"NYC Water Towers-II"

"NYC Water Towers-II"
8x10. Oil on hardboard.
One more painting with water tower. I've painted this building a few times and still come back to it with a new ideas. It’s Broome street in Soho.

bourbon st

I got around to finishing this painting started on location on Bourbon St. I'm really pleased with how it came out especially with the color and composition... it has a good feeling for dusk and a nice movement to the crowd. On location I got all the street and buildings but only scratched in the figures. With a few stills from some camera phone videos I fleshed out the crowd in my studio. It was a fun night and the only painting on the trip where I was left entirely to my own devices to just find someplace captivating and paint. And since I just happened to be staying about a block from this spot what else could I do? oil on canvas, 24 by 18

painting at Epicenter 2010

I got back yesterday from two days of painting at the Epicenter Music Festival. The Hive Gallery artists, Nathan's favorites, got invited to paint at this rock show out at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. What a blast, but VERY HOT! ahahahh! I managed to make four paintings, three in the day and one night scene. I also took in some fun acts like KISS, eminem, and Suicidal Tendencies. I was surprised at how much the people there were into what I was doing, always folks watching and many compliments. It is a challenge painting crowds because it's always changing... but it's also always in the same place, like waves on the ocean, so if you keep at it I find it works out eventually. It was fun to get to be there and paint a little feeling of the spectacle. oil on canvas. updates: I promised to post fan photos and Amanda "my biggest fan" came through! these are my favorites, everyone has such a range of expressions. Thanks for sending them! also here's a youtube link to a camera video I uploaded from the concert update! more fan photos! thanks Wanda and Eric!

"Brooklyn Bridge Café - III"

"Brooklyn Bridge Café - III"
8x10 Oil on hardboard.
This is the third painting and the last one in this series, at least for now. I'm thinking of doing it again in near future in a larger format.

"Brooklyn Bridge Café - II"


"Brooklyn Bridge Café - II"
8x10 Oil on hardboard.
I painted "Brooklyn Bridge Café" (below) two years ago. It has been sold to one of my art collector. I've received great feedbacks on that piece, so I decided to make a series. I'll post second 8x10 painting with a Bridge Cafe here on Monday.

"Brooklyn Bridge Café"

"Wines & Liquors"

"Wines & Liquors" 8x10 oil on hardboard.
Old signs have never been a subject for my paintings. But one day I was looking to buy a bottle of wine for a dinner and came across the liquor store on 7 Ave in Greenwich Village. When I came out from the store this sign caught my attention and I thought it could make an interesting painting.

Compulsion, at Berkeley Repertory Theater


Photo to left is a Self-Portrait as a Puppet by artist Pedro Moreno. I usually show my own works at this blog, but I saw Compulsion with Pedro, I am friend to him and his art, which I adore, and after all, his drawing is of a Marionette.

Photo at top is of my  Chrysalis sculptures, which I chose for the strings on which they hang, and for their symbolic value, given that Anne Frank was an adolescent while she wrote her diaries while in hiding, and who died at age 16. The Chrysalis is the adolescent stage of the insect, for me symbolic of the stage of  adolescence, symbolic of the way my people were seen by the Nazis, as insects to be exterminated.

The final photograph below the rest was taken by Egmont Van Dyche on August 11, of the mess I cultivate at my studio.  I chose it for puppet reference, for death symbolism, for depiction of young life cut off before growth and full potential of life could flower. I chose it for Anne Frank,  the theme of the Play, Compulsion.

 I am compelled to write about a theater piece written by Rinne Groff, Compulsion, about the author of the first non-fiction novel, Compulsion, written by Meyer Levin, which was about the true life crime of Leopold and Loeb. Levin, who sued the father of Anne Frank, Otto Frank, after Levin was entrusted by Mr. Frank  (without written contract---important to the story) to do two things: to disseminate the prolific diaries of Otto Frank's daughter, Anne, and to write and produce a play based on her diaries.

     This post is about the play, Compulsion, currently at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.  To unravel the tangled threads of the Marionette that is the story that became so burdensome as to nearly ruin the lives of Meyer Levin, his wife Tereska Torres, Otto Frank, who's life already was in ruin by the Nazis, Judith Jones, publisher at Doubleday, Barbara Zimmerman, editor of Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, who was herself the age Anne Frank would have been, had she lived---is too much for me here---I suggest you see the play. If I could, I would compel everyone to see the play.
     It all seems complex, I'm sure, so I suggest you find your way to Berkeley to see the tour de force production starring Mandy Patinkin no less,  along with several lovingly hand-crafted works of art that are the Marionette puppets, and their three young puppeteers, Emily DeCola, Daniel Fay, Eric Wright. Puppets are courtesy of the puppeteers, of Puppet Kitchen, and Matt Atcheson, Puppet Designer and Supervisor. As Emily DeCola  explains in the Puppet Kitchen video at the Berkeley Rep website,  http://www.berkeleyrep.org, "Puppeteers are often Puppet Designers, are often Puppet Builders, there is overlap all the time." Also, in the playbill credits, Puppet Consultant, Basil Twist.

      This post is about two things:
      It is about what I experienced the play to be about,  the colliding worlds that are the universe within each human being, in conflict with other universes within other humans in normal times, that which the Talmud tells us is saved when a human life is saved, that which is lost when murder is done; it is about the horrific consequences of totalitarian war and regime on innocent defenseless humans; it is about the post traumatic consequences of that murder and persecution for the world, forever after.

      It is also about my seat at the theater last night. I was seated in the third row, on the far left. I saw the play in profile. From this privileged vantage point I was able to look up and down the silvery strands that are the work lines of the Marionettes in between the wooden holders held by the three puppeteers, and I got to see the puppeteers themselves, hidden from most of the audience. While the great actor that is Mandy Patinkin in what I heard him in interview on NPR say was the role of his life that has nearly undone him, over and over, in rehearsal and performance acted and I watched; as I sat in awe of him, and his fellow actors, held captive by the diologue and drama, which moved me to tears again and again, I also got to watch the puppeteers themselves. As an artist I know what creative concentration is. I was allowed to look up 25 feet or so, to see the look of art on their faces, watch their graceful movements exactly mirroring the movements of the puppets far below.
     The affect on me was two-fold. It was the feeling of being initiated into the esoteric inner world of something sacred, which made the play, already profound in ways that for me defy description, even greater in it's import. Then there was the juggernaut of the subject matter having to do with the consequences of Nazism which made puppets of the victims, puppets of the nazis themselves, puppets of the people of those dark times, and the people forever after, who are reminded in so many ways by too much in our world now, that we are all puppets.

"Leaving Manhattan"

"Leaving Manhattan" 8x10 Oil on board.
This is a crop of a similar painting with some new details that I painted a few years ago.

NYC Water Towers

.............................................. Sold
"NYC Water Towers" 8x10 Oil on board.
The water towers of Manhattan. They are a part of NYC skyline. If you want water pressure, you need a water tower. : )

FDR Drive

"FDR Drive No.3" 8x10 Oil on board.
All 12 paintings are dry and I’ll offer them for a bidding on eBay. Starting off today with FDR Drive. I've done two paintings with this subject and was in the mood to do one again.

nitty gritty los angeles

I was invited by a dj promoter to paint at a twice yearly event he helps put on called nitty gritty los angeles. It's a dance party from 10pm to 7am held in various locations and this year was in a huge warehouse under the 10 freeway. They had me painting out in the back by the food trucks where everyone came out to relax and cool off. I laid out a scene and then when around sketching people and putting them in the painting. They were all having a great time and digging the piece as it unfolded, it was a very toulouse lautrec evening! here's a little slice of that night. acrylic and glitter on canvas, 30 by 40

treescape with squirrel

I went out with a friend to paint in the gardens at the City of Hope hospital. They were beautiful, like a mini Huntington Library! But I was most interested in the colors coming through the trees and the squirrels and the desire to throw some paint around! so here's a treescape, if squirrels could paint they would paint like me! oil on canvas, 30 by 24

21 Secrets! 21 classes, 21 artists for the price of 1!!

I'm proud to be a member of the new, exciting online class called 21 Secrets! It's being hosted by the fabulous Connie Hozvicka at Dirty Footprints Studio. Inspired by 30 journals in 30 days she has asked the artists that participated to join her in teaching a group art journaling class with 21 teachers teaching 21 classes all for the price of one class- $59 !!!!

That's 21 Awesome Artists : 21 Exciting Classes : 1 Inspiring Playground

In 21 SECRETS you will receive 21 Art Journaling classes all under the same roof for one low price. We're talking loads of instructional videos, tutorials, pdf's, and much more.

The playground is open 24 hours/7 days a week!! All information posted & ready for YOU!

Registration begins Monday, September 20, 2010

The classes officially open on Friday, October 1, 2010

Though we will only be around for a limited time--so jump in fast!
(registration closes December 1st--and come 2011 we'll be gone.)

**Here's the catch: They’re selling it in a strange way so that each individual artist that contributes can get paid. Here’s how it works: The link you follow to purchase the class determines who gets paid. So if you follow the link I send you, I will be paid a percentage, but if you go through someone else’s blog or straight through the DFS site, someone else will. So BE SURE to buy the class through the link below or by clicking the 21 Secrets button at the top of this post, so that I can get credit. Purdy please. ;)

Here is the link to the class that will allow me to earn a percentage:
Remember: this link won’t work until the class goes on sale officially on the 20th.

Click Me to Purchase Through Sarah Whitmire >>

Thank you again for buying it from me! :)

Now here's is a list of all you get! -

Andrea Schroeder

i am magic guides you through the process of using your art journal to embrace intuition and flow and discover your inner magic. play. experiment. explore. find the place where you know that you can do anything. find the place where all of your dreams are possible.


Angelia Thompson

Many of us have carried unresolved childhood experiences into our adulthood, and these incidents often linger with us because as children, our voices were not heard. Let your inner child have a voice and finally release these shadows of the past.


Connie Hozvicka

How many times have you blocked yourself from creating just because you worry that you can’t get what’s in your head out onto the paper? No more! I’m here to show you that it doesn’t matter. Your creativity is depending on you to be FEARLESS and get those images, ideas, and beautiful masterpieces of LOVE out of your head and down on the paper......After I have my way with you you’ll be painting like wild!


Dawn Sokol

Tips and tricks on using up those old credit cards, gift cards, and hotel room keys on your journal pages. We'll not only use them as a tool, but as decoration!

Effy Wild

Plumb your own depths to discover your soul’s purpose and create a beautiful art journal page that reflects that purpose back to you. No drawing required! This class will include an mp3 audio meditation, a step-by-step PDF file, and a video!


Emma Peabody

Learn to create simple, beautiful paper cutting designs and then transform them into fabulous art journal pages. Whether your style is crazy colors, gritty grunge, or simple sweetness, you can use this technique to create eye-catching, truly unique art.


/Hanna Andersson

Thin tissue paper can be found in all kinds of pretty colours at the art store. But I like it best when it comes for free in shoe boxes, flower protection or as gift wrapping. Save it all and let's find some different uses for it in our Art Journals together. We will colour with it, and create textures, transparencies and yummy collage layers!

Heidi Dilley

This lesson is about thinking outside of the studio, letting go of the idea that you have to have fancy art supplies to art journal, and having fun raiding the rest of your house in search of new ways to make art! In this lesson we'll be learning several techniques using ordinary household supplies to make backgrounds, stamp, and open new doors to your creativity. Have you ever used alcohol from your medicine cabinet or bleach from your pantry in your journal? You will after this lesson, and you have my word - when we're done you'll be on a mad hunt through your home looking for anything and everything that you can use to make your mark in your art journal! Come and play with me!


Jonathan "Blade" Manning

Learn how to use different materials to create random splatters, negative images or voids in splatters---why you would want to and when you maybe shouldn’t--and preservation: protecting them in your journal and protecting the REST of your journal from them!

Kelley Warren

Are you a mom wondering how you can incorporate your children into your art journaling? As a mom to twin seven-year-old girls, I love to incorporate my children into my art-making and art-journaling. Join my girls and me as we show you how to incorporate your kids everyday "wisdom" into your art journaling by capturing "the things they say."

Less Herger

Together we'll demystify glazes in acrylic paint.
We'll mix them in various strengths and discuss their uses in paintings and art journals. You can use a glaze to tint collage elements, change the colors of a previous layer of paint or to obscure writing. Glazes are all about layers.

Lis Hofmann

As a support for your art journaling process, or as a practice all on its own,
the Art Postcard is a perfect format for exploring a variety ideas, techniques,
motifs and themes. Learn how to use this versatile format for quick creative
play and discover the endless possibilities to recycle, reuse and reinvent via
the Art Postcard.

Lisa Wilson

Why in the world would one want to do this thing called “art journaling”?
Even if you wanted to, how would you know where to begin? And that stuff, “gesso” – do you apply it or eat it?

We all start somewhere. Those with a wise beginner’s mind start again and again. Journey with me as we explore why & how one would go through this process of art journaling, including a detailed look at some of the basic materials used.

(A little tip before we get started: No, you don’t eat gesso!! )


Boring, static pages got you down? Wish you could keep playing with your pages after the paint has dried? Step right up and spin the journal wheel! I will show you how to incorporate selector wheels into your journal pages and create ever-changing spreads. We will make two wheels: one with images and one with text. It's an easy way to add interactivity and fun to your journal!

Natalie Malik

Love to write, but feel like your handwriting might be flat? Lets enhance, improve and play with your handwriting! Practice how to draw out your favorite fonts to add a different depth to your journaling. Play with different tools and materials to add some boldness! Learn how to add your amazing new skills to your journal!

Paula Phillips

Incorporate your hidden, or not so hidden, thoughts and art in your journal using five different styles of doors and windows. You will learn how to make your pages interactive, and your secrets tucked away, using basic art and scrap booking supplies. Bring your juiciest innermost thoughts and art and turn your art journal into an open window to your creative self.

Samantha Kira Harding

We've all worked on paper, but what about journaling on loose canvas? In this workshop, we'll explore all the fun things you can do when working on canvas -- from freestyle sewing to buttons to lots of water and being completely without boundaries -- a bunch of stuff you simply can't do on paper!

Sarah Whitmire

Have you ever been stuck in a hotel room, a waiting room, a boring conference, anywhere…and thought, “I’d rather be journaling?” Have you ever planned a trip and found yourself agonizing over what materials and art products to pack? This is the class for you! In Jet-Set Journaling: Soul Journal Style, we will start by building the ultimate travel kit for journalers including a look at the type of journal I personally bring on my travels. I will share my absolutely essential travel supplies, give you some fun prompts aimed at using these products, and teach you new ways to use materials found around you to create art that is absolutely unique to your experience. I will also share the invaluable tips and tricks I have learned in my artsy travels, including what and what not to carry onto a plane. In this class I will demonstrate the “field test” of my travel kit on the road, on a plane, and in a hotel room with both video and an easy to print .pdf file. Whether you are traveling across the country, killing time in a waiting room, or waiting for your connecting flight, this class is for all you busy journalers on the go.



Ten fun new ways to play with old book pages in your art journal.

Tami Chacon

Come learn a technique that will add a bit of surreal fun to your journal page.....

Using magazine images, and a few simple supplies we will create new works of art, partially or totally altering the original images. With just a few easy steps you can turn turtles to flowers! This is a resist technique and great if you aren’t fully confident in your drawing ability. You can take those magazine images and alter them to your heart’s content. Layer images, add texture, subtract and add color! --- Create a bit of surreal fun to journal on! The possibilities are endless. This is a technique I come back to often just for the pleasure of playing with images.

Tracie Hanson

Doodle much? Yeah, me too.
Ever doodled on a scale so large that you produced enough whoppin’ doodlicious paper to bind a thick and juicy art journal?
Nope, didn’t think so. I have.
And I’ll show you how with some videos and pdf’s.

In this workshop, we’ll begin by doodling WAY big . . .
then deconstruct it into the makings for your own
beautific doodlicious diary.

So fun, easy and cool, you’ll crank out a dozen in no time!
I’ll even share a few spankin’ specialicious techniques
to make it even purtier.

You’ll dig it. You’ll wanna show off.
And now for a few teaser photos of my class:

My class will consist of a 12+ page easy-to-print pdf. and video!!!

See you there! XOX

the examiner

Meagen Boyd wrote a fantastic article about my painting in the Examiner and I wanted to share it on my blog! It's thoughtful and really captures my feelings about art and painting. awesome!! here's the link: Alex Schaefer: sensualism vs. conceptualism in the realm of painting

antoine's, algier's point, and white linen night

Here are three paintings started or finished in New Orleans. I got the painting of Antoine's to where I like it! It has a luminous light, I really tried to recall my memory of the soft, warm ambiance overall peppered with bright spots of light. Also the owner of Antoine's and her grand daughter, whom I got to meet during my visit, are now in the painting. Yesterday I just got back a package of a few more paintings I did out there, so here is a plein air of the view of the Crescent City from Algier's Point, and a painting of the crowd at dusk out having fun for White Linen Night on Julia Row. oil on canvas, 24 by 30, 18 by 36, and 18 by 24

Street Painting Gold Medal!!!

This August Remmie and I went to Europe to visit family, friends, and to street paint! 21 days to visit, tour, and paint in 2 festivals and for 2 events. We had a great time!

The first, was the original street painting festival, and my favorite, Incontro Nazionale Madonnari in Grazie di Curtatone. I can't tell you how much I love this event. The people, location, everything. Part of the beauty of this event is that it is 24 hours from start to finish. 6pm to 6pm the following day. So, there is a constant stream of people strolling through the event at all hours of the night to see the beautiful paintings the 200, or so, artists are creating. Unfortunately, the first day was rained out. Heavy rain all day! So, the festival was postponed till 8am next morning, if the rain stopped. It stopped all right! It turned into very sunny, hot weather. But 200 artists finished 200 paintings in 12 hours, and it was lovely. The painting I chose to do was a Madonna and Child by Scottish artist Marianne Stokes. It's a stunning painting with a gorgeous dandelion pattern behind the two figures.

Madonna con Bambino... Gold Medal winner in the Maestro Category. The highest street painting honor. I was so happy! Because I won the Gold, I will be designing the festivals 2011 poster. This is something I've wanted to do since I first attended the festival in 2002 and won my first Gold in Semplici category.

We had a fantastic drive from Italy back to Holland to visit with Remmie's family and friend for a few days. But then we were off to The Colors of Valkenburg, a festival in the southern most tip of Holland. The festival is a competition with two categories, Copy Art and Free Art. I chose the Copy Art route since I wanted to paint one of my favorite images. I can't paint it, as is, in the US because it has some nude figures. It's Herbert Draper's, Lament for Icarus. It's stunning! The original is cropped so that you do not see all of Icarus' wings. So I extended them in the street painting so they grew outside the frame of the painting. Remmie helped by painting in the wings with black pigment before I painted the individual feathers on top. He did a great job.

Lament for Icarus... First Place winner in Copy Art! And Third Place Peoples Choice.

By this time in the trip I was totally exhausted but had two more events to do in Holland. Both were for Dutch clients via my friends at PlanetSteetPainting. Thanks Peter!

Here is my favorite of the two which I painted for the Brabant Cultural Festival.

Remmie and I had a wonderful time visiting friends and family and making new street painting friends from all over the world. Miss you all and hope to see you next year!!!

How To Be Alone

I'm loving this video right now. :)

Halloween Show

Come see me in Sanford, FL at the Spirits of Sanford Halloween Art Show!

I will have lots of new Halloween and spooky themed art for sale and old favorites including my cute cupcakes and popular "Old Souls Series" paintings. Come see them in person!

Saturday October 9th at the Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery

Visit the website for more info:

See you there! XOX -Mention that you read about this on my blog and get 10% off your entire purchase.


8x10 Oil on board.
I did not post anything here for more than a month. Meanwhile, I’ve finished 12 new 8x10 paintings. Here is the first one. I’m planning to start posting the rest of them in one week. I hope the oil will be dry enough to make the scan. The scanning process delivers more accurate image of the painting than photo.

tommy's burgers

for the past few days I've been plugging away in my studio working on paintings from New Orleans, so I have been itching to get out and do some plein air painting. This morning I was painting Antoine's restaurant and this afternoon I was painting Tommy's Burgers in Eagle Rock, such visual and culinary variety! ahahhaha! oil on canvas, 24 by 12 (click here for my previous Tommy's painting)

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