Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Twelfth Moon

"The Twelfth Moon" started with a photo taken at Mill Creek Village, New Jersey several years ago. I always loved the textures involved with the wood of the old shed, the falling down fence and the rocks in the foreground but I never found the right composition until now. I was arriving home a few nights ago just after sunset, looked up and saw a perfect crescent moon with a beautiful lavender sky behind it. Of course, I ran for my camera and was able to get an image that created just the mood I wanted for the background. The title is a Native American name for the December moon which marks the onset of winter.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Gathering

I took this image at Cross Estate Gardens in New Jersey earlier this year and was pleased with the composition and artwork I used but always felt something was lacking to make it work for me. I tried adding a figure but it still wasn't right. Then, as if on cue, while I was working on the image, I heard lots of commotion outside my window and realized my birds were back! This huge flock of blackbirds comes to my neighborhood every fall filling the trees and sky and covering the ground! I grabbed my camera and got as many shots as I could before they moved on. They were just what I needed to complete "The Gathering"!

Hallowed Ground

"Hallowed Ground" is a montage created from a photo session I did recently with friend and model Mary Anne Christiano. My plan was to photograph her in a local cemetery to make use of the beautiful old trees and architecture of the mausoleums. Luckily, I took a variety of test shots prior to our session because we were rained out that day and had to do the whole shoot indoors. I had Mary Anne pose with some of the locations in mind and I was able to montage the two images to get the composition I wanted. Worked out okay after all!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And Winter Came

Another piece from last week's trip to Annandale. I loved the peeling paint colors in this room but the view from the window didn't fit the image in my head so I replaced it with an image I took last year of a flock of birds headed south for the winter and it worked perfectly! The Converse sneaker (which happened to match the color of the walls) was in a shot I took of another room in the house so I placed it on the windowsill to complete the end of summer feeling I was going for.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Teacup

Okay, so its been way too long since my last post. Wish I had a really good excuse but other than life keeps getting in the way, I don't. Took a road trip last week to the quaint town of Annandale New Jersey and came across a fabulous abandoned property wide open for exploration- not one boarded up window! (quite unusual these days). It was a little precarious in places but I always play it as safe as I can and don't take unnecessary chances. "The Teacup" room was quite an odd one. It seemed to be a bedroom but in the corner was a small sink. There was no sign of any other plumbing in the room and on the windowsill sat a dainty china teacup. Quite puzzling, leaving one to ponder "why?".

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Quiet Corner

Another road trip, this time to the quaint riverside town of Lambertville, New Jersey. Situated on the east bank of the Delaware River just across the bridge from New Hope, PA, it's filled with art galleries, antique shops and wonderful restaurants. It dates from the middle 1800's and is loaded with historic homes from that era. Raritan Canal State Park runs through the heart of town with a picturesque path along the canal for walking or jogging. Many of the backyards of the row houses butt up against the path and this one became "A Quiet Corner". It seemed a perfect spot for daydreaming or reflecting according to the cat lying lazily across the wicker table.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Ruby Slippers

On a recent Sunday afternoon drive, I ended up at the amazing Cross Estate Gardens in Bernardsville, NJ. Although I was familiar with it's reputation, this was my first visit but definitely will not be my last! The photo opportunities are endless with huge, ancient trees, formal gardens and lots of stonework! As I worked on this image, I experimented with different filters including infared which gives anything green a glowing white luminescence. In the end, it seem to take on a fairytale kind of feel and even though "the yellow brick road" is only a path and the shoes are my version of "the ruby slippers", it still seemed possible that Oz was just around the bend.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Benefit for Haiti Big Success

The fundraiser for Haiti went really well! There was a nice turnout, people bought art, drank a little wine and we raised a lot of money for a good cause! The evening began with a wonderful performance by the Good News Community Gospel Choir directed by Mark Miller and ended with the reception and art show featuring myself, Ivan Lo, and Jeremy Langdon. A big thank you to the organizer of this event and all around fantastic lady, Farah Pidgeon, who made the whole thing happen! And finally, (before I leave the podium!) many thanks to all the art lovers whose attendance and purchases made the evening such a success!

My print "The Raven's Wood" actually sold twice, once to the very nice Joan Ludwig and again to the also very nice, Phil Schafer!

Me and good friend and client, Pat Rubin of PM Studio in Edison, New Jersey.

The room had lovely, soft lighting from the beautiful chandeliers overhead.

Me, my sweetie, Tom and friend and mentor, Bernard.

Good friends for 33 years (and counting), Bernard and the lovely Virginia Carroll.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Help Haiti Smile

If you're in the New Jersey area, I'll be participating in an art show for Haiti relief Saturday, 3/27 at Grace Episcopal Church in Plainfield, a beautiful old church dating from the 1850's. Admission is $10 with proceeds benefiting Haiti relief funds. Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Charcoal Portraits

I've always loved working in charcoal, sometimes more than painting. Something about the relationship of the darks to the lights is very appealing to me as is black and white photography. When I began to paint digitally, it seemed easier somehow to make the transition in the color mediums (oils, watercolor, etc.) than charcoal or pencil, so that's where my concentration has been. Recently, however, I had a client inquire about drawings so I decided it was time to seriously give it a try, but only if I could make them look just as they would if I were doing them on physical paper with charcoal in hand! After a lot of trial and error, I think I've succeeded! The drawing above is my first effort and I have to say, I really enjoyed it (although there's still nothing like the feel of charcoal on your fingers!).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Seeking Solace

"Seeking Solace" began with a photo taken at the amazing ruins of the Wolf House in Glen Ellen California not far from San Francisco. It was to be the dream home of author Jack London ("Call of the Wild") and his wife Charmain but burned to the ground just days before completion. Located deep in the woods of Jack London State Historic Park, when I was there in 1998 it was only reachable by a long, narrow path thru the woods. The hike was well worth it when at the end a clearing revealed the majestic ruins of the stone house rising before me, hauntingly beautiful. If you're ever in the area, I strongly recommend a visit to the Wolf House.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone's having a good one! The flowers and candy are from my sweetie and since we all know gargoyles are ga ga for chocolate, one of my pets agreed to pose atop the box for a little valentine still life. He does have a bit of a lovesick expression, don't you think?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Raven's Wood

Now that the holidays are behind us, it's time to do a little creative catch up, get the juices flowing, and start making art again. I always seem to hit a slump around the holidays when priorities seem to be everything other than my own artistic endeavors. So here's the first addition of the new year! I captured this image (minus the ravens) a few years ago in Millcreek Village New Jersey, a fantastic historically preserved early American village. I would love to know what happened to the amazing tree in this image- some huge storm or maybe lightning. It's limbs were so contorted and angled it reminded me of a giant insect. I used this photo in color for a painting once but in black and white, all of the detail in the grass and brush reminded me of an etching. So again, it has new life as "The Raven's Wood".