Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book Signing Event December 21, 2013 Exploring Manhattan's Murray Hill

On Saturday, December 21st, from 2-4, there will be a book signing and sale event for the Murray Hill book by Alfred and Joyce Pommer, featuring several of my paintings and pen and ink drawings. The original artwork will be on display, along with a selection of some of my NYC-themed pillows.

The event takes place at 315 West 39th Street, #1608.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Crescent Grill Brothers

Last Thursday's reception at the Dougherty Gallery at the Crescent Grill was a really nice event. The small exhibition was beautifully installed by the curator and the selection of urban-themed work was terrific. When I first walked into the restaurant, there on an easel was the painting I was commissioned to do of Dan and his brother Shaun in front of their newly-opened restaurant.

Pen and ink study for commission

Thought you might like to see the process of this painting's creation. I started with several photographs and combined two, doing a pen and ink study to make sure the composition worked well.

Crescent Grill
Oil on canvas
14 x 11 inches

Here is the finished painting. I do not consider myself a portrait painter by any means, but I do enjoy painting figures and have them show up in my paintings from time to time.

In the end, they were happy with the painting and I was relieved that they were. Now I'm looking forward to to some upcoming dinners with friends at the Crescent Grill during the holiday season.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Urban: An Explorationof New York's Landscapes

Five pieces were picked up today for the upcoming exhibit, Urban: An Exploration of New York's Landscapes at the Dougherty Gallery at Crescent Grill. The show will feature the work of 5 artists - paintings, pastels, and photography exploring the New York urban landscape, my kind of subject. The Crescent Grill is a newly opened restaurant space in Long Island City, owned and operated by Dan and Shaun Dougherty. Chef Shaun whips up the goodies in the newly designed kitchen while Dan is host. This family run-restaurant opened in an area of LIC undergoing a lot of development and there wasn't much in the way of dining choices until they came along. Dan is a long-time Long Island City resident and a great supporter of the arts - especially local artists. Hence, the intimate gallery space that was created when the restaurant was built.

The opening reception is on Thursday, December 5, 2013 from 6 - 9 pm and the show runs though February 2, 2014. Hope you can stop by.

For info on the Crescent Grill click this link.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Great Jones Street Fire House

The Fire House
Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches

Today the blog Daytonian in Manhattan did a posting on Engine Company 33 located on Great Jones Street. After reading the detailed history, I was motivated to dig through my slide file and post this painting that I created in 1994 of the fire house. I was impressed by its stately architecture and the red really stands out on the block, especially when the sun is shining.

To read more about this landmarked building, check out Daytonian's post here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Allied Artists of America 100th Annual Exhibition

LIC Looking Northwest
Oil on canvas
11 x 14 inches

Last Saturday I attended the 100th Annual Exhibition of the Allied Artists of America. The exhibition took place at the venerable National Arts Club in Gramercy Park. Large turnout for a large show. This annual highlights the work of artists working in a primarily realist manner and the quality of work was quite good. As was pointed out by one of the speakers during the afternoon's awards ceremony, fewer and fewer of these types of exhibits are being held in respected institutions, sad to say. Galleries continue to struggle and close and opportunities for artists to show their work dwindles. As I read about the record breaking auction results of the past week - millions going for a Francis Bacon and an Andy Warhol - I realized that had nothing to do with me as a working artist, or with any of the other artists I know. Just imagine how those many millions of dollars could have been spent on supporting the arts and artists of today.

I was delighted when the President of the Allied Artists came up to me during the reception and presented me with a check for my painting, LIC Looking Northwest. It had been sold - a sale totally unexpected and very welcome. I'm glad that groups such as Allied are still around - 100 years is a real achievement!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Exploring Manhattan's Murray Hill

Hot off the presses. I just received my copies of a new book by Alfred and Joyce Pommer, "Exploring Manhattan's Murray Hill" for which I created several paintings and pen and ink drawings which appear throughout the book. I enjoyed exploring this historic Manhattan neighborhood and picked up a lot of new information on the history along with some interesting tidbits.

Murray Hill - Sniffen Court
Oil on canvas
6 x 9 inches

One of the paintings is of Sniffen Court, located on East 36th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues. Originally constructed as stables for the nearby mansions, they were converted to residences and are a charming little enclave not far from the skyscrapers a few short blocks away. One of many notable people who populated the Murray Hill area was the sculptor Malvina Hoffman, who maintained a studio in Sniffen Court and lived nearby.

Pen and Ink drawing of Malvina Hoffman

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Old Penn Station - 50 years ago

Sharing this photo of the iconic and gone old Pennsylvania Station. Fifty years ago today it was demolished. Grand Central almost met the same fate, but thankfully it was saved from the wrecking ball. I continue to paint New York and its architecture as it is constantly changing - and disappearing. My hope is that these beautiful, iconic and still useful buildings will find new life. I was too young and not yet a painter when this building was torn down, so I've never painted it. Thanks to folks like the New York City Landmarks Commission, some of New York's treasures will not disappear.

For an article and some wonderful photos of the old Pennsylvania Station, click here.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A little New York in fabric

Thought you might enjoy seeing another creative venture. In addition to painting the New York urban landscape for many years I've now taken up quilting too. Just had to make some NYC-themed pillows and wall hangings, being the home-grown New Yorker that I am. Having a great time finding fabrics and then thinking about what I can do with them. I've just started an Etsy shop to show/sell my fabric artworks and hope you will stop by and take a peek.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Queensboro View

Queensboro Slice
Oil on panel
6x6 inches

This small oil painting study is a view from the elevated train platform of the #7 Queensboro Plaza stop. A nice vantage point for some sweeping vistas of industrial New York.

This might turn into a larger painting, it has all the right ingredients.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Loew's Valencia Theater and More!

This past week-end started off Friday evening. I met a friend to see the play, "The Winslow Boy," and having some time beforehand, we went to sit in Bryant Park to watch the crowd of square dancers, bopping to the fiddlers and the caller's directions. A beautiful fall evening in midtown.

Saturday found me heading out to Jamaica, Queens, to tour the former Valencia movie theater, now a tabernacle church. It has been lovingly restored by the congregants and the interiors are something else. I met up with 3 childhood friends and we shared memories and laughter. Sister Forbes led a rousing program, talking about the history of the Valencia and detailing the work that went into its restoration. I am always so happy when an older building is brought back to life and not abandoned, especially one such as over-the-top as this 1929 terra cotta movie palace.

Our reunion didn't stop there though, as we headed off to have lunch at the original Ben's Deli on Queen's Blvd. in Rego Park. Corned beef, pastrami and turkey sandwiches, Dr. Brown's sodas and a potato knish. The trip down memory lane continued on as we headed over to Forest Park in Woodhaven, to check out the landmarked carousel that has happily found a new owner and was up and running after several years. It's a beauty, and there are not many of them around anymore. Forest Park is a very "woodsy" area, and a nature preserve is there, just steps from heavily trafficked Woodhaven Blvd. It was a quiet and contemplative spot in the middle of the city's hubbub.

Not finished yet, we headed over to the Richmond Hill Library to check out the WPA murals. Sadly, the library was closed on Saturday. Due to budget cuts? Or due to the fact that kids do their research these days online in front of their computers at home, making the brick and mortar libraries not the places they once were. Jahn's Ice Cream Parlour across the street, another favorite childhood destination, has been closed for several years, so we headed over to Eddie's Sweet Shoppe on Metropolitan Avenue. The store has been around for close to 100 years, and walking inside is walking into the past, as little has changed.

It was back to Queens on Sunday as I attended the funeral service of my friend's Dad. Not many left from his generation. I gathered with other friends from childhood and we shared yet more memories. Then it was off to lunch at Lenny's Clam Bar on Crossbay Blvd. This was the road leading to the Rockaways, and I traveled it every week-end in the summer as a kid as I headed out to the beach.

Subwayed it back to Manhattan after a very full week-end. Having taken a bunch of photos on Saturday, I am hoping share a painting or two in the future from this week-ends events. Is it any wonder why I love my hometown?

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Changing of Little Italy

The annual Feast of San Gennaro in what is left of Little Italy has begun it's 2013 season. Will it survive the gentrification of the neighborhood in years to come? An interesting blog post in Jeremiah's Vanishing New York written a few years ago explores the topic. A look at the history of this tradition and its future - or not. Here is a link.

"Mulberry Street Reflections"
Oil on canvas
12 x 9 inches

"The Feast of San Gennaro"
Oil on canvas
30 x 36 inches

Two of my paintings of the Festival and the neighborhood. My painting, "The Feast of San Gennaro" was used as the cover image for a sociology textbook, "Society Myths and Realities, An Introduction to Sociology" by Alex Thio, published in 2007 and then again when the book was reprinted. In the crowd scene depicted in the painting, there are many people portrayed, different ages and from different ethnic backgrounds. This is what New York is and has always been. But, year by year the face of the city is changing and neighborhoods are losing much of their diversity - that which made New York such a vibrant place like no other.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Something different today

"Antique Car"
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches

Something different today. I found this 1982 painting while going through my studio shelves and pulled it out to take a closer look. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It depicts some of the details of an antique car that had been lovingly restored and was on display at an antique car show upstate. I focused in on the light fixture, horn and dashboard elements. They don't build 'em the way they used to!

I've put this painting in an eBay auction. If you would like to place a bid, click this link.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Citicorp Center stairway

Oil on canvas
18 x 24 inches

Today's eBay painting offering depicts the stairway of the Citicorp Center leading up from the subway. This midtown building, located on 53rd between Lexington and Third Avenues is one of New York's tallest skyscrapers. I watched this building as it went up and noticed that people loved to sit on these stairs during their lunch hour, soaking up some sun and visiting with co-workers and friends.

In the 1980's I went on to paint the new Citicorp building as it was constructed in Long Island City, facing it's sister building to the west.

If you would like to bid on this painting, here is the link.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fire Escape Shadows on 9th Avenue

"Green Fire Escape Sitters"
Oil on canvas
25 x 25 inches

Continuing with my rummaging in my studio shelves I came upon this 1981 painting of a stylized scene of a facade on Ninth Avenue. The sun was hitting the building catching all kinds of shapes and shadows and two people were sitting in their window, checking out the street below.

Looking at this older painting, I can see how much my style of painting has changed and evolved over the years. And I feel that this older work still holds it own.

I've listed this painting in an eBay auction. If you would like to place a bid, click on this link.

Friday, August 16, 2013

1980's Central Park

"Hare Krishna in Central Park"
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches

Going through my shelves, looking for older paintings to offer in eBay auctions has been akin to searching for buried treasure and finding some. Today's painting was created in 1981 and depicts a summer scene at the Bandshell in Central Park. The Hare Krishna folks were out in force singing and dancing, garbed in colorful saffron robes. Lots of people were sitting on the benches enjoying the sights, sounds and colors swirling around them, just hanging out in a real treasure of New York, Central Park.

If you would like to bid on this painting, here is the link.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Tribeca Fire Escape

"Tribeca Fire Escape"
Oil on canvas
24 x 12 inches

The painting that I am offering on an eBay auction today is my very FIRST fire escape painting, created in 1979. I spotted this elegant building while walking around the Tribeca neighborhood and was taken with the patterns and shadows of the meandering fire escape. Many more fire escapes have shown up in my paintings over the years as I never tire of the subject. They are indicative of an older New York, as very few are being added to the newer structures going up around the city.

Click this link for the eBay listing.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Before roller bladers there were roller skaters

"Central Park Roller Skaters"
Oil on canvas
30 x 26 inches

Exuberant roller skaters in Central Park on a warm summer's day are captured in this 1983 painting. These were the days before rollerblades and iPods. Note the big black boom box carried by one of the skaters. Summer in the city...

This painting is the second in a group I will be offering for sale of some of my older works in an eBay auction. To bid, click on this link.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Ninth Avenue Street Scene from the 1970's

Oil on canvas
18 x 22 inches

I have decided to offer several older paintings for auction as I am going through my studio shelves and trying to organize and make some room for new works.

This first painting is a scene from the annual 9th Avenue Food Festival, a lively street fair that was one of the earliest and is still a go-to destination for me every May. I have done many paintings over the years, inspired by the sights, sounds and smells of this fun event.

Today's painting depicts some neighborhood residents checking out the food offerings from the folks that live in the area. It was created in 1978 and is an early work to be sure.

If you would like to bid on this painting, here is the eBay link.

I've pulled out several more paintings from my shelves and will be offering them for auction in the coming days. Check out eBay or this blog for the new offers.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A snazzy former stable on 38th Street

George Bowdoin Stable
Oil on canvas
9 x 6 inches

It's been awhile since I've posted some of my new work, so here goes.

I've been working on a project about the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan and have completed several paintings and pen and ink sketches over the last several months. This one is my favorite. I noticed a neat little former stable on 38th Street built in 1902 that has some very eye-catching details. I especially liked the bulldog perched on top. Folks, you gotta keep looking up while you're walking around town, you never know what visual delights you'll encounter.

Friday, June 14, 2013

LIC Flea and Food

NYC-Taxi strips pillow"
Machine pieced

I will be participating in the brand new LIC Flea and Food that will kick-off June 15th. A good friend and wonderful pastel artist, Donna Levinstone and I will be sharing a table and we're looking forward to meeting a lot of folks, showing them our creations and hopefully selling a bunch of stuff. I will be offering matted inkjet and giclée prints of my paintings, books of my LIC painting series from the '80's on, handmade cards, small paintings on panels, and handmade NYC and LIC-themed pillows.

There will be over 60 vendors, many offering food, so bring your appetites.

You can find us on 8 consecutive Saturdays (except July 13) from 10am to 6pm at the flea market. Located at 5-25 46th Avenue, not far from the waterfront and easily reached by car, subway and ferry. The forecast is for sun and after all the rain we've had, whew! Hope you can stop by.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The LIC Arts Open is off and running

"LIC Manhole Cover Pillow
Cotton patchwork

One of the LIC-themed pillows I'll have on view at my studio.

The fun has begun here in Long Island City, Queens, New York! Last evening I attended the preview reception for the 10 x 10 exhibition at Juvenal Reis Studios. This is the second year artists have contributed work for this fundraiser, and I submitted a painting this time around. The word to best describe the show is - DIVERSE. There will be an auction of the work on Sunday, May 19th, for more info here's a link.

Also checked out the "Gimme Shelter" photography exhibit at InSite Design Studio, curated by Oretes Gonzalez. Some very fine black and white photography.

Headed over to the Diego Salazar Gallery to see another DIVERSE group exhibition and was delighted to find that both of my LIC-themed paintings were hanging next to the work of Dennis D'Amelio, a long time LIC artist whose work I always enjoy seeing. The show was elegantly installed by another one of my favorite LIC artist's, Elinore Schnurr.

The fun continues and this evening I'm heading over to the Queens Plaza area. There is so much to see during this 4 day event. Check out the brochure for a complete listing of events.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

2013 LIC Arts Open

It's that time of year again. The LIC Arts Open will be kicking off next week and there are many events planned for this annual arts fest.

I will have 2 paintings on view in the group exhibition at the Diego Salazar Gallery. It is a VERY diverse show, with many styles, mediums and ideas on view. A very nice gallery space!

Speaking of open studios, I will open my studio space on Saturday, May 18th, from 12-5. If you'd like to stop by and need directions, just send me an email and let me know.

Just want to give a plug to one of my favorite collectors, Dan Dougherty, who with his brother Shaun is opening a new restaurant, Crescent Grill in Long Island City. They will be having an open house May 17-19, gearing up for their grand opening in a few more weeks time. In addition to what I expect will be great food by chef Shaun, Dan is managing a gallery in the restaurant where he will be showing and selling the works of local artists. Of course, some of my work will be on view as well.

For a listing of all that is happening, when and where, here is a link to the online LIC Arts Open Brochure. Here's hoping the weather is nice and the trains are running.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday Woolworth Building!

"Woolworth Fragment 1"
"Woolworth Fragment 2"
"Woolworth Fragment 3"
Oil on canvas
Each painting measures 6 x 8 inches

The magnificent Woolworth Building turns 100 today. Quite a beauty and it wears its age well. Several years ago I took photographs and decided to take one photo and divide it into 3 fragments. Each small painting holds it's own, but makes for an interesting way to view some of the architectural details on a facade loaded with carvings.

Here's a photo taken in 2006
Long may this wonderful building stand tall and proud gracing the NYC skyline.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Historic LIC

"LIC/Historic Red and Green"
Oil on panel
6x6 inches

There is one historic block in Long Island City not far from my studio. I love walking down that street and looking at the stately homes where the once powerful leaders in Queens lived. It is a quiet, tree lined block, very different from the industrial blocks dotted with manufacturing buildings surrounding it.

Three adjacent buildings were restored and redesigned by an architect/photographer several years ago and fit in nicely with their neighbors. I really like the charming green accents. These homes exude a warm and welcoming facade, so unlike the newer glassy boxes sprouting up all around the neighborhood.

Just another slice of little ole LIC.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Gargoyles of City College, Number 3

CCNY Gargoyle III (study)
Oil on panel
6 x 6 inches

I've just completed another study in the gargoyles of City College series and thought I'd share it with you on this rainy Friday afternoon. Many of these gargoyles adorn the buildings around the city and were produced like crazy during the late 1800's-early 1900's building boom. So many of them are uniquely individual, and I never tire of discovering them on my walks around town.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Another view of LIC

"LIC Looking Northwest"
Oil on canvas
11 x 14 inches

The painting has been going slowly for awhile. It happens every so often in the lives of many artists. We eventually bounce back to painting like gangbusters, but every so often things slow down.

I just completed this painting, another view of Long Island City as seen from the terrace of some collectors of my work. I particularly chose this subject as the small scale buildings off Vernon Blvd. are portrayed along with the more well-known P.S. 1 and the 5Pointz yellow graffiti building (rumored to be torn down soon to make way for a new high rise structure). Since taking this photo last spring, new construction has begun and this view has been altered by the steel skeleton of a new building rising in the west. This painting, a "snapshot in time" will remain of LIC circa 2012.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday Grand Central Station

"GST Centennial Reflection"
Oil on canvas
10 x 20 inches

I finished this painting, in addition to the centennial quilt recently posted, just in time to celebrate the Centennial Celebration of Grand Central Station. This reflection features the statue of Cornelius Vanderbuilt and is not generally seen unless driving along Park Avenue, up and around the terminal.

Today I was at GST bright and early, waiting online to get my first day cancellation commemorative stamp.

The joint was jumping with people, music, speakers, lines and activity.

100 on the east facing windows.

An image circa 1914 of the interior of Grand Central Station, which I included on my quilt.

An image circa February 1, 2013.

I also bought a copy of the new book, "Grand Central Terminal: 100 Years of a New York Landmark" by the NY Transit Museum and Anthony W. Robins. Can't wait to start reading this one.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grand Central Centennial!

"Grand Central Centennial"
Machine pieced quilted wall hanging

On February 1st, there will be big-doings at Grand Central Terminal. The kick-off for the year long centennial celebration will be underway and I will definitely be there to check it out.

In honor of the 100th birthday of GST, I created this machine pieced quilted wall hanging. I started off with a logo on an old shopping bag that I had at the studio. I then found a wonderful rotogravure book of old New York buildings and places, published in 1914, and used the 2 images of the exterior and interior of Grand Central when it was newly built. Adding to the mix is an image of the New York Central train - the whole reason for GST in the first place. Included also is the new logo that was designed for the centennial. And lastly, I added one of my photographs of the majestic sculpture crowning the top of this grand edifice.

When it came to choosing the fabrics, I had a lot of fun thinking and then finding just the right ones. There is the blue-aqua of the ceiling with gold flecks, the black of the trains, a wonderful William Morris print that captured the beige marble tones as well as other interesting patterned fabrics.

I am so grateful that Grand Central did not meet the same fate as the original Pennyslvania Station and was spared the wrecking ball. This beautiful beaux arts building with its wonderful flourishes and architectural detailing, houses the pulse and energy of the arriving and departing trains along with the hordes of commuters it serves daily. It is indeed a treasure of New York City. Happy 100th Birthday Grand Central!