I want to share with curious onlookers what city life is like through the eyes of a man with deep rural roots. Here, I'll post pictures from The Urban Art Farm (the studio) to show ongoing projects, ideas I'm tinkering with, art with fancy fixins, shin-digs and shenanigans, events high brow and low brow, and even my favorite local java joints. So, if you'd like, pull up a chair, a bean bag, a pet, whatever offers you cozy comfort and enjoy the Urban Art Farm!
The Farm has produced another fine little Homestead painting for you to enjoy! This handsome landscape painting measures 12"w x 9"h, is made of the finest oil paints on Canson canvas paper and is all set for framing to your desire. Just give a yodel if you want to know more! 917-710-5965
I reckon there is no short supply of chores and things to get done around one's own homested. But it's only once a year that in these parts all creative kinfolk open their doors to warmly welcome citizens, villagers, neighbors and culture crawlers from near and beyond!
And The Urban Art Farm is no exception. This weekend, Oct. 6th & 7th, from 10:00 am until the cows come home the pretties & paintings will be on display for viewin and vyin during the Harlem Artist Walking Tour.
(mind you, the rest of the tour opens at noon)
Remember, these lovelies are at farm friendly prices because we strongly believe original artwork grown locally belongs in every household. Why? Because art can build, bridge, restore, rejuvenate, inspire, teach, train and just downright feel good. And who doesn't want that? Because we are up-to-date farmers, we accept major credit cards, (visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover). And cash! You betcha!
Now don't forget, the chance to bring a little inspiration to your homestead, or that of a neighbor's, only comes around once a year!
Where: 103 W. 119th St. (& Lenox Ave.) NYC When: Sat. & Sun. Oct. 6th & 7th. Hours: 10:00 am - until the cows come home contact: 917-710-5965
Mark your calendar. In just five days, you are warmly welcome to stop by and sit a spell at The Urban Art Farm, That's right. The door's open for the annual Harlem Artist Walking Tour. There's a whole new crop of art we can't wait to show you!
Sat. Oct.6th & Sun. Oct.7th
The barn doors open at 10:00am both days
until the cows come home
103 W. 119th St. & Lenox Ave., NYC
(the nearest tracks are the 2/3 Express @ 116th & Lenox)
One can not deny the fragrant crispness that autumn brings to the homestead. Even though the season marks an end to the long days & warm breezes of summer, the spectacular show that is Fall is an ample reward.
It is at this time, each year, the creative farmers in the northern territory of Manhattan open their doors to show and sell the labors they have been committed to over those long days.
The Urban Art Farm is no exception. One week from now, next weekend on Oct. 6th & 7th, the Farm warmly welcomes you to come a callin. New paintings, drawings and an assortment of other pretties will make their debut. All lovingly cultivated right here on local land.
The annual Harlem Art Walking Tour happens Sat. Oct. 6th & Sun. Oct. 7th. And while the tour officially begins at noon, we farm folk are early risers, so feel free to pay a call anytime after 10:00 am. 103 W. 119th St. & Lenox Ave. The Farm is conveniently located right off of the 2/3 Express train stop at 116th & Lenox. Simply exit the train point your walking stick forward & saunter up 3 blocks & turn left. There you are! And yes, the smell of cash is as sweet as honeysuckle, however, because farmers are so darn accomodating, credit cards are gladly accepted on site, as well as paypal & intuit payment network.
As we go about our days, each one of us carries a secret or two, I suppose. After all, we are complex creatures made of flesh and blood and...mystery. But come sundown we retreat to a dark, private sanctuary where thinkin takes on a life of it's own.
A curious thing, the mind. It has a way of grabbing your attention...sometimes when you least expect it. Why, just last week this farmer was ambling down the road, Adam Clayton Powell it was, where I saw the most fascinating constructions assembled. The little sculptures and paintings at Art in Flux were so intriguing and lovely to look at, I was fixated! These little curiosities are constructed of the most imaginable elements and can get one to conjurin.
The name of the show is "Bedtime Confessions" and if that does'nt charm you into a visit...well, then, you might as well just pull up the covers and go to sleep!
Art in Flux is located in Harlem at 1961 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd & 118th St.. The show runs through Oct. 26th and then it is put to bed. The hours are Wed. - Sat. 12-7 and Sun. 12-5. If ambling is not to your liking, the nearest train is the c/e at 116/Fredrick Douglas or the 2/3 express at 116/Lenox.
Daybreak. I love this hour. It's groggy, yet breathes with clarity. It's soft, hazy, poetic. All-nighters & early-risers momentarily share the city. Too tired to be awake and too awake to fall asleep, this farmer knows both states well.
I found myself enchanted by daybreak this year. For reasons I'm not quite certain, I was drawn to draw early summer mornings. Mark making was an endeavor I wrongly underestimated for years. Be it intimidation or plain ignorance, it was akin to house cleaning on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. A chore.
Then I pondered, "You hard headed farmer! You're going about this all wrong. Why not consider drawing a form of painting...a task you know well; one that brings a great deal of joy to you?" And from then on, I took a look around with different eyes. At daybreak, I'd grab a hand full of finely tuned pencils, a sketchpad and a heap of enthusiasm and head straight to the park to begin my new project in earnest. Graphite Paintings. Right here you'll see what I saw...when I took a look around.
I reckon most folks take comfort in the sleeping and waking and eating and dreaming and doing that is familiar surroundings. There is ample reason a home is where the heart is and I can't deny the reassurance a firm mattress and goose down pillows offer after enduring the red eye.
Be that as it may, a heart can wander. Make no mistake, The Urban Art Farm is firmly rooted in Gotham, however, I find myself quite enjoying a change of scenery from time to time. It is the unfamiliarity, traversing the road less traveled, that offers this farmer nourishment. When habitation becomes hibernation, it's high time to visit greener pastures.
The finest aspect of the Farm is that it's not limited by geography! The Farm touches folks of all walks in all corners. A few weeks ago, fellow Farmer, Marilyn Pedalino, made her annual summer pilgrimage back west. In turn, she graciously offered me residency on her north shore homestead on Long Island where I could plant and paint uninterrupted. Just one hour out of the city, the expedition proved to be a bountiful break from the asphalt pasture that is Manhattan.
Sea Cliff, Long Island is a jewel of a creative enclave. It's charms are beguiling and at times I felt I had woken on a movie sound stage. It's the stuff that fiction and yester-year are made of. Winding roads, hidden lanes, hammocks and hollyhocks. Breezy, billowy, carefully cared for. A rickety fence, bubbled glass, patchwork walks of brick and slate. Porches! What lovely, lazy glorious porches! Pungent sunsets and fireflies. Perfectly imperfect perfection.
The Hudson River, that storied wondrous waterway, snakes her way through the Adirondacks and down to New York Harbor before slipping into the Atlantic Ocean. Over time, her verdant banks have carved out small and vibrant creative communities. As fate would have it, a fellow Farmer introduced me to one such place. So I put down my brushes in search of the homespun hamlet.
A short stroll to the Harlem depot and just one hour up the river lies Beacon, New York. Inviting as it is smart, the entrepreneurial spirit is strong here. Main Street is simply that. Genuine, unpretentious and quite literally the main street. Dappled with fine and friendly galleries, antique shops, junk stores, and a surprising variety of good eats, the stretch is cradled between the Hudson to the east and Mount Beacon to the west. The town folk are relaxed and down right neighborly and they embrace their smallness with big pride.
The first order of business is to fuel up and for that I always head straight to Poppy's at 184 Main St. The beef is 100% grass fed, local & is a purists burger heaven! If you're a carnivore like this art farmer, this is as ethical...and tasty...as it gets! And the sweet potato chips are, in a word, addictive. To wash it all down, a root beer does the trick.
Across the street and a few doors down you'll find the delightful Mad Dooley Gallery at 197 Main St., one of my favorites. Bright, airy and always rotating fresh work by regional Hudson artists, you can often find whats on view by visiting beaconarts.org. Gallery owner/artist, Catherine Welshman, opens the back doors for a good old fashioned alley party for the town-wide Second Saturday and a good time is guaranteed.
Afterwards, I backtrack and head west towards the Hudson & pop into one of the most innovative, crafty boutiques in town, Clay Wood and Cotton at 133 Main St. The entire collection of comfy home decor items is hand stitched, hand printed, hand cut, and hand painted. The artisans that stock the shelves here take their craft very seriously and it shows. I'm nuts about the animals in the kids section!
For smart & sensible eating that is quick & healthy, I like to step into Homespun Foods at 232 Main St. And for not quite so healthy, but undeniably worthy, desserts and great coffee, Ella's Bellas at 418 Main St. is the place to hit for a mid day suger fix! The husband-wife team that are behind these delicious treats are so friendly and welcoming you might just feel like you've dropped in on a neighbor!
In a town all things artisanal, it only makes sense that the watering hole bears the same standard. The Hop at 458 Main St. offers a wide variety of hand selected craft beers from the area and if your a beginner, you're welcome to put together a sample board. It's a fine way to unwind with friends, discuss all of the great art you just saw in town and plan your next outing.
This urban art farmer is pleased to announce that a whole new crop of home grown original work will be shown at the annual Harlem Art Walking Tour. Once again, handsome little landscapes in oil and home decor pretties will be avialable so you can have a patch of Urban Art Farm back on your own homested! In addition to this years harvest, there will be a heap of lovely little graphite works depicting local landscapes. If you're in these parts, come on by!
where: 103 W. 119th St. @ Lenox Ave., New York City 10026
What Joy. What Thrill. To wake in the morning. To wake in the knowing. To know in the lying. The lying ahead. Ahead lies a thrill. A thrilling ahead. A thrill so big. So bold.
A big, bold thrill waiting to happen. Waiting and wanting. Wanting to happen. Waiting for taking. A thrilling event. An event drawing breaths. Big and Drawn. Drawn to Happen. It happens to be a drawing event.
Drawing closer. Drawing forward. Drawing towards. Drawn to. Drawn to make. Drawn to mold. Drawn to shape and Drawn to share. Oh, to see. Oh, I see. Oh, I see so much to share. What Joy to wake in the morning!
From time to time, it does a heap of good to explore new territory and last week that is just what this farmer did. It was time to saddle up and head west. While in Miami last December for Art Basel, I learned of another art fair in California that was fit for a visit. The Los Angeles Fine Art Fair.
It is true, I have made many a pilgrimage to Northern California but the southern parts have always been out of reach. And that is mighty peculiar, for in recent years the great American Impressionist Painters of the early 20th Century, most of whom embody the beauty of the wild Southwest, have captivated me. And so it was.
Edgar Payne "Canyon De Chelley"
It was an enormous privilege to see first hand works by the likes of Granville Redmond, whose masterpiece "Blue Lupine and Poppies" exhibited carefully thought out degrees of tonalism.
Another painter I was drawn to was Edgar Payne. Payne's "Hilltop Shadows" showed thoughtful depth and atmosphere that was almost other-worldly. This piece was only one of several iconic works by Payne throughout the fair.
Edgar Payne "Morning Light"
William Wendt stopped me dead in my tracks. Not only is the palette good enough to eat, but his manner of laying down color is what struck me. There is an organized rhythm to his brushwork that is akin to a tapestry. Two stand out pieces of Wendt's were, "The New Bridge" and "Ranch in the Valley".
Perhaps the piece that struck me most of all was a very small, modest work by George Gardner Symons. "By the Pond", measureing at 6" x 9", is an outstanding example of plein air painting with loose, lyrical strokes. It captures a single moment without being overworked and displays the kind of liberated brushwork many of us strive for. It is truly a gem.
Just a young sapling, this new year, and already showing signs of hearty growth. Hearty growth depends on rich soil and rich soil is the soul of a good crop. Last week, in the first quiet days of January, The Farm got a generous helping of sustainable soul food from a newly forged kindred spirit. But first, let's mosey back a step or two.
Last autumns final harvest was a painting of a lone woman on a wooden swing. Beyond her lies a splendorous sweep called Idaho. At her feet, a majestic spread of valley, rich and verdant, is cradled by a mountain range softly fading to meet the sky.
To be clear, the image just happened to present itself first in a spectacular photograph taken by the son of the woman on the wooden swing. This art farmer was so taken by the photograph he had no choice but to paint it. As a consequence, the son-shutter bug was so taken by the painting he had no choice but to offer it as a gift to his mother, the woman on the swing. Upon receiving the painting, the kind woman was so taken she had no choice but to, in turn, offer nourishment back to The Farm and farmer from where it came...
"You've captured two things in your painting: 1) the actual swing motion & pause in midair, & 2) my total immersion in the action where the air & I are one. Swinging puts me in a meditative state where creation & I become one. It's the closest I come to flying free of gravity, and you caught that feeling in this painting. Thank you for that gift."
That kind of nourishment feeds creative fields. To plow paint out in the fields is one thing, but to tap into one's soul, to capture the essence...well, there just aren't words to describe it. Thank YOU to the very kind Vickie Marron and her son who captured the moment that started it all, Michael Marron. These two folks are fine additions to our family of Honorary Art Farmers!