Sunday, June 30, 2024

A Sunday in June

 

Some thoughts...

Sunday, June 30. Left the apartment at 9am and headed downtown to the Museum at Eldridge Street to attend a special ceremony in honor of my friend Tobi. The beautifully restored sanctuary was filled with love and spirituality, the speakers all eloquent and I was glad to be a witness to this important event in Tobi's life. He then gave a short tour of his current exhibition downstairs and even though I've known this talented artist for over 40 years, I always learn something new about his art-making process and inspiration when listening him speak about his work. 




My friend Xing Fei  had joined me at the museum and we headed off to more adventures on the Lower East Side. First we located an address on Allen Street as I wanted to see where my Dad had been born. The original building was long gone but I'm glad I finally got to see the place of his birth over 100 years ago.

Further down Allen Street we found the Zhengjuesi-Cheng Chio Buddhist Temple where Fei had worked on the interior sculptures and wall murals as a young art student when she first came to the United States 40 years ago. This women's temple was filled with color, light, and spirituality as well. Two different religious institutions  just blocks away from one another.
 


All this walking meant it was time to eat. We headed over to Division Street's Dim Sum Palace, a noisy, bustling restaurant filled with happy diners. All my friends know I'm not an adventurous eater, but the steamed vegetable rolls, scallion pancakes and jasmine tea I ordered hit the spot.

Heading back to the F train on East Broadway we crammed ourselves onto a sardine-packed train. A nice young man offered Fei his seat and as she had a long ride back to Queens it was most welcome. Lots of people coming from or heading to the Pride parade. An older gent got on the train all sparkles, colors and tattoos, and he was one among many on the subway today. When I exited at 23rd Street the sidewalks were packed as Sixth Avenue had been closed off for the parade and many more celebrants were thronging the neighborhood.

Made it home tired but happy and as I was opening the door to my building I spotted this beauty.
 

 

3pm, a  cool apartment and a welcome shower to wash away the heat and humidity of a New York summers day. A mere 6 hours but what a wonderful way to spend them. A day in New York, is there any wonder why I love this town, even with its many challenges, and how it never ceases to provide inspiration for my paintings. Can't imagine living anywhere else. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new month and more memorable days ahead.



Wednesday, May 29, 2024

More Construction Equals More Reflections


LIC Jackson Avenue Reflections II
Oil on canvas
24x24 inches

There are so many reflections, so many painting ideas that I see on a daily basis. These colorful reflections were spotted on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, a hotbed of construction going on for 20 years or so with more building sprouting up all the time. The neighborhood has changed, that's for sure.

Loved the bright colors of the construction scaffolding and partial glass on this building facade. Not sure why I find these reflections so exciting to paint, but they are and I expect to keep painting them as long as I find myself surrounded by construction projects.


Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Fire Escape Sitters Way Back When


Fire Escape Sitters
12x9
Oil on canvas
SOLD

This older painting recently popped up and stirred memories of what types of paintings I was working on back in the 1980's. In 1985 I painted this scene of an older tenement building with neighbors hanging out of their windows and fire escapes. This was a favorite subject of mine as it exemplified the New York architecture evident in many neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Over the years, many of these older buildings have been torn down to be replaced by towering glass and concrete buildings with no outdoor fire escapes, effectively doing away with this way of life. There are still places where the older buildings exist, but as the years pass, more and more of them are disappearing.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Grand Central's Lights Camera Action

 

GST Reflected Light
Oil on canvas
24x24 inches
SOLD

Several months ago I was waiting for a friend's train to arrive at NYC's Grand Central Terminal. Looking around I took several photos of the bustling activity and architectural details of this always interesting and thankfully saved from the wrecker's ball space. An intriguing view with beautiful glittering lights reflected against the walls and windows of this iconic NYC interior caught my eye. 

I never know when I will see something that excites my imagination and ends up on my easel. This image just jumped out and was a thrill to see come to life on the canvas. GST Reflected Light has been sold and is heading to a corporate collection where I hope it will shine bright and delight the personnel in their workspace.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

 

5 O'Clock Shadow
Oil on canvas
32x40 inches
1987

A few weeks ago I received an email from an art consultant who was handling the deaccessioning of a corporate art collection and wrote asking if this was my painting and if so, would I want it returned. I replied indeed it was - a commissioned painting created in 1987 of the view from the roof of the offices of a large public relations firm where I'd worked for many years, the last 13 of them in the word processing/desktop publishing department 4pm-midnight shift so that I could paint during the day. 
 
I explained all and offered a price I'd be willing to pay, explaining that most working artists do not have a resale value and if this painting would go to auction it would probably not fetch what it was worth. Corporations often deaccession their collections upon a merger, a move or a closing. Museums regularly reevaluate their holdings and they too often move works along, especially the many that are in storage, rarely if ever to be on view. Art, once it leaves the studio takes on a life of its own. The client accepted my offer and the painting was returned with some areas that required touch-ups. I let the art advisor know, she let the client know and below is the response I received - needless to say I was delighted.
 
"In the spirit of being a former employee we would like to gift the piece back to Sharon Florin and appreciate her generous offer. Thank you for the background on the piece and allowing the agency to display for many years."
 
This painting is now propped up in my studio, minor retouches done and it's looking wonderful. Of course, the view has changed dramatically with all of the new construction projects that have taken place since this was painted but I find myself looking at it remembering the work I was doing over 30 years ago and marvel that this painting has held its own and stood the test of time. A happy ending.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

First sale of 2024

 

Paramount Reflections I
Oil on canvas
36x30 inches
Sold

This reflection painting of the Paramount Building in Times Square is one of 3 paintings sold to a corporate collection in Manhattan. I've painted this iconic landmark several times and have a few ideas for new paintings to come. A great way to start off the New Year!