Saturday, December 12, 2015

69th Annual Berwick Lights - And a Little Bit of Art History

Saturday, December fifth marked the opening of the 69th Annual Berwick Christmas Boulevard (aka Berwick Lights). The traffic was heavy, but it was worth the wait.

There were plenty of great displays this year.

~ Scrooge ~

And here we have a modern, graphic depiction of a Medieval painting of Christ in the manger. How neat to see this artwork in the Berwick Lights.

Artist:  Giovanni Cimabue
Title: Madonna and Child in Majesty Surrounded By Angels
Date:  1270
Owner:  Louvre Museum

I love how the Medieval artists, such as Italian painter Ciambue, tried to create lifelike figures in their paintings. Cimabue's work was done mostly in the Byzantine tradition; however, he was also a founder of the movement toward more realistic work that culminated in the Renaissance.  

In Medieval artwork, the proportions were never spot on. Notice how Jesus looks like a mini-man vs. a boy. Scroll down, and you'll see some mini-boys in the Berwick Lights display.

The paintings above and directly below, of course, were not featured in the Berwick Lights this year. If they could pull that off, what a joy that would be.

 Artist:  Sandro Botticelli
Angel from “Madonna of the Magnificat”
Date:  1481
Uffizi Gallery, Florence

And then along came the Renaissance artists, who just blew the doors off the stiff and rigid artwork created by Medieval artists. Through the use of linear perspective and masterful techniques of using shadows and highlights, the Renaissance artists created more lifelike and realistic artwork. Amen!

Back to the Berwick Lights and the glorious artwork of the 21st century, created in China of course.Who doesn't like Yoda?

Johnny couldn't get enough of these child figures with infant heads. They're so insane! These are two great examples of how proportions in artwork and/or displays are so important. When the proportion of the body doesn't match the proportion of the head, it's just not going to work. The Medieval artists would have loved these two figures.

 ~ Had a ball at the Berwick Lights! ~

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Painting Windows

It was another beautiful weekend for painting the windows at the Anthracite Newsstand as all the businesses in downtown Wilkes-Barre get ready for the Santa Day Parade. The owners of the Anthracite Newsstand wanted a Minions theme this year.

As always, I had a fun time painting the windows for the owners of the Anthracite Newsstand.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bye Bye Baby

Rest in peace, Baby. We were so sad to see you go on 10/29/15. Julius misses his little Baby, but you're in a better, restful, peaceful place.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Iron and Coal, Petroleum and Steel

Now through October 25, 2015, there's a fabulous art exhibit titled Iron and Coal, Petroleum and Steel: Industrial Art From the Steidle Collection at the Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA. The image above is from Rockwell Kent's Power...for the Wheels of Progress.

  ~ Rockwell Kent's Power...for the Wheels of Progress - 1945 ~

 ~ A closeup of the passenger ~

The painting above was one of my favorites in the collection. It shows trains dumping slag. To learn more about this process, you can watch a neat video about trains dumping slag at Bethlehem Steel in 1994 at this link.

~ Steel by Edmund Marion Ashe (painted before 1942) ~

From the permanent collection is this magnificent Portrait of George Washington by artist Rembrandt Peale. With a name like Rembrandt, it has to be good.


If there's one word that comes to mind for the building and contents of the Henry Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA, it's steampunk. Mom, if you're reading this, steampunk is a genre of science fiction that features old machinery rather than advanced technology.

This building, which was designed by Mr. Mercer, is made out of concrete. Who would have guessed? Again, the guy had a thing for concrete.

It's a hoarder's heaven of tools, old gadgets, machinery, you name it. 

 The staircases throughout the museum were phenomenal.Very grandiose in a concrete kind of way.

The contents in this part of the museum were gracefully arranged, albeit very cluttered. Items hang from the ceiling and railings. If Salvador Dali were alive, he'd love the chaos of this place.

~ An old stagecoach ~

~ An old whaleboat ~

~ Cigar store Indian ~

 ~ Julius ~

~ Apothecary bottles ~

~ Mr. Mercer ~ 

~ Mr. Mercer and his beloved dog, Rollo ~

~ A statue of Rollo in the Mercer Museum ~

~ A view of the outside of the Mercer Museum ~

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Moravian Pottery and Tile Works

After all these years of driving by this magnificent building and never having stopped, it was well worth the trip to the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. Right down the road from Henry Mercer's Fonthill Castle, this building is also a concrete masterpiece. Mr. Mercer obviously had a thing for concrete and tiles.

This is one of the rooms directly next to the gift shop on the first floor. The tour began with a short video explaining the history of the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. 

My dad would go nuts for all the old tools hanging on these walls and throughout the building.  

This is a work space in the corner of the same room on the first floor. What a nice space!

~ Tiles ~

~ Tiles ~

~ And more tiles ~

 This room houses many of the large furnaces used for firing the tiles.

~ Molds for tile making ~

~ More molds ~

~ A view looking outside ~

This is a view from the outside balcony looking toward the highway. 

This is a view from the balcony looking toward Fonthill Castle. 

~ Concrete and tiles ~


~ Smokestack ~


 ~ A closeup of the same smokestack ~

Only an artist would put this much attention to detail into a smokestack. Way to go, Mr. Mercer!

~ The last room on the tour ~