Monday, September 28, 2015


I'm still engaged in my armchair travels to Italy.  Thanks to Google's Street View maps I can literally retrace my steps through the towns and cities I've visited.  The map's street views are a perfect supplement to my photos, sketchbooks, and memories, with a little imagination added to the mix.

A Bit of Parma   watercolor

Castelinna in Chianti    watercolor

Entering Castelnuovo della Daunia   watercolor

Saturday, September 19, 2015


In a few weeks I will travel to Philadelphia to attend the 50th reunion of Jefferson Medical College’s class of 1965.  At the request of our class reunion committee I did a painting of the student entrance to the old college building that we will give to the university.

Rendering of the original College and hospital
Student entrance
Greeting us every day at the top of the stairs was Thomas Eakins" painting, The Gross Clinic.  Eakins studied anatomy at the college with Jefferson's esteemed Dr. Samuel Gross.

Although I knew it would be a major challenge, it seemed fitting that this should be the focus of my painting.  And I was not disappointed.  The painting created more anxiety in me than anything I've ever painted. The technical challenges were great, but the real source of my anxiety was  knowing that my work would be seen by my classmates and colleagues.  For most of them it would be the single piece of work on which to judge my decision to compromise a medical career for art.

Jeff   watercolor  16x26"

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Remembering Italy

It was an itch I had to scratch.  Going through my photos and journals rekindled my interest in all things Italian (not that it ever diminished very much.) and this has resulted in a new series of watercolors devoted to my memories of those precious days in the "old country".

Here are the first two in the series:

From the Terrace

One more Arch
Now it's time to think about tonight's pasta.

Monday, August 24, 2015



Cooking tonight’s dinner was pure pleasure.  It began with a simple idea to utilize the veggies in the fridge, and evolved on the stovetop. 

The plan was rather simple.  The day began with asparagus, fresh Roma tomatoes, and chicken breasts that had to be used.  At the market I picked up some Leeks and Shiitake mushrooms, imagining them cooked with the chicken and asparagus in a light fresh tomato sauce, served over pasta or rice.

I started by cooking the mushrooms, leek, and a clove of garlic, in olive oil over moderately high heat.   I removed them when they started to brown and set them aside.  In the same skillet I browned the chicken in hot olive oil and cooked sit until it was not quite finished.  After deglazing the pan with Sweet Vermouth I set the chicken aside (next to the mushrooms).  Next up -  I began cooking the Asparagus, cut into 1” pieces, along with the coarsely chopped tomatoes and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and fresh basil leaves.  After 10-15 minutes I added the mushrooms and chicken, now cut into bite sized pieces, to the pan and let everything simmer over low heat.  Somewhere along this process I decided I would serve this on a bed of rice, and not pasta.

Watching it simmer It occurred to me that it needed some of Emeril’s “Bam”, so I added shrimp – cooked, peeled, and frozen - to the pan.  The final inspiration was  to add some Old Bay seasoning and top everything with thin slices of lemon.

Friday, August 7, 2015

A Midtown Market Dinner - Pasta w Shiitake mushrooms & Asparagus

8-7-15   Lemon dill Fettuccine w Shiitaki mushrooms and Asparagus


INGREDIENTS:  All ingredients from MTM
1.     Al dente fettuccine
2.     Shitake mushrooms
3.     Asparagus
4.     Black olives sliced
5.     Olive oil
6.     Shallots
7.     Garlic ( I used Dorot’s frozen crushed garlic cubes and dill available at Midtown Mkt.)
8.     Dill
9.     Fresh lemon juice


Saute the mushrooms and shallots in olive oil, with garlic and dill.  Cook for  about 5 minutes before adding the Asparagus.  Add the lemon juice and black olives several minutes before adding the pasta.  Add the pasta, drizzle with extra olive oil and mix well.  Serve with grated Grana Padana or Parmigiana cheese.

Saturday, July 11, 2015



Or should I say drawing from my past?  Better yet, how about simply drawing my past, because that is what I’ve been doing.

I’ve been spending a lot of time recently conducting a private retrospective of my work.  Fortunately I have digital files of most of my artwork, as well as portfolios filled with drawings and sketches from the past 50 plus years.  The volume of the work is impressive.  Most of it is pretty good, some of it is very good, and some of it is not so good to awful. I saved everything.  Seeing my work evolve has been gratifying, and confronting the failures has been sobering.  The experience has inspired me to move forward, building on the good while learning from the bad.

On a recent visit to family and friends I photographed the elementary school I attended (as did my father).  It opened in 1916 and was shut down several years ago; residents are now trying to raise the money needed to save the building for use as a community center and library.  It did not take long for me to decide to paint the building once I returned to my studio.

As often happens, one thing leads to another, and the next thing I knew I was painting my high school using photos I took at our 50th reunion 7 years ago.

And the wheels keep turning.  Elementary school, high school.  What’s next, Jr. high, college?  Maybe both, and just like that a new series emerges – painting the “places of my life”.  As a result, I just spent hours going through old photos and slides looking for photos I knew I took about 20 years ago of my college campus.  I found the images I wanted, and planned on painting my colleges Administrative Building where we had most of our classes.  However the 50th reunion of our medial school class is this October, and the reunion committee has asked for a painting of the old Jefferson Medical College building, so my orderly progression will be a bit disrupted.

After that I have a lifetime of drawing to do.

I love being an artist, it is a way of life, and he work never ends.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

6-19-15 Angel Hair with sausage, celery and carrots


I was in the mood for sausage, but not with the usual red sauce

1.     Angel hair pasta – almost any other pasta can be substituted
2.     Italian sausage with casing removed
3.     Celery
4.     Carrots
5.     Onion
6.     Anchovy – 1 fillet finely chopped
7.     Olive oil
8.     Garlic
9.     Fresh basil
10. Chicken broth – about 1/3 cup
11. White wine
12. Black olives – sliced
13. Panko


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over moderate-high heat and add the anchovy, carrots, garlic and onion, and cook until soft.  Add the sausage and cook until it and the vegetables begin to brown.  Add several torn basil leaves and several splashes of white wine.  Stir frequently, and when the wine has cooked off add the chicken broth, lower the heat and simmer until it begins to thicken.  Sprinkle with the Panko while the pasta is cooking. 

Add the pasta to the skillet and mix well and add the olives before serving.  Add pasta water if needed.