Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pete's Tavern on Irving Place

O'Henry wrote and ate here

"Pete's Tavern"
Oil on canvas
24 x 24 inches

Another new painting in the hopper for the upcoming Fall exhibit in Chelsea at the Franklin 54 Gallery. Pete's Tavern is located on Irving Place, a street running from 14th to 20th Streets. A cozy haunt in Gramercy Park, Pete's has a nice, old-timey wooden bar with the restaurant located in the back rooms. Black wooden booths, tiles on the floor and numerous photos on the walls create a nice ambiance. The noted writer O'Henry lived in the area and frequented this restaurant often, sitting in a booth and and working on his stories. As I walk by Pete's Tavern fairly often, I wanted to try to capture it on canvas. It's been around a long time and I can't imagine the corner of 18th Street without it.

Meeting with the other two artists in the show this week and our catalogue project is almost complete. I'm very happy that we were able to capture this collaborative effort in print and I know we have a very interesting exhibit on our hands. As an added plus, Alfred Pommer, a popular New York City tour guide, will be conducting a "walking tour" in the gallery as a special event. He'll talk about the places depicted in the artworks hanging on the gallery walls and it will be a great introduction to these neighborhoods, should folks want to then hit the streets and see the actual places on their own. I'll post more details about this event soon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Metropolitan Life Reflections

A stately sentinel on 23rd Street

"Metropolitan Life Reflections"
Oil on canvas
24 x 18 inches

I've been missing working on a new reflection painting when I came upon this view of the Met Life building several weeks ago. Took a few photos and settled on this view. Just love the undulating forms and limited palette used in this painting. I've painted this building several times over the years and never get tired of this subject and as I'd never done a reflection painting, it was high time that one came off the easel. Another in the series I've been working on for the upcoming Gramcery/Flatiron show in the fall. Still have to come up with a good title though, and would welcome any ideas for a really catchy show title. I'm sharing this painting with you today because of the cool colors, blues, whites and grays. The current heat wave is getting to me and everyone else here in NYC so I hope this painting might be a refreshing change of pace.

Off to buy a new Mac computer tomorrow as mine is 6 years old and starting to falter. It's worked hard over the years and served me well, but it's time for an upgrade. My friend Sandy was visiting the studio yesterday and when she saw my monitor she told me the colors on a new screen will look much sharper and more saturated. Hadn't even thought of that. It will be interesting to see how my paintings look once I'm up and running with a fresh new system.

Keep cool everyone!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

19th Street Carriage House

We're having a heat wave...

"19th Street Carriage House Study"
Oil on panel
6 x 6 inches

Smack dab in the middle of a heat wave I thought I'd share this snowy scene with you. I LOVE THIS HOUSE! A former carriage house on 19th Street in the Gramercy Park area was refurbished into one of the most charming residences in NYC, in my humble opinion. Passersby often stop to look it over, point out different details and just smile when they see this place. I know I do. I remember when the small carriage house was a boarded-up ruin, painted green and yellow and covered with graffiti. Happily that is no longer the case. Two buildings were combined, bricked in red, with white wood trimmings and wrought iron details. There are two small iron horses on the facade in homage to the building's former days as a stable. A lovely tree in front of the house is covered with pink blooms today. The photo that I worked from was taken last winter just after a snowstorm. Try to imagine a cold, blustery day filled with sunshine and snowy sidewalks. Sending cooling thoughts your way.