Sunday, November 30, 2014


Something old and something new this Sunday morning.

Something Old - small sketch from 2-3 years ago

Something new - pencil sketch completed yesterday

Saturday, November 29, 2014


the title of my new blog which will be devoted exclusively to the written word, with or without illustrations. “So Forth and So On”. was a frequent expression my mother would use to end something she was saying in a conversation with me.

I will be posting new work as well as revisions of older essays and comments, some of which have been posted on this blog, “Reflections on a life in medicine and art”, which I started in 2007, and will now be devoted to art and cooking (which really means art and pasta).


Let me start with an apology to all  Geno's fans - I have never had their cheese steak and have never painted their store front.  My Philly cheese steak experiences have been limited to Pat's, which I have painted several times, and Jims on South Street. 



Friday, November 28, 2014


It's time to leave Cape May and head back to Philly, looking at two paintings from the mid 1980s.
Broad & Snyder in south Philly

Levis hot dogs on Fifth St.  long gone

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Taking the time to remember on this quiet Thanksgiving morning.



Looking back, the room that appeared so large to my young eyes was probably 10-12 feet wide and maybe 14 feet in length.  Entering the house from the back door, no one ever used the front door; you passed through a small combination mudroom-laundry to reach the kitchen.  On the right was a small phone desk followed by the kitchen table.  On the left was an entrance to the dining room, the refrigerator, and the beginning of the cabinets, which wrapped around the far end of the room, interrupted by the sink, and ending with the stove against the wall on the right.  The table could seat 6 people comfortably, and 8-10 intimately.

The dining room was used for large gatherings on holidays and other festive occasions, but all other meals and entertaining took place in the kitchen.  I cannot remember guests being entertained in the living room… ever.  We listened to the large freestanding radio there, before a TV replaced it in 1948.  I remember lying on the floor in front of the radio, listening to the Lone Ranger at 7:30 on Thursday evenings.  At the end of each day, after shedding his coveralls and boots, my father would sit in the living room reading the evening paper until my mother called him for diner, at least 2-3 times before he would come.  I would be remiss if I did not mention the many epic battles I fought with the bad guys, either flying off the sofa as superman (dish towel tightly secured around my neck) or as Roy Rogers, taking on the crooks behind the large Maple chair.

But it was the kitchen where our lives happened, where we shared 3 meals every day, often with assorted family and friends, where the working day started and ended, where farm business was conducted, homework completed, and phone calls made and answered.  Company rarely made it past the kitchen.  Coffee was offered within the first few minutes, often even before coats and hats were removed, and everyone settled in around the table.  Some how there was always enough room.  The stream of visitors included nearby aunts and uncles, neighbors, friends, out of town relatives, and my friends and classmates.

My parents, Jo and Duke to some, aunt Jo and uncle Duke to others, and on rare occasions, Mr. and Mrs. Renzulli, had a very special gift; they made everyone feel loved and welcomed.  First time visitors ceased being strangers within minutes, and by the time they left they were family.  It didn’t matter who it was; there were no pretenses and no apologies.  Everyone was treated the same.  Their warmth and hospitality were genuine. Graciousness, generosity, and goodness were woven into the fabric of their character. That was what they were, and guests received more than food and wine when they sat at our kitchen table.

Thinking about all of this now, I’ve come to realize that despite their limited education and sophistication, they each possessed a deep sense of self confidence in who they were, giving them a mantel of humble nobility.  In the first eighteen years of my life I experienced their love and generosity, their commitment to family, their kindness to others, their willingness to share and to forgive, and their gentle outlook on life; I witnessed it all in our kitchen, around the kitchen table, drinking coffee, sipping wine, or sharing a meal.

My parents were not religious.  My mother never spoke about matters of faith, and my father would not hesitate to tell you he was an atheist.  I think he was really more anti-cleric than anti God, and simply had no use for the church.  But in the life they lived, grounded in love and caring for everyone, I saw the nobility of the human spirit, and if there is a God, He was in our kitchen.

L to P  Walter, aunt Edith, aunt Mary, Marx, uncle Fatty, mom, all have died except Marx


Since Thanksgiving Day usually means going home, I am posting 3 Cape May homes.  Yes...we are still in Cape May.

Happy Thanksgiving

CM Green

CM Blue

CM Pink

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I am not ready to leave Cape May - having too much fun remembering the town and its wonderful architecture, both elegant and funky.  I have no idea if many of these places are still there.  Hopefully the Lobster House has survived.

Cape May Antiques

Cape May Lobster House- diners served on the boat

What to do with an old bank

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


It has been a long time since I've visited Cape May, so I don't know if all of these grand ladies are still there.  I suspect they are, knowing the towns love and commitment to all things Victorian.  These paintings were done in the late 70s and early 80s.

Monday, November 24, 2014


It should be obvious by now that I consider any painting without a barn or farm an urban landscape.  Today we leave Boston and travel to the most southern reaches of the Jersey shore to the Victorian town of Cape May.  I spent a lot of time photographing and sketching in and around the small town, and one of my favorite places was the back bay area.  Every year there seemed to be some new unpretentious enterprise cropping up.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I'm reaching back quite a few years for today's barn, tucked behind a rather classic farm house.  The farm is on Rt. 301 between Wilmington and Middletown Delaware in a rural area that is slowly being devoured by urban crawl.

Farm on 301   watercolor   1983

Saturday, November 22, 2014


I went to Harvard, or at least near Harvard.  I see no reason to leave Boston after only one day, and I really enjoyed walking around Cambridge with my sketchbook those many years ago.  All of the drawings were done on the spot with a Parker 45 fountain pen.

The Harvard Lampoon

Oxford Ale House

Entrance to Harvard Yard

Friday, November 21, 2014


It's a short drive from western Massachusetts to Boston, a city that has so much meaning for me.  Yesterday I posted a painting of Cambridge UK; today one of my posts will be a drawing from Cambridge, MA.

Boston from across the Charles River

Beacon Hill

1976 – I was 37 years old and the country was celebrating its Bicentennial. Amy was 11 years old, Beth 7, and Sara 5.  My medical practice of 5 years, which had been a source of unbridled pleasure and satisfaction, was beginning to lose its luster, as my mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing began to gradually decline.  Unknown to me at the time, this was the beginning of a journey that would take me to places I never could have imagined.

State law required all physicians to complete a number of continuing medical educations hours (CME) in accredited courses every two years, and I was registered in an Oncology review course at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.  I arrived at the conference hall for the 9 a.m. session, and was confronted by an all too familiar CME environment: a large hall with tables set up in rows facing the lectern and a large screen, and smaller tables on the sides of the hall with coffee, tea, and water.  Each registrant was given a syllabus with a daily schedule lectures and an outline of each presentation, along with a pad of paper and one or more very sharp pencils.  The lights were dimmed, the first slide projected on the screen, and the speaker began to read…directly from the slide, the same slide that is in the syllabus.  It takes less than 10 minutes for the sleep inducing boredom to set in; this is the last place on earth I wanted to be on that day, and after 30 excruciating minutes I got up and walked out, and did not return for the remainder of the 3-day course.

I walked back to the hotel to get my canvas shoulder bag with my faithful Parker 45 fountain pen and sketchbooks, and set out to explore the city.  And explore it is exactly what I did, walking through every section and neighborhood of Boston over the next 2 days.  On the third day, I took the train across the Charles River and experienced Cambridge and the Harvard campus.  I loved every minute of every day; quite remarkable for someone who was not fond of traveling and sight seeing, and dining alone.  It was more than just the visual delights of the city’s e urban landscape that captivated me; I was experiencing an incredible sense of being centered within myself.  Everything was as it should be in my small world.  I was doing what I was intended to do.

Those three days in Boston 36 years ago were to mark the beginning of an incredible journey, taking me through the most intense years of my life.  Four years later I would make the decision to leave my practice and pursue a life as an artist.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Today we will leave Italy, stopping in Cambridge, England before returning to a small village near the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts, and the town of Shefiield.

Cambridge UK   Watercolor

Berkshire Village   print   10x24

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


This will be the last day in Italy - at least for a while. But I'll be leaving with a flurry!

5 1/2 Arches - clay drawing

First dinner in the apartment

Sienna Wash - Acrylic

Via Clavature - watercolor

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


We will be in Italy at least one more day, looking at the streets of Bologna.  The first painting shows Cafe Napoli, one of two restaurants located a few blocks from my apartment, where I enjoyed several meals.  The second drawing was inspired by a block of buildings I passed frequently on my daily walks, and captures the look of the cities streets.

Cafe Napoli

Monday, November 17, 2014


I've had fun creating my own Italian streetscapes inspired by my time in Bologna, all named after family.

Via Renzulli

Via Sarafina

Via Spartaco

Saturday, November 15, 2014


From Tuscany to McCracken County KY in less than 24 hours.  This is the last of the four recent watercolors of western KY barns.

McCracken Co. Barn


I should have known better than to go into my portfolio of Italian drawings.  It is difficult to move on to other places.  But since this is my blog and my facebook page, I can stay here as long as I want.  Besides, I am shameless and readily admit that I love these "clay drawings".

 Via Ferrucio in Castellini in Chianti

A view from the piazza in Greve, a village in Tuscany

Friday, November 14, 2014

THE DAILY URBAN LANDSCAPE #38 The delightful towns of Italy

It was bound to happen.  There is no way I could post just two paintings from Italy, and move on to other places.  I'm hooked, which means the Daily Urban Landscapes will now be coming to you from the "old country".  Most of the paintings are mixed media drawings - pen, ink, markers, and acrylic - on clay mono types printed on assorted fabrics and paper.

 Dinning out in Castellini in Chianti in Tuscany

Via Garibaldi in Parma

Thursday, November 13, 2014

THE DAILY URBAN LANDSCAPE #37 the Urban food market

After hanging around the alleys and backsides of the urban scene it is refreshing to walk around to the front, and what can be more refreshing than fresh produce. Below are two of the many food markets lining the tiny streets in the old section of Bologna, Italy.  The first is a watercolor, the second a mixed media drawing on a clay mono type.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

THE DAILY URBAN LANDSCAPE #36 Behind Williamsburg and Paducah

Not all backside views are dismal and cluttered.  In Williamsburg VA they can be quite elegant.

 While in downtown Paducah the emphasis is on utility.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Of all the "behind..." paintings I've done, and I've done many, Behind Quaker Hill, in Wilmington Delaware, is one of my favorites.  I remember these houses in the early 1970s when they were abandoned, in major disrepair, and served as shelter for some of the cities homeless.  There transformation to elegance was so amazing I painted this view several times.

I never painted the front of these houses.