" There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning." such is the last line in the Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder. What a beautiful book!

This is a new series I am working on in graphite on paper. It is called 'concealment'. I have four more images for this series but will post them later. I have quite a few projects going on right now and will try to get some images up as soon as I can. This series is about ways of hiding, and concealing the face.

This work in progress is an Ode to a Loved One. The loved one is my father who passed away several years ago. He was a landscape architecht and in this is the image of a Ginko tree, the oldest know tree that has no natural plant diseases it succombs to. My father loved this tree among many others. The faces on the tree are those of his grandchildren whom he was devoted to. In the background is Syria, the Atlantic Ocean which he crossed to come to live in Margate, NJ. A short time after my father died I was driving through my town of Highland Park and passed a garage sale. There was a very large lantern layed out on the lawn among other garage sale items. Intrigued I had to stop and inquire about the lantern. What I found out was that the lantern was from Damascus, Syria! Well that is where my father was born and lived for the first 14 years of his life. I had to purchase that ande this brass frame you see in the picture. The owner of the frame and lantern had worked and traveled in Syria and said that there was a shop in Damascus hand making these lanterns. So I took a piece from my father's childhood with us to our new home when we moved. This was filled with meaning to me bring a piece of past with us. I now am working on this oil on this panel who thanks to Lucky Jo for a bottle of wine cut to fit the frame for me. Thanks Jo. It seems so fitting to use this frame from Damascus, my dad's birthplace, to encircle his final resting place across the ocean.
The Writing is the Eulogy my brother Joe wrote. It is absolutely beautiful, Joe you are a wonderful writer. I couldnt express anything better than this.

My most personal work comes from somewhere between my head and my gut. I take a personal experience for example the death of my dad and am currently working on a painting based on his passing on. This carresses, soothes, and memorializes my dad and points to the hope in the future and his descendants, my children, and nephews and what their lives may bring to the world through their work and lives. I will attach a sketch from my Moleskin as a prepatory to the painting. My dad came from Syria and crossed the ocean to arrive in Atlantic City where he lived as my father and was buried there. The Ginko tree has no known natural diseases and is the oldest known tree.

I made the mistake of using tape other than artists removable tape to adhere my drawing paper to the foam core I work on. When I brought this drawing of Choudhury to be framed some of the adhesion stuck to the paper and dust particles adhered to it. Fortunately because I matted this drawing it wasn't a problem. However, if i had wanted to float the drawing in the frame, the adhesions would not have allowed that. So I recommend using only artists archival removable tape for this purpose.

My drawing of Shoaib Choudhury will be displayed Nov. 1st, 2009 at Rutgers University, Graduate Student Lounge where Choudhury will be speaking at 7:30 pm. It is free and all are welcome. Come and support this brave man.

I have worked more into this drawing than the unfinished one here, but you get the idea. I am excited to meet this man from Bangladesh since he would qualify as a hero of mine, a very brave one.

I recently completed this graphite drawing on Arches watercolor paper of my son. He complained about the left eye and I therefore had to adjust it for him. This is what I don't like about doing portraits. Ahh, vanity!

Currently reading Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky. I agree with the translator, M. Sadler, in his introduction that a great writing will generate controversy. I wonder can one really convey in words what a great painting posesses? Seriously I doubt it is truely possible. Even though, we can try and must try to discuss what makes a painting great. Kandinsky "valued only those artists who really are artists,....... who embody the expression of their inner life" "who work only for this end and cannot work otherwise". I think for myself as an artist that I strive to create unique work that does not at least consciously reference other artists. I refer to other artists when I feel stuck, perhaps looking for resolutions for composition as I am doing with my current work a graphite of Salah Choudhury. I love the complexity of Diego Riveras large murals that depict historical and narrative images. I want to create a dramatic drawing conveying the beauty and peace and serenity of Bangladesh as well as the violence, and threats against Salah's life there.

I continue to work on Richter Street. But I will post it later and I really will have to have a professional photographer photograph it. The quality is vastly different. I recently joined Netflix and I Love It!! You can watch many movies instantly and there is a lot about artist and art. So I strongly recommend anyone out there to become a member. Watch the Medici's. It gives a fascinating account of the Italian Renaissance. I have also watched Guns, Germs and Steel and Constantine's Sword. Currently I am reading "The Count of Monte Cristo".
I have begun a drawing of Joey. He is going to college and thought I would do it as a present to him in a way marking this transition to college.

This is not finished and there is yet 2 more that need to be posted to complete this drawing.

Well thank you Jill for meeting for lunch yesterday. It was great talking about art with you and life and morality. I continue my work on Richter Street, Milltown, a 360 degree view of it. I am so curious to see what this view does when put in two dimensions. It is so far 4 drawings side by side on watercolor paper size 22 by 30 inches. It explores the street and small places you hid and played in as a child. Also, I explore our environment we leave from and come home to daily with all its imperfections, delapidation, and attempts to maintain and care for it. It seems the process of decay trumps over our attempts to preserve, which appear rather feeble in this drawing and a battle destined to loose yet the the life giving force. I will be back with the images.

I am working on a website for my artwork, finally have begun on this. I have been thinking about it for a long time. Please visit my blogspot as I will be updating it with images etc, as soon as I get my camera.

The current series I am working on are cityscapes of Highland Park, NJ. I am painting about 3 paintings per week. Highland Park is very familiar to me and the character of the homes unique. I am interested in developing my technique, using glazing, a limited palatte, varying my brushstroke, etc.