Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy New Year

The New Times Square
Oil on canvas
30x24 inches

Thought I'd share this painting of the "new" Times Square that I created several years ago. This scene will look very different soon, jammed-packed on New Year's Eve with revelers watching the crystal ball dropping at midnight to ring in 2016. As a native New Yorker, I have NO plans of joining in with that overwhelming crowd. It's tough enough maneuvering the streets of the theater district when heading to a show, so as far as stopping by on New Year's Eve, "fuugggeeddataboutit."

Thank you for following my blog posts and keeping up with my artful adventures. It's been a busy and eventful year and I'm hopeful that 2016 will be a good one for all. May it be filled with good health, good times and some wonderful art.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Documenting LIC in paint ongoing...

LIC 1889 Sneakers
Oil on panel
6x6 inches

LIC Center Blvd. View
Oil on panel
6x6 inches

Today I'm sharing two recent small studies of the Long Island City neighborhood where I've had my studio since 1980. I've continued to document the area in paint over the years and never tire of finding interesting subjects. The brick building, circa 1889, is on the corner and I look at the facade daily. Built over 100 years ago, it sports some lovely terra-cotta detailing, yet it remains a small, neighborhood apartment building. So many of the "old-timers" like this one in LIC are disappearing and I'm hoping this one will remain.

The second painting is a view from the window of 2 of my collectors. I took the photo a few years ago and when they came to the recent show at the Leder Gallery they remarked that their view has dramatically changed. Now they look out of their window and see numerous crains and construction. Such is real estate in NYC. Always has been, always will be.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Holiday Art Salon Sale

LIC Corner Cafe
Oil on panel
6x6 inches

I'll be participating in a 3-day holiday art salon sale at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery in Long Island City. All artwork is priced at $400.00 or less. LIC Cafe Corner is just one of the paintings I'll have on view.

As the gallery is nearby my studio, I'd be happy to arrange a studio visit if you are in the neighborhood. In addition to my paintings, I will have a new selection of NYC-themed pillows for sale. Just email me at sjfstudio@aol.com and we can arrange a time for you to stop by.

Monday, November 30, 2015

CLWAC 119th Annual at the National Arts Club

Chrysler Reflections
Oil on canvas
24x24 inches

Delivered this painting to the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park this morning for the 119th Annual Exhibition of the Catharine Lorillared Wolfe Art Club. The work in this exhibit is always a pleasure to view. There are so many talented artists participating. The exhibit runs from December 1-15 at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY 10003. (212) 475-3424. If you would like to stop by to see the show, it is a good idea to call ahead to be sure the exhibit will be open. As the work is on display in the ballroom of this former mansion, other programs take place regularly. For more information go to www.clwac.org

Note: Just received notification that my painting has received the Jamie Dworman Award. Always nice news.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Queens Courier Article

A nice article about my work as a long time Long Island City artist as well as my recent endeavors as a quilter.

Click here to read the article link

I've been busy painting and spend many happy hours as a quilter these days as well. It has been very rewarding to work in these different mediums and the ideas just keep coming.

LIC-themed pillow

Necktie pillow

Friday, November 6, 2015

Freedom Tower Reflections

Freedom Tower Reflections"
Oil on canvas
14x11 inches

Just completed this painting of some of the reflections that I saw on the Freedom Tower's facade. So much construction going on and so many of the new structures are encased in glass. I started blocking in this painting on 9/11 of this year, as it felt appropriate to do so, my way of remembering that fateful day. This painting is very abstract, for me at least, yet one can glimpse the ongoing construction which is a testament that this area of Manhattan has risen from the ashes and continues to change and evolve.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Beaux Arts architectural beauty

Number 49
Oil on canvas
14x11 inches

Just finished this new painting and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Spotted this architectural detail while wandering around the Flatiron district one late afternoon. I just LOVE finding these unexpected gems. The Beaux Arts era of architecture in New York, roughly late 1880's through the 1920's is my personal favorite style of architecture. The glass boxes of today provide a facade for reflections of the older buildings, but I find so many of the new structures bland and lacking any kind of character or distinction. Some are downright ugly. The older buildings though, now they had style. I never tire of discovering these architectural delights.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Greenpoint Rooftop View

Diego's Greenpoint Rooftop View
Oil on canvas
9x12 inches

Just finished this commissioned painting of a view from the rooftop of a Greenpoint, Brooklyn building. There is a great deal of construction going on in the neighborhood so things might change in the near future. For the time being, there is a wonderful view of the Manhattan skyline, especially of the Chrysler building, as well as the greenery from the park area below. A rooftop oasis in the borough of Brooklyn.

Monday, August 31, 2015

A summer reflection on 9th Avenue

9th Avenue Reflections Worldwide II
Oil on canvas
24 x 42 inches

This is what I have been working on for the past 3 months. It'a a large and challenging painting of a view from Ninth Avenue. The summer has been filled with many daily distractions and mishaps due to the ongoing construction of the ground floor restaurant. I'm somewhat amazed I was able to complete this painting with everything that has been going on at the studio. But, here it is. One of the Worldwide buildings is reflected on the facade of a building on Ninth Avenue and once again, the juxtaposition of the old and the new is quite evident.

Started work on a new piece up on the easel now, a 9x12-inch painting. Back to working small scale for awhile.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Getting the Work Out Part V - Fifth Avenue Reflections

Fifth Avenue Reflections II

Image Size
8x10 inches
Matted Size
11x14 inches
Sale Price: 100.00


Image Size
12x15 inches
Matted Size
17x20 inches
Sale Price: 150.00

I finally got the okay this week to start putting my paintings back on my shelves, so I've been spending time sorting through my work. I have a series of giclée's that I had made several years ago of a few of my favorite paintings. Fifth Avenue Reflections II is a scene on Fifth Avenue and 45th Street. An older building is reflected in the facade of a glass encased structure nearby and the reflections are striking. I painted and sold this painting in 1999, literally right off the easel, and had several interested buyers so I decided to produce these giclée's. There are two sizes available, each an edition of 25.

I am offering them at a special sale price during the month of August. They are archivally matted and are unframed. Free shipping.

If you would like to purchase one, please email me at sjfstudio@aol.com for details.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Getting the Work Out Part IV - Bruce!

Bruce on 3rd
Oil on canvas
24x30 inches

Bruce on 2nd
(Pink Cadillac)
Oil on canvas
24x30 inches

Rockin' at the Garden
Oil on canvas
24x26 inches

30 Years!
Oil on canvas
12x8 inches

August will mark the 40th Anniversary of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's "Born To Run" release, one of my all-time favorite albums. Whenever I am feeling tired or uninspired, I put the music on and my spirits are lifted, my energy returns and I'm ready for anything. Such is the power of music, and BTR is what works for me, and has done so for all these years.

Bruce on 3rd depicts a stretch of 3rd Avenue in the 50's. I substituted my own billboards for those on the construction wall, picking out images from the Born in the U.S.A. album that had recently been released. Bruce on 2nd is a stretch on 2nd Avenue uptown and was inspired by the song "Pink Cadillac." I took photos of a Honda and a Subaru as mentioned in the song and always pictured a big pink Cadillac from the 1950's, a car Elvis might have driven. Rockin' at the Garden is my favorite and is hanging in my home. I was at one of the the Live in New York City concerts at Madison Square Garden and it was truly one of the best concerts I'd ever attended. The CD was playing while I was painting this piece and I had a chance to relive the experience again and again. 30 Years! was inspired by the 30th anniversary of BTR, 10 years ago now. I saw these billboards pasted on some scaffolding on the side of the Lexington Avenue Armory and thought the combination with the old brick building worked as a subject.

I'm still painting and Bruce is still rockin' and may he do so for many years to come!

For all of you Springsteen fans out there, I'm offering 3 of these 4 paintings for sale as I'm in the process of reorganizing my studio. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Getting the Work Out Part III

Houston Street Still Life
Oil on canvas
24x18 inches

On Columbus
Oil on canvas
40x32 inches

Oil on canvas
30x36 inches

The Xylophone Player
Oil on canvas

The paintings today depict scenes ranging from Columbus Avenue on the upper west side to downtown Houston Street. A street musician, a greenmarket, a street fair and a thrift emporium. Sadly, the site on Houston Street is no longer around. I passed by recently and it looks like another new luxury building is going up.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have on any of the paintings posted in this "getting the work out" venture. Thanks for checking in.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Getting the work out Part II

Some street scenes from the 1980's. "Fruit Stand" is a 9th Avenue scene and "Fruit and Fish" depict fish mongers on Canal Street. These paintings highlight small mom and pop stores, a fast disappearing component of the city. I've included several crowd scenes as I have always loved to people-watch and what better place to do that than in NYC. Friar Tucks features a long-gone restaurant/bar on 3rd Avenue. I used to work in an advertising/public relations company and this scene is reminiscent of "Mad Men", a show I loved that really captured a particular time and culture. As I mentioned, due to loss of storage space in my studio from an on-going construction project in the building, I need to make space. Keep checking the blog as I'll continue to post paintings for sale, priced to fit any budget. If interested, feel free to email me at sjfstudio@aol.com for details.

Friar Tucks
Oil on canvas
30x20 inches

Fruit and Fish
Oil on canvas
24x30 inches

Fruit Stand
Oil on canvas
16x20 inches

People at the 42nd St. Library
Oil on canvas
28x22 inches

3 Ladies with Sunglasses
Oil on canvas
16x20 inches

Green Pavement Crowd
Oil on canvas
24x30 inches

Friday, July 17, 2015

Getting the work out in the world

As mentioned in the previous post, due to construction in my studio and loss of a large part of my storage area, I am offering a number of paintings up for sale at prices to fit every budget. This is the first group with more to come in upcoming posts.

Oil on canvas
30x40 in.

A restaurant once located on 2nd Avenue in the 30's.

Restaurant 3
Oil on canvas
36x30 in.

A restaurant scene once located on Broadway near Bleecker Street.

The White Restaurant
Oil on canvas
18x24 in.

The Cowgirl Hall of Fame restaurant on Hudson Street.

Oil on canvas
36x30 in.

A painting of a bakery once located on 9th Avenue.

All of these paintings are framed. I will pay the shipping costs.

If interested, please email me at sjfstudio@aol.com for more details.

I look forward to finding good homes for my paintings.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Raining inside my studio

Yesterday was not the best of days. I have been an artist all of my life. I always created art out of a need to share what I see in everyday life.

For the past two years, we have been dealing with a renovation of the restaurant on the ground floor of our building. It was determined that all of the heating, air conditioning and chimney would have to be placed on the roof. That meant I would lose a good portion of my storage space. For weeks now, workmen have been in and out of my studio, measuring, drilling, hammering, sawing, you name it. Vents and ducts were installed and now it was time to break through to the roof, a day I was not looking forward to. A big hole was cut in the roof on Monday, much larger than anticipated and a beam was cut. On Tuesday, not only was the roof work continuing on the venting outlet, 2 new skylights were being installed by the roofing company hired to re-roof and waterproof the area where all of the new equipment would be located.

Shortly after lunch it started to rain…a downpour. The workmen hurriedly covered the open skylight with plastic sheeting and roofing/flashing and thankfully no leaks. Not so with the hole cut by the new tenants for their equipment. Pouring rain IN…MY... STUDIO. An artist's worst nightmare.

I was yelling for help and the four of us in the studio at the time started getting the paintings off the shelves, out of the studio and then started wiping them down. The contractor sent up several of his workmen with rolls of paper towels to help. It was a hell of a day and it could have been avoided had the work been done properly to begin with. The contractor and his workmen had no contingency plan in place should it start to rain, hence the awful outcome. Choosing a day to work with no rain in the forecast probably would have been a good idea as well.

These pictures do not really capture the horror of seeing water cascading down from the ceiling. Looking at my paintings, I felt as if I were watching "my children" drowning and calling out for help.

Today I've been assessing the damage. The paintings formerly on the shelves are now scattered throughout our space - in the hallways, computer room, wood room, etc. I won't put anything back until the roof work is complete and lord only knows when that will be.

I was once told by my friend's mother that when one door closes a window opens. I realized yesterday that I create art to tell a story. Now that much of my work is out of the storage area and off of the shelves, I've had the opportunity to reexamine my work. It is good work and I want it seen. I always envisioned keeping a significant amount of my work in the studio. This experience has shown me that is not the only way to think. As a result, I've decided to keep a smaller percentage of my work and get more out into the world. I'm determined to find ways to make this happen. For the next few months, I will be selling a portion of my work at prices to fit any budget. If you have ever wanted to own an original "Florin", this is the time. Feel free to contact me and I can send you images via email or we can arrange a studio visit.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A nice profile in this week's Times Ledger paper on my work

LICQueensboro Slice
Oil on canvas
9x12 inches

An article appeared in this weeks Time Ledger papers in Queens. She makes journey from camera to canvas pretty much covers what I choose to paint and where the work is created.

Here is a link to the article.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Seeking New York by Tom Miller

Book Jacket for
Seeking New York: The Stories Behind the Historic Architecture of Manhattan - One Building at a Time by Tom Miller

On a rainy and muggy Tuesday evening I made my way over to The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York on 44th Street to attend a talk sponsored by The New York Landmarks Conservancy. Tom Miller, the author of one of my favorite blogs, A Daytonian in New York, has authored a wonderful new book Seeking New York: The Stories Behind the Historic Architecture of Manhattan - One Building at a Time published by Rizzoli, and he shared interesting stories of some of his favorite buildings along with the history and backstories that one is often unaware of. He writes daily, save for Sunday's and to date has profiled over 1600 buildings. The book showcases 50 buildings and is illustrated with photos as well as delightful pen and ink illustrations.

I have been in touch with Tom over the years, sharing a number of paintings that I'd done of buildings he has profiled. It was a pleasure meeting him in person and I went home with my very own signed copy of his book.

The building in which the talk took place has an interesting history as well. Here is a photo showcasing the sculpture of an arm wielding a hammer next to a beautiful Tiffany window.

As I left the sun had come out and was casting glorious golden shadows on the buildings lining the street. Took a few photos and think there might be a painting or two down the road.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Art and Healing

Last night I attended a reception at one of Memorial Sloan Kettering's facilities where 3 of my paintings - 2 in the permanent collection and one on loan - were displayed among 121 art works installed throughout the facility on several floors. Cast Iron SoHo and NAC, my painting of the National Arts Club, were beautifully installed and lit. As Sarah Campbell, the MSK curator explains in the handout for Vantage Points, "down to the subtlest details, these artworks on view were strategically positioned based on how near or far individuals would be from each artwork and even their scope of peripheral vision. Vantage Points demonstrates the necessity of embracing that patients and caregivers are unique individuals with diverse tastes, preferences and needs. By viewing treatment centers from the vantage point of each patient and caregiver, one can more thoughtfully make decisions to serve and inspire them."

Several of my paintings are also included in installations in other MSK facilities. Back in March, the online art magazine, Hyperallergic ran an article "Curating for the Cure: Medical Facilities Embrace the Power of Art" and some of my work was featured. Here is a link to the article.

As an artist and cancer survivor myself, I know first-hand the healing power that art - both creating it and viewing it - can bring.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Brooklyn Bridge Revisited

Brooklyn Bridge Looking East
Oil on canvas
10x10 inches

I just finished this painting of the Brooklyn Bridge, a view from lower Manhattan looking east. Never tire of looking at this magnificent icon of New York. I'd blocked this canvas in awhile ago and set it aside, waiting for the right time to tackle it. Not sure why I picked this time, as there is a lot of construction going on in my studio right now due to a restaurant remodel on the ground floor. Amid the sounds of drilling, hammering, welding and workmen coming in and out of my studio, I managed to finish this painting. Must have pretty good powers of concentration after all.

Currently working on two new paintings, larger scale this time. Just hoping an end to the construction is in sight.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LIC - The Gantry

LIC Gantry II
Oil on panel
6x6 inches

Had a nice time during the LIC Arts Open Week-end. Saw several shows and visited some artist studios. Several friends from childhood joined me for brunch on Sunday at the Crescent Grill where I have 5 paintings on view in a group exhibition as well as several LIC-themed pillows. The pillows are almost all sold.

We went to see group exhibits in 2 old warehouse buildings, The Factory and the Falchi Buildings. Here we are standing in front of a deconstructed school bus sculpture, a fitting backdrop as we were in grade school together. In addition, I visited the Edison Price Lighting Gallery on Friday and was very impressed with their new gallery space. Among the studios I visited were those of Donna Levinstone, Elinore Schnurr, Zoe Morsette and Chi, all wonderful artists.

In all honesty, this 5-day event is a sprawling affair with way too many events and spaces to attend and visit. You really had to pick and choose. I saw some fine work, but I also saw some awful stuff. There is a lot of bad art being made today and one really has to sift through the junk to find those rare gems.

I'm posting this new study of the Long Island City Gantry today in honor of this past week's events in the neighborhood. Seriously thinking about working this one up into a larger painting.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

LIC Arts Open 2015

LIC manhole cover pillow

The Long Island City Arts Open is upon us next week and I will be participating this year in a group exhibition, STARS OF LONG ISLAND CITY, at the Dougherty Gallery at Crescent Grill. Opening Reception is Thursday, May 14, 6-8 pm. Located at 38-40 Crescent Street, Long Island City, NY. crescent grill.com

In addition to the paintings, I have created several LIC-themed pillows which will be available as well.

For a full festival guide listing, here is a link

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Citicorp building in LIC on the market

LIC 1889-1989
Oil on canvas
48x36 inches

Just read that the Citicorp building in Long Island City, constructed in the late 1980's is up for sale (see article). It is currently the tallest building in Queens, but might not be for long. I painted this while the building was under construction. An older brick building in the foreground was constructed in 1889 and I decided to tackle this subject to show how a neighborhood had changed over a century. Many of the places I've painted have disappeared, but in this case, it looks like ownership will change hands with the tower still stands in the ever changing neighborhood that is Long Island City.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Diego's Place IV

Diego's Place IV
Oil on canvas
9x12 inches

This is a recent painting of a rooftop view in Long Island City, looking toward the ever-changing Manhattan - and Queens - skyline. A commissioned piece, it was a challenge and I think I've caught the feeling of being up high and looking over the once thriving industrial landscape.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A window show in the Village

On a rainy Friday my exhibit in the Greenwich Gallery Frame Shop was installed. Paul, the organizer of the window shows, did a great job. I selected 12 smaller scaled paintings depicting various neighborhoods around town. This is a new venture for the frame shop and this is the inaugural show. My thoughts about doing this is that I believe many more people will see my work as they pass by then would see it in a gallery setting. You never know and as an artist, you learn to try different approaches to getting the work out there.

Updated info as of 4/20/15: The owner of the frame shop decided to take down the exhibit after 16 days (not the agreed upon month), before the scheduled run was completed. He was unhappy that no sales resulted in that short period of time and decided not to continue with the window show program, choosing instead to display other work. Both Paul, the organizer, and I were surprised and angry and only found out about this turn of events when Paul passed by yesterday and noticed the work had been taken down. I wonder when the owner was going to notify us. This utter lack of respect for artists and their art was the most extreme example we'd ever witnessed. I went over last night to collect my paintings, tell the owner in no uncertain terms what I thought of his actions and decided to chalk this incident up to yet another experience in the life of a working artist.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hyperallergic's Curating for the Cure…

Madison Reflections I
Oil on canvas
12x9 inches

Today I was very pleasantly surprised to see my work reproduced in an Hyperallergic's article about the power of art in medical facilities. I have been working with the art curator for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for several months. She has selected a number of my paintings to be placed in various facilities, some on loan and some that were purchased outright. In their Brooklyn Infusion Center, a show is on view with the theme of reflections. I have done a few paintings with that theme over the years, and this painting is one of the pieces on view. Several weeks ago one of the oncology nurses working in that facility purchased a painting. That sale had a very special meaning to me. Twenty years ago I too spent time in a chemo infusion suite and know first-hand how wonderful those oncology nurses can be.

Here is a link to the article.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A New York pillow

New York Themed Pillow
Machine pieced
16 x 16 inches

Something a little different today. In addition to being a painter of the urban landscape, I've recently taken up the art of quilting. I've been learning a lot and it is a wonderful new artistic adventure.

The Empire Quilt Guild of which I am a member, will be holding a large show the week-end of March 28-29, 2015 at FIT and I will have a quilt on display. In addition, I've made a number of pillows which will be for sale in the Member's Boutique. Of course I made a few with a New York City theme and this is just one example. I'm really looking forward to seeing the exhibit and I'm prepared to be inspired by what people are doing with needle, thread, fabric and machine these days.

If you would like more information on the Empire Quilters Urban Inspirations show, here is the link.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Richard Estes exhibit at MAD, March - September, 2015

Last night I saw the exhibition, Richard Estes: Painting New York City at MAD, the Museum of Art and Design. Wonderful work by one of the premier photorealist painters. I've been looking at Estes work for many years now and he has been one of the influences in my own work, especially how he handles reflections. And of course, many of his subjects are of New York City, the subject closest to my heart. I was especially intrigued by 2 paintings in particular.

This early painting of the now gone Automat interior was unique in its choice of perspective and color palette. I found myself going back to it several times.

Estes then did a painting of the Automat from the exterior with many reflections, much more reminiscent of the work he is known for.

The exhibition runs through September so if you enjoy hyper photorealist work, and paintings of New York in particular, this show will not disappoint. For more information, here is a link to the exhibition at MAD.

Richard Estes
Oil on board

Richard Estes
Horn & Hardart Automat
Oil on masonite

Friday, March 6, 2015

Tiffany's at Night

Tiffany Night
Oil on canvas
12 x 12 inches

A new painting to share today. During the holiday season, the facade of Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue had all kinds of twinkly lights adorning the store and it was very eye-catching. One of my favorite things to do in the city is to window shop the jewelry displays - especially in the diamond district. All that glitter, color and bling, just love looking at the sparkly stuff.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Brushed with Reality at Porter Contemporary

59th Street Bridge Reflections II
Oil on canvas
24 x 42 inches

Some of my work will be included in the upcoming exhibition, Brushed with Reality at Porter Contemporary in DUMBO, 111 Front Street, #220. Opening reception is Friday, February 13th from 6-9 pm. Exhibit runs through March 15th, with gallery hours Friday-Sunday, 12-6. Looks like this will be an interesting exhibit with a group of accomplished artists. Hope you can stop by to see the show.

For more information, click here.