Monday, December 23, 2013

Small Works 2D 3D 4D

I hopped on the Hudson Line of Metro North the other day to pay a visit to the Garrsion Art Center, in Garrison, NY. I am part of a current group show there, Small Works 2D 3D 4D, and was very happy to see my work hanging among other talented artists.
This is the first year the Garrsion Art Center is hosting this annual exhibition which was curated by artists Matt Frieburghaus, Grace Knowlton, and Don Nice. Below is a small sample of the works on view.

Luis Colan, Cherry Hill Fountain, 2013, oil on linen, 9 x 12 inches 

Crista Pisano, Outer Banks North Carolina, oil on panel 

Andrew Barthelmes, Shopping Center, oil on wood

Lisa BurgerLentz, View from Harriet's Window, oil on board

Victor Mirabelli, Field of Sunshine, oil on canvas

Chris Perry, 139 Ripples: Sparkling, paper and fabric

Sarah Glickman, Mini Land One, acrylic on canvas 

Stacey Farley, Skies, plaster

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Eakins Felt it Too!

"Everything is in a muddle…Even the commonest colors seem to have the devil in them.  You see a thing more yellow, you put yellow in it, and it becomes only more gray when you tune it up.  As you get on you get some difficulties out of the way, and what seems trying is that some of the things that gave you the greatest trouble were the easiest of all."
Thomas Eakins

It's interesting to be reading a book on Eakins and to come across this quote just at about the same time when I'm experiencing some issues with a landscape I'm working on. He nailed the way I feel, at least the first part of the quote which mentions the colors having the "devil in them". That's my opinion on the greens I've been working with, and just when I think I'm making some progress I come to realize later that nothing is working. Everything seems to be working against me, the bad lighting in the studio, the bright greens I'm mixing and can't tone down, the texture of the linen, who knows it even seems like my brushes are conspiring against me! All painting is problem solving, but before you are able to resolve a problem you have to first identify it, which I think I'm having a hard time with. I'm not sure what's going wrong in the studio, I even reconfigured the layout of it hoping it would help me reach that point of enlightenment when everything starts to click, but it hasn't done much. What do you do when you reach a point where everything you try does not seem to work?  Eakins says "As you get on you get some difficulties out of the way", well I am getting on and the difficulties are still there. I do hope I will get them "out of the way" soon because I am running out of options and I failure is not part of my nature.  With this post out of the way, it's time to put my head down and keep getting on. 

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Small Works Exhibition

Hello all, I'm happy to announce that I'll be part of a group show at the Garrison Art Center in Garrison, NY.  Opening reception will be on Saturday Dec. 14 from 5-7pm. If you're in the area stop by and check out this exhibit. Details can be found by clicking on the flyer above.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

New Plein Air: Fall Colors

Fall Colors, 2013, oil on linen, 13 x 8 inches 
Good weather is hard to pass on, and this past Saturday temperatures reached the high sixties. Not a bad day to go out and paint! I spent part of the afternoon in the north end of Central Park, where there are less tourist and better painting spots. I have never walked through the park when the leaves turn, I have always seen pictures and most of the time it is hard to believe that the colors in the middle of the city can be that bright and beautiful in autumn. It was a pleasant surprise that the vibrant fall colors of Central Park were not a lie, they truly do exist and I was able to see it first hand after so many years of living in the city. This was not a bad way of spending my Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Plein Air: Rocky Stream, Central Park

Rocky Stream, Central Park, 2013, oil on linen, 12 x 9 inches
Went out to Central Park this weekend to paint, it was my first time painting outdoor since July...a bit overdue! This was also my first time capturing New England fall colors, the leaves are starting to turn and I could not pass up on this experience. It got cold pretty fast as the afternoon progressed and the sunlight died out. Regardless of the lowering temperature and my sniffly nose, I had a great time, it felt like I was revisiting a special place, like home. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Work Continues

Started work on this painting in July, shortly after I got back from Italy. I was inspired to paint and dove right into this canvas which was patiently awaiting my return. The subject matter is not Italian, actually it's Reed Creek from Asheville, North Carolina. This image has been on my mind for a few years and it was time to get started. Above is an image of my first session, lots of loose drawing with burnt sienna and burnt umber. 
Session two, more drawing and figuring out the composition. Also adding more darks in the foreground, already early on I'm starting to look for a little drama in the light. 
Finally started putting down color, mostly earth tones, the usual players, yellow ochre, verona green earth, burnt sienna and burnt umber. Still keeping it loose and trying to get a feel for it. 
Time to add more chromatic colors, my favorite part and also the scary part. The plan is to alternate layers of high key colors and knocking them down with earth tones. 
No turning back now, sap green in different mixtures has been added and nerves start to kick in. This is starting to look like something out of the stage of Wicked! 
More layers tonight, developing the background and middle ground. The painting is looking very green with a few areas glazed down with a mixture of yellow ochre and burnt sienna. Took this photo in sepia to help me see the tonal range. I'm not going to lie, I like this a lot, plan is to achieve this moodiness with color. Wish me luck as work continues. 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Group Exhibition

I will be taking part of a group exhibition titled Art of the Salmagundi Club Junior & Scholarship Group, presented by the Mehu Gallery. The show will run from Sept. 19  - Oct. 12, 2013, with an opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 19, 6 to 9 pm, and a closing reception on Sunday, Oct. 13, 3 - 6 pm.
Mehu Gallery is located at 21 W 100th St (between Central Park West & Columbus Ave.), NYC, 10025. Gallery hours are Tues. to Fri., 12 - 7pm and Sat. & Sun., 12 - 6pm.  If you have any questions you may contact the gallery at 212.222.3334
I will not be at the opening, but I will be there for the closing reception, swing by and say hello.
This will be a rotating exhibition, if you only see one of my pieces hanging you can ask the gallery to see other works they may have in storage. If you can't make it to the show, below are images of the five paintings available for viewing.
Thank you and hope to see you all there.

Cherry Grove Beach, 2013, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 18 inches

Crescent Beach, 2013, oil on linen, 10 x 17 inches

Goose Rocks Beach, 2013, oil on linen, 18 x 24 inches

Avocado Sandwich, 2012, oil on linen, 14 x 26 inches

On the Pan, 2009-11, oil on panel, 24 x 20 inches

Monday, September 02, 2013

New Painting: Open Road

Open Road, 2013, oil on panel, 9 x 12 inches
This painting is a continuation of a series I thought about in the summer of 2009, when I made various trips to Jones Beach. The first painting to come out of the series was in early 2010 titled Storm Over Jones Beach. My interest was sparked by the juxtaposition of landscape elements and light next to the hard linear characteristics of roads and high ways. There was a nice play of organic and geometric shapes happening and I wanted to recreate them in small panels as little snapshots of a memorable summer. Open Road is the second painting of this small series which I will continue to work on in the future.

Monday, August 19, 2013

New Painting: Cherry Grove Beach

Cherry Grove Beach, Fire Island, 2013, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 18 inches 
I seem to be on beach kick recently, all three of my studio landscape paintings this year have been about a beach. I didn't grow up near a beach, but I do have many fond childhood memories of going to the beach in Peru during the summers. Beaches were always a bus ride away, going there could be very spontaneous, freedom was not so far away.  I'm not sure why those experiences stuck so strongly with me, but every time I'm near a beach and smell the salt in the air it hits me and I feel like I'm living a dream. I hope you've had a beachy summer, and if you haven't there's still some time to sit back and enjoy the sun.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Little Little Plein Air

Le Contesse, 2013, oil on panel, 4 x 4 inches 
This has to be my smallest painting yet, funny thing is that the subject is a grand view of the valley bellow Cortona. Believe it or not, this little 4x4 inch painting took over three hours to complete, the usual time it takes me to paint an 8 x10 or 9 x 12 painting. Challenges for this painting were plenty, not only was I trying to fit such an amazing view into a small space, but I was also working with water soluble oil paint. This kind of paint is a little funky, it was a gummy consistency which makes it hard to layer, and the smallest amount of water makes it very runny. It was a constant fight but I stuck with it and I am very happy with the results. Thank you to Jeremiah Patterson for lending me his oils, panel, and paper palette; I am very happy I got to do this.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Weekend in the Berkshires

 Konkapot River Waterfall, 2013, oil on linen mounted on panel, 12 x 9 inches
Took a four day getaway with some friends for the 4th of July weekend, this has turned out to be a yearly summer ritual that takes us out of the city and into the country. This year we rented a house in the Berkshires, MA, and these are the paintings I got done in the backyard.
 Konkapot River, 2013, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches 

Hartsville Mill River Rd. Meadow, 2013, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches

Other trips in the past years have been Rhinebeck and Woodstock

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Cortona Watercolors

Jokes have been made between my friends that the painting workshop was more of an eating workshop, and although the pictures of food are plenty because yes we ate a lot, we also did a lot of work. Here are the watercolors I got done in the nine days of my visit to Cortona, I hope you enjoy them. 
 La Valdichiana, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches 

 Tuscan Study, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches 

 Wall at the Gardens of Parterre, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches 

 Tuscan Study No.2, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches 

 Tuscan Study No.3, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches 

 Lake Trasimeno, Morning, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches 

 The Cathedral, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches 

 Chiesa Santa Maria Nuova, Morning, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches 

 Chiesa Santa Margherita, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches 

 Chiesa Santa Maria delle Grazie, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches 

 Lake Trasimeno, Sunset, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches 

Well at Convent of Saint Augustine, 2013, watercolor on paper, 6 3/4 x 10 inches

I Ate My Way Through!

Fiocchetti Gorgonzola from Bar Sport Caffe

Perhaps one of the things I miss most about my trip to Italy is the food.  Never have I experienced such flavors accomplished through sophisticated simplicity and fresh ingredients. The dish above will melt your heart, these Fiocchetti are little pasta bundles, similar to dumplings, filled with creamy pear and cheese, topped with a Gorgonzola sauce. I hope you're ready to devour theses dishes, rest assure you will not leave anything on your plate!
Our first group dinner at Trattoria Toscana

Spaghetti with Duck and Tomato sauce from Trattoria Toscana

The first group dinner was an unbelievable introduction to the culinary world of Cortona, and what a way to kick things off. That night dishes kept coming from the kitchen and we were afraid that there might not be an end. The Spaghetti above was so firm and the sauce could not have been better.
Cheese Ravioli with Truffle Oil and Truffles from Trattoria Toscana

If the first pasta didn't satisfy your appetite, the second tray with Ravioli and Truffles would definitely do the trick. If it din't then you are not human! By this point I think I had reached an orgasm with an antipasti of deep fried mushrooms. Apparently the mushrooms we were served are only harvested in the Tuscan region for a limited time once a year, and we were so lucky to be there at the perfect time to try such delights.
Rosted Duck, Sausages, and Potatoes from Trattoria Toscana

Haven't had enough yet?  Well I guess roasted duck and potatoes with a side of wilted spinach might do the job . There's always more room right?
Antipasti with a view at Ristorante Tonino

I can't even begin to explain how magnificent this dinner at Ristorante Tonino was, the pictures speak for themselves, trust me it was incredible!
Ristorante Tonino

Carbonara at Trattoria Etrusca

This little dish right here, in my opinion, was the best pasta dish I've had all my life, and I'm a big carb eating sun of a gun, and nothing could have prepared me for what my taste buds savored that afternoon at Mario's Trattoria Etrusca. 
Mario, owner and chef of Trattoria Etrusca serving his delicious Carbonara

Mario is pretty much a one man show. He cooks everything, serves the water, wine, the starters, and the main courses; and oh yeah, he clears the tables as well. I hope he has someone to help wash the dishes, not that they needed much cleaning after we licked every little bit off every bowl.
Orecchiette with Creamy Tomato Sauce, Bacon, and Rosemary at Ristorante Pizzeria Fufluns

By this point pasta had become the only source of nutrition for our group, and although we felt like it was becoming punishment, our masochist hearts and stomachs were eager too keep eating more fresh pasta.
Caprese at Ristorante Pizzeria Fufluns

At some point you have to give it a rest, not a bad idea to have a Caprese salad for a light lunch. Trust me, the tomatoes and mozzarella pictured above were so fresh and delicious it put to shame the same ingredients you can get at the farmer's market here in NYC.
Ristorante Tonino

No great meal is complete without a pairing of great wine, thank our lucky stars that for this dinner Castiglion del Bosco, by Massimo Ferragamo, provided a selection of wines to accompany each dish.
Antipastisimo at Ristorante Tonino

Ristorante Tonino is famous for their Antipastisimo, a selection of about twelve delicate and artful antipasti served during one dinner. You think that much food might be too much, but to my surprise it wasn't. The portions were small yet packed with flavor, and each dish was timed perfectly to give your stomach a chance to digest.
Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Wild Boar at Ristorante Pizzeria Fufluns 

With all the food I've had everything is now becoming blurred, although I do remember the pasta above being really good I can't remember if it was wild boar or duck. Regardless, it was yummy!
Penne al Fumo from Trattoria Etrusca

This is the dish that our friend Mario from Trattoria Etrusca is known for world wide, his Penne al Fumo (smoked penne). How exactly is this smoked or with what? I don't know, but all I can say is that it was close to being heavenly, just like his Carbonara.
Pizza at La Croce del Travaglio 

A trip to Italy would not be complete without pizza, and this one let me tell you, was A M A Z I N G! I love eggs, and to have one at the center of a tasty pizza was like eating the food of angels. In all, food culture in Italy has no comparison, there is a certain ritual that goes along with every meal, and the best part is that it is always shared, never alone. Did I make you hungry? I hope so, and now go on and book your trip, believe me the food alone will be worth it!