Thursday, December 18, 2014

Drowsier Days of Washington, D.C.

Sometimes when I go to flea marts and various collectors' shows, there are pieces of Washington, D.C. ephemera that I cannot resist to buy. As a teen in the 1960s it was not unusual to visit our sleepy neighbor south of Baltimore on weekend nights because the legal drinking age was 18.   In Maryland at that time you had to be 21-years-old to sit and sip beer or wine on a barstool. So off we would go down route 295 for a night of drinking and getting lost on our way home. That was my first "adult" experience with our nation's capital. I never regarded it as a political hot spot in those days.  It was a town where people lived and worked and played despite having their traffic signals mounted on the side of the intersections. Pairing this experience with countless childhood school bus trips to the museums and monuments, I  regarded DC as a town for fun and shopping which was not Baltimore. And that's how I came to name my collage "Drowsier Days of D. C." It's familiar and it's what I know.

"Drowsier Days of D.C." (24" x 36")  mixed media on board 2014

That's the way I had it in my head until about 15-20 years ago when DC shed its heavy-eyed image with $5 parking lots for the wide-awake cosmopolitan scene with clattering construction sites.

The collage was an instant hit with visitors to my art show booth. There are various restaurants and clubs that represent a particular experience in the memories of many Washingtonians. Streetcar rides to Glen Echo, Griffith stadium or downtown hold a dear spot in the hearts of many. And I have also included some tv shows and personalities that we all tuned in to watch. People love to tell me their stories and I am eager to hear them. I sold the original collage recently, but I have poster size prints in my Etsy shop for sale for those who need to see this on their wall.

Friday, October 24, 2014


"Singer Sewing Orange" 2014,  oil on board (12" x 18")
In May 2014, we came home from a week-long show only to find that nine inches of rainwater had been marinating in the basement for six days. Our neighbors and friends immediately swung into action to help us with their equipment and labor. That act of generosity was one of several gifts resulting from the cellar's swampy circumstances. Sometimes catastrophe results in solutions for your life. We did finally clear out the basement!  Our chaotic misfortune also revealed a hidden gem after the fetid waters subsided. 

"Singer Sewing Machine Turquoise" 2014, oil on board (9" x 12")

 Among the injured and ruined objects was an item I had long been wanting to paint but its sheer weight kept me from making the purchase at flea markets. Then, there in the dankness was an odd shaped piece of luggage. When I pried open the mushy case an antique, black singer sewing machine lay within its contents. I was overjoyed at the sight and set it aside. Months later I cleaned it so that it could model for me in the studio. More paintings are underway.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Adams Morgan Day - Art on Belmont

This Sunday, September 14,  I'll be exhibiting at Art on Belmont which is part of the Adams Morgan Day Celebration in Washington, D. C. The artists' section on Belmont opens at 10 a.m. while the festival begins at noon. The festival is located on 18th St. NW, between Florida Ave. and Columbia Rd. I am very excited to be showing and selling some of my new work--especially the DC Streetcars. My newest oil on panel is featured below. It's titled "DC Transit Penna & 2nd" and is 24" x 30". Stop by it should be a great day.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rehoboth Art League Outdoor Fine Art Show

This month I am trying a new venue for exhibiting and selling my art. Sponsored by the Rehoboth Art League in Delaware it is called The 41st Annual Outdoor Fine Art Show.  It is an honor to be selected by the jury for this event which runs for two weekends on August 9-10 and August 16-17. I will have my new paintings and collages on display for sale in my booth. Included here is a picture of my newest collage of vintage Delaware Coast images. Fenwick Island, Dewey and Rehoboth Beaches are the main feature of this piece with some of Lewes and Cape May making an appearance, too. Hope you can stop by if you are at the beach. I'll be in booth #36.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


"Vintage Ocean City Fishing" 2014 (24" x 36")  mixed media
The fishing in Ocean City, Maryland can be, at times, superb. There are tournaments in the White Marlin Capital of the World featuring deep sea fishing for the aforementioned Marlin and a variety of big game fish including tuna and sharks. But for most of us we like to putt-putt in a little motor boat to catch some pan-size fish like perch or some blue crabs for a proudly-caught, home-made meal. As you enter OC from Route 50, the bridge is usually lined with fishermen and women of all sizes and shapes. They always appear to be intently focused on their task at hand. Thinking of this reminds to to say that if you don't want to own or rent a boat you can usually find a spot on one of the many piers located on the island. There are many on the bay side and of course the grand pier on the Atlantic side.
 In my extensive collection of vintage Del-Mar-Va ephemera I noticed that the fishing category deserved a collage of its own. There are tide tables and fishing tips as well as photos of the Bunting fishing boats. I've also included images of some of my fishing lure paintings and of course our Maryland steamed crabs. Posters of the collage are now for sale in my Etsy shop for those who would like to purchase one on line.

Monday, July 14, 2014

BALTIMORE'S ARTSCAPE 2014 - Opens Friday, July 18

I can hardly believe it's already  time for Baltimore's Artscape 2014 this coming weekend. And I guess I've participated in about a dozen Artscape Artists' Marketplaces all together. Most people associate music, performances, art and heat with Artscape. And they would be right. But this year the weather forecasters are looking for cooler temperatures and maybe even a shower or two. I am trying to imagine wearing a sweater for this upcoming three-day-event which runs from Friday, July 18 to Sunday July, 20. Regardless of the weather it is always a festive atmosphere for meeting new and former customers and friends who stop by my booth. This year I have a lot of new work that includes a series of oil paintings portraying Baltimore's industrial waterfront in the past and present.  I'm in booth E-135 near Mt. Royal and Lanvale.  Come on by we'd be delighted to see all of you!

Pictured above is "Industrial Harbor, Baltimore" oil on  board (24" x 36")

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

B & O Railroad Grain Terminal- Locust Point

As far back as I can remember the concrete, grain silos have dominated the once teeming shores of Locust Point in Baltimore, MD. These imposingly tall towers marked the hub of trains and grains in our port city. Built by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the early 1920s, the hulking structures and their odd looking chutes exported tons and tons of grain between freight trains and ships. However peculiar I thought the design was, it functioned extremely well. Since I could never get the image out of my head I decided to do a few paintings of it earlier this year.
"Locust Point Grain Silos" oil on canvas (12" x 24") 2014
As you stood on the Fort Avenue Bridge and gazed over the acres and acres of containers, buildings and railroad cars and tracks, it made a dizzying configuration that led you to comprehend the transportation puzzle. While I was working on this painting my generous friend and historian Wayne Schaumburg mentioned that he had some slides that he shot of this same location years ago as well. So I did this painting below using Wayne's slides.
"B and O Grain Terminal - Locust Point" oil on board (18" x 24") 2014
As with much of Baltimore's industry the silos ceased to serve the needs they once fulfilled and were transformed into luxury condominiums. The commercial developer has incorporated the silos into the updated structure which maintains its overpowering presence. And you can still watch the freight trains pass by on their way keeping our port business alive.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


"Baltimore Bingo" mixed media on board
(30" x 24") 2014

Bingo was the game we played on rainy days at the beach or weekend nights with our babysitter. The manufacturer's name of  the home version that we had escapes my memory, but I remember the excitement upon hearing the letter and number being called out. We would frantically examine our card to see if we matched it and then place the brittle plastic disc on the corresponding number announcing our victory when we had enough for the winning pattern. Who did not love to yell BINGO!
 In the early 1980's when I moved to Hampden in north Baltimore I saw bingo buses picking up passengers and transporting them to various bingo halls for grownups. I guessed that some people just loved the excitement of the game and spent their evenings in the casino-like atmosphere with other bingo lovers. The prizes could be as big as a TV for some lucky winners I was told back then. Now I think that this game is bigger and more serious.  I never boarded the bus so it will remain a mystery to me as I continue to fantasize about Baltimore bingo halls which are still very popular.
In my journey to collect vintage ephemera I stumbled upon a bingo card made in Baltimore by the National Novelty Company. Their address is 334 N. Howard Street - right in the middle of our once bustling  Baltimore shopping district. Additionally I found a letterhead dating from 1901 with an address at 106 East Saratoga Street in Baltimore…right around the corner. Perhaps this is where they manufactured the cards. 

Well  since my imagination does not give me much rest I just had to do something with my bingo thoughts so I created this mixed media piece based on the vintage bingo card in my collection. It is 30" high by 24" wide. I like the size and the big friendly numbers. I'm also creating 8" x 10"  archival canvas reproductions on panels that are ready to hang on your wall.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Glen Echo - DC Transit Attraction

"DC Transit Glen Echo" oil on canvas (30 x 40) 2014
The ads for Glen Echo which aired during the Captain Tugg show on WTTG-tv channel 5 were as close as I got to this Washington, DC area amusement park. Our parents said it was too far away and besides, we had Baltimore's Gwynn Oak Amusement Park. Well we missed a lot never having visited this splendid playground. It had classier attractions than Gwynn Oak including a  sparkling swimming pool about which I fantasized. So I can visit the park these days in my imagination looking at one of my latest paintings. I can almost hear the streetcar door open and close while the riders are screaming with glee on the big wooden roller coaster.

Like many electric parks Glen Echo gave a welcome boost to streetcar ridership on the weekends. I discovered this clipping in a DC Transit Brochure that I have in my collection. You are encouraged to "take the Number 20 car marked Cabin John anywhere along Pennsylvania Avenue west of Peace Monument" in order to get to Glen Echo. The former PCC operators of this line like to reminisce about hurtling along the streetcar tracks over the  Cabin John Bridge at the nearly top speed of 65 m.p.h.  What a great story they tell.

The park has been preserved in many ways. There are dances on weekends and an active arts organization with exhibits among the range of interests. The streetcar is also memorialized there but no tracks to fly over the Cabin John Bridge exist anymore.
Ding Ding