Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Paintings Share the Stage with a Bagel

The East Village has new addition -- the long-awaited Tompkins Square Bagels has finally opened on Avenue A. Filling a void left by the departure of David's Bagels last year, this new cafe has a strong commitment to the neighborhood and particularly to its artists.

Owner Chris Pugliese saw my art work online several months ago and asked me to exhibit my work during the first few months of the cafe's operation. The "soft" grand opening was this weekend and my daughter and I hung over 2 dozen of my pieces throughout the cafe. It's a warm and inviting place, sparkling clean and with a comprehensive menu -- and bagels made on site!

The art at TSB begins with a fantastic outdoor mosaic, created by none other than the EV's own Mosaic Man, Jim Powers --

When you enter the cafe,  you'll see several of my subway card paintings on the wall to your right.

Each has been framed under glass  - it  gives them a polished presentation, no?

To your left, a couple more are hanging right near the front window -- sorry about the glare on this photo, but you get the idea.

To the rear of the cafe, several more paintings are hung in the seating area.

The rear wall is a virtual portrait gallery of framed watercolors, all of whom were first introduced here on The Night Shift. I'm afraid I didn't take any close ups of these paintings but I didn't want to barge in between the bagel eaters.

The space housing Tompkins Square Bagels has been beautifully renovated -- a far more inviting place to have a nosh than David's Bagels ever was. It's a big win for the 'hood!

Come by for a look and a bite -- my work should be up for a couple months or longer. Tompkins Square Bagels is located at 164 Avenue A, between East 10th and East 11th Street, just a stone's throw from the park.

All subway card paintings are available for purchase here.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Street Meat

So much more than a boiled hot dog.

Subway Card Street Vendor No. 1
2" x 3.25" oil on subway fare card

Have a bite.

Monday, November 28, 2011

SuperSize it!

New York City Taxi on Subway Card POSTER

A limited edition of signed and numbered poster-sized prints of my popular subway card oil painting. The poster is a standard 11"x17" size and sells for only $15.

Check it out here!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

HGTV in the House!

In my house, that is.

I would like to say that HGTV interior designer Genevieve Gorder landed on my doorstep because of my impressive interior design sense but that would be less than accurate. 

But I have a far better explanation: a love of my artwork.

Genevieve was one of the original decorators on TLC's hit series, Trading Spaces.  She now hosts her own show on HGTV, Dear Genevieve, which premiered on the network in January 2009. To quote HGTV: Designer Genevieve Gorder offers down-to-earth advice to real people who have fallen out of love with their home. In each episode she delves into the gallery where viewers from have uploaded their design issues. Instead of just writing back with a suggestion, Genevieve provides the answer — in person.

But Genevieve wasn't coming to my house to solve my design issues (tho I sure could use her help); she had discovered my artwork on Etsy  and commissioned me to create a painting for one of her show's home makeovers. Welcome to my studio, Genevieve.

Genevieve was making over a room for a single mother of 3 daughters and wanted to incorporate the work of a local artist into the redesign. Specifically, she enlisted the daughters' help in surprising their mother with a portrait, executed in my loose style with ink and watercolor.

Genevieve's request was fairly specific -- she had a large 3'x4' space to hang the finished painting and she wanted the bulk of the painting to be, well, unpainted.  She sent me this photo (right) of a piece that included a portion of the famous Andrew Wyeth Painting, Christina's World, tucked into the lower left corner of a large blank canvas. My mission would be to do an ink and watercolor of the subject of the show, just her head and shoulders, looking up and across the wide open space of the rest of the painting.

And it was all to happen very quickly. 

I received the invitation to participate on a Tuesday morning, the 4-man camera crew plus Genevieve came to my home to shoot me painting sketching and painting in my studio Wednesday evening, and I was to turn in the finished painting by early Friday morning.  A very quick tunraround. The show typically creates a makeover within one week's time and they needed the painting for the final "reveal" that would surprise the family.  

The mother's two youngest daughters came to the shoot in my studio as well, to see how I work and to tell me a bit about their mom. I had several photo references from which to work and the girls really enjoyed watching me bring images of their mom to life.

First, I created several loose line drawings on sheets of inexpensive, 18"x24" newsprint.  The final watercolor would be on a much larger sheet of heavy 250lb Arches Cold Pressed paper, 26"x40" so I knew I could work rather large on the newsprint sheet.

After several attempts, I began to feel like I was finally capturing a good likeness of their mom.

I then made some smaller ink sketches experimenting with different techniques and media --  first, the same tool I used on the newsprint, a Pilot Precise V7 rolling ball pen with Fine tip:

Then also an eyedropper and bamboo pen in ink, my favorite techniques:

I used these smaller sketches to create different color studies. At first I went with my usual jewel-tone rich colors:

But Genevieve asked for a warmer look, with sepia and golden ocher:

So I had a lot of good references on hand by the time the shoot was finished:

Even my paper scraps where I dabbed my brush in between paint strokes had some beautiful color combinations.

So I was ready to tackle the big sheet of fine watercolor paper........... but without a crowd looking over my shoulder, thank goodness.

The camera crew said their good byes. Genevieve posed for a few photos with me and also purchased a few more items to include in the re-design. I was thrilled to layout  nearly all of my work for her to pore over. She purchased several to have framed and include in the re-design:

Tafarii No. 3 14"x 16" ink and watercolor on paper

Also these three pen and inks, 4" x 6" each - some were so new I hadn't even had time to scan them for my archive so I just took this quick snap with my phone:

Finally, Genevieve fell in love with one more of my drawings and purchased it for herself:

 Face It No. 2    10.25 " x 14.25"  pen and ink on paper

Then it was time for me to get back to work.

I actually painted two versions of the final portrait on the large sheet of heavy paper. The first one was pretty controlled and and cautious  - it didn't thrill me. It was not very interesting and it was a little muddy. Uh oh.

I'd purchased several sheets of the "good" paper, just in case I didn't nail it on the first try. So I pulled out the second sheet and just threw caution to the wind, and had a little more fun with it, loosening up considerably. And with a lighter touch, the watercolor layers looked fresh and vibrant. It was a winner!

I handed off the painting late thursday evening, whew.

When I find out the air date for this episode, I'll post it here on the blog. We'll find out together if I made it in to the show and how the final portrait looks up on the wall of the made over room - stay tuned!

And look for this special shout out to my Etsy team -- the "cool people with a sense of humor keeping it real, making treasuries and lots of other crap we feel like doing."

Had it up on my inspiration board, above my watercolor work table, so we'll see it.....I hope!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shout Out to Chelsea!

It was a GREAT day in Chelsea! 

Big thanks to those of you who stopped and shopped at my booth. Looking forward to more NYC art fair events in the weeks to come...........Will keep you posted!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bagel to go

2.5" x 3.5" oil on NYC subway card

There's a bagel shop in my future. More later.......

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chelsea Girl

I'll be here -- please come by and give me a shout!

Friday, September 30, 2011


Subway Fare Card NYC Pretzel No. 1   2.25" x 3.5" oil on NYC subway card

I like mine with mustard, how about you?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Goose is Still Loose -Triptych

I was in another Water Tower mood...they are just such wonderful subjects.


4" x 6" ink and watercolor on paper

4" x 6" ink and watercolor on paper

4" x 6" ink and watercolor on paper

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

So how's it hangin'? - Part 2

I received this lovely photo from Michael P. in Philly. He requested a Queensboro Bridge painting and upon receipt mounted in this lovely frame. 

Thanks, Mike, it looks beautiful!

And Sydney W.  from Texas has given Reggie a frame worthy of a king.

Reggie will be heading off to college with Sydney this fall. Reggie, don't give those college kids any bad ideas, seen?

Would love to see more, folks, keep 'em coming.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Down in the Dunes

Cape Cod Dune
9"x4" watercolor on paper 

We hit the road and headed for the ocean this past weekend. But it wasn't the jewel-toned, turquoise and tepid waters of the Caribbean that greeted us when we hiked down to the beach.

No. It was the Prussian-blue surf of the Atlantic that lapped at our toes. There was a storm coming across the sea, but we missed it. 

Nothing but blue skies.........

Monday, August 22, 2011

Loosey Goosey Golden Eggs Part 4

4"x6" ink on watercolor paper

4"x6" ink on watercolor paper

4"x6" ink on watercolor paper

The Bluest Eye
4"x6" ink on watercolor paper

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Loosey Goosey, Golden Eggs Part 3

I Dreamed of Better Dreams
4"x6" ink on watercolor paper

Botox is Cheap. Yes, it is.
4"x6" ink on watercolor paper

 I Don't Work for Tips
4"x6" ink on watercolor paper

 Of Course, I Believe You
4"x6" ink on watercolor paper

Do you have a favorite so far? Let me know..........