Don’t Go to the Mall, Go to the Exhibit Instead…

November 30, 2010

This little figure study is available in the Compact Impact Exhibit at the Center for Contemporary Art

Buying a piece of original art as a holiday gift might seem like an expensive proposition. However, many museums and art centers have holiday “small works” exhibits at this time of year. If you go to a show that is held in one of these venues, the artwork is likely to be juried and therefore of a higher caliber than what is generally seen in “street fairs” and outdoor art shows, but is priced such that it is within the reasonable amount you may want to spend on a special gift for an art lover.

Professional artists often participate in these shows for several reasons: it builds awareness and gets exposure for their work; if they teach at the center or museum hosting the exhibit, it may attract prospective students and allow existing students the opportunity to purchase an original; and it introduces new collectors to their work by opening the door to a potential long term artist-collector relationship.

I am participating in two of these types of exhibits this year, along with other professional artists and instructors offering high quality originals:

Compact / Impact at the Center for Contemporary Art @ Bedminster – is a silent auction exhibit of small works at the Center for Contemporary Art @ Bedminster (formerly known as the Somerset Art Association). The auction is held on Dec. 4 from 2 to 4 pm, bids on 5×7 originals start at $25 and increase in $5 increments. Some bids have already been placed, but you can still get an ORIGINAL piece of art in most cases for under $100! There is also a special invitational section of the exhibit for professionals, I have the small piece shown below in the show, bidding on it starts at $200.

14th Street, NYC, – oil on canvas, 8×8 in. is available in the Compact / Impact Invitational Exhibition

Salmagundi Club Thumbox Exhibition – The Salmagundi Club of NY is the oldest arts club in the US. A highly prestigious organization, the artist members of the Club are some of the best contemporary painters in the United States and abroad. I am proud to be a member of this wonderful club and will be putting 3 paintings in their upcoming Thumbox Exhibition which runs from Dec. 6 through January 1. The work in the show must be under 80 sq. in. in size. The Club is located at 47 Fifth Avenue and is open daily from 1-5 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire top quality original artwork in a fabulous setting–the Club is housed in a beautifully restored brownstone! For more information, call the Club at 212-255-7740 or stop by, there will be a reception on December 9 at 6 pm.

So, why not skip the mall and go to the art exhibits instead? Relax, have a glass of wine, some holiday treats and shop in beautiful surroundings instead of in the middle of a crowded department store.


Gift Ideas for Artists & Collectors

November 29, 2010

Click on the image above to preview my book! It makes a great gift for the artists on your shopping list!

Not sure what to buy the artists on your holiday shopping list? How about something they can use to build their confidence while practicing their techincal skills? My book, “Loosen Up! Drawing and Painting with Style and Confidence” is designed to assist artists of all levels who want to gain confidence in their work while developing their own unique style. The book is filled with exercises that can be done to help achieve specific goals. There are individual chapters dedicated to drawing, form and value, color theory, composition, and style development, each with illustrated examples and specific exercises to help build skill in each area. There is also specific information that can help you to choose the right medium for you, or to find out which new mediums you might wish to try.

The book will make a great stocking stuffer for your favorite artists! Order your copy today.

If don’t have any artists on your list, but have some art lovers, how about an original work of art? Tomorrow, I’ll list several NY Metro area venues offering great opportunities to acquire affordable, original art by professional artists.

Market Day, Annecy France, oil on canvas

November 28, 2010

Market Day, Annecy France, oil on canvas, 8x8 in.

This is another painting I plan to put in the Salmagundi Thumbox Exhibition. I sketched this previously in acrylic and pastel on corrugated cardboard and had always intended to do a “real” version in oil, now I have. I enjoy painting figures in an urban setting, this one has a little bit of a different twist though, it is more festive rather than urban. The colors are brighter and it is a little flatter because of the grey day it is based on.

I think I have found the theme for my second solo show: urban figures. Now I can focus on developing the large pieces for both of the shows I have coming up in the spring. Being organized and having a plan is vital to a successful exhibition, particularly a solo show. Being an artist is not an excuse for being flaky, lazy or a bad business person. If you put the time in and plan ahead, you will have a professional looking show that galleries are proud to hang. You’ll also have a higher chance of selling the work you exhibit if it is cohesive and based on a central theme.

Canal Street Shoppers, oil on canvas

November 27, 2010

Canal Street Shoppers, oil on canvas, 12x6 in.

A small painting I did yesterday that I plan to put in the Salmagundi Club’s Thumbox Exhibition. The show runs from December 6 through January 1 and features works that are under 80 sq. in. There will be a reception on December 9. For more information, call the Club at 212-255-7740 or email The Club is located in a historic brownstone at 47 Fifth Avenue, NYC.

Covered Roadway (NJ Route 139, Pulaski Skyway Connector, Jersey City)

November 25, 2010

Covered Roadway (NJ Route 139, Jersey City) oil on canvas, 12x6 in.

One of the comments I often hear about my more offbeat subject matter is “How do you make something so unattractive look so interesting?” The answer is simple, it IS interesting to ME! Choosing what to paint is a highly personal decision, your subject has to be of interest to you otherwise it won’t be of interest to anyone else.

That is why I am so adamant about only working from my own reference materials such as photographs I take (never anyone elses unless it is a commission), sketches done on location or if possible, working directly from life. We all know that working from life is a great way to learn to see colors and improve drawing skills, but it isn’t always logistically possible. I don’t think the NJ Dept. of Transportation would be too thrilled to have me pull over on the Pulaski Skyway connector and whip out my easel. However, about a year ago I was on that road and the light passing through the slats in the covered roadway was amazing. It’s also such an icon of a NJ roadway, anyone who lives in North Jersey and has driven into NY via the Lincoln Tunnel knows exactly where this is. I had to paint it! So I took some digital shots through the windshield (I was not the driver and luckily I had my camera with me).

Being excited about your subject is the most likely way to get the results you want from your paintings. You have to be excited by what you are painting, if you are, that excitement will shine through in the results, and you can make whatever subject you choose come to life with vibrance and energy.

Salmagundi Plein Air Exhibit: Fountain, Madison Square Park Won an Award

November 24, 2010

Fountain, Madison Square Park, NYC - plein air mixed media on board, 8x8 in.

I was thrilled to find out today that this little painting won an award of merit in the Salmagundi Club’s First Annual Plein Air Exhibition. I painted this on a very hot day in August in Madison Square Park. I started out by sketching it in with acid-free waterbased markers. On top of this I worked in color with acrylics, followed by some touch ups in oil to pop the color a bit, especially on the brightest highlights. It has a coat of re-touch gloss varnish on top to even out the finish.

There is an awards reception at the Salmagundi Club on December 3 from 6 to 8 pm, stop by if you’re in the neighborhood and say “hi”. The Club is located at 47 Fifth Avenue, NYC, 212-255-7740 for more information or email

Underpass (Hudson & Harrison Streets, NYC)

November 23, 2010
Underpass (Hudson & Harrison Streets, NYC), oil on canvas, 30x40 in.

Underpass (Hudson & Harrison Streets, NYC), oil on canvas, 30x40 in.

detail of foreground

This is the final version of the work in progress I posted a few days ago. It’s interesting that it has a much softer, atmospheric look than the pastel study I did earlier. I suspected it would take on that type of a mood, “prettier” than the pastel and what was there in real life, almost a little bit of a fantasy.