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   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


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


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


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.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Piazza del Campo in Sienna Italy watercolor  12x20

Here is the latest in the series of new watercolors devoted to the cities and towns of Italy.  This, and others, is available on my website,

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.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

6-10-15 Linguini w shrimp, asparagus in lemon butter sauce

6-10-15   Linguini w shrimp, asparagus in lemon butter sauce

This dish looks elegant, but is quite simple to prepare, requiring only a few ingredients

1.     Linguini
2.     Shrimp
3.     Asparagus
4.     Olive oil
5.     Lemon juice
6.     Butter
7.     Garlic
8.     Fresh dill
9.     Red pepper flakes (optional)
10. Salt and pepper


I started by cooking the shrimp in olive oil and butter and setting it aside while washing and removing the tough ends of the asparagus.

In a large skillet slowly cook a thinly sliced clove of garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil and butter while the pasta is cooking.  Next, coat the asparagus and shrimp with olive oil and grill over medium-high heat, the asparagus – about 5 minutes, and the shrimp until they begin to brown.  Remove from the grill and keep warm.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet and mix well, adding some pasta water if needed.  Drizzle with olive oil and freh dill and serve with the shrimp and asparagus on the side and wedge of lemon.


These ingredients were meant to be used together, and linguini is the perfect pasta for this dish.

Monday, June 8, 2015


I have done very little painting with oils - and I keep telling myself I should do more .  Here are three 6x36" landscapes I did 7 or 8 years ago, the same scene in 3 different seasons.




Saturday, June 6, 2015

6-6-15 Wild mushroom ravioli/creamy tomato sauce

I love cooking like this, looking in the fridge and pantry to see what’s there and what has to be used or tossed.  This evening there was a package of mushrooms and some frozen ravioli that demanded some attention.  Pouring myself a glass of Pinot Grigio, I set about seeing what I could do. 


1.     Wild mushroom ravioli
2.     Sliced white mushrooms
3.     Shallots
4.     Garlic
5.     Onion
6.     Olive oil
7.     Diced tomatoes
8.     Cherry tomatoes (canned)
9.     Heavy whipping cream
10. Anchovy paste
11. Fresh Dill
12. Fresh Basil
13. Parmigiana Regianno


Sauté the mushrooms, garlic and slice shallots with the chopped dill, in olive oil over high heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown.  Remove, cover, and set aside

Sauté the garlic, 2 finely chopped anchovy fillets (or paste) and chopped onion in olive oil until soft.  Add the tomatoes and several leaves of fresh basil and simmer for 30-60 minutes.  I used a hand held blender to create a less than smooth puree.  Stir in the cream several minutes before the pasta is ready.

Cook the ravioli per the package directions, drain and place in serving bowl with the sauce.  Serve the ravioli with a portion of the mushrooms, shavings of Parmigina, and fresh basil.


This was a fun dish to prepare, and even more fun to eat.  I could not help feeling guilty that we wee not sharing it with others.

Friday, June 5, 2015


Summer may be a few weeks away, but yesterday’s weather was the perfect “summer day”, and deserved this summer pasta dish. 


1.     Rigatoni (large shells could be used)
2.     Fresh grape tomatoes, halved
3.     Cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into small bite size pieces
4.     Mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
5.     Red onion thinly sliced
6.     Arugula coarsely chopped
7.     Garlic, minced
8.     Fresh basil coarsely chopped
9.     Black olives sliced
10. Oregano
11. Olive oil
12. Salt and pepper


I prefer to prepare the salad early so it has time to sit for at least an hour, but it can be prepared while the pasta is cooking.

Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and add about ¼ cup of water and an equal amount or more of olive oil – enough to provide a small amount of juice in the bowl.  This is completely subjective.

Cook the pasta (al dente), drain an place in an appropriate serving bowl, add the salad and mix well. 

Serve with Josh Ryan’s Ciabatta bread. 

Dinner guests are optional.  We had the pleasure of Nikki and Sandy’s company which significantly improved and already great meal.

Monday, June 1, 2015


I don't remember how this painting came to be.  I think a local gallery  asked for something that would demonstrate the process of developing a painting, from start to finish.  The subject is the Howard Pyle studio on Franklin Street in Wilmington Delaware.  I still have this piece tucked away in an old portfolio somewhere.  I think it measures approximately 16x45"

Apologies for the poor quality of the photo.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


There was a period when almost all of my art was devoted to architectural subjects.  This painting, from the late 1980s was intended to pay homage to restored American architecture, and is titled Restored America.

Watercolor  15x45"

Prints of this painting are available is several sizes online at Fine Art America.

Friday, May 22, 2015


I think a routine has just been established.  Once a month Patience and three of co-workers from WRH&S arrive at La Cuccina Renzulli for a mid-day repast.  The first time they were here the ladies were smart enough to praise the meal and the cook with unabashed enthusiasm, and basking in their praise I would have said yes to twice weekly lunches.  Fortunately their request was a modest monthly lunch date.  As busy as I am, and I am a very busy man – busy, busy, busy – you would think this is a burden for me; it is not.  I quickly realized that here was an opportunity to enjoy pasta and sausage in the middle of the day, a pleasure shared by my guests.  I suppose I could serve something other than the food of the gods (at least my gods), and I probably will, but it won’t be easy.

Let my say that the fact that my wife’s coworkers are three lovely women has no bearing on any of this

For our first lunch we had the treat of all treats, Spaghetti with Sunday gravy made with sausage and Chicken.  This month we enjoyed Tortellini soup with white beans and sausage.


1.     Cheese filled Tortellini
2.     Great Northern beans (Cannellini or other white beans can be used)
3.     Italian sausage cut into bite size piece
4.     Beef broth
5.     Olive oil
6.     Butter
7.     Onion and garlic chopped
8.     Celery and carrots chopped
9.     Dry Basil and Oregano
10. Tomato paste- about 2 tablespoons
11. Salt and pepper
12. Red pepper flakes - optional
13. Grana Padana Cheese


Brown the sausage in oil, remove and set aside.  In a large pot heat the olive oil and butter and add the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and red pepper flakes, and cook until soft., about 4-5 minutes.  Add the sausage and the tomato paste and mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the beans, the broth, and the seasoning.  Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes.  (Mine simmered for almost 2 hours.)
Bring the soup to a boil and add the tortellini, cooking as directed on the package.

Serve with grated cheese and fresh Ciabatta bread from Kirchhoff's.


Life sometimes makes tough demands on us.  Being the tiger that I am, I am willing to go that extra mile to meet those demands.