Decorative Painters Apprenticeship Program

The DPAP website is up! "The Decorative Painting Apprenticeship Program, LLC affords decorative painters "on the job training" from experienced, well-respected professionals. With DPAP, students of all experience levels (beginner through advanced) learn skills from trained, established and respected professionals while working on actual walls/ceilings/columns, etc. of a public building............."

these are the sketches for the 27 ft murals to be painted this spring, wheatfields and vineyards. Click to see them larger.


In Medieval Architecture

link to NYT article ; In Medieval Architecture, Signs of Advanced Math
"In the beauty and geometric complexity of tile mosaics on walls of medieval Islamic buildings, scientists have recognized patterns suggesting that the designers had made a conceptual breakthrough in mathematics beginning as early as the 13th century......."
book Arabesques; Decorative Art in Morocco by Jean-Marc Castéra; stunning photos, pricey but worth it


link to great article on Geometry in Polygons, Tilings and Sacred Architecture

link to book Sacred Geometry, Philosophy and Practice


Woodland Winter Walk

I hadn't walked through Woodland Cemetary for a long time, it had been closed to the public for several years.
"The grounds surrounding the mansion, planted by Hamilton with approximately 10,000 species of native, foreign, and rare plants, were one of the finest landscape gardens of its day. In 1806, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Hamilton, "The Woodlands is the only rival which I have known in America to what may be seen in England." On Lewis and Clark's return, Jefferson asked Hamilton to germinate three lots of seeds that they had collected. So taken back by the estate, Jefferson later invited Hamilton to help design his gardens at Monticello."

Its been open for a while now and is a retreat for deer and joggers (no dogs)

I walked through today, and saw only trees and some students taking measurements of one of the buildings. I did see lots of scat and tracks from the deer thoughout.
The trees here are ancient and could use some arborist's care.The Saturday farmer's market in Clark Park a hit of color after all the greys.
Kim Senior Murals and Fine Decorative Painting


Vernet Painting Panorama

Villa at Caprarola
by Claude-Joseph Vernet, French, 1714 - 1789
Oil on canvas, painted 1746
52 3/16 x 121 13/16 inches (132.6 x 309.4 cm

I am very excited to be able to use my new Canon G7 to get handheld shots of artworks in situations where flash is not allowed. Photographs are permitted in the regular collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. My previous digital camera was a G1, which I am fond of still.

Here is a panorama photograph taken without tripod at the PMA. It turned out better than I had hoped, and I know I can get even better results, as I learn more about the camera settings.

I made two shots of this one, in landscape orientation, to be able close in and see the details. I stitched them using Kekus Calico software (which I have just started using as well) If I had taken more overlapping shots in portrait orientation, I would have gotten less curving of the final image, but a huge file.. this is good enough for my purposes, to have a record of the painting to learn from.

I have also included here a 100% crop of a section, of one of the original shots. ( crop tool set to 700 x700 at 72 res) On this one I did a little bit of unsharp mask, not too much.

The lighting in the museum is variable, the room was relatively well lit. The colors achieved in the photograph are pretty close to the original, at least on my monitor ( Powerbook G4)
My camera settings;
0.4 s at 2.8
focal length 7.4mm
f 2.8
Flash did not fire

Stitched with Kekus Calico, and a bit of levels adjustment CS2, after stitching.
update, March 5 /07
recieved an email from Siegfried who owns the site mycanonG7, that he posted this description there.. thanks Siegfried :) you have a wonderful site


Fireplace Tile Medusa

Ceramic tile is part of a fireplace surround, in a residence in Society Hill, Philadelphia.
Home built c.1850-60 renovated 1888. I was told the fireplaces were installed in the renovation.

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Walk, Winter, Margerum's Etc

Margerum's Preserves
Brisk walk through Penn campus, gargoyle on Quad (spruce St)

Ice covered most of the biopond near Hamilton Walk

Then to Clark Park.. I was happy to see the farmer's marketing on such a cold day, they said it was the nicest weather in the last week or so.
Chatted with Noelle of Margerum's Herbs Etc.; for years she ran a wonderful stall selling dried herbs and pulses in the Reading Terminal; now she does several outdoor markets in the city. Bought some yellow and green split peas for soup, some dried elderberries for tea, and some herbes de provence, bay leaf and thyme and unprocessed dried coconut.. under $10..
i love the light coming though her preserves.

During the winter Noelle is at Clark Park Saturday's from 10 to 2.


Rendezvous Old City

Took this today, walked up 2nd street to meet Janet in Liberty Village; web buddy, who has just moved from Wisconsin to the Delaware Valley. It was brisk, at about 19F. Brisk for us, but arctic blasts for other Old City folk.. we had the restaurant mostly to ourselves.. of course Mondays are slow anyway.

It was cold enough that I had to put my camera in a baggy, when going from indoors to outside.. this is supposed to reduce condensation. the camera worked fine, but the battery life goes way down. And I forgot to bring my spare.

Janet has begun a blog that is posted on the Inquirer. We agreed we have watched hours disappear with the time we spend on the net.


Wet First Friday

Though the forecast had said the wet stuff would stay away, it started raining when we got to Old City. Cast a green eye at the folk with golf umbrellas.

We got warmed up at Hot Soup, watching a demo of glass blowing. Interested that they offer 2day classes for total newbies to learn a little of working with hot glass.

This was a sidewalk glass grate outside Hot Soup.



Distressed Easel

A job last summer that turned out to take longer than planned.
A client wanted to acquire an antique easel to display a new oil painting.

He wanted my help, either to find a real one, or to ~antique~ an new one.
I found several easels on Craigslist and emailed some images to him, either too massive or not massive enough.

He found one called an Appleton Academy by Richeson art, shipped to my studio,
and after a 3-day turnaround was shipped on to his home in Santa Fe.

It was such a sturdy piece, I was very impressed with the quality of the wood and manufacture.. what took me a long time was I had to assemble it to properly distress it, then dissemble, and figure out how to repack it!

It came in many, many pieces, and most of the labels did not correspond with the instructions, and i needed to remove the little stickers anyway.

I used oils, because it had some kind of finish, probably urethane? and I was worried about acrylics not curing in time, or not adhering.

Finished with painting in place. The painting of a Chinese child was painted by Dai Shu Bin, a Tibetan artist, who has since passed away.