Monday, April 28, 2008

The Lower East Side Remembered

LES memories

"Orchard Street"
Oil on canvas
24 x 18 inches

I'm feeling nostalgic today. Maybe it is because I watched the movie "Crossing Delancy" last night and enjoyed it as much as I did when it was first released in the '80's. I was also flooded with memories of the Lower East Side that I remembered from my childhood. My Dad was born on Allen Street and many a Sunday would find us having lunch at Ratner's or Katz's or Glucksterns and then shopping on Orchard Street and Essex Street among others. My brother and I would get our clothes for camp there, as well as the footlocker and blankets and name tags. That was the place where I would often get a winter coat, after some haggling on my parents part with the shopkeepers. Bargaining was expected, it was part of the "experience" of shopping in New York's first "mall". We would bring home pickles and candy and underwear.

"Winter Sunlight"
Oil on canvas
26 x 36 inches

As I got older and started painting, I would bring my camera with me and photograph the building facades, the clothes hanging from the windows and doorways, the throngs that would be found in the neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon. The two paintings I share with you today were done in the 1980's of a Lower East Side that is greatly changed. I was photographing the area a few weeks ago and was amazed by the changes. Chic restaurants and clothing stores, modern glass buildings nestled between century old tenements, lots of changes. Maybe it's progress, maybe not. I'm just sitting here today feeling nostalgic and taking a walk down memory lane.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Studio Visit Magazine

Hot off the presses

I just received my copy of Studio Visit, Volume 2, 2008 today and on turning to page 58, I was pleased to see my painting Madison Reflections II reproduced. The entries for this volume were juried from over 1,000 entries and a variety of styles and media are represented.

Getting my work "out there" is a continuing challenge that takes up a lot of my time these days. This is why I enter juried competitions, have shows in alternative art venues such as storefront windows as well as more traditional gallery spaces and museums, have samples of my paintings on the internet on various websites, exhibit in corporate spaces and wherever else an opportunity presents itself. Not only does an artist have to be creative with their paints and canvas, but they need to be creative in finding ways to show and sell their work. Part and parcel of being a working artist these days. I love to paint, to see my ideas emerge from a blank canvas. It's a wonderful, sometimes difficult, but oh so rewarding life.

For more information on this publication, go to

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hanging "Windows"

Exhibit runs from April 15 - May 13

Holiday at Carmine's
Oil on canvas
18 x 24 inches

Two stories to share today that relate to the life of an artist and the life of a New Yorker. First story - I arrived at the studio early this morning, all packed up and ready to hang the show. Checked my email and there was a note from Paul, who runs the window program, confirming that the hanging would take place tomorrow, not today. A quick call confirmed that we'd goofed. No matter how many emails are sent or how many times copy on a card is checked, mistakes happen. Not a big deal, the show will go up tomorrow, but it just goes to show that being an artist just ain't easy sometimes.

The second story is a real New York tale. I was on the subway on Friday evening when a group of out-of-towners came aboard. One woman sat down beside me and asked how to get to Chinatown. After giving her directions I asked where she was from and it seems they were a group of teachers who had spent the past several days sheparding 180 eighth-graders around town and it was the adults night off to have some fun before heading back to Florida the next day. They were heading to Chinatown and then back to the theater district to have dinner at Carmine's restaurant on 44th St. I gave her a postcard to my show which features a painting of the VERY restaurant that they were going to. She and I both got a kick out of that. Who says New Yorker's aren't friendly and helpful.

Ansonia Pharmacy Windows, 10th Street and 6th Avenue. Hope you can stop by to see the show!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Stuyvesant Polyclinic-a gem on 2nd Avenue

Another building soon to be lost?

2nd Avenue Library
Oil on canvas
36 x 46 inches

While reading Jerimiah's Vanishing New York blog today, I saw this mention of one of the grand old buildings on 2nd Avenue, which might soon be on the endangered species list - oh no!! I painted a portion of the facade of this glorious building way back in 1986 and wanted to share it with you today, as you never know how long this building might remain a part of the New York scene. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the older buildings saved and given a new life - I hope this will be true of this 2nd Avenue treasure.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Fred French Building on Fifth Avenue

Another painting in the upcoming Ansonia Windows show

French Reflections (study)
Oil on canvas
8x10 inches

This small painting is of the Fred French building on Fifth Avenue in midtown. The facade of this building is one of the prettiest examples of art deco design, in my humble opinion, and the reflections of the building were just so interesting to paint. I did the small painting and liked it so much I went on to paint a larger version, something that I rarely do. Since the theme of my upcoming exhibit is "Windows", I knew that this small painting would fit right in and will be on view in the Ansonia Windows, located on 10th St. and Sixth Avenue from April 14-May 13.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Grand Central Reflections

Upcoming show featuring windows and reflections galore

Grand Central Reflections
Oil on canvas
30 x 24 inches

I've been busy getting ready for several upcoming shows this spring. The first one up will be a window show where I will be exhibiting several paintings and giclée prints, one of which is "Grand Central Reflections". This is yet another wonderful beaux arts building saved from the wrecker's ball and beautifully restored. They don't call it Grand Central for nothing, what with the constant hum of activity and people coming and going. Being there lets one know they have really arrived in "the city". Loved the reflections. Although the painting has been sold, I've had a limited edition giclée printed of this image and it will be on view from April 14-May 13th at the Ansonia Pharmacy Windows, 442 6th Avenue (at West 10th Street).