An unusual frame.

Actually, not that unusual , though this style, where the corner escutcheon is carved is unusual. I did quite a few of these early in my career, in mahogany and black walnut, though stopped pushing them as the labor intensity tended to make it hard to make a profit. I'm doing a reproduction of a damaged existing frame, with carved, water gilt and burnished corner escutcheons, over stained and finished basswood. Basswood, though usually gessoed, then finished, actually is an attractive wood in itself. MOMA, NYC, has a few examples of stained and finished basswood frames.
Photo above, I'm using an oscillating saw to rough out the shape for the corners.
A corner before gessoing. After roughing out, small carvers rasps were used to refine the shapes.

Another photo before gessoing.

The corners masked off, and the first few coats of gesso applied. Normally I spray gesso, but in this case, all of the coats will be brushed. The first coat was scrubbed in with a toothbrush until almost dry, to eliminate pinholes.

Scenes from NYC, and beyond.


Manhattan receding aboard the Staten Island Ferry. If it's warm enough, outside as the Ferry crosses the harbor is the fun spot to be. Some of the ferries have outside decks; some require you to stand on the back deck, above the props, if you would like to be outside. My wife and I both enjoy being out in the sights, smells, and breezes.

The Falcon God is not happy, not happy, Bob. As my Jewish relatives say, "what a Punim". From the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


And, two more "roadside" snaps. It may be part of my whole approach to photography, and art; learn the foundation, the basics, then feel free to wing it. I spent a lot of time with an unmetered camera, no light meter, just guesstimating exposure. It's far easier to do that today with a digital camera, but then as now, a multitude of sins could be fixed in post processing. The roadside snaps are done from a moving vehicle, night, obviously, along one of the interstates here in the US. The camera is set to manual focus, infinity, program, at 3200 ISO, with image stabilization on. I have the camera on, and as we approach an interchange, I put the camera against the side glass, with my hand as a light scrim, blocking reflections from the dash lights; then just press and hold the shutter release, letting the camera take a number of shots. The quality of the light against the trees is what intrigues me. I have some other kind of images, related, though not the same, that I want to do. All involve the very edge of the cameras ability to record, and again, the light at this point is very interesting. I've even made some prints from some of these.





The Ides of April

Charles Wilson Peale (April 15, 1741 - February 22, 1827)

The Artist in His Museum
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art

One of my favorites of early American Artists, and well worth investigating. Founder of two Art Academy's, including the Pennsylvania, and America's first museum, he was 81 when he painted the above.

In Roman times, the "Ides of March" was a time for settling debts. Here in the states, calling the 15th. of April the "Ides" seems appropriate.