Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from NYC

Out with the old, in with the new?

"Pinwheel 1"
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 inches

This old woman was in her window, looking down at the goings-on in the street below, in this case 9th Avenue. I really enjoy the 9th Avenue Food Festival, and for many years I would see this same woman, in her window, with this brightly colored pinwheel stuck in her flower box. As the years passed, the bright colors on the pinwheel faded and finally it disappeared altogether.

The same can be said for the NYC urban landscape. Scenes like this one are harder to find and for me, it captured the New York of my childhood days. People hanging out on stoops, window ledges or copings. If you don't know what copings are, they were low brick walls surrounding the apartment houses where I and my friends grew up and played. Residents would come out and sit on these copings, chatting with neighbors while they watched their kids play in the street, games such as skelly, "You're It", and hopscotch. In the summer they'd wait for the Good Humor truck or Steve the ice-cream man drive up the block, ringing his bell for the kids who came running, quarters in hand, for that Italian ice or popsicle. This painting brings back those kinds of memories for me and for many others who have grown up here.

This is the time of year that I take a few moments to look back and remember, the year just passed and the years gone by. I also look forward to the year to come and think about the paintings I want to paint and what I hope to accomplish as an artist. I've been plugging away as a painter for many years now and I still love what I do. And I love my hometown. It is not an easy place in which to live. It's become more and more expensive to live here. So many changes, some good, some not so good. But this is where I want to be and I'll keep painting what I see around me for as long as I can.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and sending you a big thank-you for following my blog. See you in 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holiday Wishes

Ho, Ho, Ho

Photograph taken on December 11, 2010 near Union Square

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words and I think this photo would agree. Snapped this photo of these merry Santa's on their way to their next destination in a Santa Pub Crawl that took place on a cold and cloudy Saturday in December in NYC. They were all over the city, in the subways, on the streets and of course, in many of the bars and pubs. I don't think this photo will become a painting any time soon, but wanted to share it with you and send wishes for a happy and peaceful holiday season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Iconic Empire

Reflections on the ESB

"Empire Reflections"
Oil on canvas
14 x11 inches

A few months ago I exited the subway on 18th Street and Seventh Avenue and looked southward. It was a sunny day, late in the afternoon, and reflected on the facade of a newly erected glass building, was the Empire State Building. Wow, that image got my attention. I often noticed reflections of this building all around town and it was high time to do a reflection painting. Truly a beloved symbol of New York City, one I've painted more than once. I noted the time of day and a few days later headed back to the same site with my camera. Took a bunch of photos and this painting is the result. There are a lot of details in this smaller scaled painting and I loved the color variations that the multi-colored glass facade created. It just seems I can't turn around without finding something that inspires me to paint in this city. And that's a good thing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An Artful Sunday afternoon in LIC

White walls and small paintings

Photograph of small works at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery

Spent a pleasant Sunday afternoon attending the opening reception at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery in Long Island City. This new gallery space is large, light and nicely laid out. In the main gallery and entrance, my friend Donna Levinstone exhibited her spectacular pastel cloudscapes. She achieves a real mood with her work and her handling of the medium is top-notch. In another gallery a small works salon show was on view. I enjoyed meeting several of the artists participating and talking about art. The reception was held as an open house type of event, running from 2 - 7 pm. Friends stopped by and we left at 5pm to have dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in the neighborhood.

The next day I received a call from the gallery telling me that my painting "LIC-P.S. 1" had sold to a local resident and collector who had stopped by after I had left. Nice news indeed, considering the current state of the economy and the effect it's had on everyone, artists certainly included. The gallery sold several pieces at the opening and that was heartening to hear. They are off to a good start and are a welcome addition to the Long Island City community.

"LIC-P.S. 1"
Oil on canvas
10 x 10 inches