Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Brentano's bookstore

Scribner's I Brentano's
Oil on canvas
24 x 30 inches

Another "gone but not forgotten" painting, this one of the old Brentano's bookstore on Fifth Avenue, located in the Scribner's building. Happily the Scribner's building still stands proudly on the Avenue, sadly, the bookstore is long gone. One of life's great pleasures, for me at any rate, is to wander into a bookstore and browse. I might buy a book or two of an author whose work I enjoy or one based on a friend's recommendation. I'm not a NOOK or Kindle person, preferring instead to hold an actual book in my hands and read it by lamplight - the old-fashioned way. Sorry to say, so many of New York's bookstores have disappeared, fallen victim to rising rents and the digital age.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gone but not forgotten - Barney's on 17th Street

Barney's on 17th
Oil on canvas

I am currently participating in an artist challenge on Facebook - post 3 artworks daily for 5 days and invite other artists to do the same. I am going through my slides and selecting paintings that I've created of places that have disappeared or are changing dramatically on the New York City urban landscape. Thought I'd share them on the blog as well.

This commissioned painting of Barney's men's store on 17th Street was a challenge in symmetry and I enjoyed painting it. A collector who worked in the garment trade commissioned this painting with a group of his associates to present as a gift to a Barney's executive.

Today, when you walk past the corner of 17th Street and 7th Avenue you will see the Rubin Museum in space formerly occupied by Barney's. One of the "gone but not forgotten" places I've painted, capturing what is here today that might not be here tomorrow.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

LIC Waterfront Crabhouse

LIC/Waterfront Crabhouse
Oil on canvas
9 x 12 inches

My first completed painting for 2015. Started working on it last year and finally saw it through to completion. I worked on this painting from a photograph I took several years ago. The Waterfront Crabhouse has a great bar area with walls and ceiling festooned with old posters and hats from many different organizations. It is a colorful and cozy interior and the food is not bad either. The restaurant took a big hit during Hurricane Sandy, but they are back up and running. My artist friend Donna raves about their lobster in black bean sauce! This painting marks another in my continuing series of documenting the Long Island City neighborhood where I've had my studio since 1980. Amidst all the fast paced development in the neighborhood, I'm glad to see some of the long-time establishments still holding their own.