Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Show!

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.

Hope to see you next weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bedtime Confessions

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.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Graphite Paintings at Daybreak

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.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Change of Scenery

 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.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Beacon on the River

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.

PhotoThe 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 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  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.



Friday, September 7, 2012

Harlem Art Walking Tour!

It's that time of year agian! 
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
                 (nearest train stop:  2/3 express @116 & Lenox)
hours: 10:00 am until the cows come home
info: 917-710-5965 or