Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Happy Holidaze!"

'Old Hospital Bunker'..........oil on canvas panel.........7x9 inches (SOLD)

Feeling festive and foolish, sipping spiked eggnog, I sit here ecstatically contemplating my blog....
Holidays are fast encroaching as the year is coming to a close. I'm
writing now from my brain which is sitting in a warm and cozy skull, safe from the rain and elements.

This painting was done on the grounds of the ‘Barlow Respiratory Hospital’ located in Elysian Park (just minutes from the Dodger Stadium), where lascivious and restless young men meet, greet and generally frolic amongst the brush and foliage. Oh, if leaves could talk! When I first arrived at this particular building/bunker I assumed it was abandoned due to the general disrepair. “Was it a ghost I see!?”.... thought I, as an old man in hospital scrubs strolled casually past, pulling an oxygen tank behind him. A quick toss of a rock told me no, he was flesh and blood just like me! When confronted by this angrily gibbering lunatic, my painting comrade Jose told him in no uncertain terms that he shouldn't smoke a cigarette at a respiratory hospital, certainly not while pulling an oxygen tank! This quick guilt reversal seemed to do the trick, and we painted in an uninterrupted manner for the remainder of the very cold and brisk afternoon.

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

'Oak Park, Illinois'......oil on canvas panel......4 3/4 x 5.5 inches (SOLD)

'Old Barn'.......oil on canvas panel........4 3/4 x 5.5 inches

Hello Bloggers and Blogging People, People of the Blogosphere, Blogizens of Blogilization. Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. Let me tell you of my adventures in the world beyond the internet which I know as Earth. Picture if you will a place with wide open spaces and fresh balmy air. We on Earth call this the outside ;-) It was whilst venturing “outside” that I executed several small paintings pictured above. These two I have selected for your perusal because they had both been submitted and accepted into the 2007 Greenwich Workshop Gallery’s Small Works Exhibition which took place this past weekend.

First, there is the painting “Oak Park, Illinois”. Because of the small sized canvas I was able to capture the fleeting afternoon light. Considering how cold it was, it was necessary to paint in an expedient manner. Next, I refer you to “The Old Barn”. This was painted in Ojai, located just an hour’s drive from Los Angeles. Ojai’s a sleepy little town founded by hippies during the sixties. It has an abundance of rustic, rural, recreational regions, regulated regularly by Reagan-era rebels. Ridiculous! I was fortunate to find a friendly fifty-something farmhand named Fred whose foresight and faith in feet and foreskins…....aah forget it. Excelsior!!! …..channeling Dr. Seuss…….

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Artists To Watch.....

I am very delighted and excited to have been featured as one of the ‘Artists to Watch’ in Southwest Art magazine. The commentary is appearing in the November 2007 publication which is currently out on newsstands.
Below is the painting used as an insert for the article.

'Yellow Tow Truck'.......oil on canvas panel.......6x8 inches

Glassel Park’s San Fernando Blvd. is peppered with old wrecking yards and dilapidated service stations which provides ample painting fodder teeming with rich textures and colors. While cruising on the boulevard, scouting for an interesting scene with my painting buddy Erik Houg, I came across Tony’s Auto Wrecking garage. I found the warm colors of the structure against the clear blue sky appealing, although the funky little tow truck was the main attraction. Being extra cautious about the oncoming 18- wheelers and speed freaks, we quickly scurried across the street and set up on a tiny shaded curb with minimal protection from the streaming traffic.
Ahhh yes! Nothing like adrenaline, searing hot weather, car exhaust and occasional badgering from the local cart-pushing schizophrenic vagrant to stoke the fires of creativity while painting en plein air!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Prelude to Autumn......

'Red Scarf'..........oil on canvas panel...........8x10 inches (SOLD)

'Art Fair'............oil on panel.............9x12 inches


I was recently invited to participate in Galerie Kornye West’s ‘Sixth Annual Invitational' group show located in the Fort Worth Cultural District. Two of my paintings ‘Red Scarf’ and ‘Art Fair’ (pictured above) were submitted for the event which took place September 8th, 2007.

Galerie Kornye West is pleased to continue the tradition of their Fall Gallery Night invitational show. Galerie Kornye West takes this opportunity to exhibit new works by artists previously exhibited at the gallery alongside works by other American artists not viewed in the Fort Worth area before.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More Summer Shows.........

Two of my paintings (pictured below) were selected for the “Contemporary Masters, Artistic Eden” exhibition which was held at the Pasadena Museum of History, August 11th through August 26th.

'The Ferrier's Demonstration'.............oil on panel.............16x20 inches(SOLD)

'Pasadena Historical Museum'............oil on panel.............16x20 inches


“Contemporary Masters, Artistic Eden” was the brainchild of a consortium of fine art galleries in the San Gabriel Valley: Galerie Gabrie, Michael Hollis Fine Art, San Marino Gallery, Segil Fine Art, and Tirage Gallery to bring attention to the area as a fine art destination. The initial list of invited artists was culled from among the country’s most honored fine art painters, with the final selection juried by museum officials, independent fine art
professionals, and the gallery sponsors.

Below are a few pix of the festive and successful opening reception. Enjoy!

Segil Gallery's curator Laura Segil and Jennifer McChristian

Ben Fried, Laura Laciura, Toni C and Kee Won Hong

Mingling folk....

A brief and engaging lecture

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sizzling Summer Show

I’m finally back from my extended blog absence. I’ve been preoccupied preparing for my one woman show, traveling to the east coast, teaching and partaking in excessive socializing, drinking and eating. Phew!
Below is one of the paintings included in my solo show:

'LA River, Lincoln Heights'...........oil on canvas panel.............7x9" (SOLD)


My solo show started off well, with a generous influx of guests which continued throughout the reception. Time flew by as I excitedly tried to greet everyone who attended. There were collectors, friends and family in attendance. I saw many old friends and made new ones. At one point the room got too crowded and warm forcing the guests to spill out onto the sidewalk outside the gallery. The exciting, prosperous and festive evening ended with an informal and delicious dinner with friends at Bella Sera Trattoria in Old Town Monrovia. You can copy/paste url to view complete online exhibit:
I have included a few pix of the event. Enjoy!


Hangin' out with good friend and art lover, Vivian Kubrick

Good times!

'Gallery Girls' very own Jennifer Fabos-Patton (mucho caliente bartender!)

This gentleman provided exceptional music throughout the evening

Workin' the room.....

....a buzz in the air.....

Vadim Zanginian, Michael Swofford and Ben Fried

Chatting amongst each other

Jennifer and gallery curator, Laura Segil

Pictured here with fellow artist Jason Situ

Outside looking in

Is this what a reverse Oreo cookie would look like?? the evening winds down....

Monday, June 11, 2007

Red Shack

'Red Shack'.......oil on canvas panel.......7x9 inches
Visited the Sunset Ranch stables with my sister Sophie one sunny morning and painted this little, antiquated red shack perched on a gently slopping hill overlooking horse corrals and an incredible view of Los Angeles. The ranch, nestled within a little canyon at the top of Beachwood drive, offers sunset horse rides through Griffith Park and has been extensively used for shoot locations for films and photography (including a scene from David Lynch’s, ‘Mullholland Drive’). A large, weathered 1920’s style barn that still retains it’s charm and character accommodates rental and privately owned horses.
Free roaming peacocks, chickens and a friendly golden retriever casually meandered throughout the grounds. An exotic looking spotted rooster sporting a cockscomb that resembled a punked-out hair piece made random and unsettling crowing sounds (like that of a cat being tortured) that repeatedly disturbed my calm as I painted within this serene equestrian oasis. Sunset Ranch is infused with a sense of nostalgia and a timeless quality of the old west. Painting amid it’s charming relics and natural beauty was extremely enjoyable and invigorating.
Yippe-ki-yay, mother f**ker!

Looking for love in all the wrong places.....

..........find Mr. Goat

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Under the Overpass

'Do Not Enter - Wrong Way'.........oil on canvas panel........6x8 inches
Walking along Riverside Drive which runs adjacent to the '5' freeway, I discovered this delightful cityscape of concrete canyons draped in lush, green vinery. I set up to paint directly across a freeway exit while Jose settled for a more panoramic view of the overpass. Being engulfed by a swirling mass of exhaust fumes from cars exiting the freeway was exhilarating, and I hoped that some small grit from the freeway would imbed itself on my canvas like a gnat might for my country bumpkin counterparts. Two homeless men of good cheer emerged from the shadows, one carrying a sporty homemade spear created from an old broom stick, a sharp piece of rusted metal, all wrapped together by a coat hanger.  He claimed to use it for his fishing expeditions in the L.A. river. His compatriot was dressed in an old military jacket doused in vodka, and was incapable of human speech, making only gurgling and clicking sounds which attracted several squirrels to him. With large toothy grins they invited me and my painting buddy Jose to join them in a jaunty walk by the LA River in search of fairies and magic, talking catfish.  I declined, silently feeling inside my backpack for my pepper spray. Good times......;-)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Red Blouse

'Red Blouse'.........oil on canvas panel.........11x14"
I painted this portrait of Yolanda, an aspiring actress, during a three hour painting session at the Los Feliz workshop (please click on Los Feliz Workshop link to the right for more info regarding the workshops)
Initially I met the lovely Yolanda at a local diner Ben and I frequently visit. While Yolanda was taking our lunch order, I finally summoned enough courage and asked her to model for our painting workshop. She affably agreed and was a complete joy to work with. She conducted herself professionally and remained motionless the entire time she posed.

...........a few sketches

25 minute charcoal sketch

5 minute charcoal sketch


'Griffith Park Brush Fire' - May 08th, 2007
(picture taken from studio rooftop at 9:30pm)

A few days ago, Ben and I (as well as hundreds of Los Feliz residents) had to evacuate our home due to the rapidly encroaching brush fire that swept through one fifth of Griffith Park. I'll never forget the feeling of panic washing over me as I stepped out the front door to witness a wall of turbulent flames creeping down the hillside towards the homes nestled close to the park entrance. I raced back into the house to grab my cat and immediately fled the house and found refuge at our art studio located a little less than two miles from our house.
Throughout the evening we were barraged with numerous phone calls from anxious friends and family members who were concerned about our our safety......many generously and benevolently offering their homes for us to stay overnight or as long as we needed. My sister Sophie, her fiancé Andy and a few locals kept us company as we solemnly watched Griffith Park being ravaged by flames from atop the studio roof.
Fortunately (and thankfully) there were no major injuries or deaths and no homes were damaged. The newly renovated Observatory, the enchanting Cypress Grove I frequently hike to and the LA Zoo were also spared due to the tremendous dedication and hard work from our local firefighters. Wednesday night we were allowed to return to our respective homes safely and soundly.
Now that the dust has settled, the smoke has cleared and the embers have extinguished, life in Los Angeles is promptly getting back to normal and has already begun the healing process of physical and spiritual regeneration. Onward!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

San Pasqual Stables and Chicago

'Brown Barn'.........7x9 inches........oil on panel
Visited the San Pasqual stables and painted this rugged and spacious, old brown barn shortly after my brief stay in Chicago. Jose De Juan, who joined me on this excursion, pointed out this wonderfully quaint and pastoral area located just south of the Arroyo in Pasadena.


A few weeks ago Ben and I took a five day sojourn to Chicago. We lodged in a charming and cozy bed and breakfast situated in the historic district of Oak Park, Illinois (only a five-minute walk from the Frank Lloyd Wright Homes and Studio).
Sightseeing, museum visits and family gatherings were some of the many activities we crammed into our brief yet overwhelmingly satisfying respite.

Frank Lloyd Wright house

Frank Lloyd Wright house

Downtown Chicago


While in Chicago, we caught the 'Cezanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde' exhibition which runs through May 12th. Unfortunately, I was unable to take photographs of the current exhibition, however, I added a few pix of my faves from their permanent collection.

John Singer Sargent

Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones

George Bellows

........satiated yet satisfied from two days of museum viewing.........

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Red Bucket

'Red Bucket'..........oil on canvas panel...........7x9 inches
Revisited the Verdant Stables with an enthusiastic and talented painting posse a few weeks ago. While meandering my way throughout the grounds, I came across this little cranny between two horse stables. What caught my eye was the brilliant red bucket gleaming radiantly against the rich cast shadow on the cinderblock wall. The discarded green chair immersed in shade balanced befittingly with the warm, red color of the bucket. Overall, the arrangement of the randomly placed objects in this scene created a dynamic and amusing 'rural' still life.

Joining me on this plein air excursion were Joseph Stoddard and Jose De Juan, two wonderful artists who both produced deliciously delightful paintings of Verdant terrain.

Painting by Joe Stoddard

Painting by Jose De Juan