Friday, December 16, 2011

New printwork

In preparation for this weekend's Holiday Sale, I've been busy working on some new relief prints:
"Midwinter" reduction woodcut
This new reduction woodcut is titled "Midwinter" -- a nice counterpoint to the midsummer piece I did several months ago.

In August I wrote about Provincetown and the "white-line" or "Provincetown" print technique. Here's a new one of my own:
Untitled block monoprint
And here's another version of the same, on an interesting greenish paper:
untitled block monoprint
I'll have these new pieces at my Holiday Sale this weekend: December 17 and 18 from 1 to 8. More details about the sale can be found here.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Holiday Art Sale, December 17 and 18

I will be having a Holiday Sale at the storefront-studio of Jonathan Blum!

When: Saturday and Sunday: December 17 and 18, 1 to 8pm on both days.

Where: 285 5th Avenue, between 1st and 2nd streets in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Here's a map.

What: I'll be selling many small and affordable works of art.

Prices start at $8 for original artwork, and $2.50 for printed greeting cards. Most work will be priced below $200. I'll have some of my larger works on display as well. I'll also be offering a free 4x6 block print ($30 value) with purchases of $50 or more.

Pictured above are some brand new reduction woodcuts -- a very limited run! These will be priced at $85.00

Below are 3 4x6 block print designs that I will be selling for $30 each -- or get one of these free with a $50 purchase!

I'll have many other interesting and unique works of art on hand, such as this dynamic and one-of-a-kind monotype:
20111119_019 (1)
Mark your calendars and come over next weekend!

BAG 50/50 Fundraiser show is up!

The art is up for BAG's 50/50 fundraiser show.
It looks great!
See more photos here.

Works in progress - block prints

More work in progress: I'm working on series of small (4x6") relief prints this week:
These pieces will be among those featured at my Holiday Sale at the storefront-studio of Jonathan Blum on Saturday and Sunday: December 17 and 18. Mark your calendars!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Current project: artworks in progress

I've been doing a lot of relief printing of late.
Here's an example of a "whiteline" or "Provincetown" print. You'll recall that back in August I was in P-town and happened upon this indigenous genre at the Provincetown Art Association Museum. So here we have it - a prototype, not necessarily finished.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Latest little bit on BAG's 50/50

Here's my last little bit about Brooklyn Artist Gym's 50/50 raffle, straight from them:

Again, it is free to attend and the more the merrier! If you are not able to come, we are accepting proxy bids by calling 718-858-9069, email us at This is our biggest event of the winter, and we want you to join us for a great time! Serious about buying a piece of art? Only 50 tickets are available. Buy your ticket today online at
to be sure you get a piece! View exhibition works here:

Cool. They are accepting proxy bids if you aren't able to be there in person.

A little poetry for today

Modern Babel

How can I reach you? Hang on, let's think ...
I could pen you a letter ... Please! you're making me laugh!
Perhaps I could phone you? Now, who would do that?
What about e-mail? Too personal, I'm sure ...
I'm guessing there's facebook. Are we friends there as well?
I could just text you ... My thumbs are too tight!
So when will I see you? Whenever you like.

Tis the season ...

... to be madly busy!

There are a few upcoming events to know about:

Reminder: This Saturday, December 10 at 6pm: Brooklyn Artists Gym is having their 50/50 fundraiser. Buy a ticket for $100 for a chance to obtain one of 50 works of art! I have two pieces in the collection. Visit the BAG website for all the details about the event, pics, ticket availability and so on. The reception is free to attend. Note: I will be there in the flesh for about the first hour only! Catch me if you can!

Next week: I will be having a Holiday Sale at the storefront-studio of Jonathan Blum!

When: Saturday and Sunday: December 17 and 18, 1 to 8pm on both days.

Where: 285 5th Avenue, between 1st and 2nd streets in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Here's a map.

What: I'll be selling many small and affordable works of art, most of which are priced well below $200, and even below $100! I'll also be offering a free 4x6 block print ($30 value) with purchases of $50 or more.

More details coming soon.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Open studio this Saturday!

News flash! I'll be working and showing some of my work in the storefront studio of my friend and neighbor Jonathan Blum this Saturday, November 19, from 2 to 8pm. The studio is located at 285 5th Avenue in Brooklyn - between 1st and 2nd Streets. (Click here for a map.) Stop by to see a selection of my work, and you may even catch me in the act of making a monoprint!

Res botanica #7 (Ranunculaceae)

Announcing Brooklyn Artists Gym 50/50 Fundraiser, December 10

Hey folks, BAG is doing another 50/50 fundraiser!

I've donated two pieces to the show, each of which could be yours for 100 bucks!

Art will be on display starting December 3, and the action happens on Saturday December 10 starting at 6pm.

Visit the Brooklyn Artists Gym website for full details on the event.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Greeting cards for sale on Etsy

In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, I'm listing my holiday greeting card designs on etsy. I have limited quanitities of these designs -- I won't be printing more. Get them while they last!

For details, visit the greeting card section of my Etsy shop.

I also have listed my wildflower blank cards, featuring my original photography. Supplies of these are also limited.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Nifty studio map for this weekend's Gowanus Studio Tour!

We're all hard at work getting ready for this weekend's Gowanus Studio Tours. The good folks over at Brooklyn Artists Gym have put together a nifty floor layout map of BAG, so you can easily find me and other artists inside at BAG. View the map (PDF) here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gowanus Studio Tour is this weekend!

Things are going into high gear here in my corner of Brooklyn, as we get ready for the Annual Gowanus Studio Tours, October 15-16. I'm busy trying to get my inventory in order. There's lots of new work, big and small to check out!

One of the projects I've been working on over the past year is a series of smaller paintings featuring botanical themes. These "Res botanica" (botanical objects) will be on display and for sale at this year's tour.
This is Res botanica #6 (Asteraceae), completed in 2011.

Orange Orchids (after Hokusai) A20110208-2
Res botanica #5(Orchidaceae - after Hokusai), 2011. This piece was inspired by a woodcut by the 19th century Japanese master Hokusai.

This last piece is very much in keeping with the fall season:
Res botanica #4 (Asteraceae)
Res botanica #4 (Asteraceae), 2010.

By the way, I'm pleased to announce that for the first time, I will be able to take credit cards, thanks to Square! Pretty nifty! I hope to see you at the tour this weekend!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Fall Salon at BAG, October 15-26

Hey folks, as previously mentioned, Brooklyn Artists Gym is having its Fall Salon Exhibition October 15-26. The opening is Saturday evening, October 15 from 6-9. I will have a piece in the show and be on hand to say a few words about it. This is the same weekend as the Gowanus Studio Tours! Stick around BAG after the day's tour and enjoy an evening of art and discussion.

BAG is located at 168 7th Street in Brooklyn, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, conveniently near the 4th Avenue/9th Street stop on the F-Train.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Adminis-trivia, and some Gowanus links

So by now everyone hopefully knows about our upcoming studio tour: the Gowanus Studio Tours (formerly known as "AGAST", but I guess they're trying to quietly ditch that moniker): October 15 and 16. In preparation for that, I've revamped how I do my mailing list. Now I'm using Mailchimp.

If you would like to be on my e-mail newsletter mailing list, sign up here. This newsletter is an occasional mailing; exactly how occasional depends on what shows and events may come along. By receiving the newsletter directly to the e-mail account of your choice, you never have to worry about missing an event!

Of course, you can also follow this blog, or follow me on twitter: @ZephyrusNYC.

And now for some Gowanus Studio Tour links:
The tour organizers have a twitter feed: follow them @AGASTBROOKLYN (yes, it's all caps, although I don't know that it matters for search purposes).

Last night we had our kickoff party at Sheep Station on 4th Avenue, and got our hands on the print map; you should start seeing these around the 'hood now. If you can't seem to find one, contact me and I'll figure out a way to get one to you (carrier pigeon or owl, perhaps??)

A nice feature of the print map is a large minimalist graphic map of the Gowanus area with some cool historical trivia:

In 1636, Gowanus Bay (at the mouth of the canal) was the site of the first settlement by the Dutch in what is now Brooklyn. and the Carroll Street bridge (built in 1889) is the oldest remaining retractable drawbridge in the country!

There is also a handy google map with all the tour locations on it! Brooklyn Artists Gym will be an info hub for the event! Woot!

A Gowanus studio tour flickr account has also been set up. See some cool art there!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

All (or at least a lot) about Gowanus!

Whew! Hardly a free moment for good old-fashioned longhand blogging any more! I've been thinking I should spare a few words for that enigmatic Brooklyn netherworld known as "Gowanus." Home to the famous (or, um, infamous) Gowanus Canal -- sometimes quaintly called the Gowanus Creek Canal. So -- here you have it: all about the Gowanus, sort of.

You might ask, "Really? there was a creek there once upon a time?"

Yes, indeedy their truly was!

The immediate source for most of my facts is that wonderful virtual cribsheet, Wikipedia. Since you can easily just go read the article yourself, I won't bother with many of the details contained therein. Since I've had the privilege and honor of residing within a few blocks of the canal for many a year now, I feel uniquely qualified to abstract the good bits and present them for you here. Let's start at the beginning.

Before there was a city, there was Salt Marsh and the natural drainage (i.e., the creek) from the Brooklyn uplands. While the present urban, built environment may mask this, the observant will see signs of it all around. It's not for nothing that the Gowanus area is zoned, for Hurricane/flood evacuation purposes, A, B and C. Fifth Avenue in Park Slope is more or less the boundary of flood evacuation zone C, and the slope of Park Slope continues upward from there. The area does indeed flood easily, as I've observed over the years.

So, when early intrepid folk such as Henry Hudson and old man Verrazano made their way into New York Harbor, what we call Gowanus was a teaming marshland, inhabited and fished by a tribe of the Lenape Indians, the Canarsee.

The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle around the Marsh, and early on they named the creek the Gowanese, after Gouwane, a leader of the Canarsee.

The historical record tells us that the first gristmill on the creek was built in 1645, with more soon to follow.

Probably only shortly before the British took over (1664), the enterprising Dutch petitioned their governor for permission to dredge a canal, and thus began the long history of human manipulation of this landscape.

In or around 1700, one Nicholas Vechte built a stone farmhouse in the vicinity, and this house played some small part in the American revolutionary war, to wit: it provided cover sufficient to allow George Washington and most (but, alas, not all) of his men to run (and swim) for their lives across the marsh to Brooklyn Heights, then to Manhattan (they used boats for that part) and thence upstate. We don't often like to consider that the first true battle of the war (after the Declaration of Independence) was a complete rout. But at least George and his men lived to fight another day.

Apparently the "old stone house" was destroyed about 1897. Where it now sits, in the middle of JJ Byrne Park, reconstructed in the 30s, is the site of Washington Park, former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, until about 1891. Washington Park took up the land bounded by 3rd Street, 5th Avenue, 5th Street and 4th Avenue. Apparently the house was moved when rebuilt; otherwise, it would have been in the middle of the ballfield, wouldn't it?

The Dodgers had a second Washington Park, even closer to the Gowanus Canal: between 3rd and 1st Streets, and 3rd and 4th Avenues (Catty-corner from the first Washington Park). They played there from 1898 until 1913, when they moved to Ebbets Field. All that remains of this piece of baseball history is part of wall on long the 3rd Avenue side of what is now a Con Edison facility.

Anyway, back to the canal.

As Brooklyn and New York City grew by leaps and bounds, the Gowanus Canal district became a hub of shipping, water transport and manufacture. The inevitable result of all this activity was pollution -- lots of it. In 2010, the canal was declared a "Superfund" site, much to the chagrin of would-be developers and city officials. Of course, it seems inevitable that the canal will be developed, but I, for one, don't mind seeing it slowed down a bit. As that wise sage the Lorax once said, "Sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!" Besides we all know that few will benefit from this development besides that mysterious class of slash-and-burn opportunists known as "Developers" (with a capital 'D').

(A picture of the canal from the Carroll Street bridge on the morning of Hurricane Irene (August 28, 2011). Everyone just had to go down there and see if it had flooded. It hadn't, quite.)

In the meantime, much is happening in the Gowanus! Especially art! It is presently a happening hub of hip art and culture.

So you must mark your calendars and plan on visiting the Gowanus for this year's Gowanus Studio Tours (aka AGAST), Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16, from noon to 6pm. Many great artists and studios will be opening their doors, such as yours truly (me!), at Brooklyn Artists Gym on 7th Street.

There will also be a salon show at BAG, with an opening on Saturday, Oct. 15. I'll have a piece in that show as well. See you by the canal soon!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mark your Calendars! AGAST is coming


So, Irene was a bit of a bust, at least as far as this part of Brooklyn is concerned; luckily Gowanus was not washed out to sea, so now we can step into high gear preparing for this year's Gowanus Studio Tour!

The dates of this year's tour are Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16. (Yes! We are back to 2 art-filled days). So mark your calendars, spread the word. I'll be busy making lots of new art for all to see.

Sun, Surf - and Art - in Provincetown, Cape Cod

While I'm trapped at home thanks to Tropical Storm (formerly Hurricane) Irene, I've had a chance to review and post the photos I took during last week's visit to Provincetown, Massachusetts.

It was essentially my first time visiting P-town (lunch there one October day 18 years ago doesn't count), and the Cape welcomed me with near perfect weather. The photos shown here are just a few of the 46 I've posted to my flickr account.

Provincetown has an extensive and long-running art scene. There are tons of galleries, and many artists either live or spend part of the year there. I had a chance to visit the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) in the East End. This charming little museum has several interesting shows up this summer, including a major exhibit by Judith Trepp, a wonderful collection of drawings by Will Barnet and a fascinating photography exhibit by Mona Dukess.

Also in PAAM's collection were some wonderful white-line, or "Provincetown" prints by Blanche Lazzell and Ellen Ravenscroft. I'm eager to try my hand at white-line printing. If I can get to the studio today, I might start right away.

I didn't get to as many galleries as I would have liked (couldn't skip a chance to be at the beach in that wonderful weather!), but especially appreciated the work of Michael McGuire at his gallery, and also the work of Megan Hinton at the William Scott Gallery.

It was a great visit and I can't wait to spend more time there in the future!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brooklyn Artists Gym's 50/50 Fundraiser is this weekend!

Join me at BAG's fundraiser art show and auction this Saturday, from 6pm to 11pm at BAG in Gowanus, 168 7th Street! The show is free, and all art will be sold for $100 each!

I've donated a lovely drypoint print to the event (first picture below). See the BAG website for more details, and how you can get a ticket in advance: I hear they're going fast.

I'll also be on hand to show folks my latest paintings and new relief printwork.

Once we lived here (PR201126-1)
This cool drypoint(above) will be auction off on Saturday!

"Where do I begin?"

Lady Slipper (PR20110426)

Midsummer (PR20110615)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

What the Frack?

An open letter to Governor Cuomo:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo,

I am writing to express my support for three bills that have been introduced into the NYS legislature. They are: A7400, A7013, and S3472.

All three bills address water protection and/or proliferation of runaway heavy industry in rural New York State. I am very concerned about the natural gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, and worry that permits for this type of drilling will be issued prematurely by the NYS DEC. There have been no studies done by the gas companies that address the cumulative impacts their gas wells would have on our environment. The SGEIS that the DEC is now writing should require that before any drilling permits are issued, the gas companies perform independent peer reviewed studies, which should be paid for by the gas companies themselves, not the State of New York (i.e. the taxpayers).

The bills mentioned are a good start to regulation, but I personally believe that the process of high volume, slick water, hydraulic fracturing is inherently unsafe and will cause greatly increased health risks through extensive air and water pollution. We can only look at the devastation already done in states like Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming to name just three. I understand that we need to work toward new energy sources but not by sacrificing our air and water. Water is our most precious resource and there is not an unlimited supply of fresh drinking water.

So, please do the right thing and place environmental and socioeconomic concerns before the self-interests of the gas companies.

John Azelvandre
A little background:

Hydraulic fracturing has been in the news of late; with many concerns being raised about it's environmental impacts. It is a process in which water and certain (often undisclosed) chemicals are injected underground in order to fracture rock and release natural gas. There are serious concerns that these waters and chemicals and the minerals they dislodge will pollute groundwater and surface water. (See this excellent series of articles that recently appeared in the New York Times: Drilling Down)

There has been a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas in New York State for the past year or two. It expires in July. The bill A7400 extends it for another year. The Assembly has passed it; it needs to get through the State Senate and past the governor's desk.

A7013 will classify all wastewater from crude oil and natural gas extraction as hazardous waste, to be treated accordingly;

S3472 allows local governments to enforce local laws and ordinances that may regulate or restrict oil and gas extraction.

(Info courtesy of:

Please write the governor today! You can do it by email, here:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Announcing Brooklyn Artists Gym 50/50 Fundraiser, Saturday, June 18

Join me for the Brooklyn Artists Gym 50/50 Fundraiser!

Here's what it's about, from the good folks at BAG:

"The Idea: Connect 50 artists and their work to 50 art lovers (for only $100).

Spend an evening in spirited - and friendly - competition over 50 fantastic pieces of art. We are raising funds to support BAG in upgrading our facilities, hosting community programs and lectures, and offering discounted studio space to artists in need.

The Event: The exhibition will be up June 11th-18th, 2011. The main event will take place Saturday, June 18th from 6-11PM.

We will be hanging 50 pieces of work from 50 talented artists within the BAG community. We will be selling 50 tickets for $100 each. One ticket entitles its holder to one work of art. Tickets will be drawn at random during the party, giving their holders the chance to pick their piece from the wall and walk home with an amazing piece of art for a bargain. And our artists can meet their new collectors, as well as connect with the rest of the talent.

Purchase a ticket now, or visit the site to see the work"

I will have one piece in the show:
Once we lived here (PR201126-1)

I'll also be at hand during the main event (Saturday, June 18) to open my studio and show recent work, including including many affordable items for sale!
Untitled (PR20110216-1)

"Forest 1" (PR20110302-1)
I hope to see you there!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Adventures in Printmaking, and an upcoming event

Recently, I've been delving into various printmaking techniques. I've been experimenting with drypoint, etching, and relief printing -- both linocut and woodcut -- and will continue to explore this vein of work in the coming months. Here are some examples of what I've been up to so far:

Genius Loci (PR20110202-1)
This piece (above), titled "Genius loci" is a drypoint. Drypoint is an intaglio technique in which a sharp steel needle, diamond point or other hard stone tool is used to scratch an image directly onto the surface of the plate. No acids or anything like that needed (hence "dry" point; acid would be "wet"). Traditionally, copper and zinc plates are used, but this piece (and the second drypoint below, were drawn on styrene plates).

Untitled (PR20110216-1)
This untitled piece above is an example of a copper etching. A copper plate is coated with a special waxy ground, and then lines are drawn on the ground, revealing the copper underneath. Then, the plate is dipped in an acid bath. The acid reacts with the exposed copper creating grooves. The ground is then removed, and then through the press it goes!

"Forest 1" (PR20110302-1)
Then we have woodcut, a form of "relief" printing. And here (above) we have something even more magical -- a reduction woodcut. The image above, titled "Forest 1" (or more elaborately, "The wood speaks of home") was made with three separate impressions. All three impressions were made from the same plate, as I carved more wood out. So there was no turning back!

Here is the final state of the plate, printed alone.

Lady Slipper
This recently completed piece is a linocut done in one impression. Expect to see more relief printing from me in the near future!

Once we lived here (PR201126-1)
This last piece, a drypoint printing titled "Once, we lived here" will appear in Brooklyn Artists Gym's 50/50 Fundraising event, Saturday, June 18. Be sure to order your tickets for the event and come see all of the wonderful art at BAG! I'll also be on hand to show folks around my studio filled with my latest work. The web is great, but all of this art looks so much better in person!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Going Green

I'm pleased to announce that my painting At midsummer the world-tree beckons, will appear in the juried exhibition and competition being held by the Art Guild of Port Washington (Long Island). The theme of the show is "Going Green: Celebrate the Earth;" a topic near and dear to me.
The show will appear at Elderfields Preserve in Manhasset March 26 through April 1. There will be a reception on Sunday, April 10, from 3 to 5 pm.

This will be a very interesting show in an interesting venue -- Elderfields Preserve is the site of the Hewlett-Munson-Williams House, the oldest parts of which date from 1675.

For more info about the Art Guild and directions to Elderfields Preserve, see their website at:

I hope to see you there! Happy Spring!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Union at MH Art and Frame opening March 10

Thanks to all who visited "Where the Heart Is" at Brooklyn Artists Gym (the show is still up through this weekend if you haven't had a chance to see it).

Next week
, another show opens at MH Art & Frame in Manhattan. The theme of the show is Union. I'm pleased to have my new painting One Body, One Blood, included in the show.

One Body, One Blood (A20110104)

MH Art and Frame is located at 9 West 20th Street in Manhattan. The show opening is Thursday, March 10, 6-8pm. The show will be up through April 12. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Home ... is where the heart is

The other day I announced that my painting Near Black Ash Mountain will be appearing in a group exhibition at Brooklyn Artists Gym titled "Where the Heart is." The theme of the show is "home." I thought I'd share with you, dear readers, the obligatory artist's statement I generated for my submission to the open call. The concept of home, as I'm envisioning it in my painting and statement is something very dear to me. So here it is:

“Meet the ancestral teachers, be familiar with their instruction, bind grasses to build a hut, and don't give up.” To be a citizen of the world is to recognize one home, one heart and, in fact, one body. My work explores and celebrates that singular, spectacular home we call Earth, and in particular those insentient lifeforms with which we intermingle, interdepend and reflect. Welcome home.

The quote I open with is from a famous Chinese Zen poem, "Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage," by Shitou Xiqian, who lived in the 8th century of our common era. The poem is about many things, certainly, but one thing it is about for me is living in peace and harmony with all one's surroundings.

It goes almost without saying (almost) that this precious planet I call home is in constant and continued peril. That's something to think about as we hurl through space swiftly toward spring, which should always be a time of hope.

So, stop by and see the painting, and ask yourself, 'where is my home? where is my heart?'

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Join me for "Where the heart is," February 26!

My painting Near Black Ash Mountain will be included in a group exhibition focusing on the idea of home. The opening reception is this Saturday, February 26, from 6 to 10 at the Brooklyn Artists Gym, 168 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues. Please stop by and enjoy the art!

And, looking ahead: I will be in another show at MH Art and Frame in Manhattan; the opening is Thursday, March 10. Save the date! Details coming soon.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New from the studio

It's been a busy month, and I'm building up quite a backlog of things to share with my adoring public. Here are two new paintings recently completed:

Orange Orchids (after Hokusai) A20110208-2
This piece is titled "Orange Orchids (after Hokusai)," and just as the title suggests, it is essentially a recreation of the 18th-19th century Japanese printmaker's woodcut of orchids. Acrylic on canvas.

And for something a little different:
Five Ranks (A20110208)
Title: "Five Ranks." Oil on wood panel.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

First paintings of 2011

So far the year is off to a good start. In the past two weeks, I've completed two paintings.

One Body, One Blood (A20110104)
First is piece in oil over acrylic ground titled One Body/One Blood. It is 30 inches square.

And this week a piece titled Near Black Ash Mountain was completed.
Near Black Ash Mountain (A20110111)
Oil on canvas, 20 inches high by 30 inches wide.

As always, more to come!