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.