Saturday, March 24, 2007

Clixe's - Wyckoff, New Jersey

oil on prepared panel
5" x 7"
This is a portrait of Clixes roadside hot dog stand located in Wyckoff. This place is about 4 blocks away from my house and has closed up shop after 57 years in business. I can just imagine what Wyckoff was like back then, mostly celery farms and trees. It must have been idyllic. I believe our house was only a few years old at the time with just a smattering of other houses around.
I used to love to go in here for a quick dog or four and chat with the owners and customers. I remember one specific time here that I shall never forget. We had just moved into our home (our very first), and after a few weeks of setting up my new studio I was ready for my very first day of serious painting. Anyone who is an Artist will tell you that changing studios is one of the most traumatic and difficult things that you can do. It is an odd feeling to try and be creative in a new space after many years of comfort and security in an old studio. As I sat down at the easel, I proceeded to turn all my lights on along with the stereo system. At that exact moment, all the power went out. I thought, sh*t, I blew out the electrical system in the house! As I looked out the front window I noticed that all the power was out on the block. Did I just blow out the electricity to all of Wyckoff? As I started to panic, I jumped in the car and headed out to Clixes to see what was going on. They were so kind and welcoming to me there, offering me coffee and conversation. It was one of those very personal and special moments that only occur a few times in a life. I will always have fond memories of this wonderful place.
p.s. It was a blown transformer, not me who blew out the power. Hey, what the heck did I know? I was used to apartment living! I still can't change a lightbulb without some help!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Carvel - Lodi, New Jersey

Oil on Belgian linen canvas
32" x 23"
This painting will be included in my solo show at Kerygma Gallery which opens March 27.
I need to ask you all a favor. Would you please send me your addresses via email so that I can send out invitations to this show. I just received the stack of invitations yesterday, so I need to mail them out asap.
The reception will be held on April 1 between 2:00 and 4:00 pm. Even if you can't make it to the reception, please send me your addresses anyway so that you can at least have the invitation. I have mine framed already....LOL!
Hope to see you all there.
p.s. This is a private mailing list, so no other people will see your address.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Weathervane - Saddle River, New Jersey

oil on prepared panel
7" x 5"
This is a charming old weathervane located in the town of Saddle River, N.J.
This image was photographed by a good friend of mine who generously allowed me to create a painting from it.
I usually don't use other people's imagery for my own work, but this shot struck me as being so beautiful and different that I had to paint it. I never really noticed the detail on these local weathervanes until I saw this picture. That is a surprising thing for me because I am pretty observant most of the time out in Nature.
I guess once in a while you need a different perspective to appreciate what's surrounding you.
I want to thank Amy for giving me this image to paint, and her husband Doug who has been very supportive of my work for a long time now. I appreciate everything that you have done for me.
This piece will be included in my solo show at Kerygma Gallery opening March 27.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Duane Keiser Video

I know I usually post my own finished work to this blog, but this video of my friend Duane at work is well worth the 8 minutes it takes to watch it. You may also click and hold the little time bar under the video screen to speed the time lapse up or rewind it. The faster you watch this video the more fascinating it becomes, I think. I like to share things that interest me with you all, and I must admit that I have never seen anything quite like the way this painting was handled. Duane is truly one of a kind.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

B. Witching Bath Co., Ridgewood, New Jersey

Oil on prepared panel
7" x 5"
This is a tiny shop located on Ridgewood Avenue which I have been admiring for quite some time now. It has to be one of the smallest storefronts that I have ever seen. I think this shop is incredibly charming and typifies everything that I love about Ridgewood.
This shop is located right around the corner from Kerygma Gallery.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the owners of this wonderful gallery, Ron and Vi for everything that they have done for me. I have been going into their place for about 17 years now. When I first visited this gallery, I was so impressed with the quality of the Art hanging there. I immediately thought about someday displaying my own work there. I knew at the time that I was a long way away from that goal, but with a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication I was finally accepted to show there. To this day, one of the best days of my life was when Vi asked me to join them officially.
I read a lot of Artist biographies in my spare time, and one thing that always stuck with me about Edward Hopper was that he had the pleasure of having a happy lifelong association with his gallerists. I thought that he was so fortunate to have the security of that situation, and I always hoped that someday I might be lucky enough to enjoy the same type of relationship with a gallery and the owners. Ron and Vi have made that dream come true for me. It is such a fantastic feeling to have a place to call home for me and my work. I hope that this comfort comes through in my Art to the viewer.
I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for this. I am forever grateful to you both.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Good Coffee (Bendix Diner)

oil on prepared panel
6" x 6"
This one will be included in the show at Kerygma Gallery opening March 27.
This is a view of the neon sign on top of the Bendix diner located in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey.
Whenever I get the chance to go inside this legendary establishment I am amazed at the way John (the owner) maneuvers his way around behind the counter, in the main dining area and in the kitchen. I can literally spend hours watching him work his magic. He knows every inch of this place by touch because of the fact that he is sightless. He is more than able to run this place and serve customers without missing a beat. It is one of the most fascinating and awe inspiring things that I have ever seen. I find it a little bittersweet and ironic though that he will never get a chance to see my paintings of his beloved place.
John my friend, this one is dedicated to you. Godspeed.
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