Monday, August 31, 2009

Water Tower No. 5

I look at the world differently I guess......... even if it looks rickety and wobbly, the cast-iron foundation will withstand all winds.

Life is good, yes it is, yes it is...............

Water Tower No. 5 - 8.5" x 5.5", Watercolor and ink on paper

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Water Tower No. 4

Finally busting out the colors:

Water Tower No. 4 - 8/5" x 5.5", ink and watercolor on paper

Saturday, August 29, 2009

And Number 3

Water Tower No. 3 - 8.5" x 5.5", watercolor on paper

More whimsical and delicate, as if it were about to blow away in a strong gust of wind....

Water Tower Series - next

Water Tower No. 2 - 8.5" x 5.5", ink, watercolor and gouache on paper

Friday, August 28, 2009

Water Tower Series

A new NYC subject for me this week. I'm doing a series of the ubiquitous rooftop water towers. The are still currently uniquely New York yet are a throwback to centuries past.

Water Tower No. 1 - 8.5"x5.5", pen and ink, gouache on paper

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Margarita With a Twist of Lime

I was honored to be selected for another Treasury collection on Etsy.

Here's the link.

Fortunately for me, my painting sold -- even before the Treasury went live.

Monday, August 24, 2009

New yawk

Forgot to share this with my blog readers.

Mixing up the home front with the Jamaica scene. This is available on etsy and also accepted as a submission to

Nice, no? I like it.

Chrysler Building No. 1, 4"x9", ink and watercolor on paper

I'm working on some more New York themed images to add to the caribbean mix. After all, that is my life.........

Sunday, August 23, 2009

So how good are those prints, anyway?

Pretty damn good, I'd say.

I know some readers have been curious as to the quality and appearance of the prints I'm offering for sale. I've just picked up 3 prints this weekend and thought I'd show you the result, compared with a scan of the original art work. I'm very pleased with the results. Let's take a look..........

I've got the scan of an original 4"x6" painting, for example, here:

And here's a SCAN of the full PRINT of that painting, which includes a 2" border (unfortunately, the scanner light blows out the texture in the white border, but you can see it in the close up to follow):

Scan of PRINT, close up -- note texture of paper:

Print, 4"x6" image on 8"x10" sheet photo:

Scan of 9"x12" original:

Print of 9"x12" image on 13"x16" sheet:

scan of the original 4"x6" painting,

Print, 4"x6" image on 8"x10" sheet:

The warm-white art print paper is textured and is slightly heavier than card stock. It has some heft to it, but not so much that it cannot be safely rolled in a tube for mailing. You'll notice that the photos of the full prints show a slight curve -- the art paper comes on wide rolls to fit the printer. I believe this is the HP printer my provider employs to make my prints -- it is nearly 6 feet long and uses 12 inkjet color cartridges:

Not a nickle and dime operation. Check out my printer's site, he's a talented artist in his own right, Leo Kundas.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Art on the Street

My good friend Melanie told me about a mosaic she'd photographed while on her daily stroll through the East Village and the Lower East Side. She'd been taking photos at the Skateboard park on 11th Street, between Avenue A and 1st Avenue, for her blog Melanie Musings.

I didn't know what mosaic she was speaking about until I walked past it this morning as I headed out to Brooklyn. It's beautiful.

It is along the base of a cast iron fence at one end of the Skate board park, you can just make it out at the base of the far black spires:

The mosiac is generally assembled by color, changing through the spectrum as you walk east on the block.

And signed by the artists, at the very end. The center mosaic piece reads: Mosaic Project, Summer 2009. Each shard in this section has a name written upon it. It's a lovely addition to the block.

The Mosaic Man has got himself some competition.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer colors

ACEO No. 009

Sunday, August 09, 2009

And even more Miniature Abstracts

ACEO No. 006

ACEO No. 007

Saturday, August 08, 2009

More miniature abstracts

ACEO No. 004

ACEO No. 005

Friday, August 07, 2009

A Night At The Museum

"First Saturdays" at The Brooklyn Museum -- a free, family-oriented event of art and entertainment, held on the first Saturday of each month from 5–11 p.m. All evening long, the Museum CafĂ© serves a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and beverages, and a cash bar offers wine and beer.

So the family hit the 5 train for Brooklyn last Saturday.

I was headed out to see an exhibit by Yinka Shonibare, there were art projects for the kids, and live reggae music in the outdoor sculpture garden. Something, literally, for everybody.

About Yinka Shonibare - from wiki:

"Yinka Shonibare was born in London to Nigerian parents. At the age of three they moved to Lagos, the most populous city in Nigeria, where he grew up. He spoke Yoruba at home, but only English at his exclusive private school. His father was a successful lawyer, and summers were spent at their Battersea home in London. When Shonibare was 16, he was sent to board in England for his final two years of school education.

Shonibare has called himself "truly bicultural."

So, in a departure for The Night Shift, I'll take you on a brief, truncated tour of the Shonibare exhibit, which spanned two floors.

First up:

Leisure Lady (with Oceleots), 2001

Many, but not all, of the pieces in this exhibit included mannequins outfitted in antiquated styles of dress, but replicated with dutch wax printed fabrics, commonly sold across Africa.

I've got a special love of those fabrics -- here's a detour off the subject for a minute.

I've purchased yards and yards of this type of fabric from African vendors lined up on 125th Street. I couldn't pick a favorite pattern for my project, but I loved how all the bolts of vivid patterns looked side by side. So I just boughtt a couple yards of several patterns. I used them to was cover our family photograph albums, which typically have a crappy looking vinyl cover. It's a big improvement.

Ok, back to the Lady and the Ocelots.

Rather than pontificate about what I thought about the exhibit, I'll just share the information on the title cards and let you think about them for yourselves.

Leisure Lady (with Ocelots), 2001

Life-size fiberglass manequin, 3 fiberglass ocelots, Dutch wax printed cotton, leather, glass
Vanhaerents ARt Collection, Brussels

Shonibare has made a number of works that engage with leisure pursuits and their attendant association of class...As the artist says, "To be in a position to engage in leisure pursuits, you need. . . spare time and money buys you spare time. Whilst the leisure pursuit might look frivolous. . . my depiction of it is a way of engaging in that power."

Leisure Lady (with Ocelots) features a "lady of leisure" promenading ostentatiously with her 3 leashed wild cats. Eighteenth-century fashionability, exoticism, and the taming or subordination of nature are themes embodied in this work.

Shonibare's mannequins are characteristically presented minus their heads -- a playful reference to the beheading of the aristocracy during the French Revolution and the redistribution of power and land....He has also noted that the absence of heads in his sculptures removes direct connotations of race or individual identity.

Next up, a lage installation, taking up most of a single room and composed of some provocatively posed mannequins. Yes, kids, that is what it looks like, my darlings. This exhibit is a commentary on "the grand tour" taken by so many young European socialites back in the 17th-19th centuries. I took a Grand Tour of my own, when I was 18. It wasn't quite this exciting.

Gallantry and Criminal Conversation, 2002

Eleven life-size fiberglass mannequins, metal and wood cases, Dutch wax printed cotton, leather, wood, steel.

Composed of 6 works.

Moral values and sexuality have provided rich subject matter for Shonibare, culminating in his vast installation "Gallantry and Criminal Conversation". This work is inspired by the phenomenon of the Grand Tour, an extended trip focusing on the art, culture, and history of Europe (particularly France and Italy) that was considered central to the education of gentlemen and ladies from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century.

Shonibare's installation explores the slippages between public and private life, revealing hidden intimacies and exchanges. The Grand Tour is simultaneously revealed as a kind of covert sexual tourism (adultery was called "criminal conversation") and a "coming of age" for wealthy young European socialites."

Next --

How To BLow Up Two Heads At Once (Ladies), 2006

Really, nothing more needs to be said, eh?

Moving on--

The Victorian Philanthropist's Parlour, 1996-97

From the placard:

"Shonibare's large installation The Victorian Philanthropists's Parlour explores the theme of wealth and its creation in the nineteenth century, as England's territorial ambitions reached across the globe..."

And if you examine the wallpaper closely, you're in for a surprise:

Reading again from the placard:

"The repeated motif of a black soccer player on the parlor's wallpaper and furnishings alludes to the relationship between colonial "haves" and colonized "have nots."


Next -- a darkened room played a loop of a short film Shonibare produced -- I haven't the details handy but grabbed a few snaps in motion.

The last room contained more references to the outright raping of Africa, so to speak.

This piece was huge, covering an entire wall, a reference to Africa's rich oil resources:

Black Gold II, 2006

And lastly,

Scramble for Africa, 2003

The placard sums it up neatly:

14 life-size fiberglass mannequins, fourteen chairs, table, Dutch wax printed cotton
The Prinnell Collection, Dallas

Scramble for AFrica is apivoltal work for Shonibare in its exploration of late Victorian England and its territorial expansion into Africa during the 1880s. The "scramble" for Africa be leading European and world powers resulted in the carving up of the continent, an act that was formalized at the Berlin Conference of 1884-85. Shonibare's work depicts this historic gathering, showing various statesmen huddled around a table with a large map of Africa, eagerly staking their claims. In Shonibare's interpretation the heads of state are characteristically headless - and equally mindless in their hunger for what Belgian King Leopold II called "a slice of this magnificent cake."

There were a few more items but you get the picture.

Then it was out the door to hear Meta and the Cornerstones, playing some sweet reggae tunes in the moonlight.

Another great evening in Brooklyn............