Small Paintings Jersey Shore

These are small paintings recently completed after a day at the Jersey shore. The autumn light is lower, and winds very brisk. Autumn at Cape May Point, and Hereford Inlet, after the crowds have left. There were a few seabirds, but many had flown south by then.

It has been quite some time since I painted such small pieces, the change of scale from murals to these was fun. I wasn't concerned with detail so much. Each painting measures 6 x 6 x 1.5 inches, and are painted with acrylics on canvas.


Perelman Library

I am looking forward to visiting the new library at the Perelman; it was closed the last time I was there

From Lee Rosenbaum's article in the Wall Street Journal
"While the design gallery may be the popular favorite, the sunlit library in the Perelman is clearly the director's pick. In New York recently to tout the Perelman's opening and the main building's coming exhibitions, Ms. d'Harnoncourt exulted in the library's greatly enhanced ability to provide state-of-the-art public access to some 200,000 books and periodicals, which are housed in four times the space they'd had before. Not only a research haven, the library also includes display cases for rotating exhibitions of rare books and manuscripts. Its main reading room is adorned by four bronze figurative reliefs, representing the four elements, that had been designed by Paul Manship in 1914 for the AT&T building in New York but look as if they had always belonged between the large windows in their current abode. What's best about the library is that unlike some other museum research centers, Philadelphia's is not just for serious scholars and specialists but also welcomes casual knowledge-seekers, who can also browse through its offerings in an online catalogue."

link to Online Catalogue

I smiled at her blog article "Philadelphia Museum's New Perelman Building: An Irreverent Photo Essay (Part I)"


Medieval Pages, Beaux Arts Drawing

Paper jewels at the Arthur Ross Gallery at the Fisher Fine Arts Library
Treasured Pages. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
from the Free Library of Philadelphia, till Jan 8, 08

Have always admired the oversized drawing (93 x123 inches) located in the lobby area of the Fine Arts library.
Its stunning to see the control of the water media. The *delineator* was Harry Sternfeld, and it was painted at the American Academy in Rome in 1921.

This article by Lois Olcott Price, called "Unearthing an 'Archeo': The On-Site Treatment of an Oversize Architectural Drawing and Some Notes on Its Fabrication" is an fascinating and detailed account of its restoration and preservation, undertaken several years ago while the library itself was undergoing major restoration.

"I first examined this immense 8 x 10 foot architectural drawing entitled "Portico of Civita Castellana" by Harry Sternfeld, late in the spring of 1989 (fig. 1). At that time it was framed, glazed and bolted to the wall in the large sunlit front stairwell of the Furness building on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania..."

link "The Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania preserves the works of more than 400 designers from the 18th century to the present. ...

Other major architects whose work is represented in the Architectural Archives include Alfred Bendiner, Cope and Stewardson, Paul Philippe Cret, Frank Miles Day, Wilson Eyre, Frank Furness, Edmund Gilchrist, Lawrence Halprin, Warren Powers Laird, Mitchell/Giurgola, John Nolan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Zantzinger Borie and Medary. In addition to these American 19th and 20th-century architects, the Architectural Archives collects the work of several significant European architects. The Freidrich Weinbrenner collection is the most important archive of this architect's work outside of Europe and provided the basis for a major exhibition and scholarly catalogue by Professor David B. Brownlee.

From Britain come the drawings of Robert Adam, Gilbert Blount, William Chambers, James Thomas Knowles, and William Butterfield. From France, the experiments of G. Robert Le Ricolais are represented by an extensive collection of forty structural models, calculations, and drawing. A sketch book of 300 drawings by Barthelemy Vignon and student projects by Villain further enrich the collections."

link NYT article on restoration of the Furness Building by Venturi and Scott Brown


Frederick MD Art Walk

Met up with friends ( Pat, Lausanne, and Janet ) in Frederick MD this weekend. We of course honed in at first on the Community Bridge, which we had seen online in photos; which are tantalizing, but can't compare with seeing the bravura paintwork at a close range; very difficult to sustain the illusion, in this case seemingly done with ease. The murals on the bridge were painted by William Cochran and assistants.
We were highly impressed with the stylistic consistency through the entire work, and the strength of the *incised* symbols.

We were happy to get indoors out of the cold winds, at the nearby Delaplaine Arts Center
A highlight was the exhibit of photographs by Dana Appleton Reitman.
"Dana Reitman’s current work is the result of living and traveling for the past four years in Malawi, Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world. While there she took photographs and collected stories from women who live in rural villages. These photographs depict the dignity, the difficulty, the poverty, and the beauty of village life in a small African country." (from the Art Center show description)

We met Dana, who met us and went through the exhibit with us. Her website http://www.mzimu.com offers her Malawi prints for sale, and "proceeds from the photos will be used to establish projects that will directly benefit the people in Malawi."

At dinner, Dana and I discussed and argued for the merits of our pet cameras, hers is a Canon G6 G5, mine the Canon G7. We agreed that its the eye that makes the image, not the machine.
I felt like I was sitting across from Bonnie Raitt.


Walk to Rittenhouse Square

Taken today, walking through the Penn Campus down to Rittenhouse Square. The last of the leaves still up, after a day of strong winds.


Saturday with Camera

A friend visited us from out of town, who hadn't been in Philadelphia since childhood visits with her grandmother. We wanted to amble, take some photos, and do it on the cheap. Started walking north on the Schuykill River Walk, over to look at the Waterworks, then over to the newly opened Perelman Building, new wing of the Phila. Museum of Fine Arts. Stieglitz photographs, textile arts, and the art deco features of the building were the highlights. (free admission for the next year)

The benefit of the cloudy, cool skies, were soft light. Looked in on the Rodin Museum, (donation only) the Swann Fountain. After a great Malay lunch for $14 at Penang, we looked at the Marble and Carvings on the Old Federal Reserve Building, the Walnut Theatre, and went in a bunch of antique shops on Antique Row on Pine St.

Then we visited a mural I painted several years ago, where my gracious client offered us tea and muffins. (click to see larger view)

Descriptions of some of the images.
Top left;
Cira Center
Perelman Building
Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary//Gluckman Mayner Architects
door detail/ designed by Lee Oskar Lawrie
Splotch, 2003
Sol LeWitt
bottom left;
Rodin Museum
architects Paul Cret and Jacques Gréber
The Thinker
detail Gates of Hell
detail Burghers of Calais
top right;
Swann Fountain, Logan Circle
Alexander Stirling Calder
bottom right;
Center City
planter with ivy, Pine Street
capitol, Walnut Theater
ornament, Sheridan Building
ornament, Old Federal Reserve Building


Studio Tour 2007

Some pics of visitors on tour to our studio this weekend. Saw old friends, and made some new ones. Some from as far away as Maryland, Georgia, Cape Cod, NYC, and Poland :)
Thanks to all who stopped by, with thoughtful, lively conversation.


Fibre Sculpture

Work from the weaving atelier Design Senior, active from 1971 to 1980. I've scanned and created a set on flickr.


Painted Ornament Restoration

Recently had an opportunity to reproduce a damaged ornament in historic St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church, located in South Philadelphia. The problem stemmed from water damage, and masonry repair had been completed. I don't know the age of the ornament, but it was most likely in the last century, as it was on canvas and covered an earlier mural or ornament as I could see beneath the flaking paint.

Built in 1840, it was founded as a free church, "relying on freewill contributions rather instead of pew rentals and annual fees" the usual custom of the time. It was the first free Catholic school in the Phila. Archdiocese. Bishop John Neumann- now St. John Neumann introduced the program of the Forty Hours of Devotion in the United States at St, Philip Neri in 1853.

It is also "historic for its unwelcome role as the focal point of the the most violent Nativist riots.. The Southwark riots of 1844, with our church at its epicenter, were the first time.. government troops were forced to raise arms against civilians to maintain public order"

"... St. Philip Neri is the first building we can definitely attribute to (Napoleon) LeBrun (1821-1901)... LeBrun's most important contribution to Philadelphia secular architecture is the Academy of Music (1855) on Broad Street." quoted from Historic Sacred Places of Philadelphia, Roger W. Moss.

After a fire in 1897, which destroyed the interior the church, the interiors were redesigned by the architect Frank R. Watson (1859-1940).


Chrysalis 2007 Artists of Studio Tours

Dr. Valarie Swain-Cade has published a lovely book called Chrysalis featuring the artists in this years Open Studio Tours. Its the first lulu.com book I've seen, and am impressed with the quality of reproduction.
Dr. Swain-Cade is Vice Provost, University Life Division at the University of Pennsylvania.


POST Preview

Lots of friends, patrons and artists came together tonight at
Freeman's Auction House
Thanks to all my friends who came. It was my first chance to see works collected in one space by all the artists who will be opening their studios later this month.

DPAP video


Open House St.Cornelius and DPAP

St. Cornelius Catholic Church is located on Ridge Road in Chadds Ford, Pa. "Carmen Cornacchia, an 81-year-old parishioner at St. Cornelius, said that the decorative walls of the church are an improvement over the plain, white walls the building used to have.

“It gives you more of a feeling that you’re walking into a church,” said Cornacchia, a Chadds Ford, Pa., resident, as he looked up at the murals painted above the entryway.

The murals, which feature bunches of grapes, are Grace Houseman’s favorite pieces of artwork.

“I think it’s gorgeous and it feels like going to Italy,” said the 33-year-old St. Cornelius parishioner from Glen Mills, Pa."

quoted from a recent article in the Community News, written by Adam Zewe.

Put some faces to some names, internet buddies mostly at the Open House tonight at the church. What a great turnout. The furthest from home was Hakan Engstrom, from Sweden. Natch he came all that way just to see this ;)

Really, a lot of folks are in town for the Faux Event 2007 at Valley Forge.



John Paul II Mural- "Image so lifelike.."

"And so the project expanded to include other areas of the church, with one of the notable additions being a faux stained-glass window of Pope John Paul II, a modern saint to many Catholics.

The image is so lifelike that viewers wonder if it was projected on the wall and copied, the monsignor says. It was not. Artists Kim Senior and Cindy Hernder created it freehand. "

From an article in the Wilmington Newspaper and online, that mentions the Chadds Ford church project with which I have been involved for several months.


St. Cornelius Church Mural, Flock in Field

click photos to see larger

Finished this class today, the mural measures over 6 x 4ft.
They'll all be installed next week.
There was a tremendous storm mid-afternoon- see the torrents beyond the window.. the columns were an imperador marble class by Cait Whitson last week.
This week, while we were painting the sheep in the field, Linda Self was guiding a class in achieving a tremendous plaster finish on some massive columns. The finish involves 6 layers done over a week, with a buffed was finish applied last.


John Paul II Mural, Finished

Yesterday, we finished the 7 x 4.5 ft mural of John Paul II . Everyday, we were visited and complimented by parishioners, Monsignor Parlante, as well as other DPAP students taking breaks from their classes. We had a wonderful time; especially after John Paul's portrait turned out SO well.. we painted that on the 2nd day, after spending the first day painting smaller versions.
Everyone is looking forward to seeing it finally installed.


Murals, Graining Classes in Progress, Chadds Ford

have been engrossed in the current mural class; and work has gone really well.
here are a few images of the progress so far on the JohnPaulII stained glass mural, and from Cait Whitson's graining class.
This is taking place at St. Cornelius Catholic Church in Chadds Ford, and part of the Decorative Painting Apprenticeship Program.
Cait Whitson's graining class;


Rolling Vineyard Mural Canvas

The DPAP *Vineyard* Mural class met at my studio last Saturday to paint the finishing details on the grapes. As it measures about 10 longer than my studio wall at 27ft, I improvised a spooling rig at both ends. (click on the panorama above to see larger)
Sunday, Cait Whitson arrived from Scotland; the flight was lovely, the taxi from the airport hair-raising. She gave me a hand rolling up the mural, before heading off to Chadds Ford and her graining and marbling classes.

[the mural is painted with acrylics on polyflax]