Thursday, July 31, 2008

Frank Lloyd Wright by Portrait Master: Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002) is one of the masters of 20th century photography.  His body of work includes portraits of statesmen, artists, musicians, authors, scientists, and men and women of accomplishment.  His extraordinary and unique portfolio presents the viewer with an intimate and compassionate view of humanity.

Portraits by Karsh have come to be the iconic remembrances of the famous people he photographed. From Fidel Castro to Mother Teresa, his unique style has never been duplicated.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Art Show Judging in Oil City

I just returned from judging an art show in Oil City, Pennsylvania. The show is part of the 30th Annual Oil City Heritage Festival. The show included over 200 works of art, in five media categories and judged at three levels: Professional, Intermediate, and Amateur. The show was held in the National Transit Building—the headquarters for John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company. A view of the gallery is seen on the top, the middle photo shows "Marilyn" the winning entry in the Professional Oil/Acrylic Category. Photo above shows the lobby of the National Transit Building. The building was saved from the wrecking ball by Ralph Nader, who later donated the building to the City. The city is encouraging artists to move to Oil City and offers inexpensive studio space, a low cost of living, and an enthusiastic market for art.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Work: Day / Night

24 x 18 inch Inkjet print. Printed on Epson Enhanced Matte Paper

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Seldom Inn Tionesta Pennsylvania

It was Bike Night at The Seldom Inn in Tionesta, Pennsylvania. This gentlemen is the owner. All was well in Tionesta that night, except the Seldom Inn has now imposed a two dollar cover charge. My buddy Phil & I were exempted from paying because Phil promised we'd leave before the music started.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Number Awareness Runs in the Family

This just in. Brother James had this same idea in 1992. Just another case of concurrent discovery—even if separated by 1 6 years. Hats off to Jim though for his beautifully executed calligraphy. Jim, my older brother, for those who don't know him, is an artist, calligrapher and tenured math professor. For those who are familiar with him know that he will forever remind me that "he thought of this first". And so, all of the credit for discovery that "Numbers Rule Lives" rightfully belongs to Jim. 

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Numbers rule our lives whether we like it or not. Even if we ignore them, they are there to haunt us and at times threaten us. From birth at zero to our known life expectancy, numbers rule us. Just a few examples: our age, our I.Q, our E.Q. (emotional quotient), social security number, SAT scores, GRE scores, PSA level, blood pressure, mortgage rate, EIN, birth order number, anniversary, bilirubin level, cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, portfolio value, loss, gain, driver's license nunber, "The" number, various and sundry phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank and brokerage account numbers, shoe size, hat size, weight, age, height, glove size, underwear size, pant size, ring size, tire size, VIN number, automotive horsepower number, hourly billing rate, salary, probability of outliving our money. And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Tell me more.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Time Trials

OK, so speed isn't necessarily the most important thing in art, but this is an example of a painting done in under two minutes on a moving bus.

In the late 80's I was on a bus tour of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales with Margaret, Evan and my parents.  I constantly found myself observing beautiful landscapes through the window of the moving bus. So I set up my little sketch book, a 4 x 5 inch mini, and my watercolors, and after looking at a landscape as we passed it, tried to memorize the details of a scene. In this case, a lovely rural landscape on the road from Edinburgh to Leith. This little exercise of taking "mind photographs", then putting them onto paper became a favorite pastime of mine on the trip and sharpened my observational skills. Try it. It's a fun exercise, but you've only got two minutes!