The Heart of Manassas

War is Over! How much the soldiers who fought and died at Manassas expected to hear this by day's end on July 21, 1861 when the first battle of the Civil War (or the "War between the States" depending on where you are from) began. 

I'm honored to be doing an artists residency at Manassas National Battlefield Park in Northern Virginia, where I'm painting the storied hills and landmarks which witnessed and absorbed the death, destruction and scars of the savage fighting between Union and Confederate armies. In my paintings I'm always trying to evoke some of the "feeling" of a place, and i can't think of a place more imbued with spirit than this one. 

A battery of Cannon on Matthews Hill. 

A battery of Cannon on Matthews Hill. 

I'll be sharing some updates, photos and works as my residency progresses. I'm also very excited to be painting at the Henry Hill Visitors Center (on the patio)  on Tuesday, April 3rd 2018, from 11-2 pm so that visitors can observe, learn about my painting process and even make some art of their own. If you're in the area come by or share this with someone who is!  
Henry Hill Visitor Center: 6511 Sudley Road Manassas, VA 20109

A statue of Stonewall Jackson surveys Henry Hill. 

A statue of Stonewall Jackson surveys Henry Hill. 

Fire Island Paintings

With all the work I've been immersed in lately, I've been a bit quiet with updates- but I wanted to share three of the works I finished from the residency at Fire Island last summer. All of the work I did there was painted outdoors looking nature in the eye, so to speak. This winter I'll be finishing all of the paintings from this period. 

The Fire Island series, both on paper and canvas, will be exhibited next June on Fire Island in a group show of artists who were in residence at the National Park 2016-2017. I will provide details about the show as it gets closer. I'm very much looking forward to it~ Enjoy this glimpse of warmth as the weather starts to turn cold and grey!

Fire Island Dunes, 13 x 10" oil on paper, 2017   

Fire Island Dunes, 13 x 10" oil on paper, 2017


Fire Island Big Dune, 14 x 11"  pastel and acrylic on paper.jpg

Fire Island-Big Dune, 14 x 11" watercolor and pastel on paper, 2017

Fire Island Marshlands, 15 x 11" pastel over oil on paper, 2017

Fire Island Marshlands, 15 x 11" pastel over oil on paper, 2017

313 Butler Gallery Group Show

I have a small piece in a group show of present and past Gowanus artists at the 313 Butler Gallery. If you are in the area, drop by- there are many nice artworks in the show and it's up for a while. There is a silent auction so bid your heart away if you see a piece you love.

313 Butler Gallery, 313 Butler Street (near Third Avenue) , Brooklyn NY 11217

Brooklyn Bridge (With Waterfall)

Brooklyn Bridge (With Waterfall)



Gowanus Open Studios at Brooklyn Lofts & Galleries, October 2016

Gowanus Open Studios is this weekend, and Arts Gowanus helped arrange a donated space for some of us "displaced" artists from the building at 112 Second Avenue. who lost leases last month and were without exhibition space for the festival. We are thrilled to have a space donated by Brooklyn Lofts & Galleries in a space curated by Dylan Bauver; the building is run by Alex Robayo. 

In addition to our art, there are over 30 other artists showing in the building. There is also a live mural painting, live music and a food truck! 

Here are the details and Facebook event page: 

ROOM 12 at Gowanus Loft and Galleries; 61 9th Street Brooklyn
Sat & Sun, noon-6 pm, October 15th and 16th
Featuring: Jen Ferguson, Alex Nero, Mahalia Stines, Alexandra Baye, Sara Galkin, Kiley Ames and Tara Kopp.

It's always hard to move studios, especially when it's unexpected (the building was sold and leases broken) and miss a much needed opportunity to show work; for many artists, the open studio events are a much needed potential source of income. So we owe much gratitude to Abby Subak at Arts Gowanus, as well as Dylan Bauver, Alex Robayo and Gowanus Lofts & Galleries for their generous help- THANK YOU!

The artist is Present- artists talk at open orange 2016

I had a great time participating in Firehouse Gallery's artist talk earlier this month. (I also won "Best in Show," a giant honor given the quality and range of art, and they presented me with a check!) Several of the participating artists were there to speak about their work, as was I. It was informal but informative. A warm group of creative people and interested observers had an interactive tour around the show and we all learned about the unique motivations, inspirations and view points of each artist present. And I was impressed by the strength and quality of the art community in Orange, NJ.

Talking shop with guests at the Firehouse Gallery, Open Orange 2016.

Talking shop with guests at the Firehouse Gallery, Open Orange 2016.

 It's hard to communicate in words what is expressly visual; artists spend so much time with their work alone, and at least for me, the running dialogue is never "what does this work mean?" or "how can I connect this piece with my philosophy of existence?' but rather mundane thoughts about what's for dinner, lists of unaccomplished tasks, and scheduling all the other fun things I plan on doing after painting. But I was able to find a few genuine themes to mention briefly:

  • The idea of my process being that there is no set process. Each painting begun as if amnesia had set in, and I'm painting for the first time. This sounds fairly implausible, but to large extent that is how I feel, each new work having it's own rules and unknown destination, and requiring a retrofit approach to technique.
  • The idea of my paintings having a lot of "pasts" due to the extensive layering. Secrets lie beneath the final surface; whole other worlds, figures, structures etc. have existed, been obliterated or greatly altered. Many changes of mind occur while working. (I mentioned that I thought because of this fact, it might be quite impossible for a forger to try to recreate my style.)
  • That in the evolution of a painting, plans are useless. Allowing the paintings to become what they seem to "want" to become, or what my subconscious must want, along a meandering garden path of mental foibles, makes all premeditation folly.

I hope to write extensively on the philosophy of painting someday. I'm constantly writing notes while painting in the hopes that eventually, I'll have organized thoughts about the subject that will be worthy of an essay.

Being presented with a check for "Best in Show" by Open Orange producer Jeremy Moss, Open Orange 2016

Being presented with a check for "Best in Show" by Open Orange producer Jeremy Moss, Open Orange 2016

Artist Talk at Firehouse Gallery, Saturday June 11, 2016

I'll be speaking at Firehouse Gallery in Orange NJ on June 11th, 2016. There is a closing reception of Open Orange, an annual exhibition of regional art hosted by the Valley Arts Organization; my art was chosen "Best in Show" and I'm very honored.

In addition to myself, a few other highly accomplished artists in the show will also speak on their work. Presiding over this year's show were Tricia Bloom, Curator of American Art at the Newark Museum, Diedre Harris-Kelly, Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation, and Marie Samuels, who serves on the acquisitions committee at the Parish Art Museum and is the Executive President of Artadia

The event is at Firehouse Gallery, 580 Forest Street, Orange NY on Saturday June 11, 3-5 pm.

I will be speaking on non-process, the meaning of place, and how to tell fortunes by the interpretation of random brushstrokes. 

Art Auction Benefit for Arts Gowanus, June 2, 2016

My studio is located in the Gowanus area of Brooklyn. Ever since I moved my studio here, I've been astounded by how much support local artist receive from just one organization: Arts Gowanus. Headed by Abby Subak, and aided by a steadfast crew of loyal hardworking and thoroughly involved staff and volunteers, the group is a cornerstone of the arts community in Brooklyn. Running everything from workshops to help artists learn to better their careers to the yearly Arts Gowanus Open Studios, the organization is a huge benefit -directly and personally- to us artists here.

Every year they hold a benefit event- where you get to pick and take home an original artwork by a local artist. Last year it sold out, and was tremendous fun. This year, I am donating a framed watercolor titled " Sauvage." It's a study for a new large painting. The image is 9 x 12" and it will be framed to 16 x 20" I actually have an opening in Williamsburg the same evening, so I won't be able to attend, but I am honored to donate it as a support to Arts Gowanus. Here is a link to the event page where you can register!

"Sauvage: a study" 9 x 12" framed to 16 x 20", 2016

"Landscape: A Sense of Place" at Site Brooklyn Gallery, Opens May 25th, 206

I'm so pleased to have one of my paintings included in this superb exhibition at Site Brooklyn. "Landscape: A Sense of Place" is the perfect show for my work, as the idea and feeling of place is central to my work. I walked by the gallery the other day, and the show looks fantastic; a large variety of interpretations of the theme, and excellent quality of work. If you love painting you'll love this show. I believe there are also some great photographs too.  The opening is Wed. May 25th, 6-9 pm. I'll be there!
Landscape: A Sense of Place curated by Annette Rose-Shapiro of ARTnews
May 25 - June 26th, 2016
SITE Brooklyn Gallery
165 7th Street, Brooklyn NY (Next to the Bell House)

Exhibition Curated by Annette Rose-Shapiro

How does an artist frame a landscape? Inevitably, it is an act of choosing: what goes in, what goes out? Poussin and Lorraine first brought landscape, which was previously relegated to merely backdrop for other images, into a subject of its own. After the Impressionist revolution, by the 20th century, the definition of "landscape" expanded considerably. Photography became widespread. Also, it included cityscapes and the explosion suburban subjects, conceptualization, abstraction, and gesture. Artists also brought in other materials such as video, collage, or elements earth or city themselves.

Fundamentally, landscape posits the challenge of how we view and engage with the world around us. This exhibition seeks to show how contemporary artists take up this challenge. 


Urban Folk Art Gallery Opening Friday May 20th, 2016

I'm participating in Urban Folk Art Gallery's Annual Brooklyn Bridge Show, which opens Friday May 20th and runs through June 20, 2016. The show is a well rounded and diverse example of contemporary Brooklyn artists' interpretation of the our local architectural icon, the Brooklyn Bridge. Urban Folk Art always puts on a smashingly fun opening; there are sure to be lots of friendly people and great art to peruse, so swing by! If you miss the opening, the show runs through June 20th so there's plenty of time to stop by and pick up an affordable, awesome piece of Brooklyn Bridge art.

The Annual Brooklyn Bridge Show, May 20th-June 20th, 2016
Urban Folk Art Gallery, 101 Smith Street near Atlantic (Map Here)

OPENING Friday, May 20th, 7-10 pm

Brooklyn Bridge with Waterfall 9x 12" (framed print available at show)

OPEN Orange 2016 at Firehouse Gallery opens Thursday May 12

Two paintings of mine will be exhibited at “Open Orange 2016”– an annual exhibition at the Firehouse Gallery , 580 Forest Street Orange NJ which opens this Thursday May 12, 6-9 pm. The exhibition space is a beautifully restored firehouse; the centerpiece of the Valley Arts District in West Orange/Orange NJ. The show runs May 12- June 12, 2016.
I was honored to have my works chosen : the nationally prominent jurors were:
Tricia Bloom, was previously the associate curator of exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum. Bloom is the current curator of American art at New Jersey’s Newark Museum.
Diedre Harris-Kelley, is the co-director of the Romare Bearden Foundation. An accomplished artist, Harris-Kelley is the curatorial lead for the foundation.
Marie Samuels, is the executive president of Artadia, an art and dialogue foundation in NYC. Samuels also serves on the acquisitions committee for the Parrish Art Museum, Long Island, NY.

Ships at Dusk off Red Hook Waterfront, oil on paper, 22 x 30"-2016

Coney Island Morning, oil om paper, 22 x 30"-2016

Coney Island Morning, oil om paper, 22 x 30"-2016

12" x 12" Show at Roig Gallery, Hoboken April 14- May 14th, 2016

I'm very pleased to have two paintings included in the 12" x 12" group show at Roig Gallery in Hoboken. The opening is Thursday, April 14th, 6-8 pm; Roig Gallery is located at 252 First Street, Hoboken. The gallery is a short walk from the PATH and ferry terminal and Hoboken is filled with restaurants and bars to enjoy after the opening.

The two paintings I'm showing are both inspired by Hoboken. Hope to see you at the opening; the show runs through May 14th.

12" x 12"
252 First Street, Hoboken NY



Farm to Palette

When my watercolor paintings need a little "umpf" it's time to break out the farm fresh eggs and stir up a little egg tempera. An almost impermeable substance, egg tempera can add a lot of dimension to a watercolor. Purely speaking, it's not for use on paper- it's more appropriate for sturdy backings like wood. But if you're using massively thick Arches 300 gram paper, it may be used in moderation without causing worry.

As an oil painter who uses paint to build up surfaces and then alter them over and over, adding tempera layers to a watercolor can bring the medium closer to what I prefer. I love seeing light, spontaneous watercolor paintings, ones that showcase transparent effects and ways to use the white of the paper. But I usually revert to my old ways of layering, and so constantly seek for ways to add substance to the paint. Every artist has their tricks, and this is just one of them. I remember seeing Andrew Wyeth watercolors at an exhibition that were heavily worked, scraped and layered and feeling a kindred spirit.

Building up an image bit by bit, paint stroke by stroke, helps to make the painting feel like more than just a flat surface. I'm trying to bring a luminosity to the image, and a past that the upper final layers have to be viewed though.