Night Lights...

NIGHT LIGHTS©Felice PanagrossoOil on Canvas11 x 14 inches

NIGHT LIGHTS
©2016 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Canvas
11 x 14 inches

This painting is of the early morning light looking west from my bedroom window.

Before the recent terrorist attacks on Paris, I would often be awakened at night to the sounds of people making their way uphill from Place Saint George to Sacré-Cœur.  My bedroom window opens onto the street which seems to be their direct route.  What I miss, (or maybe don’t miss) most is the sound of revelers and the clackety-clack of suitcases wheeled by tourists across the cobblestones.  I imagined these folks had just arrived on an early morning plane or train and were looking for their hotel, which might very well be the one next door to my apartment building. Once, at 4:00 am, I was awakened by three inebriated guitar players sitting, singing on the stoop just across the street.

If my eyes are open at dawn I sometimes catch the early morning light coming up on the street.  There is a large street lamp mounted on our building just outside the window.  At a certain moment at dawn it shuts off automatically and the ambient light that had filled the room shifts to a slightly lower but much cooler tone.  It’s a very disconcerting sensation, similar in a way to when you’re sitting in a train waiting for it to depart and it starts to move. But then you realize it’s not your train that’s moving but the one next to it moving in the opposite direction.

The tourists will be back and with them the clackety-clack of rolling luggage.  I won’t be complaining.  I even look forward to the serenade of guitars before dawn.

-Felice

 

 

The Top 6 Posts from the Last 3 Years...

MEGLIO FURS©2015 Felice PanagrossoOil on Canvas24 x 18 inches

MEGLIO FURS
©2015 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Canvas
24 x 18 inches

 

We normally spend New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia with our good friends.  On a recent trip to “The City of Brotherly Love,” I found Meglio Furs, on South Broad Street.  The store is closed, but the sign remains.  A couple of websites talk about the store.  Here is a good one, a real estate blog called Naked Philly.  I love this sign, a remembrance of the style and taste of the 40’s and 50’s.  It’s the newest in my series, Sign Paintings.

This month marks the third anniversary of this Blog, The Art of Felice Panagrosso.  Thank you, for reading my musings and philosophizing about Art, Paris, and life in general, but mostly for looking at the pictures over the last 36 months.   I look forward to the next 36!

Here are some highlights of the last 3 years, a list of the top 6 blog posts:

1.  What’s the Deal with Felice?  January 2013.  I introduce you to the original Felice (my grandfather).

2.  Painting Safari in New England, Part I.  August 2014.  An annual trip where I paint “en plein air” in New England, this time on the Appalachian Trail.

3.  My White Tire Bicycle.  October 2014.  A story about a gift from my grandparents.

4.  Why is Painting like Fishing?  November 2014.  Memories of fishing with my Uncle Bill.

5.  3 Reasons NOT to Buy one of my Paintings.  April First, 2015. Reasons why you should not by art, and why you should.

and last but not least…

6.  We’ll Always have Paris (except for these 4 things).  May, 2014. Some things that have changed in the “City of Light.

See you in 2016,

-Felice

 

Thankful...

Canal Saint Martin, Paris

CANAL ST MARTIN
©2015 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Wood
22.5 x 30 centimeters

Dear Friends and Family,

This is the Canal Saint Martin, in Paris.  About a 30 minute walk from my house.  It’s an even shorter walk from the Canal to the Bataclan Music Hall, where some of the horrible events of Friday, November 13, 2015 took place in Paris.  In the evenings, especially on weekends, this area is filled with young people enjoying picnics by the water, sitting in cafes, and riding bikes.

This is a photo recently taken just outside the Bataclan.  Caryn and Sam went there the following weekend to light candles.

Candles at Bataclan

A more spontaneous memorial a few blocks away.

Candles Near Bataclan

On the night of November 13, 2015, we received more texts, tweets, Facebook messages, and good old-fashioned emails and phone calls than I can count.  From friends, family, colleagues.  From France, elsewhere in Europe and from the United States, many from whom I have not heard in years.

As we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday this past weekend, quietly, I gave thanks for you all.

See you next month,

Felice

 

Orange is the new... orange

HAUNTED GARAGE©2015 Felice PanagrossoOil on Panel14 x 22 centimeters

HAUNTED GARAGE, Orange, Connecticut
©2015 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Panel
14 x 22 centimeters

There is no substitute for orange.  The color orange sits on the color wheel between the primaries red and yellow.  It’s a mixture of those two warm colors.  No other primary or secondary color is situated between two warm colors.  In one direction orange leans to red and in the opposite direction it leans to yellow.  That’s why orange is the warmest color.

I’ve often wondered why orange and black are Halloween colors. Maybe orange serves to oppose (or compliment?) the dark cold black on Halloween.  Black is often associated with dark spirits, death and the cold night, while orange is associated with life, the harvest and fire.

On a recent trip to the US (in the town of Orange, Connecticut!), I was able to enjoy the height of fall foliage in New England, and to be reminded how truly Orange it is.

-Felice

Back to the Bois...

“I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.”
– Henry David Thoreau, 1817 – 1862

Madame-A's-Painting

PINES IN BOIS DE BOULOGNE
©2007 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Canvas
16 x 24 inches

I painted these trees several years ago in the Bois de Boulogne, and sold the painting to a woman in the park walking her dog. The picture wasn’t finished but when it was I brought it to her apartment, which to my amazement I discovered was filled, floor to ceiling, with 20th century art.

So, during this beautiful fall weather I didn’t walk, but rather rode the 43 bus, 6 or 7 kilometers to return to the Bois de Boulogne.  This 2,090 acre forest, or park, is the second largest in Paris, after the Bois de Vincennes.  It is 2.5 times the area of Central Park in New York.  It contains an amusement park, tennis stadium, a zoo, lakes, running paths and an English garden.  If that’s not enough for you, the Bois de Boulogne is the setting for the new Louis Vuitton Foundation.

With all this going on I found a quiet place to set up and do a sketch, with just some passing joggers as company.

photo in Bois 1 rotated

photo of palette in bois

setup

I don’t know about tramping through deep snow, but I do look forward another visit with the trees.

Hope to see you there.

-Felice

Painting Safari 2015, Part II

 

Cafe-resized

Dear Friends and Family,

While spending more time in France this summer than ever before, yet wanting to travel light when we finally did depart for the US, I decided to explore other painting media.  The sketch above is a watercolor of a café in our neighborhood in the 9th arrondissement…

A sketch in acrylic paint of rue Bruyeres.  I can actually see this street when I lean out of my apartment window.
Rue-Bruyeres-resized

Here is a photo of my watercolor “setup” at Cape Cod.  Notice I did not forget the sunscreen!

Setup-resized

Watercolor sketch of sunset on the Cape…

Cape-resized

 

When all is said and done, oil paint is still my preferred medium. An oil sketch of our backyard in Orange, Connecticut…

Orange-Trees-resized

I played around with watercolor, oils, acrylic and pen and ink on this accordion sketchbook this summer…

Accordion-Sketchbook-resized

Some of these sketches, drawings and studies will be worked up into complete paintings in the weeks to come, and some won’t, but it was fun exploring.

F.

 

Cora's Coffee Shoppe

CORA'S COFFEE SHOPPE

CORA’S COFFEE SHOPPE

Last year, on college tour with my family to California, we came upon Cora’s Coffee Shoppe.  Sometimes when you’re on vacation (or on college tour) it’s nice to step out of your motel early in the morning before all the other tourists are up.  Grab a coffee and walk on the beach, or down the Main Street.  Or in this case Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. Cora’s is located on 1802 Ocean Avenue.

What I tried to capture here is that feeling of early morning.  You know it’s going to be a hot day but now it’s cool, with a breeze off the ocean.  And the light!  Warm, changing, moving, threatening to become too hot, but for now just fine.

As you know I love painting trees and here I had the opportunity to paint a palm tree.  I’m happy to report that palm trees are no more symmetrical than New England Pine trees.  And there are dead branches on palm trees.

I also love the juxtaposition between a California beach restaurant and the Old (or is it Middle) English “Shoppe.”

I found this California Shoppe during an unexpected escape from the New England winter, but I’ve finished it now during my summer in Paris.

My daughter has decided not to go to college in California, and that’s too bad for me.  Unfortunately I won’t be able to visit her in Santa Monica, and have breakfast at Cora’s.

Cora’s Coffee Shoppe is eleventh in the series “Sign Paintings”.

Painting Safari 2015, Part I

 

HOUSEBOATS, ILE DE PUTEAUX©2015 Felice PanagrossoOil on Panel9 x 12 inches

HOUSEBOATS, ILE DE PUTEAUX
©2015 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Panel
9 x 12 inches

Our Painting Safari began in France this year because we will not arrive in the US until almost August.  But Plein Air painting has begun, with this painting done at Île de Puteaux, west of Paris, where Sam and I play tennis every Sunday morning.  Île de Puteaux is an island in the Seine where houseboats are moored, as they are all along the Seine both within and outside the city limits of Paris.  I’d been intending to get back here with my paintbox instead of my tennis racket and I finally did.

Painting at Bormes-les-Mimosas

Painting at Bormes-les-Mimosas

Two days ago we travelled to the South of France, renting a house for a week near the town of Bormes-les-Mimosas.

We are on the Côte d’Azur, about halfway between Toulon and Saint-Tropez.  Beautiful coastline, delicious grilled fish, olives and Rosé wine.  And unbelievably for someone who  grew up in New England, it almost never rains!  Beautiful beaches dot the coastline from Bormes-les-Mimosas to St Tropez:  La Fossette, Le Lavandou, Layet and Cavalaire-Sur-Mer among others.

Beach at Cavalaire-Sur-Mer

Beach at Cavalaire-Sur-Mer

See you in July…

Flowers for (French) Mother's Day*...

CABBAGE FLOWERS©2006 Felice PanagrossoOil on Canvas

CABBAGE FLOWERS
©2006 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Canvas 65 x 55 cm

When I was a kid, my mother would watch me paint stone walls, building facades and cliff-lined river banks.  Lovely grays, browns and ochres.  She once said to me, with a bit of impatience in her voice:

“Why don’t you paint some nice pretty colorful flowers?”

At which point I found flowers very difficult to paint, pretty or otherwise.  I don’t know why this occurred.  Later, when I tried painting them, they looked like my buildings – concrete, stony, rigid and solid – rather than the ethereal, living, breathing things that they are.  By the way, I consider buildings and stone to be living and breathing as well, but that’s another story.

I’ve tried and tried since then, to paint flowers.  This time, for some reason, I think I’ve been successful.  I hope you do too.

Happy Mother’s Day.

-Felice

*Mother’s Day in France falls on the last Sunday in May.  In the US, it’s celebrated on the second Sunday.

My Paintings at Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery

QUAI MALAQUAIS©2006 Felice Panagrosso Oil on Canvas21 x 26 cm

QUAI MALAQUAIS
©2008 Felice Panagrosso
Oil on Canvas
21 x 26 cm

This painting and two others, Perkins Rubber Stamps and White Tire Bicycle, will be on exhibit, with many other paintings from alumni of the New York Academy of Art.  This is the third annual all alumni exhibition, held at Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery and The Bernardsville Library, in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Opening Reception: Friday, May 1, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery
5 Morristown Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924
studio7artgallery.com
– a n d –

Bernardsville Public Library
1 Anderson Hill Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924
bernardsvillelibrary.org

Exhibition Dates:  April 27 – May 30, 2015

 

Rooftops of Paris Exposition

Thanks to all who attended the Opening Vernissage and Exposition of “On the Rooftops of Paris”.  It was a great success.   Organized by the Mayor of the 9th Arrondissement of Paris, Delphine Bürkli, in support of Paris’s bid for its rooftops to be included as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, it was held in the Salon Aguado.

I was honored to have been the only American represented in this show.  Here are some photos from the opening.

-Felice

 

 

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