Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas David!

David Smith is one of my artist heros. This famous photograph shows him overlooking his sculpture field at his home in Bolton Landing near Lake George, New York.

David Smith pioneered steel and industrial modernism in the art world. His story is even more interesting to me than his artwork.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This is a photograph of the piece of sea weed washed up on Carter's Beach, Nova Scotia that inspired my latest sculpture. The shape intrigued me so I did a series of drawings based on the basic form going off in different directions until I arrived at the one that I ultimately used for the sculpture.

I actually could and may do several variations. The piece that now lives on the front lawn at the Central Square Library is made of mild steel and painted black and red. I would like to see it done different sizes and painted different colors. A very large one, maybe 8-10 feet tall would be nice. I think small for inside would be fun to see as well. I also would like to see what it would look like in stainless steel. I'd be in trouble if I had the money.

I have several proposed major projects for 2009, including a large scale piece for the Arts Center in Old Forge and a somewhat smaller sculpture for the Parish Public Library. Securing funding will be the trick.

More to follow! Stay tuned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Gallery 668

Traveling to Vermont on a regular basis I have found some interesting short cuts. One of my favorite between Saratoga Springs, NY and Arlington Vermont led me to discover a fabulous gallery that has become a favorite stop in the summer.

Gallery 668 is housed in two stunningly renovated barns on a beautiful, grand New England style farm in Battenville, NY. The following narrative is taken from their web page.

Our story begins with the founder of Gallery 668, Solange Batsell Herter. As a Liberal Arts student at Bennington College she was introduced to a myriad of aspiring artists - painters, sculptors and dancers - including classmate Helen Frankenthaler. In the 1960's she opened Studio 405 in Carnegie Hall selling the works of a wide array of artists such as Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Raoul Dufy, René Magritte, Joan Miro, Maurice Utrillo and Andy Warhol among others.

In addition to her passion for art, Solange became involved in the racing world. In the late 1970's she opened Saratoga's first gallery exhibiting primarily sporting art, such as works by Henry Thomas Alken Sr., Sir Alfred Munnings and John Skeaping. Over the years, she began incorporating and exhibiting more contemporary works by regional artists.

The success of these first venues led to the idea of creating a larger exhibit space in the two 1779 hay barns and silo located at her Battenville residence. Architect Timothy D. Smith of North Bennington, VT was selected to complete the art gallery exhibit spaces - opening up the barn doors for natural light, making the bright space an ideal backdrop for paintings, sculptures, hooked rugs, tapestries and jewelry.

Continuing the family tradition, Veronique de La Bruyere will be directing the gallery's exhibits for 2008. This year Gallery 668 will open its space to a combination of international and local artists in four group shows from July 13th through September 7th. Our complete schedule with photos of the works, artist quotes, and links to even more information is at the top this page. In addition to our Sunday openings, we will build on the success of ART TALK, our Thursday evening series of conversations with artists and guests. On Thursday, August 7th, we will host an Art Auction and Tapas for Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand. We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Today we installed "Organica" in front of the Central Square Library. The steel sculpture is 48" tall and 32" wide. This piece was inspired by a piece of sea weed I found washed up on Carter's Beach in Queens County Nova Scotia this past summer.

The shape is taken directly from the sea weed which I photographed. I then added to it for a modern design and for structural integrity. The sculpture is mounted on a concrete pedestal about 12" off the ground. The pedestal is also resting on a concrete footer. I plan to go back in the spring and do some more work on the pedestal and raise it up about another 4"-6".

I am presently waiting on the title plate and then we will make the official presentation to the Library and do the photo-op thing for the newspapers.

Pictured here I am tightening the bolts that hold the sculpture to it's pedestal with my helper Steven Collaro.

This project was made possible by a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA) and the Syracuse Cultural Resources Council.

Special thanks to Randy Stier and Specialty Welding and Fabricating of Syracuse, NY.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Visitation" SOLD $600

This painting has long been a particular favorite of mine. I think it represents a break through of sorts for me. This is abstract expressionism pure and simple. I actually did the painting originally in the late 1990's and put it aside. I later pulled it back out, revisited it, and gave it a new title, "Visitation". The title came to me after visiting my son in prison. The painting is very personal and introspective. I am happy to have it go to a good home and be part of a fantastic and growing art collection.

The image is acrylic on canvas but removed from the stretchers and archivally matted and framed. The piece measures 26" X 26" incl. frame. "Visitation' has been in several group exhibitions and was most recently a part of the Totally Abstract: Non-Objective Invitational at the Timothy McHenry Gallery at the Art Association of Oswego.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

David "RC" Oster

These are just two examples of prints we offer by our good friend David "RC" Oster. "RC" is an out standing pen and ink and sometimes pencil artist. His work is most often of historical architecture, although he also does other subject matter as well. Visit our web store at to see more of his work.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Griffiss Business Park Sculpture Garden

"Crown" by German artist Rainer Maria Wehner is an impressive work currently on display with six other large sculptures at the Griffiss Business Park Sculpture Garden in Rome, NY. The large scale sculptures by local, national and international artists will be on display through 2010.

Debe and I took our granddaughter Kaitlyn this past Sunday, Nov. 16. It was a cold and blustery day. Very typical for this time of year. I learned about the sculpture garden from a recent article in the Syracuse Post Standard. We had to be in the Rome area that day anyway so we decided to stop by and check it out.

I'm glad we did. The sculpture garden is yet another gem adding to the cultural richness of our Central New York region. I would be hard pressed to suggest a special trip just to see the sculptures however. Unless you are a student or real fan of contemporary sculpture, there simply are not enough to make a special trip in my opinion. That is not to say it is not worthwhile. On the contrary, I was very impressed, but if traveling any distance, try to tie it in with a trip to Munson-Williams Proctor Institute or some other business in the Utica - Rome area.

Next time I'm over that way I may stop by again to see them with a blanket of snow around them. I find that colors contrast against the white back drop of snow so that these types of sculptures look even more impressive.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tug Hill Field Guide - Book Signing


Tug Hill: A Four Season Guide to The Natural Side, illustrated and edited by local naturalist and wildlife artist Robert McNamara, is again available for use in learning and navigating the Tug Hill Region. Contributing writers include John Cecil, the late Lee B. Chamberlaine, Peter Gaskin, Glenn Johnson, Donald E. Moore, III, and Lisa St. Hilaire. The guide features a sampling of the plants and animals of ten of the major habitat types that make up the Tug Hill, and includes a narrative of natural events, organized by season. An easy-to-use source for the identification of a variety of species, the 288 pages include 64 beautifully illustrated full-color plates by McNamara.

Perfect for the student and experienced naturalist alike, the book uses a Quick Habitat Finder Guide, a color-coded edge symbol system, for quick and easy reference. This book is a must-have for every nature library, and a gift which will provide hours of enjoyment both at home and in the field.

Get your books in time for holiday gift-giving, and meet it’s creators at our book signing, scheduled for:

Saturday, November 15 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Abbott’s Fine Art & Framing

628 S. Main St.

Central Square, NY 13036

*Also available on-line at Click on the web store tab on our home page and then click on Misc. items on our web store.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shop us On-Line for the Holidays!

Check out our gallery on-line. Lots of great gift ideas for the holidays!

Visit our web page and click the tab for our Web Store.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Totally Abstract: Nonobjective Invitational Exhibition

Totally Abstract: Nonobjective Invitational Exhibition at the Timothy McHenry Gallery at the Oswego Civic Arts Center opened Saturday October 25 with an artists reception. The show sponsored by the Art Association of Oswego brought together a variety of artists from across the region for a glimpse at what they are doing in abstract work. The show will hang through November 23. For more information call 343-5675 or visit

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Current News, October 15th 2008

Deb and I have several things happening this fall.

First of all, Art In The Square was a fabulous show of local art and music, however the weather didn't cooperate. Much of the day was a wash out, which held attendance down. Thanks to all who participated or braved the weather to attend! Let's hope for better weather next year.

This past Saturday, October 11, Debe was one of 17 artists invited to participate in the first annual "Tug Hill Plein Air Paint Out". The weather was ideal. A glorious fall day in Central New York. Trenton Falls Gorge was a great location and the turn out was impressive. Invited artists set up and painted along the trails of the Gorge while on-lookers were able to interact with the artists. Trenton Falls Gorge is only open to the public four weekends a year and the public turned out in droves for this event.

The paintings created during the day were framed and that evening sold in a live auction at the Holland Patent school library. Nineteen of twenty one paintings sold and the event raised approximately $5,000.00 for the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, sponsors of the event. Debe's pastel sold for $300.00 at auction. The event was a lot of fun and raised money for a good cause. We are looking forward to next years paint out.

Next up, "Totally Abstract" at the Art Association of Oswego's Timothty McHenry Gallery at the Oswego Civic Arts Center. This is another invitational and we are pleased to be included in this exhibition of non-objective abstract art. Bill DeMott and the folks at AAO always do a great job and we are looking forward to this show. The exhibition will hang from October 25 - November 23 and there will be an opening reception Saturday October 25, 7:00 - 9:00pm.

Also on our fall 2008 line up, "Farnham Family Services Unplugged", a music and art benefit at the American Foundry in Oswego, Thursday, November 6, 6:00pm - ?. Musical acts, Gypsy Red, Joanna (Nix) Jewett, Dave Wolever, N. Riley Heagerty, Special Guest: John Bletch and emcee Tom Ciappa will provide entertainment. There will also be a silent art auction, raffles and hors d'oervres. Tickets, $25 in advance, $35 at the door. For more information call 315-342-4489 or visit

BREAKING NEWS! This just in................... HM PHOTOGRAPHY has just signed a lease for our studio space next door to the gallery at 628 So. Main. Heidi Moreash, a portrait photographer specializing in Babies, Toddlers, High School Seniors and Pets is setting up shop. We are very excited for her. We have always felt that a photographer would be good fit here in the village and especially next door to our frame shop. Heidi does wonderful work and we are confident she will do well! Good Luck Heidi!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Fishing Shack"

This sepia photograph is available in a variety of sizes, both framed and unframed. 8 X 10 signed print in single off white mat $50.00 + $6.00 shipping. Call or e-mail for additional pricing information. 315-668-9459 or

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

" Leaving the Harbour"

This sepia photograph is available in a variety of sizes both framed and unframed in a single off white presentation mat. Call or e-mail for additional pricing and shipping information. 8 X 10 in single mat signed $50.00 + $6.00 shipping. 315-668-9459 0r

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nova Scotian Fishing Village

This fishing village in the LaHave Islands on the south shore is typical of the scenes found around every bend in the road. Sepia photograph. Prints available for purchase. Call or e-mail for sizes and pricing. 315-668-9459 or

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"A Long Way From Antigonish" SOLD

My painting "A Long Way From Antigonish" was selected for first Prize in the Mixed Media and Graphics category at the 2008 Art Association of Northern New York's annual show in Sackets Harbor. This is two years running now that I have had the good fortune to receive this honor.

This years esteemed judge was Mr. Bill Delevan. Mr. Delevan is the owner and director of the Delevan Center and the Delevan Gallery in Syracuse. He is a long time supporter of the arts in Central New York.

* This Painting is available for purchase. $500 THis painting is now in the collection of CFE CRedit Union, Lake Mary, Florida.

Friday, July 25, 2008


OK, this is long over due. I have to pimp out my friends and favorite folk band, Gypsy Red. John and Cherie Sardella of Parish, NY play what could be described as their own brand of progressive folk music. They have over 80 original songs to their credit. The music is a spirtitual journey for the soul. John on 12 string guitar and Cherie's vocals are a great collaboration of love and good energy. We are happy to announce they will once again play ART IN THE SQUARE, Saturday September 27.

Their CD, "Comming Home" is avaiable at Abbott's Fine Art and Framing or on-line at

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mountain Mist

"Mountain Mist" a wonderful collection of Adirondack landscape paintings on view through July 31 at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, Blue Mountain Lake, NY. The exhibition is comprised of orginal watercolors and acrylics by Constantia, NY artist Jeanne Dupre.

Jeanne's paintings show case her love of the outdoors and are scenes that she and husband Dick are intimately familiar with. They spend a lot of time hiking and kayaking in the Adirondack region. It is on these outings, that Jeanne gathers inspiration and photographic references for her paintings.

Debe and I have done much of her framing for well over twenty years and have watched her career take off. This is a fabulous show for her and I highly recommend stopping by the art center if you are up that way!

Bravo Jeanne!

PS. Jeanne's paintings, prints and note cards are also available through

JUST IN - Jeanne won the POPULAR VOTE from attendees and patrons at the Adirondack Theme Show, Arts Center, Old Forge. Congrats!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why Buy Art?

This year has been some what puzzling. The economy is supposed to be in the tank, no pun intended. We all shudder every time we fill up at the gas pump. The news is filled with one depressing story after another about the housing market, the price of food, etc, and yet we are selling paintings. I don't know if this will hold up, but we are naturally hopeful.

The number of total paintings sold year-to-date is actually down a little, but the sales figures are way up. The people coming in to look at art and purchase, are looking at the investment grade work. Paintings by the more established regionalist artists. We have been selling paintings in the $1,400.00 - $2,500.00 range. At a time when people are cutting back, it seems they are still looking to make purchases that make them feel good, beautify their homes and represent an investment that may potentially out perform most other investment options.

Sales of paintings at Sotheby's, Christie's and other big auction houses remain impressively high. A record was set recently for a painting by a living artist. A Jasper Johns painting sold for seven million dollars. The year before a David Smith sculpture sold for a record 23.8 million. World wide art sales are climbing to record highs every year as new wealth is built in previously depressed countries. Moscow now has more millionaires than any city in the world and they are buying art. There are dozens of similar stories and they collectively are driving the art market to astonishing levels.

Obviously we are not dealing with multi million dollar paintings here in Central Square. We are dealing however, with good quality regional art that represents decent investment potential. I am not advocating buying art strictly as an investment. Buy it because you love it, because you connect in some way to an artist or a particular piece of work. On the other hand, an individual with an interest in art, who wants to learn, can easily begin to build a collection without spending a fortune. A collection that will appreciate in value. I do not recommend prints, although there can be some potential there, the market has been flooded with prints over the last 20 years to the point that values are down in general. High quality original works are more affordable than many people realize and are far and away the better investment!

I am frequently asked to frame fifty dollar prints with expensive mouldings and multiple mats and conservation glass. They look great and a lot of people are perfectlty happy, even though they now have a three hundred and fifty dollar frame on a fifty dollar print. I think the mindset among a lot of folks is that they can't afford to buy original art. Some people may be intimidated and afraid to trust their own taste. They may not realize there are many artists whose original paintings can be purchased for under five hundred dollars.

Most galleries have approval plans and lay-away plans that make it very easy to purchase a piece of art. Unless you are buying classic cars, when was the last time you bought a car and twenty years later it was worth four or five times what you paid for it? You should remember of course that art work is not a liquid asset. Unless you are able to buy at the top of the market you may not be able to sell immediately. Artwork represents a long term investment.

Vistit an art gallery soon! Fall in love with art and begin your collection. I do have to issue the following disclaimer however, "COLLECTING ART CAN BE ADDICTING!"


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

3rd Annual Art In The Square

September 27, 2008. Advertising is already out in the CNY Summer Guide. Gypsy Red is booked again and two new artists and two art groups have contacted us about participating in this years event. AITS is growing every year! JOIN US!

Friday, March 21, 2008


My Take

Over the last 20 years I have been asked about the encaustic medium. What is it? How do you use it? So here we go, I will attempt to explain this mysterious medium and how I came to use it.

Currently enjoying renewed interest among artists for its versatility and permanence, encaustic remains a mystery to many people. I have seen looks of bewilderment on the faces of people looking at my paintings. Even relatively art savvy collectors and other artists are largely clueless.

The term encaustic comes from the Greek, enkaustikos, which means to heat or burn in.

Wikipedia defines encaustic as, hot wax painting using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added.

One of the oldest mediums, encaustic can be traced back to ancient Greek warships and funeral portraits in Egypt.

Jasper Johns pioneered modern era encaustic painting during the 1950's and 60's and many of his famous flag and target paintings were done in the wax based medium. When I first began experimenting with encaustic there was little information available other than the occasional reference to Johns. This was before the information age, before the internet, pre Wikipedia and Google.

In order to paint with encaustic, the wax must be heated to a liquid or semi liquid state to work with it, thus making it somewhat cumbersome and may help explain why it fell out of common use for so long. Modern tools such as hot plates, heat guns, irons etc. make working with encaustic much more practical.

I use the term paint somewhat loosely. Some artists do use the medium in a fairly straight forward method of painting with a brush or more often palette knife. The medium kept warm in muffn tins on a hot plate or some other similar way to keep the wax liquid.

Many contemporary artists, myself included apply the medium in a variety of untraditional ways, often experimental. The nature of encaustic allows the artist to become very physical in application.

The methods I have developed are unique and as far as I know I am the only artist using it quite the way I do. I will save my technique discussion for a future workshop or post.

Until recently, commercially manufactured paint was not available. Anyone wanting to work in encaustic had to pretty much make their own. Considering the lack of reference material available, you were left to your own experimentation.

I stumbled onto encaustic quite by chance. One summer day back around 1988 I was visiting the studio of my friend and mentor *George Welch. We sat discussing art over a cup of tea as we often did. I mentioned that I had been experimenting with melting crayons and some of the interesting things I was discovering. George immediately piped in with the term encaustic. That was the first time I had heard of it and that was the beginning of my now 20 year adventure with the medium.

It turns out George had crates full of encaustic bars and sticks in his basement that he had inherited from a friend who had made them back in the 1950's. He had saved them thinking that someday he would use them but decided that he would just as soon give them to me. George was a prolific artist. I helped him out with some of his framing needs and he gave me art work,and this time four crates of pigmented wax.

In 1992 I won " Best Work on Paper" at the Canastota Small Scale Show for "The Reach" a collage piece with encaustic as the primary medium. The work was also featured in "Hot Process", at the Manlius Library, an Associated Artist show with Enameling by George and Marcia Ferber. The whole show was dedicated to painting that required heat in the process. In 1994 I had my first gallery exhibition of encaustic paintings at the Roberta Wood Gallery in Dewitt, NY. The show was favorably reviewed by Sherry Chayatt, then art critic for the Post Standard.

I have continued to explore the medium off and on in the subsequent years and have had several gallery shows, participated in numerous group shows and been fortunate to win some awards for the work along the way.

I have been happy to see other artists jump into the medium. It’s always interesting to see what other artists are doing with encaustics. This past winter the Delevan Gallery in Syracuse featured a fabulous exhibition of encaustic paintings by Lew Graham.

There is no question that encaustic is being widely embraced by many contemporary artists. I believe, that aside from it’s inherent characteristics, versatility and permanence, the fact that it is now commercially available, and that there is reference material out there, explains in my view the recent surge in popularity of this obscure medium.

To learn more about encaustic, I recommend, The Art of Encaustic Painting, contemporary expression in the ancient medium of pigmented wax, by Joanne Mattera. This is the first book I am aware of dedicated to the medium.


Thursday, March 20, 2008


Most of us living in central New York who have an interest in art are well aquainted with venues such as the Everson Museum in Syracuse, Munson-Williams Proctor in Utica, the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn and others. These are of course all outstanding institutions, with impressive collections. They certainly deserve their lofty standing in their respective communities. There is however, a small museum in Canajoharie that has a collection of American art, that is, at least in my opinion, every bit their equal. Some might argue more impressive.
Yet when I mention the Arkell to people in conversation, most seem to be unfamiliar with it or may have heard of it but never visited.

If you have driven to Albany on the New York State thruway, you have driven right past it. In fact you can see it clearly from the highway. This Museum houses a collection that includes Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Georgia O'Keefe, Mary Cassat and on and on. The founder of Beech Nut Foods, Mr. Bartlett Arkell amassed one of the largest collections of Hudson River School artists as well as a virtual who's who in American art from the 19th and early 20th century.

Mr. Arkell not only left his collection but also a considerable endowment to care for the work and grow the collection. He also played an instrumental role in the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester where he had a summer home, but that is a subject for another post.

I first learned of the Arkell about 20 years ago and have visited many times. I have never been disappointed. The Museum has just completed a major renovation and addition. I highly recommend a visit if you are over that way or even make a day of it. It is well worth the drive!

To learn more-

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ellen Biddle Shipman, 1869-1950

In the 23 years that Debe and I have been doing custom framing we have done some big jobs. This past fall we framed 45 original paintings from the Edward J. Elhoff estate for an art auction to benefit the National Kidney Foundation. We have helped dozens of artists and antique dealers prepare for shows. We have done several houses for the Parade of Homes as well as residential and commercial jobs for Interior decorating firms. Nothing however was as big and prestigious as the Ellen Biddle Shipman exhibit.

Ellen Biddle Shipman is regarded by many as the greatest american landscape architect. Her projects were vast. Her accomplishments made even more impressive by the fact that as a woman she dominated a field previously exclusive to men. The show would include blue prints, drawings and photographs of many of the Shipman gardens.

In the fall of 1996 David Kwasigroh, then Director of the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY contacted us to bid on framing for a major project. I had met David when we both served as Judges for the Fine Art exhibition at the New York State Fair a year or two earlier. We then ran into each other at shows at the Pyramid Art Center in Rochester and elswhere. We stayed in touch and when he was asked by a colleague to help organize this exhibiton he called us about the framing.

There were 77 large pieces that needed to be framed. All materials were completely archival and the glazing was conservation acrlyic. We landed the job that was underwritten by UBS Payne Webber and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Debe and I delivered the work in our van to the Schweinfurth to be crated and shipped to NYC for the first exhibition of the four year tour. A tour that would take the show to some of America's most acclaimed museums.

I remain in awe of this great artist and the opportunity that we had to be involed first hand in this wonderful and important exhibtion.

To learn more follow the link below