Friday, November 21, 2008

Water Sculpture; Hotai-Happy Man

I enjoy doing sculptures that are temporary or fleeting, like life itself. So I did this one entitled: "HOTAI-Happy Man" in a lake where I knew that people or nature(freezing water shifting currents) would change this piece and all that would survive is the memory and the photo itself. I was inspired by Japanese artist ISAMU NOGUCHI who said that " Everything is sculpture. Any material, any idea without hinderance born into space, I consider sculpture.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Piseco Lake In Autumn

One of my favorite spots any time of the year!

Did this painting after being inspired by a hike up Panther Mountain and then taking in the scenery here at beach at the 2nd State campsite and the foot of Panther Mtn...prints are available 9 x 17", 12 x 18" $18.95 plus shipping. Giclee of original 14 x 27" $595.00 Original acrylic 14 x 27" $2,500

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tower of Hope

Rising barely above the city of Utica skyline is the "Tower of Hope" Built by an infamous ex-mayor of Utica named Ed Hanna, the "Tower of Hope" like the church tower in the background stand guard ominously above a slowly dying city. There is still a grace and dignity to these structures especially when you simplify the shape and forms of the the surrounding cityscape and the structures themselves. Much the same when you stand on a hill far away and view the city from a distance, and the city looks beautiful nestled amongst the Mohawk Valley. I did this acrylic paint-digital media piece to capture the grace and dignity still there.

Acrylic Painting 16 x 20" $2,200
Giclee $495

Monday, October 6, 2008

Car Wash Charlie

My brother Ronnie and I grew up as Air Force brats. We lived for several years in a housing complex that was off of the Air Force base in Yokota, Japan. The complex was also home to dozens of other Air Force families " and was bordered by small Japanese villages and farm fields.

Japan was hot and humid in the summer, so our"gang" of kids endured seemingly endless, hot and humid summer days. Days that never seemed to end. The days of summer were games of marbles, kick-ball, parking lot soccer against the Japanese boys, capturing fireflies or bees in jars, or "visiting" a nearby Japanese village to buy firecrackers or candies. Boredom eventully took hold and our thoughts turned to conning our parents for some money for the daily visit of the ice cream truck or a visit to the base swimming pool.

Ominous and exciting to our gang was a character named;"Car Wash Charlie" and his weekly forays to our neighborhood. "Car Wash Charlie" was in our neighborhood looking for customers who might want their car washed. "Car Wash Charlie's" oily dark black hair was long for a Japanese, and unruly. His hair nearly covered his sinister, thin slitty eyes. His aging dark tanned face never spoke or showed any hint of interest in us kids always looking down at the road when he passed. He wore a stained white tank top t-shirt and khaki tan pants like many Japanese work-men did. His pants were loosely tucked into his well worn rubber boots. But most disturbing to us kids, was that Car Wash Charlie had a handicap-a twisted foot. We could spot his distinctive gait and silhouette from blocks away, as he made his way around our block looking for a customer. Dad was a good customer and often had Car Wash Charlie wash his old Chevy. So, by the time Car Wash Charlie had set up and had begun washing Dad's car, most of our gang had gathered at a safe distance to watch him and speculate about what heinous crimes Car Wash Charlie had committed this week.

When a rumor went around that a woman had seen someone looking in her bathroom window as she showered, our gang converged on the house where the purported crime was committed. It was early evening and the light was fading as we ran into the back yard. The grey gravel stones used as fill in the back yards of homes crunched under our feet as we ran to the area directly in back of the bathroom window. We promptly discovered several extra large footprints imprinted in the gravel. We speculated that "it had to be Car Wash Charlie". In fact, so certain it was Car Wash Charlie, because one of the kids said their Dad said that Air Force Police had said the woman had seen yellow eyes through the smoky bathroom window. Yup, it definitely had to be Car Wash Charlie! All of us were scared and excited about the discovery and this seemed to be heightened by the looming darkness and the slight chill in the air. I don't know about the rest of the kids but I had trouble sleeping for weeks-no months after that. I knew Car Wash Charlie and his hideous yellow eyes were lurking outside, and would grab me through the screen and open window with his soapy brown hands and choke me. Or he might slip through my bedroom window before bedtime and be waiting under my bed or in the closet . I spent many restless and sleepless nights after inspecting under my bed and looking in my closet, expecting the worst to happen. When I told Dad about it later, he said I was being ridiculous, and told me that Car Wash Charlie was a nice fella, and added that Charlie had a handicapped foot, so he could not possibly have climbed up the wall to look in the woman's window. It didn't matter then, because it seemed then that Car Wash Charlie would always be some yellow eyed, twisted foot, soapy handed kid killer.

It's interesting to think back and reflect on those innocent years and realize that as children, we didn't view things with a whole lot of objectivity. I try to remember that now that I am well along into adulthood, an adult who should use objectivity and diplomacy as I deal with the latest hotbed political issues, irate customers, or in dealing with my own children's and family crisises. When you're a child you don't realize or know better. As an adult in most cases, we know better. It's just that we don't want to admit it sometimes. That's why it's great to reflect, and better yet to put it things in writing, which I've found can prove to be a real eye opener. Writing and reflecting can help you to put things back into perspective, even things that happened way back when you were a child.

I look out the window as darkness prevails and the sun is fading, and decide it is time to be heading for home. I feel a bit uneasy as the computer shuts down. So, I look over my shoulder and out the window behind me and into the parking lot next door, and am greatly relieved to not see any ominous silhouettes or any yellow eyes looking in at me through the window.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Above The Clouds

Soaring over the ancient hills-going higher and higher,
the Eagle fades into the cottony clouds.

Spiraling... spiraling...reaching forever upwards,
his wings reach-out above the clouds, embracing the hazy yellow sun.

Above the clouds in the vast azure-blue sky,
the eagle is nothing but a tiny speck,
then disappears-no longer visible to my straining eyes.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Nobody Sees A Flower...

...really - it is so small - we haven't time, and to see takes time like to have a friend takes time."

This quote from Georgia O' Keefe is one of my favorites, especially since I am an avid gardener and spend countless pleasurable hours in the garden. This flower the "Summer Sun Heliopsis" I photographed is one of the dominant early-mid summer flowers in my garden, and one I love for its beauty and low maintenance. And just as importantly, the birds and bees seem to like it too, while the snails and Japanese beetles don't care for it. Take the time to see a flower and cultivate a "green" yard and garden, if you don't have one already, instead of themanicured "meatball" and "poodle cut" bushes, and perfect looking toxic grass lawns. You and your families will be healthier for it, and you'll also find lots of inspiration for future photos and paintings by doing so.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Has technology gone too far?

After seeing more and more people with phones sticking out of their heads and people walking down the street or driving while text messaging totally mindless of what is going on around them, I feel enough is enough.
This piece showing a run away lab mouse with a robotic arm that has just been shattered
by his hunger and greed. I guess it was my way of saying maybe we humans get a little too used
to having the conveniences of technology and technology becomes appendages that often replace good sensibility and judgement.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Life Is Contrasts-The Ice Cold Canyon, Niagara Falls, Ontario


The cold and icy month of February seems like a strange time to visit NiagaraFalls, yet it was refreshingly cold and pristine.
You go there in the summer and there are people everywhere
including over and under the falls.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Canyon Trees, Grand Canyon, AZ

The twisted gnarled trees that line the canyon have a character and majestic beauty you don't find here in the Northeast except maybe on some windswept high peaks mountaintops. These
trees have endured extreme heat, cold, wind & drought to give them their unique character. The Japanese through Bonsai
tree art, try to emulate trees with this kind of character. My grandmother had many beautiful highly valued Bonsai that were hundreds of years old, yet these canyon trees in their natural setting, untrained and unbridled except by Mother Nature can never be simulated.
I loved working on these pieces and especially studying the detail and structure of these
beautiful trees.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

4 Barns In Clinton, NY

Clinton, NY which is in the Town of Kirkland in Upstate NY, is an ivy league college (Hamilton College) community where at times you can feel as if you stepped back in time 60 or 70 years to when things were slower and simpler. A place where kids still sled on the hills above the farms in the winter, swim and dive in the creeks in the summer, and drink fresh apple cider from the mill in the fall. Barns are an important part of the community. They tell stories through their construction that reflect not only their original creators, but those who inherited the barns and their upkeep and care. That's why I love to photograph and paint barns in Upstate, NY., there is a craft and love in these structures that most likely will never be duplicated. Orchards and farmland in this area like much of the country, is succumbing to urban sprawl. Right down the road a local orchard chose to sell acreage to build a box store, and destroyed many old apple trees that nourished many generations of people, animals and birds. I drive by now and remember sadly the trees that flowered beautifully in spring.

I love the light that filters through the white birch tree, this is one of my favorite pieces, even though the barn design is rather simple and straightforward.

I'm glad I captured this image when I did as this barn looks worse and worse every year. It is a beautiful barn with an almost sleek longer design.

After a recent snowfall, I decided to take the "back way" back to the office and was treated to an inspiring view. This barn is in sad disrepair and will probably not be around much longer.
This barn appears to be a newer barn
and has the interesting hand lettering on the front "Rose Hill Farm"