Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Professional Artist Magazine, May 2011

"Alwyn Court"
Oil on canvas
30 x 36 inches

The May issue of Professional Artist magazine contains an article "Alternative Spaces in Manhattan," pp. 22-25, by Renée Phillips. Among the venues discussed is the Durst Corporation's lobby spaces. I had an exhibit in one of their buildings several years ago and it was a wonderful experience.

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

The article mentions my show as well reproductions of two of the paintings that appeared in the exhibit. I was delighted to receive a call from an artist friend telling me she had gotten the magazine and lo and behold, there were my paintings. Nice publicity and I'll be curious to see if anyone gets in touch with me as a result of the article. You never know.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Battle-Axe Gleason Lived Here

Historic block boasts politico's former home

"LIC/Dan's House"
Oil on canvas
14 x 11 inches

Several months ago Dan, a new collector of some of my Long Island City-themed paintings, commissioned me to do a painting of his home on 45th Avenue, the area's historic block. While discussing the commission, Dan mentioned that his home had once been owned by a former mayor of Long Island City, Patrick Gleason. I did a little google search and found that this Irish immigrant had come to America, fought in the Civil War (today being the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the war), made a fortune and got involved in politics. He was LIC's mayor before incorporation into the City of Greater New York in 1898. From some accounts, Gleason was a politician in the Boss Tweed style and was not well-liked by many. However, he was considered a friend to the common man and is the person responsible for P.S. 1, his legacy to the community's children. P.S. 1 continues on today, refurbished and home to a thriving contemporary art scene, a branch of MoMA.

It is always so interesting to learn about the history of a building. Not only did I enjoy working on the wrought-iron and brick facade, I imagined the meetings and deal-making that might have taken place inside back in the late 1800's. Dan picked up the painting last week and was very pleased with the finished commission. The block boasts many wonderful buildings and I just might do another painting or two someday.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

LIC Twilight View

"LIC/21st Street Twilight"
Oil on canvas
12 x 9 inches

For the past few months I have been working on several small scale paintings and catching up with ideas that I've had for awhile and wanted to experiment with. After completing a commission of a Long Island City night scene last Fall, I decided this was a subject that I could really delve into. I had blocked in this painting 2 years ago and set it aside and decided now would be the time to tackle it. The painting went smoothly and quickly and it was a joy to work on this one. This is a view at the crossroads of 21st Street and Jackson Avenue. P.S. 1 and the Big Allis smokestacks are visible, along with the factories in the area. The sky cast a grayish/purple hue and the lights had just started to twinkle at that hour of the early evening. I plan to continue exploring this subject and hope to share a few more of these night scenes.

On another note, I just finished reading Steve Martin's "An Object of Beauty", his glimpse into the art world and its players - the dealers, the artists, the collectors. Pretty interesting read and would recommend this book.