(Above) Photograph of the artist at the window with his temporary painting table in Philadelphia.
A Window on Philadelphia
The exhibition of Prints by Gallery Artists is on view until 27 February at Gallery Joe in Philadelphia and three of my prints are included in the venue: Night II, and Water Tower and my accordion fold book, April 2008. I have just returned from seeing the exhibition and highly recommend it. As well as stepping back and seeing a few of my prints in a fresh context, I enjoyed studying the works of 16 other excellent artists hung in a salon style presentation: Astrid Bowlby, Emily Brown, Lynne Clibanoff, Christine Hiebert, Marilyn Holsing, Jeanne Jaffe, Mary Judge, Sharon Louden, Winifred Lutz, Rob Matthews, Linn Meyers, Kate Moran, Stephen Robin, Samantha Simpson, Mark Sheinkman, Martin Wilner. The installation is connected with the city-wide, season-long focus on contemporary printmaking titled Philografika.
In order to make it to the Gallery Joe opening, my family and I drove on Friday from our home just north of Washington DC, ahead of a massive snowstorm. The light snow started just as the reception began and certainly didnât dampen the opening crowd; at times I could hardly find a place to stand as the big crowd ebbed and flowed. Over the course of the evening I got to meet and talk to quite a number of artists and visitors (see below). After dinner, we retired to our hotel room as the snow and wind grew stronger and the blizzard began to roar into town. Originally we had intended to visit some of the Philadelphia museums and galleries over the weekend, hoping to see some of the other Philographika venues, but when we woke, it was clear, most everything was closed that day. So, I pulled my chair and table up to the small window of our hotel room three stories up. As I gazed across I-95 and the Delaware River, the second largest snowstorm in Philadelphia history moved through. Sitting in my comfortable quarters I witnessed twenty eight inches of snowfall before it was over.
It was a pleasure just to sit and look. I saw wave after wave of snow blowing nearly horizontally past the window, at times the view nearly went white. Dark settled slowly and the lamps came on. As the snowstorm faded, I was sorry to see it go. I made only one drawing in my journal (see below). I took no notes; I didnât have any noteworthy dreams that evening. But I have no doubt that the peace and beauty I experienced in front of that window will fortify me for a long time to come. Sometimes journaling is just looking; looking deeply. Warmest thanks to Becky and Gil Kerlin, Jenny, and Sam.
(Above) Philadelphia Blizzard. Sketch made Saturday 6 February 2010, watercolor, graphite, and pen and ink on Arches paper in bound volume, page 4 x 6". (Below) The artist at Gallery Joe discussing with visitors his accordion fold print project, April 2008 on view in the display case. Photographs by Samantha Ritchie.