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!