Monday, February 8, 2016

Missing Philadelphia

After all these years Philadelphia continues to call me.  Fortunately Google street views allow me to span the 900 miles that  separates us, and I can wander the streets of the city at my leisure.

Center City Parking  waatercolor  10x10

Locust Street Parking Lot  watercolor  10x10

2 on Locust Street  watercolor  9x12
I plan on creating a new portfolio of Philadelphia watercolors, including the Italian markets on 9th street.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Abstract landscape

Certain colors, in combination with each other, or with black and white, fascinate me, and are the inspiration for a new series of abstract landscapes.  I have no plans regarding composition and size.  The focus will be entirely on the colors.


Bleeding Trees   acrylic on 11x14 panel

Monday, January 4, 2016

NATIONAL SPAGHETTI DAY - How did you celebrate



Spaghetti  alla Chitarra with peas and artichoke hearts in a butter - white wine - cream sauce.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year from Gallery 5





2015 is about to become history, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  On the bright side, I’m still here.  On the not so bright side, I’m one year older.  I know…old age is a privilege, and I do my best to remember that, but sometimes the aches and pains, and other rather delicate infirmities get in the way.

I set out to look back on the highs and lows of the past year, only to discover that I could not remember them.  Undaunted, I turned to my journal for help but found it difficult to read because of my scratchy handwriting (and I have not practiced medicine in 14 years!).  Now clearly, a lesser man than me would have given up on what appears to be a hopeless situation, but the tiger in me – have mentioned to you that I am a tiger – asserted itself and I rose to the occasion.  (Reminder to self to change the wording here.)

Using the studio/gallery data on my computer and my imagination to revive memory I have been able to create a summary of 2015.

I began the year working with watercolors, and by the beginning of summer had completed less than 163 small paintings!  I think the actual number was 10.  I received requests from several galleries in NYC and Chicago pleading with me to do a one-man show, but I told them no.  I was committed to a two man show in October with my good friend Keyth in Salisbury NC.  The show was very very successful.  I didn’t sell anything, but got lots of exposure, and everyone knows that is almost as important as sales for an artist.  Many people attended the show.  Unfortunately the Obama’s and Biden’s couldn’t be there, but Joe, my dear old friend and one time roommate from college, joined us and we had a grand reunion.

One week later I traveled to Philadelphia for the 50th reunion of Jefferson Medical College’s class of 1965.  My painting of the old College building was unveiled to unbridled acclaim and thunderous applause.  I was impressed that the three classmates present could make so much noise.

2015 was also a year for commissions – lots of them.  I think I had 25 for the year.  No, that’s not right.  It was closer to 15…I think.  Okay, I just checked my inventory database – it was 5.  I had 5 commissions.

Finally, the year’s review would be incomplete without acknowledging the completion of the TRILOGY.  I cannot begin to tell you how many awards it might have won if I had submitted it for consideration in annual book award competitions.

My resolution for the New Year?   To overcome my extreme humility and reticence that comes through in these newsletters.

Happy New Year

Thursday, December 17, 2015

THE HAPPY ROOSTER


The Happy Rooster   watercolor  12x14


I left Paducah at six-thirty in the morning and by three-thirty in the afternoon  checked into my hotel in Center City Philadelphia.  An hour later my cousins Danny and Joey joined me and we set out to find the perfect spot to enjoy martinis, food, and each other’s company.  Joey thought it would be nice to find a small, local tavern away from the glitter that marked so many of the restaurants and cafes we were seeing.  We didn’t have to walk very far.  Just a few blocks from the hotel we saw an interesting and un-pretentious looking tavern on the corner of Sixteenth and Sansom Streets calling itself The Happy Rooster.  Through the open door we could see the dark interior with a modest row of booths and a small bar.  We stopped outside the door and silently asked one another if this is where we wanted stop.  When the lovely young waitress approached us and asked if we wanted to come in we unanimously agreed it was .  Happy hour was still a half and hour away so we had our choice of seating, and chose a booth that gave us some privacy without hiding us in a dark corner.  And thus began one of the highlights of my trip, only an hour after my arrival.

The Happy Rooster proved to be an absolute gem.  The martinis were great and the food was exquisite, beyond anything we expected.  (I had barbecued Scallops on a bed of greens.)  This was no routine corner tavern.  I could not have found a better place to unwind after a day of airports and airplanes.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A PLEASANT SURPRISE




I usually do not enjoy cooking for myself.  When Patience is away, as she is now,  I generally resort to simple meals – sandwiches, hotdogs, leftovers – eat out, or invite friends over for dinner.  Tonight I decided to use us some of the small amounts of un-cooked pasta that has been accumulating in the pantry, along with whatever vegetables I could find in the fridge.  I had nothing specific in mind when I started cutting the two large Portabello mushrooms into small cubes.  I tossed them in the skillet with the olive oil and added some broccolini and shallots and began cooking them over high heat while the pasta was cooking.  I added garlic, oregano, and basil, along with some tomato paste, stirring frequently until the mushrooms were browned.  Next came a few splashes of sweet vermouth to “clean up” the skillet, I lowered the heat and covered things up waiting for the pasta.  At the last minute I grabbed a fresh tomato, chopped it up and tossed it into the mix.

Before the pasta was ready I sprinkled in some red pepper flakes, and decided a few Kalamata olives were called for, and at the last minute tossed in just a bit of heavy whipping cream, thinking, if I’m going to screw things up I might as well do it with style.  The end result was a rather earthy, nondescript looking “sauce” for the herbed pasta I was cooking.

Armed with a glass of wine and some aged Parmigiano cheese for grating I began my meal hoping that it would prove to be eatable.  To my great surprise, and delight, it was more than eatable…it was delicious.  As crazy as it sounds, the combination of the Kalamata olives and the cream produced a delightful flavor.  This is definitely something to be repeated.




Monday, November 9, 2015

THE GAS ISSUE

I thought it worthwhile to visit this post from 2007, the first year of this blog.

A FART IS A FART - NOTHING LESS AND NOTHING MORE



I have practiced medicine long enough to call a fart a fart.  This may not seem like a milestone worth noting to some people, but it carries a certain significance for me.  For years I’ve heard myself asking patients: “ have you passed gas”, “have you broken wind”, or have you passed any flatus since your surgery”?  And if the patient was elderly and hard of hearing - I could hear myself saying "HAVE YOU BROKEN WIND" loud enough to be heard in the next room. In my office, a patient sitting on the exam table would tell me about their gas problem, and I would have to discern, is this belching, or farting.  Asking if they passed gas or broke wind sounded so ridiculous to my ears, and I’m sure most patients felt the same way.  Compounding this “situation” has been my firm conviction that as a society, we are all farting more.  So, one day I decided to take matters into my own hands, figuratively of course, and when someone complained to me about their gas problem I simply asked if they meant belching or farting.  Their brief look of confusion and pleasant surprise was quickly replaced by relief, realizing they would not have to use or hear those other ridiculous phrases.

Note - my blog posts are usually accompanied by an appropriate illustration, but I could not find anything in my files to fit the bill this time.