Friday, December 06, 2019

Painting on the Move

Sketching on the move has been my thing in recent years.  The rocking and bumping of a train car doesn't bother me much, in fact I use that motion for interesting mark making.  But what about painting, especially watercolor?  Last June I had the chance to give it a try, and turns out it was pretty awesome. 

Travelling from Paris to Provence you come across some stunning views of the French country side.  I had my travel watercolor boxes and book with me, why wait until I arrived at my destination to paint?  I set up my supplies on the folding tray and went right to work.

As we passed through the landscape at high speed I had to rely on my memory a lot.  That's actually a good thing, it helps your brain stay sharp.  When I would see something interesting I would put down some quick lines on the page, and try to take a photograph with my mind of what I was looking at.  Then on to the next page until another scene caught my eye. 

After I had enough information down in my book and in my brain, I began applying color, that's when the fun began.  I have always admired artists who travel and work en route to their destination.  There is some sort of worldly flair to it and I got to live it. 

The fun continued after I arrived in Provence, I continued applying colors to some of the pencil lines I had laid down on the pages of my watercolor book. 

I was able to fill my book halfway on this last trip to Provence, and I'm looking forward to finishing it this coming June as I return to teach a plein air sketching course.  I will be posting more watercolors from Provence soon, in the meantime check out the information on my two week course by following this link:

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Coffee and Ink

Fun announcement everyone!  Artist Immersion Program and I will be hosting a casual drawing/sketching session at my favorite coffee house in NYC, Now ore Never.  Join me on Dec. 14 for an afternoon of sketching and sharing.  I will be there to answer any questions about my process and to talk about my two week course in Provence this coming June.  This sketching event is free and open to all, details below:
Coffee and Ink 
Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019   1 - 3 pm 
Now or Never, 30 Grand St. NYC

For more information about my class in June and to register click here.  Hope to see you on Dec. 14 or June 2020.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Join Me in Provence!

Wake up one morning and open your window to be greeted by beautiful Provence!  You can pinch yourself all you want but this dream can be as real as anything else in your life if you come and study with me for two weeks in Arles, Provence. 

I will be joining the staff of Artist Immersion Program on June 13-26, 2020 for a plein air sketching and painting course.  We will explore the town of Arles with sketchbooks, pens, pencils, and watercolors on hand to capture the magic of the place. 

Classes take place in the morning, when I will be working closely with students to help them understand elements of drawing and color.  In the afternoon we break for lunch and you have the rest of the day to immerse yourself in the culture of Provence. 

Provence may have attracted artists throughout history for it's beauty and light, but this region of France is also knows for it's food and wine, especially Rose.  The best thing is that you don't need a lot of money to enjoy some of the finest dishes and sips in the world.  What more can you ask for?  You'll enjoy two weeks of bliss living your own Eat, Paint, Love movie.     

Registration is now open.  Sign up by January 20, 2020 and save some money.  Visit:  I hope to see you there! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

P.R.I.N.T. Exhibition

P.R.I.N.T. (Protect and Release Innocent Niños Today) has been running for two weeks and has two more to go.  If you are in NYC stop by Now or Never at 30 Grand Street to see the exhibition.  Below are some photos of installation day.

Installing "Asheville Trail," an oil painting from 2010 which has been purchased and will be going to a good home.  

Thank you to those who came out on Saturday Oct. 19 for the reception.  All proceeds from this exhibition will be donated to KiND (Kids in Need of Defense), I hope I can count on you to donate here:

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

P.R.I.N.T. (Protect and Release Innocent Niños Today)

“Terrible things are happening outside.  At any time of  night and day, poor helpless people are being dragged out of their homes…Families are torn apart: men, women, an children are separated.  Children come home from school to find their parents have disappeared.”
Anne Frank

What happens to the children who have been separated from their families at the border or because of immigration raids? Where do the babies go? Who rocks them to sleep at night? Who comforts the young child who’s only ever been tucked in by mom or dad? Who holds their hand when they’re afraid?

Over the recent months and years, the number of detained children in our country has skyrocketed and the US government is not doing its part in caring for even their most basic physical needs, let alone their emotional needs. Impossibly small children are being sent to court for their deportation proceedings without any legal or adult representation, where they must face a judge and lawyers representing the United States government. Can you imagine yourself being put in this position if you were five years old?  Can you imagine yourself not being able to understand where you are or what is being said to you while a room of adults decides your fate? Can you imagine the painful hope of wondering if these grownups will reunite you with your family?

I believe we can all find ways to contribute in coming to the aide of the youngest victims of this national atrocity. I have set up a fundraising page with KiND in conjunction with P.R.I.N.T. (Protect and Release Innocent Niños Today): A Monotype Print Exhibition. KiND (Kids in Need of Defense) provides pro bono attorneys to represent unaccompanied children in their deportation proceedings, as well as legal screenings, and Know Your Rights presentations.  KiND vows to ensure that no child is let to stand alone in court.  

The exhibition will be held at Now or Never Coffee and will offer eight of my framed monotypes. All proceeds from this show will be donated to KiND. Additional unframed monotypes will be available at the reception only.
If you are not able to attend, please consider donating through this fundraising page.

Some facts about detained children below: 
In each of the past four years, 1,000 or more immigrant children who arrived at the southern U.S. border without their parents have reported being sexually abused while in government custody, according to federal records released. In a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., said the government's 135 migrant shelters are "an unsafe environment…Together these documents detail an environment of systemic sexual assault by staff on unaccompanied children," he said.  (
At least seven children are known to have died in immigration custody since last year, after almost a decade in which no child were reported to have died while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (NBC News)
“Already, we have seen the harmful effects of the cruel conditions that resulted from the Trump administration illegally holding children in overcrowded and unsanitary border patrol facilities without access to basic needs and care," said Katie Hamm, vice president for Early Childhood Policy at The Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan research and educational institute. "Removing legal protections for children will remove any protection or standard of care, resulting in potentially irreparable harm to their health and development.” (NBC News)
Immigrant children as young as 3 are being ordered into court for their own deportation proceedings, according to attorneys in Texas, California, and Washington DC. (USA Today)

Exhibtiont details:

October 14 - November 8, 2019

Reception: Saturday, October 19, 2019  1 - 4pm
Now Or Never
30 Grand Street, NYC
hours: M - F 7am - 6pm, Sat/Sun 8:30am - 4:30pm

Thank you so much for your support... and please don't forget to forward page to any friends you think might be interested in donating!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Argentum: Contemporary Silverpoint

Three Graces, 2019, silverpoint and watercolor highlights, on prepared toned paper, 12 x 6 inches

I am very happy to announce that this silverpoint drawing will be included in an exhibition next month alongside an incredible rosters of artists.  See details below!

Argentum: Contemporary Silverpoint
The Daughtrey Gallery, Hillsdale Colletge, Michigan
October 18 - November 20, 2019

Exhibiting artists: James Xavier Barbour, Dina Brodsky, Carol Broman, Noah Buchanan, Lauren Caldarola, Koos Chandler, Harvey Citron, Luis Colan, Diana Corvelle, Brad Davis, Joshua Henderson, Sam Knecht, Tom Mazzullo, Mary Anne McCarthy, Lauren Amalia Redding, Edward Schmidt, Darryl Smith, Jesse Stern, Dan Thompson

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Art Supplies ooh la la!

If you are an artist you can not be in Paris and not pay a visit to Magasin Sennelier, located at 3 Quai Voltaire, just a block or two down the street from the Musee D'Orsay and across the Seine from the Louvre.
This shop opened it's doors in 1887 and since then it has been the go to place for many of art history's biggest names like Gauguin, Bonnard, Soutine, Sisley, Degas, Vuillard, and Picasso.  The latter had some specific shades of gray pastels made for him which now form part of the color line of Sennelier pastels.
It was such a treat to rummage around the shelves and drawers of this shop, there were products that are very familiar to us in America, such as Gamblin and Caran d'Ache, but if you looked hard enough you could find some gems.

In my case the gems were these books made by Hahnemuhle (red and dark blue) and the Kunst & Papier (royal blue watercolor book).  I can not tell you how many sketchbooks I've collected over the years, and most have not been touched!  I think it's an artist thing, I've talked to some who have the same problem, we buy sketchbooks thinking about filling them in the future but never do.
Speaking of sketchbooks, I went a little crazy when I found this shop called Grim'Art, a stationary store with handmade leather bound books.
How can you choose one with so many choices?  Just box them all and ship them please...If only I had the space and money for all of them.
Instead of a leather bound book I settled for this beautiful leather and marbled paper sketchbook.  This one is made by an Italian company, Legatoria Koine, who specialize in leather journals, photo books and bags.  I have a nostalgic thing about marbled paper books, my grandfather used to use them for his accounting and note taking.  I'm sure he would love this book. 
It's hard to find a leather or any kind of handmade sketchbook with good paper.  Most manufacturers bind books with the journalist in mind, but a good heavy drawing or watercolor paper in these bindings is hard to find.  This book has a warm white, laid paper with deckle edges, total artist's porn...I had to get it!
I could stay for days in both of these stores, just lock me in and leave me a loaf of bread and I'll be a happy guy.  One place I did not get to visit is La Maison du Pastel (The House of Pastel), I wanted to see how hand made pastels are made, and yes perhaps shop a little.  There is always next trip my friends!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Bonjour Mes Ami!

I'm finding it hard to believe that a month ago I was in Paris!  Yes, four weeks ago I crossed the Atlantic to spend three days in Paris and six in Provence, and till this day I'm still processing everything.  On the first night Paris gave us a beautiful welcome with this stunning sunset.  I thought I was walking inside the Janet Jackson music video Come Back to Me
Paris is a very large city with lots to do and see, the art alone requires many hours of attention, but we tried to cram it all, or at least most of it, in three days...YIKES!
We walked by Notre Dame a number of times but to our bad luck the area had been closed off, it was my understanding a day or two before our arrival the streets leading up to the cathedral were open.  We got to see her from across the Seine, and even though she's missing her spire, she still stands tall with grace. 
Why not take a picture of the metro sign, it's Paris after all and that sign is unlike any other in the world.  Wish our subway signs in NYC were as artistic and charming as this one.  Do you hear that MTA? 
Ah the cafes, there were endless amounts of them, and all buzzing with locals and tourists alike enjoying either coffee or wine.  Parisians take their cafes seriously, it's definitely a see and be seen lifestyle.  Chairs are set up facing the street so that those enjoying their drink and conversation can also people watch as they pass by. 
One of the things I noticed about Paris, and France in general is that it is a very social city.  Everyone is engaged in conversations paying attention to each other.  I rarely saw someone on their phone either texting or having one of those loud annoying conversations.  It is all about the here and now and who is across from you at the moment. 
A misconception about Paris is late dining.  I've been to Madrid and Barcelona, and small towns in Italy where late dining is the thing.  Not in Paris, here you dine early because most restaurants close at 10pm, if you are not requesting your table at 9pm then you may be turned away because kitchen closes soon.  We did find this eatery close to 10pm and had no problem ordering our dinner.  And if you're an American used to the "let's serve fast and turn tables" kind of service than you are in for a shock in Paris.  There is no quick service, no one is trying to rush you through your meal, the table is yours for as long as you want it.  It's nice to enjoy your dinner or lunch at a nice pace but sometimes these can take two hours maybe more. 
Daylight in France is glorious, sun is intense and the amount of hours of it is quite astonishing.  At 6 a.m. the sun is out at full force and it does not go down until 9 - 10pm.  If we had that sort of thing here in the East Coast I think I would get more done with my day. 
After a month I'm beginning to feel the need to go back and explore some more, hopefully the second time around I get the insider tour from a local.  I can imagine the little spots that only the people that live there know about.
More to come about my trip to France, in the meantime enjoy these photos.