Monday, December 28, 2009

Can I count on your vote?

Please visit this link and cast your vote for my painting of the Chrysler Building.

The curators at are preparing a home decor feature and are putting some of the items to be included up for a vote. I'm pleased to say that my ink and watercolor painting of the most beautiful profile in Manhattan is included in the voting pool. It is a 4.5"x 10.5" ink and watercolor on paper. Please visit and cast a vote for my painting.

If you can't purchase a print of my painting, or even the painting itself, this is the next best thing, and I'd appreciate it very much.

Vote vote vote! Again, here's the link. It will expire in a few days, so get crackin'...........thanks.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Night Shift LOVE

It's been a busy week here at the home of The Night Shift - apologies to those who have been hoping to see some fresh paintings but it will be a few more days before more new art arrives in this space. We are more of the secular types when it comes to the traditions of Christmas but we go all out with a huge tree, gingerbread village, cookies galore and our annual Christmas Eve party, all of which have kept me from my studio.

But who could complain? A house full of family and friends, blessings on the holiday. A few dozen joined us on Christmas Eve for wicked spiked egg nog, Morroccan boneless roast leg of lamb, curried shrimp, home-made ceviche and more. Not all went smoothly - the baked brie caught fire in the oven and one likkle empress dropped a handful of plates in the kitchen that shattered into a million pieces.

But we haffi laff -- King put the fire out and made the oven ready for the next course. The likkle empress was horrified when she dropped the plates, afraid I'd race her up and down, but I never liked those damn plates anyway. Good excuse to buy new ones, chica, no worries. Ca va? Ca va bien.

Granny Meg stayed with us and showered us all with goodies, the likkle empresses had shopped and prepared special gifts for us all, and the king blessed me with lovely surprises.....and vice versa.

Many blessings and treats all around, give thanks for friends and the best family, I could not ask for more.

Empress "Bud" with two Bud Pickney an ornament gift from the king.....

And a new feature has arrived here on The Night Shift as well -- see the "Night Shift Love" image to see where my art has been featured elsewhere online...thankful for the shared word.

Big love from The Night Shift to all my faithful readers -- see you in 2010!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Westbeth Holiday Show II

We trundled across to the West Village to take in the Westbeth Holiday Art show this past Saturday night. As the first snow storm of the season began to wrap NYC in a blanket of white, we sipped wine and took in the view...........

Westbeth Gallery, 57 Bethune Street, NY NY

A brief introduction to Westbeth Artists' Community, quoting from their website:
Located in the far West Village of New York City, Westbeth provides affordable living and working spaces for artists and their families. Opened in 1970 through funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the J.M. Kaplan Foundation, Westbeth continues to offer affordable artists’ housing and an array of cultural activities.

The Westbeth Gallery and the Westbeth Community Room regularly offer works by our resident artists, invited guest artists, as well as other arts organizations. Westbeth is also home to the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, The New School for Drama, Brecht Forum and others.

My long-time friend, mentor and teacher, Beverly Brodsky, is a resident of Westbeth and included one of her most recent paintings in the show. Here's Beverly in front of Red Earth:

Red Earth 72"x78", Oil on Canvas, $30000.00

I'm afraid the iphone photo doesn't do it justice. It is remarkably complex and layered and a departure from the paintings I've come to know in Beverly's studio over the past decade. Here are some close ups....

The breadth of styles and media was a bit boggling. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media and sculpture, with prices from $200 up to several in the $30,000 range. Here are a few other pieces from the show:

Rocks and Trees Gerald Marcus, Watercolor on paper

Autumn Path Gerald Marcus, Watercolor on paper

A series of 3 delicate oil paintings on gessoed paper by Karen Santry.

Shelley Dinhofer's Hats

Marble sculpture by Isabel Borgatta -

Dona Luisa

Finally, a beautiful monoprint by Claire Rosenfeld -

Blue MountainEncaustic monotype and watercolor

The show is up until January 3, 2010 and Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday 1- 6 pm. Check the gallery's website for more info here.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Let it snow,let it snow, let it snow

Leaves Tonight - Ink and watercolor on paper,

Purchase a print here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Between bites of truffle-butter basted turkey and white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust...

... I managed to spend some more time with Shara.

Who typically goes to bed with a less-than-full belly.

The irony of Thanksgiving. We had over a dozen assorted friends and family join our own little army this week to celebrate our Recession Thanksgiving. I instructed everyone to come with a contribution, swearing I would provide nothing more than the aforementioned turkey with dressing and our traditional Thanksgiving crowd-pleasing dessert.

But of course the youngest likkle empress wore me down, pleading with me not to forgo the puff-pastry-baked brie with pecans and brown sugar. And the herb-&-white-wine steamed mussels, mommy, we always have those when we have a party. And with your homemade bread, of course. And we don't want to risk having to use cranberry sauce from a can, make that fresh, too! And you can't have Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes, mommy.

So when guests arrived bearing platefuls of shrimp cocktail with marinated olives, piping hot Brussell sprouts with okra, steaming vegetable pierogis with sour cream, 4 lbs of jumbo shrimp (ready for the King to curry), three-berry crumble pie, home-made corn muffins and chocolate chip cookies, plus the show-stopping holiday pudding in an enormous 2-foot tall martini glass -- well there wasn't any room left on the table.

Grandma had provided stacks of beautiful holiday-themed napkins, several bottles of wine, vodka and grapefruit juice (of course), dear Marlie threw in a South American twist by bringing ingredients for caiparinha cocktails (Cachaca and limes), while the bredren from the Bahamas came laden with Guinness. The special occasion permitted the purchase of a couple of litres of Root Beer for the 7 pickney in attendance to drown their sorrows, down to the last drop. Everybody belly full.

After such a bounty of good food, good friends, good family and another lovely evening of great vibes -- it was almost painful to return to Shara's face the next morning. You can tell by the look on her face that such a feast has only existed for her in her imagination.

We do what we can for Shara and family, harder now when times are tough up here but probably needed more than ever in the yard. When I finish this painting of Shara, I'll put it up for sale here with all proceeds going directly down to her and her family in Jamaica.

Giving thanks.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shara, Rewind Selectah

Giving Shara another portrait -- oil on canvas board. First steps, not finished as yet......

Water tower of my dreams

Water Tower No. 9 - 8"x10" oil on canvas

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Episode 2

Previously, on The Night Shift --

Three 8"x10" oils on stretched canvas, first episode:

I was in the zone today and moved forward on all three of these oils. They're not finished but they are coming along nicely:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Weekend in Jamaica

The sun was shining.
The weather was sweet.
Girl pickney in abundance.
And so were the colors.

We left our island home for Jamaica.


Day One

Parents' Weekend at the tony boarding school. The oldest in the nation, seen suh?

We are the family that doesn't quite look like the Kennedys. Nor the Bushes. Nor the royal family of Dubai, all of whom have attended this high school. S'aright. We know we a royal-tee of our own making and we belong there, too. Big girl pickney prove soh.

The King and I arrive on campus with likkle girl pickney in tow. Yes, we sit through mini versions of Chemistry and English. History and Religious Philosophy (that raised some Kingly eyebrows). Math and Francais. Then the Head Mistress gives us all one big chat, lunch and DONE.

Back to our bredren and sistren's home in Jamaica.


Wifeys wan' fi sekkle in for a chat and a re-connect and gossip 'bout husbands. Must.
No mattah, Kings, we will cook the fish 'pon the grill, man -- we haff one next mission for you. Wifeys insist Kings make one bredren mission bakka cam-PUSS.

Big girl pickney needs to be retrieved to join us in Jamaica.


Big chat ensues. Consternation. Dis-TANCE. High-WEH. Ball of confusion. Bredren wan fi sekkle in for a chat and a re-connect.

And gossip 'bout wifeys. Must.

No, man, we no want fi drive -- dat some faddah bizness. You two Kings go get the girl pickney. Seeemple, man, we'll draw you a map.......

Well it appears that the drive up was a snap. Only 25 miles north, highway, exit, smaller highway, exit, drive straight on to campus. One hour passes, I say to other wifey, "well, no news is good news, they must soon arrive."

Cell phone immediately rings. Disgruntled voice of big girl pickney mumbling something about highwway signs saying something about exits to a ski area and the presumption that they are, um, slightly disoriented.


Two and a half hours later, after much google mapping, cell phoning and gnashing of teeth and gossiping 'bout husbands and, no doubt, more gossiping about wifeys - they roll in to Jamaica.


"Well at least they bought me some snacks," says the big girl pickney, unfolding herself out of the back seat and stretching her long legs. Yes, wifeys agree, the Kings are good at keeping a car full of people adequately supplied with snacks.

Following a map? Not so much.

Day Two

Coffee and tea in the yard in Jamaica.


Discussions about art, and mural painting and inner city yewt-dem and yard life and opportunity fi werk and allah deh big baby-dem in yard who want munny. Discuss plans to go to Mess-tee-koh next vacation instead of yard.......Brunch at the cafe. Shopping on Newbury Street. Then to a farm for picking out a punk-keeng.

Mission accomplished. Without gettin lost in Jamaica.


Good times with good family and good friends. Happy fall..............

Friday, October 30, 2009

A surfeit of treasures

I've been fortunate to have some of my art included in several Etsy Treasuries over the past few weeks but have not clogged up the blog with the links. I'm mulling over a re-design of the blog and a more efficient way to share this info -- until then, here a few current collections. I'm currently active in 3 at once -- click through before they expire!

All items are HANDMADE or vintage (20 years older or more).

Lovely items, just in time for the upcoming holidays -


Sweet Potato Pie


Monday, October 26, 2009

Sol Lewitt - Love-it? Hate-it?

Spent a weekend in the Berkshires earlier this month and made a day-long visit to MassMOCA - The Massachussetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams. The museum's collection is housed in a restored 19th century factory - I loved the architecture and the soaring spaces but was disappointed at the dearth of actual paintings among the current exhibits. With the exception of the Sol Lewitt massive wall-sized paintings, of course -- but they are not really my cuppa tea.

Lewitt, a legendary Conceptual artist, stressed the ideas behind his works rather than the execution. Lewitt did not paint the massive wall-sized works in this exhibit but rather wrote precise and detailed instructions for their creation. According to notes on the exhibit,

"After nearly six months of intensive drafting and painting by a team of some sixty-five artists and art students, Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective is fully installed . . . and will remain on view for twenty-five years. Conceived by the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, in collaboration with the artist before his death in April 2007, the project has been undertaken by the Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective comprises 105 of LeWitt’s large-scale wall drawings, spanning the artist’s career from 1969 to 2007. These occupy nearly an acre of specially built interior walls that have been installed—per LeWitt’s own specifications—over three stories of a historic mill building situated at the heart of MASS MoCA’s campus.

Here's a walk-through video of the exhibit as it was being installed earlier last year:

And here are pics I took with my phone during our visit -

The MassMOCA website has some cool timelapse videos of several of the paintings as the installation team drafted and painted, bringing the images to life. See themhere.

Although I could appreciate the effort and painstaking care involved in putting up the exhibit, it's not really something I enjoyed.

There was ANOTHER exhibit in an adjoining building, however, that was pretty cool - Simon Starling: The Nanjing Particles. Briefly, from an information card in the gallery, " Influenced by the museum's industrial history, Starling began his work with a stereoscopic picture of Chinese laborers who were brought to North Adams to break a factory strike in 1875. Two silver particles were extracted from the images of the Chinese shoemakers (photographed in front of the Sampson Shoe Factory which was once located on the MASS Moca campus). The grains were magnified one million times and forged in stainless steel in Nanjing, China."

One large end of the massive gallery held an enlargement of the original steoescopic photograph -- and had a huge hole cut in the middle through which you could view the rest of the soaring space:

And here are the million-times magnifications of the silver grains -- they were beautiful.

Finally, here is one of my favorite images from the day in the museum --

A shot of the concrete factory floor. It would have made a lovely painting...........

Friday, October 23, 2009

Oils oils oils - works in progress

Watercolor paintings, unique works of art in themselves, also serve as studies, or preliminary sketches, for paintings in oil. I've selected three of my watercolor paintings to serve just such a function.

Here are the three I've decided to re-create in oil:

Watercolors are unforgiving - a mark made can't be painted over to make it disappear -- but they do dry very quickly. Oils, on the other hand, can take days to dry. There are talented painters out there who grind out a small oil painting every day but I'm not one of them. I paint a few thin glazes, tinker with the composition and then let it sit for a couple of days while I figure things out and let things dry a bit before going back into it.

So I've got these 3 going at the same time. I spend some time on one, put it aside and move on to the next. Here they are -- just the FIRST STAGE, with a ways to go. the canvases are slightly larger than the originals, about 8"x10" :

Water Tower No. 3 in progress:

End of Summer Coconuts in progress:

Water Tower No. 7 in progress:

Ok, that's all for now.

Going on a family road trip to New England this weekend! Will work more on these paintings when we return..............

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dread, Red, Head?

Red Rasta, watercolor on paper, 7" x 10"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Voila - the AFTER photos

No more excuses - now back to work.