Thursday, July 31, 2008

quote of the day--picasso

Pablo Picasso - "Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."

artist of the day---me

please excuse the above utter lack of humility. (It is sometimes hard to express humor through typing.) I thought I would share this with people whop collect my work and read my daily mumblings.

click link below.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I spent a few hours in the national arts club yesterday. I was invited to come down there and visit. It is an amazing place. I donated an original gardega glass piece to their collection. Will upload some new art tonight

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

blueberrys for sale...

This painting is for sale now on ebay:

artist of the day---vitruvius

Many poeple do not understand that the above drawing by leonardo is a study of the theory of a genius named vitruvius. Much of Leonardo's work and inspiration came direct from vitruvius who was a renaissance genius before the renaissance ever happened. I suggest you google him and learn about him and you can start with the wiki link although I hate wikipedia it is a start...

the more you study him, the more you can learn that leonardo did not arise out of a vacuum but rather had some great sources.

and as DALI said--genius is concealing your sources.

my staten island cover was approved--now I paint two paintings for Nassau county

Friday, July 25, 2008

artist of the day--daniel garber

I generally dont like impressionism as a whole but some of the American regional impressionists weren't so bad. One of my favorite painters from that era is a guy named daniel garber. I have a connection to him as a girl I once dated lived on the former property of his. I used to spend time in his old studio where most of these paintings were made. As the saying goes "the best laid plans of mice and men..."

artist of the day---delacroix

Eugene was a great artist and one of my all time favorites. He was a fiery passionate artist---I like an artist with some fire in their guts. Most artists are very calculating and sober and boring and follow some misguided path or method they picked up along the way like a bug that wont leave them. The point of being an artist is not to be a follower of anyone or anything-- Strike your own path for better or for worse and try to keep a smile on your face during the battle. Delacroix was rival to all the stiff and lifeless Neoclassical painters of the day. He was interested in action and color and movement and life. He looked to Rubens for inspiration which is one of my other favorite artists. The difference between delacroix and his rivals --ingres etc is the difference between willie nelson and garth brooks. I can forgive some technical errors if there is enough fire in a person or a work...I cannot forgive a render of lifeless fruits that are dead before they are even painted.


I am starting a self portrait in oils ..It has been many moons since I painted a self-portrait in oils..I bought a great board to paint it on today...I am going to be very careful not to get sloppy and rush it. This will not be fast food but a banquet of art to be chewed slowly and digested over time. I will try for a Gardega masterpiece but will probably just settle for a Gardega. It is hard to face ones self in a portrait, I would rather paint puppies and go through life in a blind dash for the cash but I have to look in a mirror and I am a harsh judge of myself.

color of the day

today I bought a 35 dollar tube of paint--a small tube of paint the size of a small travel toothpaste tube. why did I pay so much? Because the color is Cerulean Blue. Cerulean blue is the color that is harvested from angel 's wings. Hers is the color of ancient skies and childhood dreams. When next to ultramarine blue there is no finer sky to be found in all the kingdom! There are fake cerulean blues but I would sooner drink salt water or eat tofu....

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I have always wondered if UFO's exist. Whenever I hear a UFO report, I immediately look to see who is the person reporting the UFO. I tend to think that pilots and and scientists are generally people that can be trusted when they report such issues. Finally, I read a report by a person who has a very high level of believability. Namely because he is the person who holds the record for the longest moon walk. Generally Astronauts are people you tend to not think of as flakes (except for the one lady who snapped...) anyways I found this article and interview to be very interesting...\\\,,24069817-5001021,00.html


Here is an illustration from a 1948 American rifleman magazine...I want to use some of these as inspiration down the road but I am not sure how yet..

old magazine

I found a person selling old magazines on the street. A nicely dressed lady was selling jewelry and American Rifleman magazines. The magazines are from the 30's to the 60's. For some reason I find them very interesting, the old illustrations are great and the articles and photos as well. You can really see how magazines changed as you go from the thirties to the later 50's and 60's. There is more great refernce and ideas to be had out of the ten magazines I bought than I care to mention. I never owned a gun, I should never own a gun. I should barely own scissors. I think people should have the right to own guns to protect themselves from crime but I would just wind up shooting my own foot off. I will scan some of the drawings from inside soon...
Here is my new Bronx cover that I picked up today...My indfluence for this piece was art nouveau and also maxfield parrish. Purple and yellow go together like tonto and lone ranger. You will do well in art if you learn how to use purple and yellow and then a little white and green to round out the picture.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

knock knock

The postman knocked twice today with a gift that made my day and my week. A fan and collector of my work sent me a huge book about maxfield Parrish. I have never owned a book by him and I am excited to read every page about a top talent and genius. Mucho Thanks, Gene.

today I deliver my staten island painting--hopefully there will be no changes. Here is a great painting by an artist named Thomas Moran. He is one of the great colorists and landscape painters. google him and loearn more about a great artist.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

update--stateno islando

Here is the latest version...

staten island update

Getting closer. My AC is in long island so I have been painting a cool, windy beach from a 100F apt. I think it is helping because I am motivated by escapism.

staten island

getting closer to home

staten island--unfinished

I am working away on my staten island book cover...Here is what I have so far..scanned in two parts (that explains the line in middle of piece)

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I drew john mcain's portrait tonight---in person at PALM TOO. I think it was an okay job....
not nervous but I was tired ...

Friday, July 18, 2008


Still working on Staten Island project. Actually enjoying the painting more than I thought I would. Went to gallery opening last night, it was a show about garbage and made with garbage. In my opinion it was, well, garbage.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


staten island update

Here is another loose color sketch for my Staten Island cover. It is more work to paint a bad painting than a good painting so I will try to paint a good painting. I will use color pencil and watercolor and then oil glazes on top of it.

rough sketch for bookcover

Here is my first rough idea for my Staten Island cover. It will also have a ferry as well. My influence for this piece will come from the immortal illustrator NC Wyeth.

Staten Island

today I am painting a picture of Staten Island for a book cover. There is actually a nice beach on SI which will be the focus of my piece. I will finish today and photograph and deliver to tomorrow. I have brought a bunch of rubbish from the world largest garbage dump to inspire me as I paint---I will upload my rough sketches soon...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


been buried, knee deep in stupid--- will update tomorrow as I paint Staten Island.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

a single stroke of pen

look closely--- this was drawn with a single continuous pen line--what did you do today?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

daily sketchpad

quote of the day

To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.----gandhi

today I awoke and it occurred to me that it is good to be alex and by that I mean this------ As a researcher one can learn much about names and the name alexander is a defender of mankind. This sounds like a lot of work so I prefer defender of art against the debased currency of modernism and abstraction. Alex draws so you dont have to. Each day is a chance to get better and start a new "line" in the sketchpad of your life. Sometimes you will make nothing worth anything and will retire into the night in misery and other days you will make art that is worthy of the great refrigerator in the sky.


Here is an interesting bit....Golfers were asked to estimate the size of the black holes sprinted on the white paper. It turns out that the better golfers see the holes as larger than they are and the weaker golfers see them as smaller..perception and outlook is everything in the game of art and life...I wonder what it means if you see squares?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

composition lesson--gardega method

Here is a composition lesson I learned by studying Goya.
I chose a still from Apocalypse Now as a reference. To create a picture with a nice composition I suggest the following...First choose or pick a horizon line (shown here by H) draw a diagonal from top right to bottom left D1. (or vice versa) Where H intersects D1 you will find a perfect point of interest in your picture. Next draw a diagonal (d2) from top left to intersect D1 and H...

maxfield parrish

my new obsession is the glazing technique of maxfield parrish.

I will trade a painting to anyone who sends me this book..
I took a subway today and then I started to think about some drawings I wanted to make and when I looked up I was in brooklyn not Manhattan and had gone six stops past my stop... if you are a very right-brained person you spend a lot of time cleaning up the mess with your left brain.


My client approved my rough design for skylite...there are six of the triangles above that form the skylite...I am very into this project because I am a big fan of art deco. I will sell (or trade) the original final sketch...I am still waiting for glass for my 90 foot birch wall...that job is the source of much waiting and anxiety for me. I am also sketching out my Staten Island book cover as well..a lot of deadlines creeping around like ants at a picnic.

4 minute sketch

I have to make a glass carving of an orchid for a client. I figured it was best to go look at a real orchid in a flower shop..they really did want me in there sketching so I had to jot down as much info as I could in a few minutes. There is nothing like seeing a real thing as opposed to a photo...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

question of the day--answered

Now I will probably undo my knowledgeable question with a stupid one. I noticed at that many works of art were not protected by a glass covering over the panting. Wouldn't a valuable classic work of art be preserved longer by protective glass?

Good luck with the new NYC studio and I hope to see your works soon at the Met,


Generally drawings and other works on paper or cardboard are covered in glass. Paintings on canvas or wood are generally not. Paintings like the Mona Lisa are now covered in glass because it is actually better and safer to be covered in glass that can cut UV rays. etc etc...all light can damage paint and fluorescent light gives off harmful radiation. just like it is better to wear sunscreen it is better to cover art in glass...

sketchbook age 7

drawing age 7

I found an old sketchbook from my childhood. My sketchbooks havent changed at all--- one page would have a ridiculous, crude, cartoon and then the next page I would strive for the timeless and classical nature study. As a child I never saw anything in separate compartments, It was all one, all good. As adults we tend to put things in boxes which is, incidentally, more a symptom of the western mind than the eastern mind. It is okay to draw in seven different styles and to explore all sides of art, it just makes it harder for galleries that want you to bake only one kind of bread..

1978 spelling test

As a child I excelled in spelling and english and science but I could never understand math. My math skills were and are very weak (except for geometry.) I still use my fingers to add 8 and 5, the math side of my brain is a car with flat tires. My brain is so right-heavy that I am surprised I can walk without my head leaning to one side.

daily sketchbook page

Here is yesterday's sketchbook page...just a bunch of meandering thoughts and lines. For some reason I drew a portrait of Ray Kelly the police commissioner in the upper left. If you dont draw everyday you get rusty like an old swing and risk putting the children of your talent and genius at risk. I have been so busy I have neglected my pencil more than I like.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Staten Island

It is that time again, folks. Time for Alex to paint a another yellow page bookcover..this time it is Staten Island I will paint like a saint without taint. One must find inspiration in anything one paints so it is not dead on arrival like a mafia victim. One must dig deep inside and seek out a spark to keep oneself inspired and "in the paint." Staten Island paintings are a challenge for me and I will hop on the ferry this week searching for the ghost of a muse that blows through her salty air..etc etc

answer to photo quiz

the photo was of George Orwell---an artist who is as relevant as ever. There is still time to bid on pieces on ebay..I will drop off my skylite sketches today to client.

Monday, July 7, 2008

deco glass skylite design by gardega

I have been commissioned to design a skylite for an upscale event space in NYC. Here is a rough sketch of my art deco inspired panel. There are six of these panels total. My inspiration came from the Chrysler building elevators. I fabricated the glass panels for the chrysler building elevators about five years ago and the job stuck in my mind ever since because it was "mind numbingly" complex. I dont think I ever fully recovered from that job stress. This job will be a pleasure compared to etching 1000 numbers...


photo of the day

great photo--cant say I am comforted by the scooter- police.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Jupiter's surface

When I see an abstract painting this good I will accept abstract art as an art form..

flower of life

happy fourth of july weekend

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Fourth of July. I have a busy July ahead and plan to make as much art as possible! I have added a counter to my blog so that is exciting--it' s the little things that make me happy. If I am lucky I will have some press coming up soon which is always good, press is like steroids for a baseball need it but it always makes you feel weird. Can anyone name this man?

Friday, July 4, 2008

summer read

Here is what I am reading....this and a book about the Beatles called Shout! EMC2 book is okay, interesting, but could have been better written..Beatles book is well written...

words of the day...

In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he's had the pleasure to have known,
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say hello.

On the corner is a banker with a motorcar,
The little children laugh at him behind his back.
And the banker never wears a mac
In the pouring rain, very strange.

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back

In Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen.
He likes to keep his fire engine clean,
It's a clean machine.

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
A four of fish and finger pies
In summer, meanwhile back

Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout
A pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray
And though she feels as if she's in a play
She is anyway.

In Penny Lane the barber shaves another customer,
We see the banker sitting waiting for a trim.
And then the fireman rushes in
From the pouring rain, very strange.

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back.
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
There beneath the blue suburban skies,
Penny Lane.

artist of the day

there are artists and then there are artists...

quote of the day

You are a sick, sick man.
And I mean that in the best possible way.---journalist from a major New York daily newspaper after a recent vieiwing of my last supper painting


today I created the term NART. This is my word and I created it today to specify what is art and what is not art.

For example---Dogs Playing Poker---NART

Photos of mrs. Greenbaum's Poodles----NART

Drawings and paintings by Gardgea--- Mucho ART

Photos of three legged dogs---could be Art

dumbing down

I used to worry that America was one of the few countries that was being "dumbed down" but now I am convinced that we are not alone and I am comforted by that thought.

one could hope that the audience was goofing on this poor soul but I am sorry to say they were not...

the average human or world citizen can tell you the names of the cast of seinfeld but do not ask them about the world around them outside the idiot box.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

dogs playing poker

Most people know the image of Dogs Playing Poker. These paintings were painted by an illustrator (a quaker) from NY who was commissioned to paint them as advertisements for cigars. Many critics call them schlock- art. I take the stance that they were "work for hire" and created for advertisement purposes so they must be viewed in that context. The fact that they were commissioned as illustrations mean they were not created by an artist for the sake of making a statement or to change anything but rather to collect a check. I do my share of commercial/ illustration work and I do believe there is a difference between fine art and illustration... My only question is this--is that piece of Americana-kitsch any worse than the crap we are spoon fed by galleries today. Is it any worse than a shark rotting in formaldehyde? I went to the met and saw that shark and it was so depressing I had to run back to see my Rembrandt's to feel a sense of hope for humanity. I am not defending dogs playing poker, I am using it as a watermark for our collective sense of taste (or lack thereof.)


I would like to thank Stand UP MRI on 77th and 2nd for accepting my painting in exchange for an MRI scan of my squishy- grey matter. I have spent hours looking on the internet comparing my brain to other images. I have a sneaking suspicion that artist brains are like the brains of crazy people and I am excited to continue searching for such links. I do believe I have enlarged ventricles which according to "the net" seems to be common in those who have gone around the bend. Also, bright white spots are something you dont really want-- if you have your druthers (which you don't) I guess there is not a ton you can do if you find out you have a bad hunk of grey cheese upstairs as replacing it with a new one is prohibitively expensive for the average human.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

headline of the day

Sunny Side Of Creative Destruction

(I found this on Forbes online.....)


today I spent the Day with a photographer and reporter from a nyc newspaper. They followed me around as I bartered my art throughout NYC. My favorite trade was a stand up brain MRI for a painting. I am very imppressed with the technology and have many ideas for artwork using the MRI images. The above image is actually an MRI of my face. It was an odd experience and took about 1/2 an hour of sitting dead still with magnets whirring around my skull. If all goes well I will have an article out as well.


my website has been overhauled--still needs some work but It is getting there..

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Brain MRI

Alex is most excited today because I have managed to trade a piece of art for a brain MRI! I am most excited because I am convinced and always have been convinced that my brain is-- how should I say---"shaped a bit different." Tomorrow I will get a stand up MRI while a reporter and a photographer watch me get "scanned." I am as excited as a child at Christmas...I have been obsessed with magnets my whole life and I have always wanted an MRI of grey matter! I will upload the actual scan when I get back home...

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of your head and body. Your doctor uses these detailed, clear images to identify and diagnose a wide range of conditions.

blueberry on ebay

quote of the day

Steven Wright - "A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths."

blueberry pastry

Veniero's Pastries in NYC gave me a bunch of pastries to paint yesterday. Some of them got a bit mashed- up in transit but here is a work in progress of a blueberry pastry. They are really like little works of art in themselves..this painting is only about 50% finished. The inspiration to paint these came form a book of old Spanish still life paintings that had a bunch of great paintings of confections. This wil be finished today and up for bid. Contact me to purchase.

quote of the day--plato

Death is not the worst that can happen to men.

Alice in Winter Watercolor

12  x 16 inches on arches paper to purchase