Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Old Town Bar

Travel back to 1892

"The Old Town Bar"
Oil on canvas
24 x 18 inches

Just got the dates for the upcoming fall exhibit of the Gramercy/Flatiron District show at the Franklin 54 Gallery in Chelsea. October 19 - November 24, 2010. I've been working on this project for awhile and now that a definite date has been set it's full steam ahead. Looking forward to this show because it is a collaboration with two other artists, Susan Pyzow and Emily Trueblood. We've all found inspiration in the streets and places of these two neighborhoods and will have paintings and prints on view.

Today's painting is a new one, the Old Town Bar on 18th Street in the Flatiron district. Great old neon sign, marble bar, old wooden booths, tiled floors, green and white striped really do feel as if you've stepped back in time when you enter this establishment. One could almost see the ghosts of the old New York politico's from Tammany Hall on 17th Street strolling over for a pint and some deal-making. A little taste of Olde New York.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Back to School

Talking art

Photo, speaking to a class about being an artist

An art teacher that I know in the LIC neighborhood, invited me to speak to a class of elementary school kids about what it is like to be an artist. So last Friday I headed over to meet with the class. On the way, I found myself remembering my 2nd grade art teacher, Miss Calabro. With her red hair and green stockings she made quite an impression and I remember art class being my favorite time of the day.

Being back in a classroom with little desks and chairs and art supplies brought me back to my own childhood. The kids looked at a bunch of postcards of my paintings that were displayed on the board and they had lots of questions for me. I was impressed, not only with the questions but with their observations on the paintings. This painting, "LIC/Yellow Factory Revisited" elicited a lot of attention as many of the kids recognized the building. They were a lively bunch and afterwards I stayed to watch them working on their sculpture project.

"LIC/Yellow Factory Revisited"
Oil on canvas
10 x 8 inches

I did a stint as a student art teacher while in college as I got a dual degree in Fine Art and in Art Education. When I graduated, New York was in the depths of a recession and no teaching jobs were to be found. Instead of teaching art, I took a typing class and found a job in an office, painting in the evenings. I spent years pounding a keyboard in order to pay the rent, eventually finding a job working nights so that I could paint during the day. It paid off. One of the questions asked was "Is it hard being an artist?" The answer I gave was "yes it is, but it is worth the effort."

Erica, the teacher, sent me the following email: "Thank you again for coming. the children had a blast! I've never seen them so excited and well behaved. They could not wait to get to the post cards you brought. I feel they got a lot out of it and it was fun."

I had a blast too. Who knows, one of the kids in that class might be a budding artist and years from now will recall the day I came to talk about what it is like to be an artist.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Scribner's Then and Now

Another bookstore no more

Schribner's II"
Oil on canvas
24 x 30 inches

A WONDERFUL building resides on 5th Avenue, the Scribner's building. I've painted this architectural gem several times and was interested to learn more about this historic building on Jeremiah's Vanishing New York blog today. Here's the link