Friday, January 29, 2016

Fairmount Devil

Fairmount Devil, 5 x 7", oil

When a January blizzard dropped 24 inches of snow on Philadelphia our neighborhood was transformed into a beautiful white playground.  Fairmount Avenue filled with groups of young people gathering at bars and restaurants.  Many were traveling to the Art Museum to sled down the steps.  This young man sporting a pair of devil horns atop his woolen cap perfectly captures the convivial, mischievous spirit of the day.

This painting is happily in the collection of my good friend, Debra Kaplan Garvey.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Firethorn and Tincture Vial

 oil on panel, 5 x 7"

Donated to A Home for Dawn

Could a tincture of Firethorn ever have been contained in an old medicine vial like this? Bitter Firethorn berries warn of toxicity but were, and still are, used in jams and jellies.  I plucked this bunch from one of the many bushes prominent near The Spring Gardens along 19th street in Philadelphia.  The tincture bottle was dug up from our former back yard in Washington Crossing.  If only this bottle could speak!  It may date back to fevered times of bloodletting and mercury purge.  If mercury was thought to be curative, I suppose a distillation of Firethorn – cyanide - may not have been out of the question.