UNTERMEYER PARK: HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL

A magical journey to Untermeyer Park. Stunning yet haunting. With a nefarious past.

In the 1970’s it was in such bad decay. There were no gardens. No fountains. It was overgrown and falling apart.

The story of satanic activities and the Son of Sam hanging out in the midnight hours is really creepy.

On a happier note John Lennon visited the decayed Temple of Love. Here he is right before his untimely murder.

Untermeyer Park has been restored from its evil past. A must see in Yonkers.

PAINTINGS FROM THE DEAD: THE SPIRITUALIST ARTISTS

You can’t make this stuff up! Artists who created paintings from the spirit world!

It was called the “Second Great Awakening “. The American Spiritualism Movement originated in Lily Dale and Rochester New York in the early 19th century teaching communion with the dead. Reflecting on “Romanticism ” it was based on enthusiasm, emotion and an appeal to the “Supernatural “. The clergy were mediums – lay folk who believed they had the ability to speak for loved ones who had passed.

I have known about seances, table-rapping, ghost photos,etc. However, I just learned there were mediums capable of creating paintings through the spirits of the dead. This group of artists deserve to have their stories told. I will be posting a series on these artists. Today the Campbell brothers.

CAMPBELL BROTHERS – 1898 – 1926

In the spiritualist community of Lily Dale, New York the Campbell brothers Allan and Charles found their calling as mediums. Not truly brothers, Charles was born Charles Shourds, it was believed by many they were a gay couple. But the Spiritualist Movement of Enlightenment accepted all especially the psychically gifted.

The brothers talents included spirit portraits created in pastel or oils. Allan acquired a spiritual guide called Azur. In 1898 during a session Allan channeled Azur’s spirit on a 40″ x 60″ oil painting. He never touched the canvas. The room was dark with a minimum light enough for those present to witness the portrait emerging. To ensure there was no fraud each guest was encouraged to place personal marks on the back of the canvas. Allan, in a trance, commanded Azur’s portrait and during this time it gradually developed as the guests watched in awe. I have to say Allan/Azur were fast. The portrait appeared in great detail in 90 minutes! I thought I was fast working in 2 hours. Here is the portrait.

The Campbells were never arrested for fraud as some other mediums were. The paintings are in the Lily Dale museum. Was it a hoax??? I kind of like believing it is not. Oh well.

Can I conjure up a spirit painting???

The book “Precipitated Spirit Paintings ” by Ron Nagy goes in depth on spiritual painters. Check it out on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Precipitated-Spirit-Paintings-Ron-Nagy/dp/1931942277/ref=pd_sim_14_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=417YDJAY66BXTZ5M9V6K

MIND OF AN ARTIST: STUDY A BLADE OF GRASS

My mind is a monkey mind.

I know it's my ADHD. There is a quality of my life that resembles a circus. I'm always trying to train those monkeys to perform the right way. Okay you guys get yourselves in order.

I actually become the lion tamer trying to force my creativity to perform. Not only to perform but to kick ass perform.

Here's where pressure to be a creative genius sets in. In other words here comes the artist block! I HAVE TO DO THE BEST PAINTING OR DO NOTHING! So I do nothing.

The monkeys are doing nothing so out of boredom they start to act out. Avoidance creates havoc and chaos. I end up hating myself for being unproductive. It's a great big circus ring ready to explode.

My thinking is creativity needs to be a high experience with lots of bells and whistles going off. There's no sanity. There's no peace. Every work of art has to be created from a psychedelic experience. Don't forget I come from the original hippie lifestyle. The Magical Mystery tour. But it's becoming clear that flying by the seat of exploding pants is not working.

So that is why I am choosing to study a blade of grass. Slow down get off the merry go round. Be a quiet painter. I cannot be a superhuman artist. Study a blade of grass.

Here are plein air paintings done with the mindset of "study a blade of grass ".

START WITH A DOODLE:  WATERCOLOR PAINTING 

So again I have been in a creative block.  I was reminded of the quote by artist Chuck Close regarding artistic inspiration.  

“AMATEURS LOOK FOR INSPIRATION, THE REST OF US JUST GET UP AND GO TO WORK “

Can’t argue with that!!!   So I called upon my formula for breaking paralysis… START WITH A DOODLE!

I have a wonderful portable watercolor kit created to take anywhere.  A pouch filled with portable brushes and an assortment of wonderful pots of special paints.  An inexpensive set of watercolors.  Tiny tubes of gouache. Paper towels. And a 9″ x 12″ pad of cold pressed watercolor paper. Easy travel and easy clean up.  


Here is the doodle and I really got into working and playing the colors and the liquid flow of the medium.   And from the doodle two exciting and free expressive paintings. 



 

MORE EMERGING ARTISTS IN RIVERDALE 

Margie never painted and I think she is so talented. Here are her works after 3 months in my class. 

INSPIRING ART IN RIVERDALE

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My mission to engage people in creativity is finally happening! My painting classes at the Riverdale Senior Center have now begun their 3rd session!! This post is to show the incredible art from people who never painted before.

And a new student who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s has joined. Robert is a professional artist who studied at the Art Students League. He has a studio upstate New York. However, since his mental decline he has not done art for a long time. I told him the first day that he is still an artist and he can create just like Monet when his eyesight went bad.

My painting classes are not about skill. I do not teach technique. There is a very spiritual connection to art and one student, Margery, has exceptional talent.

So here’s to Riverdale’s emerging artists. And please do not refer to them as seniors dabbling in art. Their work is fearless and vibrant. Totally alive and ageless!

The following are by Robert who has Alzheimer’s:


STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO 

ART – FDA APPROVED STRESS RELIEVER 

People think art is not for them.  It is only for talented artists.  Art is mysterious.  It’s messy and too much trouble. The bottom line is art has become a unnecessary part of life.  And we have separated people into creatives and non-creatives. 

I’m determined to address this myth and encourage people to engage in art as a way to create a balanced mind. It can be visual art, music, dancing, singing or writing.  Creativity and imagination can improve the quality of life.  

Stop listening to the news and start doing ART!!!

I have created a very inspirational painting class in the Bronx. 


UNFINISHED

I kill a lot of paintings because I don’t know when to STOP.

A new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is exploring this artistic dilemma.  It is called “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible ” .  I t will run till September 4th.

UNFINISHED THOUGHTS

Exhibition at Met

I’m inspired now to show my unfinished art without shame but to celebrate their presence.  I am taking them out of hiding.

Will I ever finish them?   Maybe. Maybe not.  But they are just as important as finished art.

WHAT UNFINISHED ART ARE YOU HIDING?  

EVERYONE POST YOUR UNFINISHED ART AND WE WILL ALL CELEBRATE!!

TIME FOR A FUN POST

I like to post art I have done and then the photos behind it.  I call it the art of inspiration.  Jimi Hendrix was part of my hippie days and I got to see him at the Filmore East during the sixties.  Yikes.  I found this photo on the internet and below is the watercolor drawing I did of him as a doodle (I always was prolific and would draw on scrapes of paper.  I’m grateful that my mother saved my drawings.
01789b7c754c5f52b57544d3c732fb0dJimi Hendrix 1969

MEET PHOTOGRAPHER SAM HORINE

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As an artist in today’s art world I make sure I get out and learn what other artists are doing to be successful with their art.  I posted the lecture I attended at the National Arts Club on how artists are using Instagram to promote their work. 

I took a seat in the front row as I always do and that put me within a foot of the handsome face of Sam Horine, one of the guest speakers   Sam radiated a sense of true authenticity and confidence without ego   I’m good at picking up “artistic ego driven” vibes   A couple of them sat next to me.  You know the kind.   They think they’re the most talented artists around.  They are usually seniors belonging to prestigious art clubs and have been going to art school forever.  They desperately want to be famous and sell their art.  Behind me sat a prominent (that’s how he was introduced) sculptor who has been known in the art world.  I tried to engage in a conversation but was dismissed.  They always look down their noses when they dismiss you right!

STOP…back to the real topic of this post…Sam.  Why I want to put him on my blog is that he is an example of an artist who creates because it is his soul.  And he is an artist who is open to all people.  He is adjunct professor at NYU teaching photography.  He is a successful freelance photographer working with major companies.  Best of all he is SAM and his work is expressive of the integrity I felt being across the table from him.

The artist savage next to me questioned him with “are you selling on Instagram ?”  He graciously replied that he doesn’t use Instagram as a tool to sell.  He said it was more important to use it to show his work to a large audience.  That being said the senior artist savage grumbled and I know she won’t be using Instagram.

Here’s to Sam Horine.  An artist in the true sense of the word.

His website: http://www.samhorine.com  knock out photography