Friday, December 26, 2008

At the crossroads

Stripes and Angles
LIC/ Jackson Crossroads
Oil on canvas
10 x 10 inches

Several corners meeting on Jackson Avenue and 23rd Street. The various stripes and angles intrigued me in this view.

Want to take a moment to thank you for reading the blog and keeping up with my artistic progress this past year. Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, creative and peaceful 2009!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New York Daily News article

NY hometown girl in NY's hometown paper

An article appeared in the New York Daily News/ Queens section on Tuesday, December 9th on my exhibit at Art-O-Mat. It has not been posted on their website, so I cannot provide a direct link.

L.I.C. artist canvasses her nabe for architecture in peril
By Brendan Brosh, Photo by Steven Sunshine

LONG ISLAND City's changing landscape is the subject of a new exhibition by a local artist who has become an unintended archivist of the neighborhood's architectural history.

Sharon Florin, whose exhibition "L.I.Changing" is on display at Art-O-Mat L.I.C. gallery on Vernon Blvd. until February, has been painting Long Island City buildings for nearly 30 years.

Many of Florin's subjects have been torn down in the last few years - casualties of the area's rapid redevelopment.

"I like to paint what is here today and might be gone tomorrow," said Florin, 56, who grew up in Woodhaven. "I want to capture a part of the neighborhood before it changes dramatically."

Florin's current exhibition includes 36 oil paintings, with familiar landmarks such as the Queensboro Bridge and PS 1 Contemporary Art Center.

Florin photographs her subjects from many angles before she starts a painting.

"You don't need multiple degrees in art history to appreciate her art," said Tobi Kahn, 56, a teacher at the School of Visual Arts who has shared studio space with Florin for almost 30 years.

"Her juxtaposition is beautiful. She always picks the right angle to paint from" he said.

Florin's attachment to the neighborhood is evident in her work, Kahn said: "She loves her subject matter."

Florin said she views Long Island City's redevelopment as part of the natural order.

"New York City is constantly tearing itself down and being reinvented," she said. "I just look through my viewfinder on my camera and try to find an interesting painting."

Florin's friends even tease her about the "Florin Curse," where buildings she paints soon disappear.

"I see her as a visual historian," said Louise Weinberg, 54, who curated the exhibition. "Her intent is to preserve the visual landscape, which is being rapidly torn down."

Florin, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1995, said her illness led her to quit her day job as a desktop publisher and devote her time to art.

"I realized life is short and I should be doing what I want to do," Florin said. "Thankfully, I'm still doing it."

Thursday, December 11, 2008


First stop in Queens

Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches

One of my favorite paintings in the current show at Art-O-Mat. This subway sight greets me daily and I'm reminded of the faded elegance of many of the subway stations and of the marvelous and intricate mosaic work to be found. These are modest mosaics compared to some other stations, but there is beauty among the grittiness of the subway platform. I suspect that along with the thousands of new residents moving into the neighborhood in the not-to-distant future, this subway stop might undergo a renovation/ transformation once the economy rights itself.

The show "L.I.Changing" has been extended through February 8th. From now until December 22, the gallery will be open 7 days a week as well. I'm enjoying meeting people at the gallery and talking about the paintings and the neighborhood. For info on the show and Art-O-Mat click here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Reception for "L.I.Changing"

Oh what a night it was

Oil on panel
6 x 6 inches

This painting is of a gentleman who lived in a building across the street from my studio. When I would take a break away from the easel and look out of the window, I would invariably see Ralph outside, puttering around his home. He's been my "neighbor" for the 28 years that I've had my studio. A few weeks ago I learned that he had passed away at a ripe old age. This was the last painting I did for the show, finishing it days before the hanging. It's strange now to look out my window and not see this familiar fellow. Time passes quicker than we know.

The opening reception for "L.I.Changing" at Art-O-Mat on Thursday night was a real blast! Lots of folks stopped by to see the work, say hello and just have a good time. A photographer from the New York Daily News was there as well, taking lots of photos of this artist and her work for an upcoming story to run in next week's paper. I've sold several paintings, some prints and books so far, and given this economy, I'm thrilled that my work is finding new homes to go to. A great start to what I hope will be a great run for this show. It was a very personal project and the fact that the work and subject matter is resonating with the audience coming to see the show is wonderful.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"L.I.Changing" at Art-O-Mat

Show reception Thursday, December 4th, 6-9pm

Packing up the paintings today. Glassine, plastic and cardboard. Although this work doesn't have far to travel - a mere 3 blocks - I've learned that it is very important to pack the artwork well. I spend a lot of time working on these paintings and it's heartbreaking when they are delivered back from a show poorly packed and damaged.

Monday they head to the gallery and by Thursday evening, all will be hung, lit and ready for an audience. The folks at Art-O-Mat are as excited about this show as I am and have decided to extend the run through February 8th, so the work will have a nice long stretch.

I've also been busy printing, matting and framing prints of the paintings to sell. I try to have work available in a variety of price ranges so that people who like my work but might not be able to afford a painting, can have a nice print. I needed more frames so last Tuesday a friend and I decided to take the B61 bus that stops by my studio to Ikea in Red Hook, Brooklyn. We boarded the bus around 4 pm and didn't arrive until 5:25 pm! I had no idea that this bus was a real local and the route meandered though Greenpoint, downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Boro Park, and finally Red Hook. The new Google Maps feature on the iPhone showed us exactly where we were and the route really did not travel in a straight line. An adventure in travel.

Another project has come to fruition as well, the Artists of L.I.C. 2009 Calendar, sponsored by Art-O-Mat. They were delivered yesterday and I helped deliver batches of the calendars to some of the restaurants that contributed toward the production costs. It turned out nicely and the work is very varied, showing artists perceptions of the community in different media. I'm "Miss September" and was happy to be a part of the project. The calendars will be on sale during my show and I expect to see them scattered throughout the neighborhood.

For a link to Art-O-Mat and the press release click here

Friday, November 21, 2008

LIC show fast approaching

2 weeks to go and counting...

Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches

This painting depicts a stretch of stores and restaurants on Vernon Blvd., a street having an old time feel to it. I stop by Mario's Deli every so often for a sandwich and the place is bustling with neighborhood denizens and workers, many speaking with a pretty heavy Queens accent that makes me smile.

Very busy with all of the last minute details of getting my show ready for the opening on December 4th at Art-O-Mat. I'm very excited about exhibiting this past years body of work and I've been doing a lot of legwork too, handing out my brochures to neighborhood restaurants and businesses, getting the word out. One sale so far, so some of the hard work is starting to show results. An LIC-calendar project sponsored through Art-O-Mat is also in the works and will be going to the printer next week. The calendar will feature 13 LIC artists and my painting, "LIC/Meeting at Brooks" will be featured in September.

Yet another project I've been working on in conjunction with this exhibit is compiling two books of my entire LIC-themed body of work, featuring paintings dating from the early 1980's to the present. "L.I.Changing" Volumes I and II are done. They are being printed through the magic of iPhoto and will be offered for sale at Art-O-Mat in December. I will also have the books available for sale online, just have to work out the details, more to come on that soon.

I think that for an artist, the few weeks before a show opening is an incredibly exciting, if sometimes overwhelming time, and I'm enjoying every minute.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Simon Says

Paul Simon at Barnes & Noble

Went to hear Paul Simon at the Union Square Barne's and Noble last night. It was a standing room only crowd and I spent time craning my neck to get a glimpse of this legendary musician. I attended a bunch of Simon and Garfunkel concerts in my younger years. An interesting hour spent listening to this songwriter speak about his craft and share a few anecdotes on his early days. The hour ended with Simon singing "The Only Living Boy in New York" to rousing applause.

Got me thinking about my early days and I remembered that I had done a painting from the cover of the "Bookends" album when it was released back in 1968. I was a very young artist, just learning my craft, and I remember sitting on the floor in my bedroom with my canvas and paints, trying to copy the portrait on the album cover while listening to the record on my little record player, getting up to turn the disc over and play it again once it had finished. Here is a very, very early painting, that I thought would be fun to share. I realized early on that I was not meant to be a portrait painter and luckily I found my niche painting the urban landscape instead.

Oil on canvas
24 x 18
circa 1968

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day 2008

Remembering those who fought

"9:40 P.M."
Oil on ca nvas
24 x 18 inches

A sunny and crisp fall day in NYC and the parade is gearing up to march down Fifth Avenue. I always think about my Dad on Veteran's Day - he was one of the thousands fighting in WWII in Europe. With much prodding he told a tale or two but was pretty tight-lipped about his experiences during the war. I can't imagine what this shy, young kid from Brooklyn faced in the early 40's.

This painting, done several years ago, has the Metropolitan Life Tower patriotically lit up in the old red, white and blue, with the Empire State building in the background. Just love the city at night.

A favorite singer/songwriter of mine, Tom Russell, wrote "Veteran's Day", a moving song about the VFW hall up the block, according to the liner notes. Well worth checking out this guy, click here for his website

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Greenwich Workshop Gallery SmallWorks™North America

2008 Exhibition and Sale

"Madison Reflections II"
Oil on canvas
12x9 inches

I was delighted to have this painting accepted into this small works exhibition at the Greenwich Workshop Gallery in Fairfield, CT. It is a large show of small works with an emphasis on realism. This reflection painting is realistic yet...

The exhibit begins on November 21. You are invited to view the art online now and vote for a favorite - click here

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NYC Marathon

Here they come...

"LIC Marathon"
Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches

The NYC Marathon is set for tomorrow, the weather forecast is good and thousands of runner's will be traversing the boroughs and bridges, pushing past "the wall" to reach the finish line. My studio is located at the exact halfway point in the race - 13 miles. It's pretty exciting waiting for the first marathoner's to appear over the crest of the Pulaski Bridge, leaving Brooklyn and entering Queens. The disabled participants are first to be seen, to great cheering, and then the front runners fly by. After that they just keep coming and coming and coming...thousands of runners from all over the world. I did this painting several years ago and have seen the race many times.

A great event for this great city. Enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Gantry

Down by the river

"LIC/The Gantry"
Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches

Another LIC painting today. This scene is down by the East River where the views of the Manhattan skyline are truly spectacular. Directly across the river one can see the U.N., and the Empire State Building. You can look downriver and upriver and pick out one well-known building after another. The light on the buildings keeps changing depending on the time of day, and there are lots of great sky changes going on too. This area is known as Gantry State Park and the waterfront has been developed along with the large buildings going up along the water's edge. There are places to sit and relax and enjoy the views and it's a great site for photographers.

Also wanted to take a moment to give a shout out to Gabriela Lopez Dellosso, an artist I know who currently has an exhibit at the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery in Soho on Spring Street. I attended the opening reception and this artist's work is well worth seeing. Large and small figurative paintings and when you look in the shadows and the backgrounds, interesting and unexpected things are going on. If you'd like to see some of Gabriela's work click this link.

Friday, October 17, 2008

L.I.C. Construction Boom

Buildings, buildings everywhere

JacksonConstruction #1
Oil on canvas
10 x 10 inches

One of the reasons I decided to create a new series of L.I.C.-based paintings was due largely to the rapidly changing face of the neighborhood over the past several years. Having found my studio in 1980, I would watch as the occasional building went up or was renovated, with not too much fanfare or change to the local scene. In 1989, the Citicorp building was opened and word was that the neighborhood would undergo major changes, but that didn't really happen until just a few years ago. Now, when I walk out of my studio 5 - count 'em - 5 buildings are in development within a two block walk. I've been watching as these structures go up, changing daily, and knew that this would be one of the themes that I would explore when preparing this new series of works. This painting is of a rental building going up just down the block from me. I really liked the play of space created by the beams - abstract yet representational at the same time. Those guys just walk on those steel beams, moving them around and getting them into place so easily, it boggles the mind. I have to admit, it is really is fascinating watching a building go up, piece by piece. Since this painting was completed, the brickwork is now in place and I believe the structure will be completed by the spring. This scene, like so many others I've done, has aready been altered. I'm just trying to catch and hold onto a piece of time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Silvercup Studios

Bread and Film

"LIC/Silvercup Studios"
Oil on canvas
10 x 10 inches

Today I share another painting in my recent Long Island City series, the Silvercup Studios, home of some great television and film production. Before it was converted to sound stages for the entertainment industry, Silvercup was a big commercial bakery and I am old enough to remember driving over the 59th Street bridge in the evening enveloped by the wonderful smell of freshly baking bread. When I walk around LIC today, sometimes in the late afternoon, I can still catch a whiff of baking bread, leading me to believe that there are still commercial bakeries in the neighborhood.

One of my favorite programs, "The Sopranos" was filmed at Silvercup and I had an "almost" thrill during the last season of filming. A location scout had come up to the studio thinking that my large windows might work for an upcoming scene that was in the planning stages. Although my space was not used, I did eventually see the segment as described. Ah, what could have been. I still have his business card with the show's logo tacked up on my bulletin board.

There have been a lot of rumors circulating about the Silvercup Studios area being developed into retail and living spaces, but with the economy floundering like a fish out of water these days, I'm pretty sure any development plans are on hold and it might be years before anything comes of these rumors. It's "wait and see in L.I.C." Ah, I just couldn't resist.

Friday, October 3, 2008

An Edward Hopper Week

First the boyhood home

Hopper House Gallery photo taken October 1, 2008

Last Sunday I attended the reception for the "Small Matters of Great Importance" exhibit at the Hopper House Gallery and had a delightful afternoon. The house itself, boyhood home of artist Edward Hopper, is a small space, the rooms very compact. Nice wooden floors throughout, and nice light streaming in through the windows. And article appeared in the area newspaper and my painting "LIC Courthouse-Flag" was reproduced, very nice. Click here to read article

This week-end I'll continue with my Edward Hopper journey when I visit his studio in Greenwich Village. It will be open to the public as part of the Open House New York week-end, a great event that I enjoy every year. It's a wonderful way to go behind the scenes of some interesting sites in New York. Click here to check out the sites that will be open to the public.

Work on the LIC series for the upcoming December show is still going along like gangbusters. My friend designed a really nice brochure that is now at the printers. Gearing up for a great show!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Small Matters

"LIC Courthouse-Fountain"
Oil on canvas
5 x 5 in.

These two small studies of the Long Island City courthouse will be on exhibit in the 15th Annual Small Matters of Great Importance exhibit at the Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, New York. I really like the fact that my work will be hanging in what was once the boyhood home of artist Edward Hopper, one of my favorite painters.

"LIC Courthouse-Flag"
Oil on panel
5 x 5 in.

Certain of my paintings have been described as "Hopperesque", so being part of this exhibit is somehow fitting. The exhibition runs from September 27 through October 29, with the opening reception on Sunday, September 28th, 2-5 pm. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by.

Friday, September 19, 2008

True Colors

Some work featured on on the website

Oil on canvas
8 x 10 in.

Several of my paintings have been on the website for several years and are occasionally featured on the home page and in the True Colors Newsletter. This small scale painting of some lovely architectural details on a Lafayette Street building is just one of the paintings featured in the current True Colors newsletter, Vol. 10 #11. If you'd like to read the article click here

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Go Yankees

Well, a 7-0 loss isn't exactly a great game but...

Photo taken 9/13/08

With only 10 games left to go before "The House That Ruth Built" is closed down for good, I thought it would be a nice idea to take my brother, a Yankee fan since childhood, to a final game, perhaps to relive some memories. My friend "Yankee Fran", a season ticketholder, was kind enough to give me 2 tickets to the game, what a pal! The place was packed. My brother had lots of stories to tell such attending the first ever Bat Day, being present for Mickey Mantle Day, his boyhood hero, and then there was the time a fly ball zoomed into the stands and landed smack into the mouth of his friend Eddie - not exactly the way to catch a ball.

The game wasn't anything to write home about, the Yanks losing 7-0 with few hits, but since I've only been to about 3 games in my life, I enjoyed sitting in the crowd, watching the action on the field and taking lots of photos with the idea, of course, of doing a painting or two of an historic building that will soon be disappearing from the NYC landscape - my specialty it seems. Here's a painting I did in 1989 of the famous frieze surrounding the topmost section of the stadium.

"Yankee Stadium"
Oil on canvas
10 x 8 iinches

An artist friend, Andy Jurinko, is a master at painting the golden era of baseball and has done many paintings of baseball stadiums, players and historic moments in the game, someone worth checking out if you enjoy this subject.

I did get a photo of the new stadium currently under construction and it's looking pretty spiffy. I just might have to go to a game, if I can afford a ticket, when it opens next year.

Photo taken 9/13/08

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9/11 seven years down the road...

Thinking about then and now

"Union Square Memorial #3"
Oil on canvas
30 x 36 inches

Thinking a lot about the events of 9/11 this week and I'm finding it hard to believe that 7 years have passed. New York is a different city today, it's a different world. Many people around the globe joined in our mourning and I did this painting with the idea of community.

Photograph taken Fall, 2007

The area where the towers once stood is a huge construction site and the latest word is that the "bathtub", the structure keeping out the river, is still leaking and building progress is slow going. Tourists continue to flock downtown to see the site where the "Twins" once stood.

"New York Harbor"
Oil on canvas
36 x 46 inches

I did this painting in 1985 and it was purchased by a company with offices in the World Trade Center. As far as I know, this painting perished along with so many other works of art that day.

Art and politics don't mix, at least for me, and I generally keep my opinions to myself. This 9/11 anniversary though, brings home the fact that it's a troubled world we're living in. This artist is an apolitical person, throwing in the towel when McGovern lost the race back in the day. These last few years though, I find I can't help but be very, very concerned and the upcoming election is bringing home how many important issues need to be addressed. A lot is riding on the outcome and I hope the candidate who wins will be the right person for the seemingly impossible job of getting us out of the mess the last eight years have put us in. I'll be casting my ballot and keeping my fingers crossed that my vote will really count this time around.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Kicking off the Fall Season

Several juried shows coming up

"Holiday Bait"
Oil on canvas
18 x 24 inches

This Fall will find several of my paintings on view in various juried/group exhibits. Yesterday I delivered "Holiday Bait", a painting of a holiday-themed restaurant window on 23rd Street, to the Audubon Artists 66th Annual Exhibition. The exhibit is held at the Salmagundi Club in a nice old brownstone on Fifth Avenue and the quality of work is usually pretty good. The show is open to the public September 8 -26.

Last week I received a letter from the National Association of Women Artists informing me that my painting "Holiday at Carmine's" had won an award in their 119th Annual Exhibition, always nice news to hear. That exhibition is on view at GoggleWorks in Reading, Pennsylvania from August 24 - September 29.

More shows are coming up and I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Empire City Iron Works

LIC continued

LIC/ Empire City Iron Works
Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches

Still busy painting Long Island City scenes and I now have over 20 paintings completed with more ready to be worked on for the upcoming show in December. So many new high-rise developments are taking over the neighborhood these days, but vestiges of the light manufacturing area LIC is can still be found. Empire City Iron Works has several buildings in the area and this sign really pops out of the landscape. Decided to do a painting of this site as it is part of the history of LIC and lends a sense of what a mixed-use community this still is.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer Streets in NYC

Two weekends in August

Photograph of Grand Central

A large stretch of Manhattan was closed to vehicular traffic until 1 pm these past three Saturdays in August. It was an opportunity for walkers, joggers, rollerbladers and cyclists to tool uptown or downtown on Park Avenue and see the city from yet another perspective. Last weekend I grabbed my camera and headed uptown, walking 35 blocks, taking photographs galore, people-watching and enjoying the beautiful weather. Getting up this close to Grand Central was a real treat.

Photograph of Central Park Summer Stage

The next day was the last Summer Stage Concert of the season in Central Park, featuring Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Wow, can that woman sing! Mix in some James Brown, Tina Turner and maybe even a little Areatha Franklin and you have dynamite on stage, backed by a terrific band, the Dap Kings. Another beautiful day weatherwise, a great weekend overall.

Photograph from the Brooklyn Bridge

Last weekend I decided to take advantage of Summer Streets again and head downtown this time. I met a friend and off we went, walking down Park Avenue to Fourth Avenue and on. Another beautiful day weatherwise, and another great opportunity for photographing the city. We walked to the end of the route, made two quick stops at Century 21 and J&R Electronics and then decided to continue our day with a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. Lots of people had the same idea and there were many folks trekking the boards of this venerable landmark.

"Brooklyn Historical Society"
Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches

Heading toward Montague Street to find a place for lunch we passed the Brooklyn Historical Society. I painted this building several years back and was delighted to see that the building had been lovingly restored recently. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the older buildings saved, restored and standing proud once again. After a chance to sit down and chow down, it was off to the Brookyn Explanade to check out The Falls art installation. Backtracking several blocks to Bororough Hall/Court Street we caught the shuttle bus to the new Ikea store in Red Hook. Always fun to check out the stuff in this store and I found some really nice square frames which I'll put to good use. The water taxi ride back to Manhattan, with a great view of the Lady in the Harbor, was a nice way to head back to the city. Disembarking at Wall Street we trudged several blocks up to Broadway and caught the subway back uptown. Eight hours after I left my apartment I arrived home tired but happy with the day's adventures. I like to think of these past two weekends as a mini-vacation and realize how lucky I am to live in NYC. I know there will be several paintings amongst all the photos I took and I'm looking forward to see which ones I choose to paint.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame Annex in NYC

So many great concerts over the years

"The Bottom Line Remembered"
Oil on canvas
30 x 36 inches

Heard on the news today that the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame will be opening an annex museum in Soho. That sounds good to me. Having seen soooo many great shows over the years, it seems only fitting that this town, which provided venues for many performers to get their music out there, will have a spot to highlight some of the memorabilia that accompanies the music.

I got to thinking that a lot of these venues have sadly disappeared from the NYC scene, places like CBGB's, the Bottom Line, The Fillmore East. When I heard that The Bottom Line was closing a few years back, my heart sank. I was in the audience the first week it opened, back in the 70's, and saw some memorable acts - Tim Hardin, Laura Nyro, Tom Russell, Joan Baez, Roy Buchanan, The Turtles, Barry Manilow (!!!!) and so many others. Seeing that familiar blue awning, getting tickets, squeezing into the tightly packed chairs, seeing and hearing the performers up was wonderful. The one concert that I WISH I could have attended was one of the August, 1975 Springsteen shows, just prior to the release of Born To Run, history in the making. I plan to check out the museum when it opens - sure beats the news of the opening of yet another Duane Reade.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Meeting at Brooks

Another sunny day in LIC

"Meeting at Brooks"
Oil on canvas
12 x 9 inches

This painting is a companion piece to the "Waiting at Brooks" painting posted earlier on this blog. It is said that every picture tells a story, and these two paintings together tell one as well. As I imagined it, a young woman is waiting for a friend at a restaurant, anticipating a nice meal and conversation and then meeting up, smile's "hello" and then off to eat and schmooze. A commonplace event, captured here with paint and brush. This painting will be featured in an upcoming LIC calendar project and will be part of my upcoming LIC exhibit in December.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Queens Chronicle article

"Woodhaven Native Captures L.I.C. On Canvas"

Photograph, working on new LIC painting

I was delighted to get an email from a friend this afternoon letting me know that an article about my work had appeared in The Queens Chronicle, a community based newspaper. Always nice to get some publicity. A young freelance writer contacted me several weeks ago about doing a story after she had found some samples of my work on the internet. The power of the web never ceases to amaze.

The lure of the internet, and Apple products in general (I'm a long time MAC person), found me waiting on line with 2 friends yesterday at the Apple Store in Tribeca, hoping to get a new iPhone. After waiting for 3 hours, I was escorted upstairs where I was given a shiny new phone - well, it's waaaaay more than a phone, that's for sure. There was a glitch with receiving incoming calls, but I resolved that this morning after a visit to my local AT&T store. So, I'm now the proud owner of an iPhone, and with my friend Sandy's invaluable help, I'm learning just what this little dynamo can do.

To read the full story click here

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Brooks in LIC

Quiet afternoon in the neighborhood

"Waiting at Brooks"
Oil on canvas
10 x 8 inches

I've been busy working on my new series of Long Island City-inspired paintings for an upcoming show this December and January at Art-O-Mat in LIC and I'm having a great time. Keep finding more and more paintings that I want to do, but I know I'll only complete a fraction of them in time for the show. Have a nice group done so far and look forward to sharing some of them with you on this blog. Today's painting is a recent one and very "Hopperesque" in feel - I just saw the light hitting the side of this old restaurant in the neighborhood with a lone figure and I quickly took a few photos in hopes of doing a painting. Loved the light and shadow and the quiet feeling of the street on a late week-end afternoon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pepsi Sign in LIC

The sign is moving???

Oil on canvas
12 x 9 inches

Today I read online that the Pepsi sign, a well-known landmark on the LIC waterfront, will be moved, due to the new and never-ending development in the area. They're moving the sign, what next? I did this painting of the sign with the NY skyline in 1986 - back when the waterfront was undeveloped and the views of the skyline were unobstructed. So many of the buildings and scenes in my paintings have changed and continue to change, and this is just one more for the list.

Pepsi Sign in LIC

Last week my cousin Joni and her co-worker Paola were visiting NYC on business and they made a studio visit. After showing them my paintings and around the studio we had dinner in the neighborhood and then strolled down to the waterfront to enjoy the beautiful skyline views as the sun was setting. I pointed out the Pepsi sign and took this photo, thinking I might do a painting of it. Well, I'm glad to know that the sign will remain, even if it won't be in it's original spot! And so it goes...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Members show at Flushing Town Hall

Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts exhibit

"Taxi Reflections"
Oil on canvas
30 x 24 inches

Hot, steamy, sticky summer's day in NYC found me schlepping a painting on the #7 train to the last stop in Flushing. I will be exhibiting a piece in the annual members show and today was the day to get the work to the gallery. After getting off the train on Main Street I walked several blocks to the Flushing Town Hall, an historic building, nicely restored and now the home of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts. Several years before its current state it housed a dinner theater and I attended a Peter, Paul and Mary concert there. The performers kept asking the audience, "how could anyone live in a place called Flushing?" Well, I did for several years and I found myself thinking "you can't go home again" really was true as I walked the streets of my old neighborhood. I had lived in Flushing in the 70's and early 80's and there was very little left of the neighborhood that I had known. Today, the area is a bustling, primarily Asian neighborhood, with signage, crowds, stores and buildings attesting to that fact. A lot of energy on the streets, the weather non-withstanding. Another trip down memory lane today.

The Members' Art Exhibition runs from July 17 - August 31, with an opening reception on Wednesday, July 16, 6-8pm. For more info click here

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Flags for the Fourth

Another glorious 4th of July

"Scouts and Flags"
Oil on canvas
10 x 8 inches

I wanted to post something in honor of the upcoming 4th of July holiday and came across two paintings that fit the bill. Amid the marching bands and floats in this 9th Avenue parade several years ago, a group of scouts hoisting the red, white and blue were marching proudly through the streets of New York.

Oil on canvas
30 x 25 inches

After I found the scouts painting, I came across another piece featuring the flag, and thought, why not post this one as well. Loved painting the brickwork on this building's facade and the red geranium in the window played off of the red stripes in the flag nicely. Wishing you all a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Window Watching on 9th Avenue

Bricks galore

"9th Avenue Lady in Window"
Oil on canvas
16 x 20 inches

Continuing with the window watchers, today I'm posting this older painting that I came across while going through my racks that I really like. An interesting story about this painting. When it was exhibited several years ago, a gentleman came up to me at the opening reception and told me that this painting reminded him of a story. He had been born and raised in the Bronx and had not been back to visit for many years. When he did return, an old woman came up to him and excitedly started talking, but he couldn't remember her. Then, it came to him. She was the mother of a childhood friend and he didn't recognize her because he had only seen her from the waist up, looking out of her window, when he was a child. Here she was now, standing before him as a whole person, and it was the first time he'd seen her in that light. A nice memory.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Sale Time

Two paintings on Ebay today

"The Sunny Side of the Street"
Oil on canvas
12 x 16 inches

It's summer and I've been rummaging around my studio, rearranging paintings and looking for more space, which is fast disappearing. So, I've decided to start offering some of my older paintings for sale on Ebay in the hopes of finding them new homes and giving me some much needed shelf space. They really need to be hung up and enjoyed, and not left to languish on a shelf. So, here goes.

In this first painting, the sunlight was hitting the side of this building full on, and the architectural details really stood out. The building has been rehabbed since this painting was done and the Affordable Art Fair, where I had several paintings exhibited, was held here recently.

"Lady in the Window on 9th"
Oil on canvas
9 x 12 inches

I love to paint people in their windows, such a New York "thing" and something that is vanishing. The action is out on the street and before television and the internet, life's dramas took place in real time in one's neighborhood. This lady was looking out of her window during a street festival, taking in all of the activity below.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Affordable Art Fair

June 12-15, 2008

"An Elegant Twosome on Fifth"
Oil on canvas
24 x 30 inches

This painting of the rooftop of an old beaux arts building on Fifth Avenue reflected on the facade of a smooth, glossy modern building will be one of several paintings that I will have on view at the Affordable Art Fair with the Franklin 54 Gallery, Booth M407. Delivering work today in 90+ degree heat - the thing I like least about being an artist!

This large fair features galleries from all over the country as well overseas and presents all types of work in many mediums. The Fair runs from June 12-15 at the Altman building and Metroploitan Pavilion, 135 West 18th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues,

Monday, June 2, 2008

The 59th Street Bridge aka Queensborough Bridge

Continuing on the theme of bridges...

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

Since the anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge I thought I'd share a new bridge painting today. The 59th Street Bridge - ahhhh, memories - countless rides over this bridge, walking it during the NYC transit strikes, and hiking it during the last blackout. I remember getting stuck once right in the middle of the bridge - my car just stalled. Luckily I was towed off, but when you're the cause of a traffic backup, it's DEFINITELY not fun. Maybe that's one of the reasons I no longer have a car? At any rate, I saw this wonderful reflection of the bridge from a spot on York Avenue. A newly constructed, black, glass-fronted building acted as a wonderful backdrop for these bridge reflections in the late afternoon sun.

Limited-edition giclée prints of this painting are available. For more info, check out

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Brooklyn Bridge

125 years and still going strong

The Brooklyn Bridge
Oil on canvas
36 x 46 inches

Couldn't let the day go by without acknowledging the 125th birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge! I've always been in awe of the bridges of New York, the architectural and engineering feats that they are as well as the links they create for the "bridge and tunnel" crowd.

If you've never walked over the Brooklyn Bridge, it is a rare treat. The first time I walked over the bridge I took my Dad along. He was raised in Brooklyn and although he'd driven over the bridge countless times, he'd never walked it. I remember a bright, sunny morning in 1989, a stunning skyline and a bunch of great photographs. I've painted this bridge more than once and I've actually sold someone the Brooklyn Bridge. This particular painting is bittersweet as the Twin Towers are visible in the background - a skyline forever altered. Happy Birthday Brooklyn Bridge, may you stand tall and proud for years to come!

Monday, May 19, 2008

St. Mary's in LIC

The Long Island City Series continues...

LIC/St. Mary's
Oil on canvas
10 x 8 inches

Continuing with my Long Island City series, I share this small painting of St. Mary's, a lovely old church and landmark on Vernon Blvd. in LIC. With all the changes in the neigborhood, I'm hopeful that this landmark will remain standing proud. The steeple can be seen for miles around and bells do ring at certain hours of the day, giving the area an old-timey feel. Rosetta, an artist raised in Long Island City, commissioned this painting as St. Mary's holds many fond memories for her. We spent a few hours one day walking around the neighborhood while I took loads of photos and this was the one that she chose. It will be a wonderful addition to my upcoming December exhibition at Art-O-Mat, here in LIC. I've several more paintings ready to go so look for more LIC paintings to come.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ninth Avenue Food Festival 2008!

May 17-18, 2008 - yum!

"Ninth Avenue Yum"
Oil on canvas
24 x30 inches

Well, it's coming up soon - my FAVORITE street fair. This year will mark the 30th year that I've attended the Ninth Avenue Food Festival, strolling up and down the avenue from 37th to 57th Street, stopping occasionally to eat, but really there to take photos for painting ideas, people-watch and to check out how the neighborhood had changed from the previous year. In 1978, my first year attending the festival, there was music and dancing in the streets, wonderful smells from the various foods for sale, people in their windows and fire escapes checking out the action below. Ninth Avenue is a nice wide street with plenty of room to wander from one side of the street to the other.

I've done many, many paintings over the years inspired by the festival and today I'm sharing a new painting that is based on a photo I took at last years fair. The reflections in the window of a housewares store capture the crowds, the tents, the colors and the action happening out there in the street. There has been a lot of gentrification over the years on Ninth Avenue and with street fairs in general. I remember seeing all kinds of stuff for sale back then, not the usual socks and sunglasses one sees at fairs these days. Banners on fire escapes with slogans of "We Won't Go" were up a few years ago and now one sees new buildings interespersed with the older structures. This neighborhood, like most of the neigborhoods in New York these days are getting facelifts and in some areas the change is more dramatic than in others. But, a lot of the charm and grittiness and character of Ninth Avenue are still to be found. Here's hoping for nice weather for this years festival!