Good news: Kelly extended

(above, Boats in Sanary Harbor, 1952, collage on paper, private collection; from PMA website:

Good news: the gorgeous little exhibit of early Ellsworth Kelly work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ellsworth Kelly: Paris/New York, 1949-1959, has been extended until the 24th of September.

I got to see this show back in March, when it had first opened, and it gives a genuine glance at the formation of Kelly's aesthetics, which are still influencing him to this day. It also made me fall more in love with his sensibilities; the realization that an embrace of abstraction is not, as is often assumed, an implicit turning away from the natural and seen, but may rather be a deep, heartfelt and thoroughly human response to, and beautiful interpretation of, the natural world. His drawings inspired by the light reflecting off of the Siene are particularly bewitching.

I met Ellsworth Kelly in 2000, when I was working with Atelier Arts Services at a collector's home. He was there to witness the installation of one of his steel arc wall pieces. He was very sweet; walking around to each of the art handlers that were there, asking us if, we too, were painters.


Why I haven't been making much art...

This past Friday, Vicki and I became homeowners!

We bought half of a twin on Allengrove Street, built circa 1920, in the Northwood section of Philadelphia (just northeast of Friends Hospital, off of Roosevelt Blvd.). We bought it from some good friends of ours from our church, Oxford Circle Mennonite Church, one of whom, interestingly enough, is a fairly close relation of mine, whom I'd not known before we began attending church there...don't ask; it's an Ethnonite* thing.)

It's a great house, and really, thoroughly ready to move into; but for slightly picayune and particular people such as ourselves, we decided to embark immediately on a renovation project (the day of closing!)

Following is a mini-pictorial of the process, which is still in progress. The floor was covered with three decades of linoleum and vinyl (1930/40's, 1970's, and 1990's, according to our guesses). We tore all this up, mostly on Friday, and were left with an old paper underlayment layer. This we spritzed with a pump sprayer, and proceeded to scrape up...this made a surface covered with water-soluble glue, akin to a thin layer of mud on the floor.

I spent most of Saturday on my knees, picking minute staples out of the floor. Sunday came, and the floor had dried; so I began sanding the floor to a paintable surface with a rented orbital floor sander from Home Depot. It came up pretty well; we now have a paintable surface (Vicki will finally have her black & white checkerboard floor!).

The washroom (immediately off of the kitchen) has proved to be more of a problem...termite and carpenter ant damage was found, after I cut out the floor, to the back joist, in order to replace water-damaged floor boards. So, luckily we'd gotten treatment for both ants and termites, so they came and reapplied ant treatment in that area. Washer and dryer (brand-new) are being delivered next week regardless of the floor getting ready or not!

Contrary to the sense you may get from viewing the following, this was NOT my own personal little project; Vicki and her family helped out a BUNCH. Here are the pictures:

(four layers of ugliness...1930/40's "paint splatter" pattern being the best)

(prying up top vinyl layers, to remove shoe molding)

(aww, yeah! tearing it up...)

(scraping up old paper layer)

(floor after sanding, up to 80 grit)

(wash room floor, showing insect damage...and my stylish army greens.)

*Wow, you are a curious person...this is my coined word, being a combination of "ethnic" and "Mennonite". This term is necessary for a community like mine, where most of the members have little knowledge of eastern PA Mennonite culture and oddities - often to their benefit - but are Mennonites, nonetheless.


Where the real $$$ is...

above (, this is not what our house looks like...yet...)

Hey readers...sorry for the dearth of posts recently; I'm still swimming in details, details, details before our settlement on a house purchase, on Friday.

But, you heard it first here: the real money-making scheme is blog investing. You heard me right; check it out. Buy your shares now, before it takes the world by storm:

I was meaning to give you my thoughts on the Haring exhibit in Reading, but I packed my last sketchbook with the notes in the back, and now am stuck without it...hang tight.

If I get a chance, I'll post some photos of the new Gierschick/Liantonio residence, too...


Aarrgh! Schick, like the razor!!

Debut is finally webworthy, minus the second "c" in my name. Why is this so often a problem? I don't know. Anyway, go to and see images from the exhibit.

Check out my friend and fellow painter's blog for some new images of new work; he's working hard for some upcoming exhibits:

C'mon, thunderstorms; wipe away this sweaty pall from us! Thor let us down yesterday, and on his namesake day, too. I am a passive-aggressively belligerent person when it comes to flounting our particularly American addiction to air-conditioning...but I must confess, I didn't mind working in a veritable refrigerator of an institution, this week...

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