Dry Cleaning Meets The Peter Principle


CENTRAL CLEANERS©2015 Felice PanagrossoOil on Canvas20 x 24 inches

©2015 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Canvas
20 x 24 inches


“It’s better to have loved and lost than to have to do forty pounds of laundry a week.”  – Laurence J. Peter

When I first read this quote I didn’t know who Laurence J. Peter was, so I looked him up.  He is a Canadian educator, author and Hierarchiologist, who, with Raymond Hull,  wrote the book  The Peter Principle: Why Things Alway Go Wrong.   The Peter Principle humorously states that in modern organizations, people are promoted to their level of incompetence, which is where they stay.

I’ve experienced the Peter Principle in my own life when it comes to laundry.  I don’t know how many articles of clothing I’ve shrunk, scorched or bleached by accident.  When it comes to ironing a dress shirt, short of permanent-press or someone doing it for me, I take the shirt to the cleaners.

This small dry-cleaning shop is on Main Street in East Haven, Connecticut, about a half mile from the subject of one of my previous paintings, “Fairmount Theater”.   There are so many things I love about this place: the color of the faux stone facade (which reminds me of the ochre color of Parisian apartment buildings in the sunlight),  the neon sign advertising “Fur Storage Vault,”  and last but not least, the small bright green and red neon sign in the window which reads “Organic Dry Cleaning.”

Central Cleaners is number ten in my “Sign Painting” series.




On Becoming a Serial Finisher...

FAIRMOUNT THEATER II©2014 Felice PanagrossoOil on Canvas<br15 x 24 inches

©2014 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Canvas

“Do not plan for ventures before finishing what’s at hand.”
– Euripides

Unknown to me before I found this quote was that Euripides trained as a painter in addition to being a playwright.  Each January, we focus on New Year’s Resolutions, new beginnings and new projects.  But then what happens?  I myself have been guilty of starting projects and paintings, then leaving them unfinished.  I think there are about seven unfinished paintings in my studio now.  But, on the other hand, I often enjoy working this way, moving each project along, chipping away, making the painting better and better as long as I can see something to improve.  Pierre Bonnard was said to have added strokes to his paintings even after they were installed on gallery walls.

Euripides wrote about the ordinary qualities of mythological heroes when faced with difficulties. Perhaps he can cut us ordinary humans some slack.

The painting above however, “Fairmount Theater II”, is finished.  I shared an image of it, as a work in progress, in my April 2014 post “Work in Progress, and A Messy Studio”.  It is part of the series “Sign Language.”  It’s my second attempt at painting this movie theater in East Haven, Connecticut, this time in the warm morning light.  Click Here,  to see “Fairmount Theater I”.


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