanny at the Garden

Photograph of the Clearwater Fundraiser at the Garden

Last night I was sitting in Madison Square Garden soaking up the good music and good vibes celebrating the grand old man of folk music, Pete Seeger, 90 years young. It was also a fundraiser for the Clearwater Revival, a worthy cause. What a great concert!

It got me to thinking about how important music is to my painting. As soon as I come into the studio the first thing I do is to turn on the radio or put a CD on. Music sets the mood of the day and is influenced by what I'm working on, the light that day and how I'm feeling. A soundtrack accompanies each and every painting I've ever done.

As an old folkie (the first album I ever bought was Joan Baez In Concert Vol. II) I was beyond thrilled to hear some of my favorite performers serenading Pete. Joan was there, and it's hard to believe that it has been 50 years since she first burst onto the music scene! What a line-up it was. Of course, one of the high points for this Springsteen fan was to hear Bruce describing Seeger's work and legacy, and then singing "The Ghost of Tom Joad".

Photograph, Bruce at the Seeger Concert

Since this is a painting blog after all, I'll share a painting with you. "Rockin' at the Garden" is a personal favorite of mine and is hanging in my home.

Having attended many memorable concerts at the Garden over the years I have to say that the Pete Seeger 90th Birthday Celebration is one that ranks right up there, it was an incredible night.

"Rockin' at the Garden"
Oil on canvas
24 x 30 inches