Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The always elegant Chrysler building

Mr. Mark's Chrysler I
Oil on canvas
12x9 inches

A friend of mine works in a building with spectacular views in all directions. He shared this photograph with me and I thought it would make a wonderful subject for a painting. The light in the city changes constantly and in this particular view the dramatic sky surrounds the Chrysler building, one of New York City's most iconic and beloved buildings. This is a quiet and reflective painting, with all of the noise and activity of the streets out of sight and far below.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I'm going to see The Boss on Broadway!

Springsteen on Broadway Pillow 2
16x16 inches

I am a long-time Bruce Springsteen fan, ask anyone who knows me well. I tried to get tickets to see Springsteen on Broadway via Ticketmaster and had no luck. But wait...this is a feel good story so keep on reading.

A friend/collector who used to live in LIC not far from my studio and who is also a longtime Springsteen fan, messaged me asking if I had any luck getting a ticket and I said I'd never received a code, so alas, I would probably never see the man perform live again as ticket prices were through the roof and nearly impossible to find. She managed to purchase two tickets. Her friend, trying for the same date, also got through and purchased 2 tickets so they decided to use the friend's tickets.

My friend then offered me a ticket at face value, $700.00!!! I wrote back thanking her but saying I could never afford it and she could probably sell them for A LOT OF MONEY. As an afterthought, I asked if she would consider bartering a painting for a ticket. She immediately wrote back, YES, but was concerned that since she lived out of state, getting a painting would be difficult. I assured her it was fine, I could ship the painting out via UPS. It turns out she had a particular painting in mind, one that she had seen several years ago which she loved and regretted not buying. Well, I just happened to have that painting in the studio so I wrote back saying it was hers.

But, she said, that painting is much more expensive than $700.00. She didn't want to take advantage. I replied this was a special circumstance. She then offered me the two tickets and my reply was, "FANTASTIC!". She didn't want to scalp the tickets, preferring instead to have them go to a friend/fan and I turned out to be the lucky one. Come January I and a good friend, another long-time fan, are going to see the show.

So, to sum up, in a very round about way, it looks like I will get to see the Boss on Broadway after all. I'm still not happy with the ticket system and the obscene ticket prices as it is a real disservice to the man's many fans, but I guess that's showbiz. The bar has been raised pretty high and for those prices he will really have to deliver an amazing performance. Springsteen is quite the showman so I don't think I'll be disappointed. And the reviews have been glowing.

Springsteen on Broadway 8
16x16 inches

As I am a quilter these days in addition to being a painter, I was inspired to create 8 pillows and 2 wall hangings in celebration of Springsteen on Broadway which I've posted on my ETSY site. They would make a wonderful gift for any fan and this being the holiday and gift-buying season I figured what the heck.

You can check out my fabric creations at The Florin Collection by sjfstudio at

Springsteen on Broadway Wall Hanging 1
16x12 inches

I'm gonna boogaloo down Broadway to see Mr. Springsteen tread the boards of the Walter Kerr Theater this winter, WOOHOO!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Lost Music Row

Remembering Music Row
Oil on canvas
12x9 inches

48th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues was famously known as Music Row and for good reason. Walking down this street, one would find shop fronts filled with glittering musical instruments of all kinds. And if you looked up, you might see windows filled with more of the same. I did that one day while walking and was intrigued with the small gargoyle-like figures adorning the facade of a building along with the selection of horns displayed in the windows. The sign in the window says "Open" but sadly, Music Row is no more. Many of the shops have either closed for good or relocated due in part to the rising rents and redevelopment of the area. One can still find the musical instrument of their dreams, but not on 48th Street.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Reflections on Sixth Avenue

42nd and Sixth Avenue Reflections
Oil on canvas
24x18 inches

A new reflections painting today. Just completed this one and had a really wonderful time painting this piece. The location of this scene is in the area of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue, lots of glass facades to be found in the neighborhood making for some interesting painting ideas.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Reflections along Broadway

"Reflections in the West Fifties"
Oil on canvas
24x18 inches

Working on a new series of reflection paintings and recently completed this one. I was walking north on Broadway around 56th Street when I caught this view with my camera. Once again, the older building reflected on a shiny glass facade of newer construction. With all of the building going on these days, I think I might be painting reflections for a long time to come.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Allied Artists 104th Exhibition

Photo of "View from Kenmare"

I was delighted to receive word that my painting, "View from Kenmare" has received the Giovanni Martino Family Award for Realistic Landscape in Oil in the 104th Annual Exhibition of the Allied Artists of America, on view at the Salmagundi Club.

Looking forward to the reception and awards presentation on Sunday, September 17 from 1-4pm at the Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue (at 12th Street) in New York. The exhibit is large and the gallery is filled with many very fine pieces.

Always so gratifying when an artist receives recognition for their work.

Monday, August 21, 2017

NY Artists Equity 2017: 1947 exhibition

LIC Jackson Avenue Reflections
Oil on canvas
24x18 inches

I am delighted to be one of 7 artists chosen to exhibit in the upcoming 70th anniversary exhibition of New York Artists Equity. We were asked to look through a list of the founding artists and choose the one who was an influence on our work. I chose Charles Sheeler. This new painting depicts some of the ongoing construction reflected in the glass facades sprouting up all over Long Island City and Sheeler's work was an inspiration.

Here is the statement that accompanies the painting.

The paintings of Charles Sheeler, one of the founding members of New York Artist Equity, intrigued me after first seeing them at MoMA and the Whitney when I was a young art student. As a member of the Precisionist movement, Sheeler’s scenes of the urban industrial landscape greatly influenced my own work. An accomplished photographer, Sheeler used his photography as a basis for his drawings and paintings and I too work from my photographs. Sheeler’s “Stacks in Celebration” are reminiscent of my studio view of “Big Allis”, the ConEd plant in Long Island City. “River Rouge Plant”, a painting of industry and manufacturing are not unlike the LIC neighborhood I first came to in 1980. And “Upper Deck”, a beautiful painting in stark muted tones of whites and grays reminded me of Whistler’s works, which I greatly admire. My painting, “LIC Jackson Avenue Reflections” pays homage to Charles Sheeler in that it is very much an urban landscape capturing the ongoing development of a community painted in a clean, crisp style.

The exhibition is on view from September 6 - October 7, 2017 with a reception on Wednesday, September 6, from 6-8pm.

For more information here is the press release.

Friday, August 11, 2017

NYC Relics

Downtown Relics Study
Oil on canvas panel
6x6 inches

I recently read the book "The Gargoyle Hunters" by John Freeman Gill which focuses on 1970's New York, urban renewal and the upheaval as seen through the eyes of a young teen-age boy. The city's upheaval is mirrored in his own families trials and tribulations. An intriguing book.

After reading it I was reminded of a place downtown on Houston Street and 2nd Avenue where a building selling architectural artifacts from demolished buildings were sold. The building itself came crashing down one day. Once the lot was cleared, some of the relics were propped up and stored. I'd had this photo for awhile and the book inspired me to do this small study.

I've painted many gargoyles and architectural details and they are still to be found all over the city, one just has to keep looking. It is a subject I never tire of as they add so much to the character and whimsy of an increasingly bland streetscape.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

French Roast on Sixth Avenue

Corner Bistro Study
Oil on panel
5x4 inches

In 2006 I created a series of small paintings for an exhibit in the former Ansonia Windows on 10th Street and Sixth Avenue. French Roast located up the block made for a nice subject of the neighborhood.

This week, French Roast in the Village closed, yet another neighborhood restaurant to disappear from the New York City urban landscape.

To read some comments on this closing, check out this blog post on Jeremiah's Vanishing New York.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Stoop Sitting at the Salmagundi

Salmagundi Stoop Sitters
Oil on canvas
12x9 inches

In this new painting, 3 women are sitting on the broad brownstone steps of the venerable Salmagundi Club on Fifth Avenue and 12th Street. Stoop sitters were once a common sight with people congregating outdoors to catch up on local gossip, get a breath of fresh air and check out the goings-on in the neighborhood. These 3 caught my eye as I was leaving an art exhibit at the club a few years ago and there was something about this intimate scene that gave me the idea of this painting.

When I was growing up in a Queen's co-op, we didn't have stoops but we did have copings, short brick walls where both kids and adults gathered to meet up and congregate. Sometimes the residents in the apartments facing the street and the copings were none too happy due to the noise that filtered up to their homes, but that was the neighborhood.

Stoop sitters as well as fire escape sitters are still around, but not as numerous as they once were in this urban city.

For more information on the Salmaguni Club, here is a link.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Vanishing New York Diner

Afternoon at the Gramercy Diner
Oil on canvas
8x10 inches

Read this article today on the disappearance of the neighborhood diner and it really hit home. Growing up in Queens with a working mother who did not like to cook, many of the meals we had were eaten at neighborhood diners and this is the type of restaurant that I still prefer frequenting when eating out.

Several years ago I did this painting of the Gramercy Diner on 17th Street in Manhattan. This place, like so many others, closed a few months ago and now brown paper covers the windows. Not sure what will be opening in the space, or when that will even occur, with so many vacant storefronts dotting New York's streets these days.

Monday, June 26, 2017

New York Artists Equity

As a long time member of New York Artists Equity, I'm pleased they have found a new gallery space on the Lower East Side. I admire the work of many of the artists who founded the organization almost 70 years ago. It's so important to be part of a community of artists and I'm proud to be a member.

Several weeks ago I was interviewed for the Community section of their website. If you'd like to read it, here is a link to the interview.

Photo of the building housing NYAE's gallery

Monday, June 12, 2017

A view from 14th Street

View from 14th Street
Oil on canvas
12x9 inches

When visiting a friend I was struck by the view from her apartment - a lot of light, air and sky. The older buildings dotting the East Village are still in evidence with the soaring skyscrapers of the Financial district shrouded in fog looming in the background.

I do enjoying attempting to capture the city as I know it today on canvas. So many changes at such a rapid clip. In the lower left hand corner out of view in this painting, is a large project currently under construction with murmurs that more are to come. Not surprising in the city that is constantly tearing something down to build something new.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Orchard Street back then

Orchard Street Shoes
Oil on canvas
10x8 inches

The Long Island City Arts Open was a flurry of activity with my participation in a group exhibition, Plastique 2 and an open studio week-end. The people who stopped by were genuinely interested in my work and I did make a sale or two which is always nice.

This is one of the paintings chosen by a collector. It is one of my older New York City scenes as evidenced by the subject - an Orchard Street shoe seller, displaying his wares outside of his shop. Many of these small mom and pop shops on the Lower East Side, in what is considered to be America's first mall, are no longer around. When I was younger, I used to love going with my parents on a Sunday to the LES to have lunch and then do some shopping and take photographs. It seemed everyone was out on the street, shopkeeper's hawking their goods and always crowds of shopper's looking for bargains. No one paid retail as it was a given that there would be a little back and forth when it came to price, and it was always an experience - diverse, colorful, noisy and in retrospect, pretty wonderful.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Plastique Deux group exhibition LIC Arts Open 2017

A Long Island City Sampler
Installation composed of 37 individual pieces
Fabric, Plastic, Inkjet Prints, Panels
Approx. size 6x6 ft.

Yesterday afternoon saw me wheeling my handcart through the streets of Long island City, on my way to install my artwork in the group exhibition, Plastique Deux, on view during the 2017 Long Island City Arts Open. My "sampler" is composed of who I am - a long time LIC artist and quilter/fiber art maker. I created 16 12x12 inch quilted wallhangings featuring prints of some of the LIC-themed paintings I'd created since finding my studio in 1980. In addition, there are 16 6x6 inch panels and 5 12x12 inch panels covered with fabric, Queens imagery and plastics. The challenge was to incorporate plastic material manufactured by PLAXALL, a local business in the area for 70 years and very supportive of the artistic community. I used a variety of clear and multicolored sheets of plastic pill holders throughout in the installation.

Once I arrived at the Anable Basin Space, 4-40 44th Drive, a huge space down on the East River waterfront, I set to work measuring, climbing up and down a ladder, bending, and hammering. 4 hours later the artwork was installed and today I have an aching back as a result. The price we pay for art.

On Friday, May 19th from 6-9pm we will have our opening reception and I hope some of you can stop by. Here is a link to an article on the exhibit.

I will also be having an open studio on Saturday and Sunday. Lot's going on in the nabe these next few days, it promises to be a busy and artful time.

For more information on Plastique Deux and the 2017 Long Island City Arts open click here.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Long Island City Arts Open 2017

The 7th Annual Long Island City Arts Open will take place on May 17-21, with artists open studios on May 20-21 from 12-5pm.
I will be opening my studio to the public this year. For more information on events, directions and an artists directory click here

In addition, my work can be seen in a group exhibition, Plastique2, in a large space down by the waterfront. I've created an installation which includes 37 components using imagery of my paintings combined with fiber art and plastics. Plaxall, a Long Island City manufacturer of plastic materials, donated the space for the exhibition. Wonderful views of the Manhattan skyline can be seen here as well. This was a bit different from my usual artmaking activities. Plastique2

Friday, May 5, 2017

Exhibition on the Upper West Side of Manhattan

Soho Hula Reflections
Oil on canvas
30x24 inches

Soho Hula Reflections is one of fifteen paintings currently on view in the office of Weill Cornell Medical Associates, located at 12 West 72nd Street (opposite the Dakota) on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I've chosen a diverse group of New York themed paintings. Hope they will be enjoyed by the physicians, nurses and patients frequenting this busy practice. You are welcome to stop in and see the artwork while it is up from May - July, 2017.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Here's looking at you on 22nd Street

22nd Street Gargoyle
Oil on canvas
24x24 inches

A new painting today. This view is of one of the gargoyles flanking the sides of a building on 22nd Street. I find it so interesting that many architects of the buildings constructed during the late 1800's-early 1900's thought to embellish their facades with all manner of caryatids, architectural oddities and gargoyles. Endlessly fascinating. I never know when I am going to chance upon one and it always makes me smile. This fellow is on the side of an apartment building featuring red and gray brickwork with ornate wrought iron fire escapes.

Just next door is a beautifully converted former carriage house and a for sale sign recently appeared. Huge north light windows were added during renovations and I can't help but imagine what it might be light to set up my easel and paint by that light. I'm sure it is priced at many millions of dollars, way out of my price range.

Photo of carriage house on 22nd Street

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

In Your Easter Bonnet

Easter Bonnet
Oil on canvas
36x24 inches

As this is the Passover/Easter holiday week, I thought it might be nice to revisit this painting of the Met Life Building lit up in colors that reminded me of an Easter bonnet. I always enjoy seeing the iconic towers of the city lit up in colors celebrating a specific holiday or event.

I've recently joined a group of artists showing their work on the website. My artwork is reproduced on various types of scarves and clothing and Easter Bonnet is one of the images I selected. If you would like to take a look, click here and search for my name where you will see several items featuring my artwork.

Wishing you all a happy holiday.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ten years of blog posts and counting

I recently checked my records and was more than a little surprised to learn that I have been sharing my art on this blog for 10 years. The first posting was on March 18, 2007 and this is the painting I chose to open with.

Midtown Artist
Oil on canvas
10x10 in.

There have been a lot of paintings posted over the years and I hope you have enjoyed seeing the New York urban landscape through my painter's eyes.

I sometimes wonder who is reading and following this blog and why they choose to do so. On this is ten-year anniversary, I would so appreciate it if you would take a moment and leave a comment, letting me know that you enjoy following my painting endeavors and musings.

Thanks much and look forward to sharing more new work with you soon.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Empire Quilters 2017 Urban Inspiration Exhibit

Remembering the City Quilter
Machine Pieced and Quilted wall hanging
14x14 inches

In addition to being a painter, I've also become something of a quilter/fiber artist, a medium that I love working in. I am a member of the Empire Quilt Guild and next week-end, April 1st and 2nd, the members will be having their bi-annual exhibit at FIT. I will have 2 quilts on view, this one being a small wall-hanging for the President's Challenge. The City Quilter was a wonderful store on 26th Street which sadly closed it's doors last year after 20 years in business. Although they do have an online presence, it is not the same as going into the shop and being surround by fabrics, colors, notions and knowledgeable and talented quilters, ready to help and answer questions and offer advice.

Hours are Saturday 10-6 and Sunday, 10-4.

FIT is located at 28th Street and Seventh Avenue and there is a $10.00 admission fee.

In addition to many beautiful quilts on view, there will be a raffle quilt as well as vendors selling all kinds of wonderful stuff. I am always awed and inspired by this show and it was at an exhibit several years ago that I saw a quilt that got me started on my own quilting journey.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Small Works Exhibition at Baruch College March 3-28

I'm pleased that my small, 12x12 inch painting, Chocolate Times Square Reflections has been included in this year's Small Works Exhibition at the Sidney Mishkin Gallery of Baruch College. The exhibit runs from March 3-28. I enjoy working on small scale paintings as they present their own set of challenges. Looking forward to attending the reception tomorrow evening to see what other artists have created on a small scale.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

It was a Chelsea morning...

In the Pink in Chelsea
Oil on panel
6x6 inches

A new small study of a sunny street in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. I was taken by the bright pink tones of the building across the street with the sunlight bathing it in a warm glow. A quiet little moment in the bustling city.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Broome Street Guardians

Broome Street Guardians
Oil on canvas
12x9 inches

A new year, a new painting. This architectural study captures details on an older building located on the Lower East Side. The angel and gargoyle guard the current home of New York Artists Equity located on the ground floor. I am enchanted with these whimsical embellishments, especially plentiful in the older neighborhoods of the city. The LES is changing rapidly as is evidenced by a new structure rising rapidly diagonally across from this modest red brick building.

I have many fond memories of spending Sundays with my family on the Lower East Side, eating, shopping and soaking up the history of this neighborhood where my Dad was born.

Monday, January 9, 2017

View from MoMA study

View from MoMA study
Oil on panel
6x6 inches

This is a small study of the view from MoMA. When the museum was renovated several years ago, large windows were installed on the lobby level, creating a soaring, bright and open environment. The view shows some of the older buildings in the '50's surrounded by the corporate towers nearby.