Thursday, April 23, 2015

La Bodega Sketches










A restless feeling has been coming over me these last few weeks. Another daunting move to a new studio space that may or may not be long term, my first solo show in four years at Sirona Fine Art in Gulfstream Park Hallendale Florida, the silly grading I will have to do for my students at Broward College, the juggling of private students and packing and deciding for the move, throw in long drives home, a tired wife, two energetic sons and a partridge and a pear tree. I am thinking of one of the managers I had while a short stint as a waiter some years ago, he would like to rub his thumb and index finger together whenever one of the waiters began a list of complaints saying "here is the world's smallest violin playing a sympathy piece for you, now take this fried grouper to table 4" In the midst of this I have found myself having to make sketches and notes for what may be future paintings. Life goes on and I have been insisting that art (for me) is experienced in the "in-between" moments. In between these things that seem to be consuming my time, I am compelled to take "notes" (quick sketches) of what may be future paintings. These drawings are just a few that I recently "jotted down" to remind me of the In between moments. They are not perfect, nor are they supposed to be. I hope you enjoy them and share your thoughts.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Reflection and Nostalgia

Late in the day and a kind of mini exodus. I painted this during the very busy Art Basel week and finished it, I think appropriately, one day after the fair left. The sentiment here has multiple meanings (see the post Sunny Shopping) and how everyone seems to be leaving here, going home perhaps, going west(?) what ever it is we are all leaving here

Sunny Shopping

As we begin to wind down our residency in this vibrant Art Center of South Florida I am already beginning to feel the pangs of nostalgia. Maybe I can call it Pre-nostalgia(?).  I have had my studio for just a couple of years here and as much as many locals have a disdain for the over commercialization of this road it does provide a lively atmosphere that serves as a great energizer for me. The studio I had before arriving here is now my sons bedroom. It is quite pleasant outside of there too but it is mostly populated with a quite suburbia that gives me the opposite feeling that I get from my Lincoln Road Studio. This (Pre) nostalgia has me eyeing this bustling walk way as of late. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Williamsburg, Brooklyn Ferry

It is said sometimes that the artwork of an artist will reflect his mood or state of being at the time of its creation. There is a quality of light that I very much feel brings me comfort and familiarity in this painting. I have often touted Edward Hopper and George Bellows as a couple of my favorite painters. They are my favorite specifically because of the way they capture the very light I am trying to show here. My young boys, wife and I recently took our very first road trip together as a family. We drove up to Asheville, North Carolina, for the first few days, then meandered through the Blue Ridge Parkway for awhile and went up to where I grew up in Hudson County New Jersey. We spent time with family and dear friends. All the while I knew that the light around me (especially that awesome time late in the day when the colors coalesce and the shadows become longer) was one of the key ingredients to making me feel truly comfortable and at ease. You know, like a vacation is supposed to.  The location from which this image comes from is apparently pretty well known. The many New Yorkers that visit South Beach (where my studio is) instantly recognize this Williamsburg scene.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Back in the Alley Trading Hands Version 2


I was at it again with the palette knife. Here is version 2 of  my painting "Back in the Alley Trading Hands." This commission will be living in beautiful Hermosa Beach, California. Hmmmm sometimes I wish I can hang out with my paintings in their new homes. Cheers!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Due West

I continue to try and record this theme. The theme of looking for beauty in the banal. After all, this is the reality that exists outside the mind. My mind may be busy with all sorts of goings on, when it finally decides to engage outside itself it simply exists, it just observes, it tries to live in the moment. Art has as one of its components an idea of non utility where it has no purpose for something practical. It is meant only to be contemplated, to be stared at, to be engaged with it exactly at the moment. I know it may be a cliche to write this but a painting (the kind I strive to create) is there to take a break from the frantic social media checking, email replying, information gathering internet. I want to just stop and look. 

Spin Horsey


This was a fun commission. I nice couple that live near my studio remembered a painting I had donated for last year's Art Center of South Florida's raffle event. They had bought tickets for it but sadly did not win. This time they simply told me to create a new one in the spirit of that painting. Here it is! I first worked out the composition in a small charcoal and white pastel drawing. I found the drawing to be quaint so I just had it framed.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Condo Christmas

This little painting was a joy to make. I've said this before: what I increasingly love about painting is the texture that is built up through working and re-working a passage on the canvas. It isn't quite joyful while I am second guessing myself at the moment but the result is one that allows me to see the proof of my work and that lets me review what I have done. If only life was that concise for me that I can clearly see and remember where I made decisions that have led to certain outcomes!

A pretty cool first for me occurred with this painting: A wonderful couple and now becoming one of my most valued collectors and friends, from Dorking England got to see most of the development of this painting as they were in and out of my studio during their yearly stay in South Beach last month. They decided to take this painting with them, which marks the first time I've sold a painting while it was still wet! Cheers indeed!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wait For Me

I began this little painting some time ago. One sure thing about living in the sprawl of South Florida is that you spend a lot of time in vehicles. One has to either learn to love it or at least try to make the best of it. There is always music, podcasts or Audible.com. Inevitably you get moments that everything feels to come together. Here is a rainy night drive home after the studio, my iPhone genius has created a mix and I have to just settle in and be alright with how long the drive will take.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Back in the Alley Trading Hands

This is the first painting I have done that is finished with a palette knife. Over the years I have been wary of paintings done with a palette knife, too many have a sort of look that bothers me. I guess the context in which I have seen these kinds of works has something to do with it: they are usually boldly displayed in cheap frame shops. They tend to have a uniform finish as if no care was taken by the artist to follow the form depicted, any how, yuck! I have developed a speed over the years in beginning a painting, I think I followed the advise of an artist I briefly studied with around 2001 or 2002 at the Arts Students League Ms. Mary Beth McKenzie. She had me begin a painting over and over again. I think that the value I have gained in this practice was to really let go of any worries as it pertains to be too perfect. You gain a sort of bravery this way because you realize that paint goes on in layers, so that any seemingly "wrong" passage can be corrected with a few more well placed brush strokes. In addition, I took to heart the idea that we have many, many bad paintings in us that must get out of us to make space for a good one or two. I share this idea now to my own students. This painting was a case in which I felt I was "correcting" too much, so I gave myself an assignment: I could only paint one patch at a time with a palette knife, knowing full well that I'd have to slow down way more than I am used to. In the end I was struck with a new sense of appreciation for the craft of painting, in that the palette and the canvas act like stenographers and record every thing that is said. The struggles are there recorded on the work and its overall look is pretty rewarding to me. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks

P.S. Does anyone know where I got the title from? I am from New Jersey afterall

Monday, August 27, 2012

South Florida Cultural Consortium and other updates

It has been a very long time since I have posted anything that was not a painting. Part of the feeling of trepidation was that I ,simply, am not a writer, the other part is that I consider myself to be a consumer of other people's thoughts and ideas (I thought of putting a link to some of the words I tend to consume here, but found that A. I don't really know how to do that and B. there may be too many and way too many political one at that) I am compelled tonight ,however, to finally put up a few thoughts on my current state of affairs. We live in a culture that is quite content on airing personal to-doings and what-nots. Some become consumed by a great many and others are rarely, if at all, seen. Who knows, but here is my little contribution: It has been a very nice week for me. I won the South Florida Cultural Consortium http://www.broward.org/ARTS/ARTISTS/SOUTHFLORIDACULTURALCONSORTIUM/Pages/Default.aspx . This is a prize given every year to artist that are favored by that year's jury. I was, quite frankly, shocked that I was the winner. Do not get me wrong, it is not that I lack confidence in my ability to make art. It is something else. A damnable idea about what I find to be the state of art around me. A state in which I have for a long time felt both somewhat familiar and alien to. The feeling I have is like returning to the place you grew up in and finding it completely different, and yet it looks the same. Do you get what I mean? This year there must have been enough people on that jury that had some kind of affinity to my feeling that they chose me as this year's recipient of the prize. My family and I have nothing but the utmost sense of gratitude to this group of jurors. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Updates on other areas of my life: I am experimenting with creating prints of my work for my fans that have shown interest in owning a few paintings but ,understandably, felt that they could not part with their hard-earned money in this economic climate (When oh when will this recession end?!) I should have some available very soon. I will make the announcement on Facebook when they are ready. I assure you they will be affordable. Also, I have been wondering if you, kind reader, (yes you) would suggest which painting you would like to have a print of. Write me your choice and I will compile a consensus as to which one was the most requested. Who knows maybe there will be a prize print given away. Details to the prize print will also be announced on Facebook as well, so make sure to friend me or ask me.

Other news: good thing it has been a pretty good year with these prizes-Paint Me Miami and now the South Florida Cultural Consortium and as always I am grateful to the students that are still signing up for my classes although some think I am "mean and strict" and other things (that's for another post, I am sure) because we will have another mouth to feed in some months! My wife has been pretty low-key about it and I have been quite the opposite, but we are both finally comfortable to share the news. Our son Miles is going to be a big brother!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Cruising on Flagler Evening

This painting was chosen as the Grand Prize winner for the 2012 Paint Me Miami competition

Monday, August 29, 2011

Also at the Bass Art Museum this month and next, a couple of my paintings in the Debra and Dennis Scholl collection

Fuel Truck Depot

Come see this and other new paintings at my fourth solo show for the Dorsch Gallery in Wynwood, Miami, Fl this October.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some figure drawing lessons for this past semester on dry erase board






I thought I would share some of these images I found on my iphone. I am teaching figure drawing at Broward College this semester. I now wish I took more shots of some of the other lessons. These are based on a few different lessons. One on composition, another on anatomy, another on conceptualizing the figure with boxes and another on gesture drawing. These felt pretty liberating to do since I can not fuss about archiving it; I knew the eraser had to come. I think this also emphasized the idea that one must attack a project with gusto and not fear mistakes. There is always another sheet of paper or canvas or in this case a dry erase board!