Gray Squiggly Gravel Smile

Visual TREat squiggly

A sidewalk and an artwork mirror each other

A City sidewalk takes on the fancy-pants art world.   


Visual TREat #6.

When you are on TheRoadsEdge, remember to Look Both Ways.

What have you seen recently that takes on the art world?


Cultural Couples

TheRoadsEdge Blog, Cultural Couples

Cultures dictate that we should appear different. But one thoughtful look and we really are the same. 

  • I was walking in Prospect Park. I was walking behind the couple on the left and, at a fork in the road, decided to leave them alone so I veered to the left. Immediately, I was behind the couple on the right. Immediately, I started thinking about how one culture allows and even requires its women to dress scantily. And, how the other culture dictates that the women be fully covered. So radically different in culture but just so incredibly similar in this moment: both couples were walking slowly, taking in the scenery and enjoying each other’s company. Both seemed like they were on dates. Both couples were doing exactly the same thing. 

Originally posted to FB on July 10, 2013. Your response.

Visual TREat #9.

Jellyfish Graffiti

TheRoadsEdge Blog Jellyfish Graffiti

I walk by this pink jellyfish often. It’s one of many pink jellyfishes sprayed on the walls in this particular spot in Carroll Gardens. I like it. It’s simple. The artist sprays just enough to create a pile of pink that then drips down and stops – just – in – time. And there you have it, the jellyfish’s tentacles.

So, one day, nearby in the Ikea parking lot, I saw this round cement barrier. It is one of many. And just like with the jellyfish graffiti sprayer, the rain piled up just enough to make the drips all along the outside. Drips that also look like tentacles. And in this case, the whole cement object is pretty much the same shape as a real jellyfish.

How beautiful is that?

  • A pink jellyfish on a wall. Its tentacles created from paint dripping.
  • In the same neighborhood, rain on a concrete ball.

Originally posted to FB on June 18, 2013.  Your response.

Visual TREat #5.


Abstract Skys

TheRoadsEdge Blog, Abstract Skys

Waiting for a train in Hudson, NY. I looked up from my book to see the sky fully lit and glowing. And it reminded me of a painting I had finished weeks earlier – of steel gray clouds passing in front of an horizon orange with the sun setting. Art, meet life. 

 Originally posted to FB on June 5, 2013. Your response.

Iron Flower Pattern

TheRoadsEdge Blog, Iron and flower pattern

Nature is design’s teacher and there are examples of it everywhere. 

  • Nature is design’s teacher. And we have taken creative inspiration from it for ages. That iron door is a great example. The flowers are clustered in rows just like in the photo.
  • Bonus: The little strip of yellow flowers in the photo on the right suggests the little strip of white light along the right edge of the iron gate :)

Originally posted to FB on May 29, 2013. Your response.

Visual TREat #3.


Pink Blossom Abstract

TheRoadsEdge Blog, Pink Blossom Abstract

A real landscape becomes more abstract than an abstract painting of one.

 Crop a portion of your world. Remove the perspective. Everything flattens.

  • In this case, peeking through the gorgeous layer of fallen cherry blossoms are random shapes. Without perspective, it becomes really close to the abstracted landscapes I’ve been working on in the studio.
  • The image on the left? That’s one of my paintings.

Have you ever unwittingly created an abstract landscape?

Originally posted to FB on May 13, 2013. Your response.

Visual TREat #1.


Graffiti Bark (or, how a metal pole can resemble a tree)

Metal street pole with graffiti mimics neighboring tree trunk and bark

Any time you think:

I don’t know how to draw something;

I don’t have the skills;

I don’t have the imagination, the talent, the schooling;

Think about this “graffiti bark”.

Someone scrawled thick black lines on this metal light pole. Nothing new, right? But next to it, there’s a skinny tree. They are about the same size.


Compare the inked black squiggly lines with the tree’s chunky crevices.

Aren’t they surprisingly similar?

Doesn’t the metal post now look like a radically modern version of a tree. How fantastic is that?

Without sweating the details and worrying about what bark really looks like, we have an example of how it can be drawn.

Take away your self-imposed rules that dictate how you should see or draw something. Free up your hand and loosen your mind, let your own interpretations unfold in front of you.

You can draw.

Take the Sky (and Upend it onto the Earth)

blue sky with green earth both flattened vertically on the painting surface

Take the sky and upend it onto the earth

How do we generally look at a landscape? The land rolls out in front of us and the sky lifts up from the horizon way off in the distance.

A simple painting of that could be: the bottom half of the canvas would be green and the top half of the canvas would be blue.

Consider this on a painting: the land is fully, from the bottom to the top, covering the canvas. It’s a gorgeous green field fully covering the canvas. The painting is a green square.

And on the same painting, consider that the sky is fully, bottom to top, covering the canvas. It’s a gorgeous, ultimarine blue sky that is covering the green field.

What you have now is a blue square covering a green square.

Saying it creatively, I’ve literally placed the sky over the land and I’ve opened the sky up here and there so that the land can peek through. In this painting, the sky and the land are one.

Pavement Art (or, how a sidewalk made a great portrait)

Bust of a man etched randomly in the sidewalk

I stand in awe of the world sometimes. Here’s a crack in a granite sidewalk with the remnants of a metal signpost and various sized stones stuck into the dirt and it is creating, at least for me, an portrait of a slightly disheveled and anxious man.



Let’s just say it reminds me of a Francis Bacon painting and, well, Mr. Bacon himself.

black & white photograph of Francis Bacon