• CODAPosted on March 10, 2017


    CODA is a musical term referring to the concluding passage of a piece, movement or dance. It’s also the name for the final exhibit at Studio Hart, a treasure of an art gallery in the heart of Buffalo. Gallery owner, Barbara Hart, is moving on to new creative projects, and I am honored to support her in this grand finale.

    CODA will feature works by David Buck, Bob Collignon and I. CODA opens on “First Friday,” April 7th and runs through April 29th. Studio Hart is located at 65 Allen Street, Buffalo, New York, 14202. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, Noon to 4pm. Contact Barbara at 716-536-8337 or at www.studiohart.com.
    Here is a little glimpse of a face I am working on, part of a series of Main Street faces. It combines spray paint and acrylic on canvas framed in recycled wood.


  • COLLECTX25 AT THE BUFFALO ARTS STUDIOPosted on March 1, 2017


    My neighbors at the Buffalo Arts Studio are organizing an art affair and auction for all. ‘CollectX25’ promises to democratize art collecting by having many different price points and a variety of pieces to satisfy new and long-time collectors. 

     Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 25th from 7:00pm - 10:00pm.  The party is at the Buffalo Arts Studio in Suite 500 in the Tri-Main Center at 2495 Main Street. Tickets are $40 on collectx25.eventbrite.com or directly from the Buffalo Arts Studio and the price includes hors d’oeuvres, an open bar of wine and beer, and a chance to own unique art.  (Those eager to see what will be up for auction can catch a free sneak preview at M&T Fourth Friday on March 24.)

    I have donated a piece from my “Discarded Ancestors” series. This mixed media assemblage, ‘The Luncheon Party’ (13.5”h x 8.5”w x 2.25”d) combines found objects, photos, acrylic and recycled wood. It’s my way of pullng the city’s past and present together through layers of time.

    Hope to see you at the party!

  • DEATH IN THE OCEANPosted on February 16, 2017


    Last week, as the country was distracted by political drama, a tragedy occurred in the natural world. Over 650 pilot whales were stranded on a beach in New Zealand and the majority of them died. No one knows why it happened but theories include pollution, environmental toxins or the sonar used by naval ships.  Some think it might have been sharks or changes in food sources or the tricky geography of the narrow beach. Scientists are testing and studying all the possibilities.
    We are completely dependent on water. Who is watching out for our rivers, lakes and oceans? This question will become ever more critical as time goes on. Here's my little mixed media sketch of a humpback whale. This huge mammal (65,000 lbs) has been on and off the endangered species list.


  • NOW SHOWING AT STUDIO HARTPosted on February 8, 2017


    The latest exhibition at Buffalo’s Studio Hart is “We Were Here: Ten Years of Studio Hart Artists.”  Owner Barbara Hart looks back on 10 years of exhibits and displays work by over 100 artists who have shown in the gallery.  Barbara has been a key figure in the renaissance of the Allentown neighborhood and the growth of the city’s art scene. Every First Friday of the month, art lovers flood into her small but powerful space, enjoying the laid-back atmosphere. The current show opened on Friday, February 3rd and was jam-packed!

    I am honored have my mixed-media assemblage, ‘The Cook’, included in Barbara’s latest show. It combines spray paint, oil and acrylic with pages from a cookbook. The piece is framed with old recycled wood molding and includes song lyrics running up the side and over the top. The piece is 14” square and 2.25 “ deep and is part of a long series of Buffalo faces that I have been working on for a while.

     The show will be up until February 25th.  Studio Hart is located at 65 Allen Street, Buffalo NY 14202 (716-536-8337 – hartworld@mac.com ) Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:30 to 3:30 and Saturday, Noon to 4:00.



    Here are two 20-minute pastel portraits. I set up my palette in complementary colors. On the left is an example of the red/green palette. On the right is orange/blue. A limited palette can capture and communicate the features even under very different lighting conditions.

    The spring session of open figure drawing will run from February 1 to May 10, 2017. There will be no session March 22 during spring break.These are non-instructional figure drawing sessions proctored by a graduate student from UB's MFA program. 

    WEDNESDAY’s • Feb 1 to May 10 (no session Mar 22) TIME • 6:00 to 8:30 PM
    WHERE • Studio 208 (2nd FL Center for the Arts) COST • $5 Session - No Registration is required

    Bring your own materials. Any media! The first TEN high school students who show a valid ID may draw for free. Seating limited to 21 participants.
    There is open figure drawing at places all around the area through schools, arts centers and artists' groups. All offer a wonderful opportunity to learn - just by watching how other artists, at all different levels, approach the exercise.

  • AT THE EDGEPosted on January 25, 2017


    I began this pastel drawing quite a while ago but could never quite bring myself to finish it. Then, with all the turbulence in the world today, the vision became clear and the painting formed it’s own conclusion.  Sharing this image is my way of reacting to all the climate change deniers. You can try to gag the truth of science but it will always come out.

  • LIFE DRAWING – AN EXERCISE IN CALM FOCUSPosted on January 18, 2017


    Life drawing is a study of the human form done directly from a live model. Since I can't count on the model keeping perfectly still for very long, I am forced to approach each pose as a hunter - in a concentrated state with tools ready and eyes sharp, trying to capture the moment in as much detail as possible.

    Pastels are my tool of choice for their simplicity and immediacy. When you have only a few minutes to draw, you have to be armed and ready. Today’s color palette is based on the Orange/Blue complements. I set it up from the darkest to brightest to lightest values.  It’s so simple I don’t have to worry about mixing the colors of flesh in the shadows. I believe life drawing is the greatest, most difficult practice an artist can have and the foundation for all other work. It also can be a time of quiet meditation where the distractions of the outside world are set aside.

  • THE DISCIPLINE OF LIFE DRAWINGPosted on January 12, 2017


    While thousands people are hitting the gym this January, artists are known to hit the open studio life drawing class. This is where we practice our drawing skills on that hardest of subject, the nude model. Not only is the subject itself difficult, with all those challenges of anatomy, lighting and skin tones, but the model may only be holding the pose for a few minutes, or typically twenty, or at best, an hour. 

    Open studio life drawing sessions are usually available wherever there is a dedicated group to organize it on a regular basis. In Buffalo, they are at the University of Buffalo, Buffalo Arts Studio and many other locations around town. People show up with armed with every media, from a set of pencils, to a complete kit of watercolor or oil paints or even a block of clay.

    Pastels are my tool of choice for their simplicity and immediacy. When you have only a few minutes to draw, you have to be armed and ready. I come in with toned pastel paper that has a bit of ‘tooth’. I organize a limited palette based on complementary colors. Complementary colors are the opposites on the color wheel.  Across from the red is green, across from the yellow is purple and across from the blue is orange.  Complements both enhance and neutralize each other. Here is an Green/Red palette.  Ranging from the darkest to the brightest to the lightest shade for each color. From this simple group I can create a wide range of skin tones in any sort of lighting. 

    The best resources I have found for understanding color are ‘The Yin/Yang of Painting’ by Hongnian Zhang and ‘Imaginative Realism’ by James Gurney. These masters offer major inspiration. What works for you? You can send me a comment on my contact page. Thanks!


  • DISCARDED THEN DISCOVEREDPosted on January 4, 2017


    A few years ago I found a photo album thrown out to the curb in front of a demolished house. There was apparently no one left to care for all these mementos and no way of finding out who these people were. The photos were so precious that I wanted to preserve them in some form. I took some of the photos out of the album and surrounded them with bits and pieces of abandoned Buffalo – graffiti, empty houses and decaying landscapes. It was my attempt to pull the past and present together and to honor these unknown people.

    More than 60 of the ‘Discarded Ancestors’ collages were sold – at 464 Gallery, the Buffalo History Museum and out of my studio. I recently had an exhibit of thirteen collages framed in recycled wood, at the Peter A. and Mary Lou Vogt Gallery at Bouwhuis Library at Canisius College. During the run of the show, two librarian/genealogists, Lisa Sullivan and Kathleen DeLaney, stepped forward and tracked down the owner of the album.

    They discovered the name of the woman, ‘Eleanor’ on a photo envelope, as the person who owned the album. Tracking Eleanor’s surname, Weinzierl, Lisa located an obituary in the Buffalo News. Then, through “Find a Grave” she discovered the burial site in Mt. Calvary. It appears that Eleanor was born in 1927, the daughter of Frank and Crescentia. She was divorced, never remarried, but did have cousins at the time of her death.  Her obituary mentioned her great love of animals. Since she never had children, there was no one to keep the family photos. Eleanor died on January 11, 2011. Her house was torn down a couple of years later. Thank you to Lisa and Kathleen! And thank you to everyone who ‘adopted’ the friends and family members of this beautiful Buffalo woman and kept her spirit alive.





    This week I had the honor (along with Barbara Rowe and Doreen Deboth) of being a judge in the Art as History Project sponsored by the Black Rock Historical Museum. This year’s theme was ‘Envisioning the Scajaquada’ for a better future. The timely subject gave students a chance to learn about the past and living history of all aspects of the Scajaquada, its creek, and environment. Kerry Chiado, the very dedicated and talented teacher at Riverside, inspired her students with ecology, art history, mythology and more. The results were truly colorful, unique and creative! It was a very tough choice to narrow it down to the top five prize winners. Here they are, standing shyly and a bit overwhelmed:

    Doreen DeBoth, Coordinator of the Black Rock Historical Society, Delia DeLeone Olmo, 3rd place winner, Tiara Pagan, 2nd place winner, Saw Freeman, 1st place winner, Kerry Chiado, Riverside Art Teacher, Jazmin Mendez, Honorable Mention, Ella Dunne, Riverside Principal, and Bawi Kahn, Honorable Mention. All other students who completed the project received a Certificate of Community Service.

    More about the project:

    This year’s Art as History Project was funded by grants from the Ronald McDonald Foundation and the West Side Youth Development Coalition. Two Buffalo schools agreed to participate in the contest for the fall 2016 semester, Riverside High School and Our Lady of Black Rock. The Art teachers and Principals at both schools fully embraced the project and teachers diligently prepared courses allowing for over 200 students to participate. Of note is the significant diversity of the students who were engaged in the project. Students in grades 6th-12 represented over a dozen countries. Allowing for limited language learners, a special curriculum was developed to ensure that all students had a chance to work on this project.

    The Black Rock Historical Society goal for the student project includes fostering a better understanding about neighborhood history; taking pride in having student work displayed at a venue such as a museum, and resulting in pride in their community. Students participating will be a positive role model to their peers and have a much better understanding of their environment’s potential.