Decorative Art

I consider most of my paintings decorative art.  They brighten up and add interest to a room.  At least they do that to my rooms.  Not intended to give one a life-changing experience.  Here are a few I’ve done lately.


Marker Pen on 12″ x 12″ canvas mounted on 20″ x 20″ unpainted canvas.


The Forest (Acrylic & marker pen on 2″ x 2″ wood panel)


Senior Citizens Getting it On in the Art World

Seniors in Lisbon meet Street Art

Photo taken from Twitter

Below:  Frank Stella (age 79) Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art (Oct. 30, 2015-Feb. 7, 2016)

Frank Stella
Photo: Gayle Alstrom
Frank Stella at the Whitney
Photo:  Gayle Alstrom
K37, 2008
Photo:  Gayle Alstrom
Fedallah, 1988, Mixed Media on Aluminum
Fedallah, 1988, Mixed Media on Aluminum
(Photo:  Gayle Alstrom)
[You might want to read my post entitled “The Frank Stella Retrospective at the Whitney,” on my other blog “One American Mind.”]
This is a very short video about Stella that really helps tremendously in understanding his work:
Richard Serra turns 76 on November 2, 2015

Richard Serra, The Matter of Time (2005). Image: Guggenhiem Bilbao Museoa 2015, Richard Serra Arts Rights Society (ARS) New York.
Richard Serra, The Matter of Time (2005).
Image: Guggenhiem Bilbao Museoa 2015, Richard Serra Arts Rights Society (ARS) New York.
Serra’s monumental sculpture, Sequence (2006), is already installed in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s (SFMOMA)  new building.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

The following are a few great works of art that can be found in New York City subway stations as one travels around NYC:

Inside 42nd Street Subway Station with Leichenstein's  Mural.
Mural by Roy Lichtenstein in the 42nd Street Subway Station



Mural by Al Held at Lexington Avenue/53rd St. Station. [the girls are not part of the mural.  The art makes a nice background for photos.]
Elizabeth Murray
An Elizabeth Murray mosaic at the 23rd St. and Ely Ave. Station in Queens


The Alexander Calder Scandal

On the front page of the New York Times, October 30, 2013

For you who missed reading the front page of the New York Times this morning, I will reiterate the story that was honored concerning Alexander Calder, whose smallest mobiles sell in the range of $1,000,000.  I guess the art world and market interests me to no extent, so it’s a taken that I would write about it on my blog.  Why I love Calder is that every time I look at one of his mobiles, I say to myself “I want to make one of those, too.”  I think all people like the people who inspire them and want to make them do things they haven’t done before.  For me the challenge of mobiles is that there is a slight degree of science involved in that they have to be physically, as well as visually, balanced.
[“A lot of times maturing as an artist is just starting to do the things you like to do.”  —John Currin during the 2013 Walter Annenberg Lecture on October 29.]

The long and the short of it is that Calder’s heirs are accusing Calder’s agent of Fraud.  They said he sold fake Calder’s and stashed many away for himself.  I thought that the juiciest bit of gossip was learning that Calder had a secret Swiss bank account into which his dealer deposited all of his earnings.  [for complete story in the Times, click here]

The New York Times, October 30, 2013


This is a photo that I took of a Calder (sorry I didn’t get it all in) that hangs in a stairwell at the Museum of Modern Art. I thought it funny to hang a million dollar art object in a stairwell where hardly anyone ever goes. Most people don’t use the stairs but take elevators or escalators.
A Calder Mobile
A Calder Mobile

Remembering Mark Rothko (born 9/25/1903)


Mark Rothko was born Marcus Rothkowitz on this day in 1903, in Dvinsk. His family left Russia and settled in Portland, OR, in 1913. It was towards the late 1940s and 1950s, that he painted the works for which he is best known for: blocks of color in luminous washes that create large, contemplative forms on canvas. In 1970, Rothko, who suffered from depression, took his own life. (Ref. Tumbir)

Rothko5“Silence is so accurate.” — Mark Rothko 

I don’t express myself in my paintings. I express my not-self.” –Mark Rothko, born today, September 25th in 1903 (left us in 1970). Painting: Mark Rothko, Green Over Blue, 1956

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

Below is my photo of the American artist Judy Chicago that I took at the opening of her unique masterpiece “The Dinner Party”  at the SFMOMA in 1983. I think being an artist in itself is unique.   [ “The Dinner Party”  is a long-term exhibit at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum.]

Artist Judy Chicago
Artist Judy Chicago

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

Resolved:  In 2013, I will try to create something new every day, or work toward creating something new (i.e, working on a painting), even if it is only taking one photo or writing a few words.  In the act of creating, I am concentrating on the present, and not the past or the future.

Resolved:  This year I will be more active and less passive–more work, less TV (yes, I like television).

The River
If you like this, visit my portfolio on  Saatchi on-line (a project in progress). Click on photo.

“Folk Art Landscape” [(2′ x 4′) oil and acrylic on a board] . I found this particle board that was already framed in a trash can. It looked so perfect to paint on that I couldn’t pass it by. This is the picture I painted on it. My dog Mary, who lived with me for 12 years before she died, is in the lower right-hand corner. That is supposed to be corn stalks in back of the house. There’s a man driving the boat, but you have to look really close to see him. I consider my art folk art.

Arshile Gorky

In 1933, Arshile Gorky became one of the first artists to become employed by the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project. This later came to include such artists as Jackson Pollock, Diego Rivera and Mark Rothko. (photo “Arshile Gorky with Cigarette” by Gjon Mili)

About my favorite abstract expressionist painter is Arshile Gorky  [real name:  Vostanik Manuk Adoyan–born Khorkom, Turkish Armenia c. 1904; d. 1948, Sherman, Conn.] Came to America when he was 16 to join father who was already here (they never got along).

When looking on-line at some of his paintings, I was happily astonished to see that he painted a landscape of Staten Island, currently my home-borough.  His early paintings were representational as were of many artists who became abstract artists.

He made a long journey from his Staten Island painting to his abstract expressionist paintings.

 “Staten Island landscape” (1928-29)

Source: via Gayle on Pinterest

gorky andmother
gorky and mother photo 1912

Arshile Gorky-The-Artist-and-his-Mother-1926-34  (His mother died of starvation in Armenia)

Source: via Gayle on Pinterest

Moving right along:  He changed his style and became successful and famous.  

Arshile Gorky “one year the milkweed” 1944 (489×390)
Gorky-The betrothal II 1947
The Betrothal, II, 1947
Arshile Gorky, American (born Armenia), 1904 – 1948, The Liver is the Cock’s Comb, c. 1943
Oil on canvas 73 ¼ x 98 in. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

gorky at home
Gorky in Sherman, CT, 1948. [love his digs] Photograph by Ben Schnall. Courtesy of Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images

This video is a short dramatization of his life. It’s interesting.