NoseGo at Paradigm Gallery

Posted by DoN Brewer on June 04, 2012
Nosego at Paradigm Gallery
NoseGo at Paradigm Gallery

NoseGo at the new Paradigm Gallery

Paradigm Gallery moved to 803 South Fourth Street after a having a go at 20th & South. The new gallery looks just like the old one but now will attract the audience curator Sara McCorriston is seeking.  NoseGo is the featured artist in the new space with a fantastic collection of paintings in a style combining surrealism, animal portraits, skate-punk and street art with classic brushwork and paint application.  Fourth Friday on Fourth Street, South of South Street, is a monthly art event and the grand opening of the new space was packed with art enthusiasts, NoseGo & I stepped out onto Fabric Row to talk about the show.


Nosego at Paradigm Gallery
NoseGo at Paradigm Gallery

DoN: I really like your work, it’s kind of surrealism mixed with collage and street art.

NoseGo: I guess it’s urban contemporary art, you know? It’s street art inspired but I try to throw a little bit of traditional work into the mix.

DoN:  You’ve got a lot of skill.

NoseGo: Thank you, it’s like it’s not but at the same time it can be.  Also, just because a lot of the paintings are kind of subconscious, so often I’ll start with an animal that I want to paint and depending on what I’m listening to and the mood I’m in it kind of like inspires what builds around it.  And then often if I want a certain type of shape? I’ll start to think of objects or elements that have either a certain type of curvature or something more angled or longer, elongated to form this composition that I want.  And then often I try to picture the work just like black and white as if it was a silhouette, that’s how I create the imagery.

Nosego at Paradigm Gallery
NoseGo at Paradigm Gallery
Nosego at Paradigm Gallery
NoseGo at Paradigm Gallery

DoN:  So it’s all thought out ahead of time then?

NoseGo:  It is, but never planned, the only time it’s planned is when I do work for clients and they want to see what it’s going to look like. But for me personally, I like to be surprised by the end result.  I feel if I already know what it’s going to look like it’s kind of boring, and even if I have an idea in my head, but it’s always changing. I’ll sit down and think I want to paint a tiger and have a van on top of his head and what shapes and elements can I put around it to make it more interesting as a composition.

DoN: Is there any symbolism to the animals?

NoseGo: Sometimes, not often. A lot of time when you see a tiger or it can be from maybe like something that someone read the wrong way, a lot of times when you see a wild animal with one of my more cartoon characters, it’s kind of the way I picture myself.  Like a silly guy, I’m outside but inside, I’m more a powerful creature but it’s playful, I’m not trying to push meaning. But when you see those type of paintings that’s often what I’m getting at.

DoN: You mentioned street art, did you make a transition from street art to gallery art?

NoseGo: Yes, I think so. It was a weird transition. So, I grew up in Philadelphia and I took fine art classes, my Mom was an illustrator, I took classes at Fleisher and then I went to CAPA and I had a painting teacher named Jaqueline Kunin and she would only let us use primary colors and white, we had to make all our colors from scratch. I learned great color theory from her. And then I took oil painting classes at PAFA while I was in High School, with Al Gury, I believe he’s still there, if I’m not mistaken.

DoN: Um, he’s the top guy at PAFA.

NoseGo: Oh!


Nosego at Paradigm Gallery
NoseGo at Paradigm Gallery

NoseGo: He was a great teacher and I was still in High School when I had him. He taught me a lot. And it wasn’t until college that I studied film but I was still doing art and I guess around that time I started to explore more of the style I wanted to have with my work. Because I didn’t want to just paint, like, I have a great appreciation for fine art, but I didn’t want to just do landscapes and live drawings. I wanted to find a way of making it more playful.

Nosego at Paradigm Gallery
NoseGo at Paradigm Gallery
Nosego at Paradigm Gallery
NoseGo at Paradigm Gallery


Written and photographed by DoN Brewer, Contributing Writer, Philadelphia Art Blog offers online and in-person one-on-one consulting services to visual and craft artists and art businesses.  Read all about it here.

[Affiliate Disclosure Page]

Blick Art Materials’ Current Promo Code



Art Ability at the Philadelphia Foundation Community Gallery

Posted by DoN Brewer on May 23, 2012
David Gerbstadt, Art Ability at The Philadelphia Foundation Community Gallery.
David Gerbstadt, Art Ability at The Philadelphia Foundation Community Art Gallery

David Gerbstadt is an artist, entrepreneur and author, his drawing ‘“We Have Cream Cheese” “The French Coming Home from the Moon“‘, in the Philadelphia Foundation Community Art Gallery is like a wormhole in space time warping the viewer off into another galaxy.  Pseudopodia of neon tentacles wiggle through the morass of lifeforms occupying the picture plane, dozens of pairs of eyes google back at you, like a psychedelic documentary worked out in magic marker.  Gerbstadt actually likes to keep it plain, he’s one of those artists who can take simple materials and elevate their utility to a higher level.  In the corporate setting of the Philadelphia Foundation Community Art Gallery, the drawing draws attention to itself with vibrancy, clarity and uniqueness, a portal to the art world.  One of the famous Philadelphia Dumpster Divers, David Gerbstadt‘s recognizable style represents an era where over stimulation, mixing media and metaphors, mashing up symbols and signs, is not just expected, it’s the norm.  David Gerbstadt just launched his cool new website with a selection of products including his book, One Breath At a Time.

Edward Woltemate, Art Ability at The Philadelphia Foundation Community Gallery
Edward Woltemate Jr., Art Ability at The Philadelphia Foundation Community Art Gallery

Edward Woltemate Jr.‘s story, his elevator pitch so to speak, is so memorable you’ll never forget it and you will probably repeat this story to someone else.  The outsider artist is deaf, he makes drawings of alien planets with it’s inhabitants accompanied with a journal/legend describing how far away from the distant planet we are here on Earth.  Woltemate imagines, or knows, every detail of the alien world and densely inhabits and encodes his drawings with memes of that far away place creating a sense of reality, an assuredness of the existence of extraterrestrial life.  Woltemate mixes media but really works colored pencil to full effect, a watery wash glosses color fields reworked with more pencil layering the image, shifting planes and horizons convince us of the artists conviction to his reality.  The map to Planet Whoois is on the back of the drawing.  I wonder what alien poetry he imagines?

Joan Fabian, Art Ability at The Philadelphia Foundation Community Art Gallery
Joan Fabian, Art Ability at The Philadelphia Foundation Community Art Gallery

Artist Joan Fabian is hearing impaired, she says that’s why her paintings are so loud.  The pair of paintings in The Philadelphia Foundation Community Art Gallery seem to be slipping into another universe, fields of color force their way over the edges into the picture plane as if the new color has plans to take over.  Amorphous shapes speak to each other in a language of memories, using voices only they can hear.  Play Time and Walking on Water have the feel of being under the sea, imaginary creatures the subjects of the paintings, the overwhelming waves of color the narrative.  The paintings actively resonate with each other through tones and hues, shapes and lines, a dialog that’s not too loud but loud enough to not be ignored.

The Philadelphia Foundation Community Art Gallery is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Art Ability: A Celebration of Artists with Disabilities will be on display through August 24. It is the 37th exhibition to be held in the Community Art Gallery, which was established in 2000 as a shared space where local arts organizations, artists and patrons can gather to build greater support for the arts. The Gallery also highlights the Foundation’s Arts & Culture Fund, a permanent endowment that supports local arts organizations’ efforts to build community through the arts.

Read more about Art Ability:

DoN Brewer, Three Group Shows

Art Ability 2011 offers online and in-person one-on-one consulting services to visual and craft artists and art businesses.  Read all about it here.

Written and Photographed by DoN Brewer, Contributing Writer, Philadelphia Art Blog

[Affiliate Disclosure Page]

Blick Art Materials’ Current Promo Code

Certain Circuits Volume 2.1

Posted by DoN Brewer on April 23, 2012

Certain Circuits Magazine  is a Tumblr blog curated by Bonnie MacAllister to facilitate a public forum, “founded by artists, Certain Circuits Magazine publishes poetry, experimental prose, art, and new media. We are especially interested in documenting multimedia collaborative work between artists.”  The blog provides public web space for the writing to be expressed in a modern media but with a distinctive readability like a magazine. For the launch of the next on-line issue of Certain Circuits is publishing a real magazine, their second issue, I have had an advance copy on my desk all week and it’s beautiful. That’s really the best word I can think of, beautiful.  The small format, soft cover book designed by Jim Tuite is a compact collection of poems, prose, photography, paintings, sculptures, an eclectic intellectual introduction to emerging writers and artists.  Each page has an intriguing image packed with narrative, poems short and long, accompanied by a bio of the artist, Certain Circuits 2.1 is an accomplished feat in information design.

Certain Circuits 2.1 takes the inspiration and mash-up aspect of an arts blog and turns it into book form which feels like an anachronism, but even now, the ultimate in recognition for writers and artists is to be published.  And this book/magazine gives full credit to the artists providing extra credit for resume’s.  Bonnie MacAllister is a connector in the art world, drawing resources together to create opportunities and participation in the community through sharing, collaborating and action.  For this book Kickstarter ensured the printing would happen, creating a true collectors item representing a period of time in the art world when Tumblr is an important tool in the accessibility and promotion of the arts.  I am very proud to have been included in the winter 2011 issue of the Certain Circuits blog, my photo “light beings (Lorraine & Charles)“, see it in my Side Arts portfolio, new work will be included in the next on-line issue and my photography will be represented in the group show at Flying Carpet Cafe, all the info is below:

We’ll be screening films, showcasing music and writers, and exhibiting art by our contributors. You’ll be able to pick up 2.1 and have it signed many of our artists.  The cover is by local Philadelphia artist, Kevin Von Holtermann.The Flying Carpet has a full bar. You can find their menu options on their Facebook page: We strongly encourage you to “like” the Flying Carpet.FEATURED PERFORMANCES BY
2pc. Death Machine: a lo-fi garage/basement indie band from Philadelphia Have Been Floated: New Jersey hive mind rock and roll APPEARANCES BY
**natalie c. felix, Maleka Fruean, Warren Longmire, Kelly McQuain, Tamara Oakman, Hugh What & Hal SirowitzWITH A WORD FROM…
Pam Cole, Lucretia Coleman, and Lesley Haas

Jeanine Campbell, Anthony Donovan, Brandon Lord Ross, Sara Suleman, Jim Tuite, and a collaboration by Adah Gorton & Adam Zucker

Aja Beech, Ellen Bonett, DoN Brewer, Richardson I. Comly, Laura Elkins, **natalie C. felix, Kelly Flegal, Krochet Kitty,warren longmire, Melissa MacAllister, Brian McClendon, Jody McGrath, Rachel Blythe Udell, and Kevin Von Holtermann 

Read about our Kickstarter 2.1 success here:

RSVP here on Facebook.

$5 door donation
This is a 78 page full-color limited edition collection of 2011 works from our site.  We are nearly sold out of this volume.  Issues are directly available at Square Peg Artery and Salvage and Big Blue Marble Bookstore.

Call for Submissions

We are currently accepting submissions for several online issues in 2012.

Accepted work will be eligible for Certain Circuits 3.1 slated to be published in early 2013 (pending funding).

For full guidelines, visit

We strongly encourage collaborative works between artists.  Our next multimedia issues will publish  on MAY  1* and SEPTEMBER 1.  Authors will be notified of acceptance before the 20th of the month.

It is impossible to get into one of our print issues without first being accepted as part of one of our multimedia issues online.  Acceptance into our print issues is by invitation only.

Send files and links to

*We are going on summer vacation between the May and September issues. Please continue to submit, and we will reach out to you on a much slower basis.

Thank you to Bonnie MacAllister for including me in her productions.  Read more at DoNArTNeWs

Written and edited by DoN Brewer, Contributing Writer, Side Arts Philadelphia Art News Blog – Photography by Chris Wagner

Posted by Chris Wagner on March 28, 2012

Hi Everyone,

A little back story on how I came here:

My name is Chris Wagner, I am an avid photographer, and I am also part of a photography group through   (South Jersey Photography Group) that had posted about a meeting of the organization Side Arts. I did a little research into the organization and it definitely seemed worth my time to check it out and attend the meeting. The meeting was very informative and the organization seemed like a great way to draw attention to my photography and hopefully drive some much needed traffic to my photography website. It also seemed to be a great meeting place and sound board for other like minded artists and creative individuals. Win/Win if you ask me.

I currently reside in Collingswood, NJ which is right outside Philadelphia. All of my fine art work can be seen on my photography website . When I first launched the website, I had visions of hundreds of hits a day, being inundated with emails and not being able to handle all the requests for FREE STICKERS and FREE POSTCARDS. Needless to say, other then friends and family telling me how much they enjoyed my photography and the website, I was lucky if I had 5-10 hits/views of the website from the general public a week. Because it is just a straight photography website, no blog, no LOLCATS, I find it very difficult to get any type of repeat viewership or gain any type of dedicated audience. Thus another reason, why I feel Side Arts would be a great way to gain some exposure and connect with other artists who might be experiencing the same issues that I am. Plus, with all the other categories such as artist opportunities, artist profiles, and blog posts it is seems to be a great outlet for any artist, whether they be amateur or professional.

Let me admit here that I am a dinosaur. All of the photographs that I shoot and/or are posted onto my website, are still shot on film with either a 35mm camera or a medium format camera. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any problem with digital photography, I just love everything there is about shooting with film. I also don’t deal well with change, and I just haven’t found a nice DSLR camera that I am comfortable shooting with or as comfortable with as my film cameras. My biggest fear is spending a decent amount of money on a nice DSLR camera, and finding myself not liking it at all and still reaching for my film cameras when I shoot photographs. All of this is probably better suited to be explored further in another blog post though.

So that is pretty much it, please check out my photography website . I am offering FREE STICKERS and select photographs from the website on FREE POSTCARDS. Just drop me a line, and I will send some out to you right away. Finally, given that this a collective of all sorts of creative artists, please let me know what you think of my photography and/or the website, and if you have any specific likes or dislikes, please let me know. Or if nothing else, just drop me a line and say hello!


Thanks for having me and I look forward to my time here

-Chris Wagner-



Women of Vision 2012

Posted by DoN Brewer on March 18, 2012
Women of Vision: 2012 Pamela Peltzman, Before the Celebration at Hidden River Gallery
Women of Vision: 2012, Pamela Peltzman, Before the Celebration

Debra Leigh Scott described the current exhibition of art by women at Hidden River Gallery and Salon, “Women of Vision 2012, we have six women, very diverse kinds of artists to celebrate Women’s History Month.  The show will be up until at least mid-April, we’ll be doing a First Friday for the show in April as well and probably one other event.  We use this space as a salon so we are having live music, we’re having readings and today we are having two singer/songwriters who are performing.  And two readers, because it’s Women’s History Month all of the artist are women, we are celebrating female creativity this month.”

Lauren Acton, The Girls, Women of Vision 2012 at Hidden River Arts
Lauren Acton, The Girls, Women of Vision 2012 at Hidden River Arts

I asked Debra Leigh Scott, publisher, writer, pro blogger and art maven, how she selected the group of artists for the Salon?  “I’ve known most of these artists for a while now.  Well, Lilliana Didovic is with the Da Vinci Art Alliance, I’ve known her work for quite some time.  Pam Peitzman and I have known each other since High School – should I admit that? – it might have been Junior High!  Maria Soloman and I have been very close friends, she and I both show at MCGOPA gallery, she’s a wonderful artist.  Barb Gesshel I met I met six months ago, she and I are the most recent acquaintances.  We have one student, Madeline Bates, I did not know Madeline until a month ago.  She’s with Tyler, her’s are the black and white photos, she’s a photo-journalist.”

Lilliana Didovic, Night, Women of Vision 2012, Hidden River Arts Gallery and Salon
Lilliana Didovic, Night, acrylic, Women of Vision 2012

“To celebrate Women’s History Month I wanted to do a show at the former Enclave Gallery, but it closed just before the show.”  I joked they just wanted to shut her up and Debra laughed but she said, “As you look at these images, you’ll see they’re mouth-less.”  What about the current political discussion in the media?  “It’s horrifying.  Governor Corbett wants to zero out the arts budget.  It’s hard to corporatize the value of the creative economy, we now have a culture that prioritizes and doesn’t see value in anything that can not be a commodity.  Here’s the thing, and you know this as well as I do, the Creative Economy brings in so much money with the theaters, the museums, musical venues, and the galleries.  If not for this. what would people come into the city for?  When you come to the city you may do a little shopping or go to the restaurants, the money comes back into the city.  People in Harrisburg are short sighted, and they’re short sighted in Washington now, too.”

Barbara Gesshel at Hidden River Arts Gallery and Salon
Barbara Gesshel at Hidden River Arts Gallery and Salon

“The artists have learned that we have to fend for ourselves and fend for each other.  One of the reasons I established the gallery was so there would be another space for artists to show.  You know this, you’ve been out there doing the same thing.  It’s a very challenging time and it’s discouraging time, but, it’s not just for artists, it’s for educators, it’s for anybody at this point who’s trying to earn a living wage.  We’ve got a country that’s falling apart.  Women in general are earning seventy- three cents on the dollar and most of the precarious jobs are women’s jobs.  I think we are losing a lot of the rights we’ve had so everything about being a woman is harder.  One of the things that I hope women artists do is raise a voice creatively, to talk about that, to not just worry about making art but making art that really has an impact on the public discourse.  Because, I think, any avenue that we’ve got is really important to take.”

Women of Vision, Philadelphia 2012, ” a show in celebration of Women’s History Month at Hidden River Arts Gallery and Salon through April 20, 2012, read interviews with artists Laura Acton, Lilliana Didovic, Barb Gesshel, Pamela Peitzman at DoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog.  The show includes work by visual artists Maddie Bates and Maria Lourdes Solomon. Singer/songwriters Rosa Diaz and Zoie Salowitz and novelist Nikki Beard.

Hidden River Arts produces and runs a variety of open mic/reading events where artists of many disciplines come together to perform, participate, show their work and network with others. There are live music activities, poetry readings, literary readings, performance art, workshop events, and visual arts activities. Please see

Read more about Gesshel on

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer

Other Likely Stories by Debra Leigh Scott

Her Philadelphia Tales, The Art of Lilliana S. Didovic by DoN Brewer

[Affiliate Disclosure Page]  All ads in this post link to

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image with Photoshop

Posted by DoN Brewer on March 13, 2012
Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image with Photoshop, DoN Brewer

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image with Photoshop - Step One

The best part of blogging is creating captivating images to embed in your post.  I use an inexpensive Kodak Easyshare Z981 14 MP Digital Camera with Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 26xWide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Lens and 3.0-Inch LCD Sreen when I take photos at art shows.  With the camera flash turned off, I select a well lit subject, square up the image in the digital display as best as possible, lock my knees and elbows, hold my breath and shoot the picture.  I take a lot of photos so I have choices when writing a blog post and sometimes shots that look good in preview may be blurry.

In the screen shot of my sample photo you can see some glare from gallery lighting, using the camera flash would exacerbate the glare, but in my blog posts I like to show some reflection to signify the ambiance of the gallery plus the texture of the surface.  The photograph in this demo was taken at The Philadelphia Sketch Club in the Stewart Room, the painting is by Piety Choi.

Step One – Click the pointer tool from the Tool Bar, in the Main Menu Bar select File, select Open, find the image on your computer (I usually drag a copy of the .jpg to my desktop where it’s easy to find and can be deleted later), click the image file to open in Photoshop.

Step Two - crop image in in Photoshop

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image with Photoshop - Step Two

Step Two -  In the Tool Bar menu select the crop tool, click and drag the corners of the image to line up as closely as possible with the border.  Hit the return key, the grayed out zone disappears and the image file is reduced in size to just the part you want visible.  But as you can see the image isn’t quite square to the corners but this is an easy fix with Photoshop.

How To Make a Web Safe Image with Photoshop, Step Three - skew the corners

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image with Photoshop - Step Three

Step Three - From the Tool Bar menu select the pointer tool, in the Main Menu Bar click Select, click All and a dotted line called the marquee appears around the border of the image.  From the Main Menu Bar select Edit, select Transform then select Skew from the drop-down menu.

7 Steps to a Web Safe Image

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image with Photoshop - Step Four

Step Four – Using the pointer tool click and drag the corners that appear on the marquee, drag the little boxes until the image lines up with the border.  The boxes can be dragged up and down or sideways causing the image to stretch or contract.  This is a great way to fix a slightly skewed image but not for big aspect ratio corrections.

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image - Step 5

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image with Photoshop - Step Five

Step Five – After you are satisfied the borders are lined up and the image is not distorted too much, click the pointer tool and a box will appear asking to apply the transformation.  Click “Apply“.  Now the artwork in the image file is parallel to the borders and extraneous information has been deleted.  The next step is creating a Web Safe image called a .gif, – Graphics Interchange Format.

“The Graphics Interchange Format is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987 and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability.  The format supports up to 8 bits per pixel thus allowing a single image to reference a palette of up to 256 distinct colors. The colors are chosen from the 24-bit RGB color space. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of 256 colors for each frame. The color limitation makes the GIF format unsuitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with continuous color, but it is well-suited for simpler images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of color.” – Wikipedia

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image - Step Six

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image with Photoshop - Step Six

Step Six – From the Main Menu Bar click File, click Save For Web and Devices, a window will open with choices of Original, Optimized, Two Up or Four Up, I use Four Up to compare image quality with the size of the file.  The goal is to get the best possible image in the smallest file size so the image loads fast and looks good without too much loss of data.

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image - Step Six

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image with Photoshop - Step Seven

Step Seven – Compare the four windows, you can see the file size and image quality, I usually pick the second highest file size so the image has good color, low distortion and loads quickly.  Click Image Size, change the pixel number to be the desired width size, the height automatically changes since the aspect ratio is linked. So far in this demo I have made the images 1240 pixels wide in order to show you the details but the column width for the Side Arts blog is 550 pixels.

Change the width number in the Image Size box to the size appropriate to your blog column width.  I use 550 pixels because it fills the entire width of the Side Arts column, your blog may be a different column width.  Often you only get one chance to impress your visitor, if you make the image size larger than the width of the column then the viewer must click the image to see the full size.  This is a good idea if you want to show a lot of detail but a best practice is to take full advantage of that first impression. Click Save and rename the file to something you will remember, format is Images Only.  The file is now ready to be uploaded to your blog.

Join Side Arts founder C. Todd Hestand and Contributing Writers Carina Giamerese, Cassandra Hoo and myself, DoN Brewer at the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at The University of the Arts, March 24th, 1 -3:00pm for a demo on how to write a blog on Side Arts – free but reservations are required through TicketLeap.

Seven Steps to a Web Safe Image with Photoshop, painting by Piety Choi
Piety Choi, The Philadelphia Sketch Club Stewart Room Gallery

Written and Photographed by DoN Brewer, Contributing Writer, Side Arts Philadelphia Art Blog
Adobe Photoshop CS5

Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: A professional image editor’s guide to the creative use of Photoshop for the Macintosh and PC

[Affiliate Disclosure Page]

Bluestone Gallery

Posted by DoN Brewer on February 13, 2012
Susan Webster, Saturday Afternoon, mixed media, BlueStone Sine Art GallerySusan Webster, Prawns, mixed media, Bluestone Fine Art Gallery
Susan Webster, BlueStone Fine Art Gallery
Susan Webster, Bluestone Fine Art Gallery, Saturday Afternoon, 31 x 31″, mixed media, $1840, Skype Date, 14 x 14″ and Vintage Year, 10 x 14″
Britt Miller, BlueStone Fine Art Gallery
Britt Miller, Bluestone Fine Art Gallery, Cinque Terre, Acrylic on Canvas 24×24, $600, Poppy field, Acrylic on Canvas 18×14, $600

February First Friday was a cold night, I took the 17 bus to Old City and met my photographer friend, Jeff Stroud, to do the monthly art gallery crawl.  I arrived early so I went to F.A.N. Gallery and got to chat with Al Gury, then I met Jeff and his friend at the new Center for Art in Wood (formerly the Wood Turning Center on Vine Street) in the old gym on 3rd Street filled with fantastic art made from wood.  Wexler Gallery has Picasso lithographs on the first floor and Pentimenti Gallery has STATIONS OF THE CUBE, a solo exhibition of mixed media works & installation by Steven Baris, and BUILT FUTURES, a solo show of works on paper & sculptures by Kim Beck.  Continuing up Third Street passing under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge near The Painted Bride on the corner of Vine Street is Bluestone Fine Art Gallery, my friends were surprised there was a gallery pushing the boundaries of the arts district farther north on Third.

Bluestone Fine Art Gallery smartly mixes art with furniture, setting tableau’s of aspirational interiors with adventurous art. Bold, bright color was just the jolt our cold art crawl crew needed and we hung out a long time with gallery owner Pam Regan‘s good husband who was gallery sitting.  The spacious gallery features paintings, fine art photography, drawings, objet d’art, fine furniture and jewelry.  Susan Webster‘s summery paintings are warm reminders of sunny days with friends, food and relaxation even though her palette is bright and rich with deep color. Britt Miller‘s paintings arrived the morning of First Friday and were finessed into the mix, Britt Miller is a Philadelphia artist that Pam discovered through DrinkPhilly.

Bluestone Fine Art Gallery
301 N 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(856) 979-7588

DoN Brewer, Contributing Writer, Side Arts  Philadelphia Art Blog
Photographs by DoN Brewer

See more pictures on Side Arts FaceBook page.

[Affiliate Marketing Disclosure]

Tim Gibbon’s Wheatpasted Doilies for Fun-A-Day

Posted by Carina Giamerese on February 07, 2012
Oftentimes we artists put too much stock in inspiration.  We wait patiently for it to grace us with its presence in order to do our creative work, and we forget that inspiration favors the disciplined and those who show up every day to work.  In his excellent little inspirational book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield quotes Somerset Maugham who said,  “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at 9 o’clock sharp.”


tim gibbon fun-a-day project wheatpasted die cut doilies The annual Fun-A-Day project challenges artists, musicians, designers, and otherwise creative folks to produce a piece of work every day for the month of January, then show their projects to the world when the month is complete.  The idea was first conceptualized in Philadelphia by the Art Clash Collective, but since the first show in 2004, over twenty other cities have organized their own community Fun-A-Day projects and group shows.  The Philadelphia Fun-A-Day show will be on display at Studio 34 this Friday and Saturday, February 10-11 but Tim Gibbon (check out his Side Arts artist profile, too!) was kind enough to give us all a sneak peek of his project!

Last year Tim made 31 gouache paintings for his Fun-A-Day project, but this year he wanted to take the opportunity to try something new.  He was inspired by a friend of his who did a die cut project and married the idea of making die cuts with his past experience wheatpasting gig posters.  Tim expressed his desire to help spruce up some of Philly’s more bleak and neglected areas with his project.  “I liked the idea of a doily being used to cover something up,” he told me, and thus his wheatpasted die cut doily project was born.

tim gibbon fun-a-day project wheatpasted die cut doilies


On the last Sunday in January, I tagged along with Tim as he wheatpasted hand cut paper doilies around our neighborhood in West Philly – yes, we discovered we’re practically neighbors!   As soon as I saw the pile of doilies in the backseat of his car, I was reminded of the classic art project of cutting out paper snowflakes.  And with that in mind, I next imagined Tim’s floor covered by the tiny snowflakes of paper that were cut away from the negative space!


tim gibbon fun-a-day project wheatpasted die cut doilies


tim gibbon fun-a-day project wheatpasted die cut doilies


Tim quickly pasted a few doilies in spaces he’d already scoped out along Baltimore Avenue before heading towards Market Street.  As we drove, we looked for more good walls. “The perfect wall is an eyesore in need of a little beautification,” he explained.  Color is also a consideration because the white doilies need the contrast of a darker background in order to pop.


tim gibbon fun-a-day project wheatpasted die cut doilies


tim gibbon fun-a-day project wheatpasted die cut doilies


tim gibbon fun-a-day project wheatpasted die cut doilies


In between pasting a large doily near the El, I asked Tim if he were normally a disciplined person.  He paused and then laughed, “No, not at all!  That’s why I like Fun-A-Day.  It gives you motivation and imposes structure.”  As we chatted further, Tim remarked that Fun-A-Day was also fun (if you will) because “it’s not intimidating.  I have a lot of friends who aren’t artists but still participate.”


tim gibbon fun-a-day project wheatpasted die cut doilies


tim gibbon fun-a-day project wheatpasted die cut doilies


At the end of the run, Tim was looking for a home for one last cut out of the repeating phrase “MORE LOVE“, a new die cut version of a design he has wheatpasted before.  We pulled over to take a closer look at a possible wall, but it seemed recently painted or at least like someone was taking care of it, so Tim decided to pass.  As he put his car back in drive, a cop car pulled up beside us, and the officers rolled down their window to ask what we were doing.  Tim explained that he was working on a neighborhood beautification project and hanging up some doilies he made.  The officer replied, “Well, ya’ll need to be making a lot more of those, then!”  We wished them a good day and chuckled as they drove off.


tim gibbon fun-a-day project wheatpasted die cut doilies


“I’ve never had a problem,” he said.  “People are usually happy to see what I’m doing.”  We both agreed, though, that if he had been using any spray paint, the officers most likely would not have been so lenient.  “I thought about making some stencils for my project, but decided against it,” Tim added, which is a good thing or else his Fun-A-Day project might have cost a lot more than some Xacto blades and hand cramps.


tim gibbon fun-a-day project wheatpasted die cut doilies
Seeing Tim’s project in action got me so excited to see more of the work created during Fun-A-Day this year, so I know you all must also be looking forward to the opening of the show at Studio 34!  Hop on the 34 trolley this Friday night (February 10) and say hello to me, Tim, and many more creative folks from 7PM to 11PM.  OR stop by on Saturday (February 11) at 5:30PM for a special open mic reading and 7:30PM to 11PM for the main event.

Written and photographed by Carina Giamerese: Contributing Writer, Side Arts.

Also mentioned in this article is The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.

Available on Amazon for under 10 bucks!

Jennifer Scott

Posted by DoN Brewer on February 06, 2012
Jennifer Scott, Refinery, acrylic, Prelude Gallery
Jennifer Scott, Refinery, acrylic, Prelude Gallery

“I live near the Tioga Terminal near the Citco refinery in Northeast Philadelphia, Tioga Street near the waterfront.  There’s several refineries and it’s a large industrial district and I draw obsessively the different things they have around there.  I like the way the buildings kind of weave together with all the pipes.  They make this kind of really interesting sculptural effect and the way they light up at night, it’s just eerie and beautiful.  And it’s very sort of other-worldly.  They have a very other-worldly glow.”

In a Sci-Fi way or a spiritual way?  “Somewhere in between those things.  It feels like in some levels it’s really wrong, it’s this huge industrial complex that’s creating something that’s, you know, we use a lot but may not be good.  But, just as an esthetic, it’s beautiful.  And, it’s interesting, it has all these different planes and angles, they all kind of go in and out of each other which I think is fascinating.  And I draw them over and over.  When I do a painting it starts as a fairly realistic drawing and then I will move the image over slightly and draw it again, then again, so the very top layer is just a very thin drawing.  I want to create this effect of walking by the same place a thousand times.  When you continue to look at something then not look at it, the images kind of mix together with your feelings about the day and what’s going on.”

What’s your brand of acrylics do you use?  Golden, always Golden.

Where do you buy your art supplies? “Well, until last year Pearl’s but now it’s Blick Art Materials.”

What’s your favorite art product?  “I like those huge big pieces of charcoal that they have at Blick Art Materials.  It’s like a big giant charcoal thing.  A lot of my large drawings are charcoal and they’re like a brick, they’re not really uniform and you can make different types of marks with them.  They’re very versatile.  I’m very fond of Dick Blick, they’ve been very nice to me.  I’m President of the Northeast Foundation for Fine Arts , we do art projects for children, I advise schools on how to incorporate art into their core curriculum and Blick Art Materials has been very friendly about assisting me in some of my projects.  They’re very personable, I have several different contacts there and they’re just really nice people and easy to work.”

Jennifer Scott, Prelude Gallery, January 13, 2012

DoN Brewer, Contributing Writer, Side Arts Philadelphia art blog

Photo by DoN

Students, get the best service, selection and price: shop at BLICK!

Read more about Prelude Gallery on Side Arts Philadelphia art blog.

[Affiliate Marketing Disclosure]

Lilliana’s Tales

Posted by DoN Brewer on February 04, 2012
Lilliana S. Didovic, Her Philadelphia Tales by DoN Brewer
Lilliana S. Didovic, The City, acrylic on canvas

Lilliana S. Didovic, a Side Arts member artist, is the subject of a new book, Her Philadelphia Tales, The Art of Lilliana S. Didovic (Volume 1) by Side Arts Contributing Writer and member artist DoN Brewer.  Based on DoN‘s blog posts on Side Arts Philadelphia art blog, accompanied by Lilliana‘s exuberantly bold and colorful paintings with a fascinating biography of the artist, it is more than an art book.  A quote from Her Philadelphia Tales, The Art of Lilliana S. Didovic (Volume 1):

“Vlado had Joseph drive a military police car across the border and we were hidden in the back.  With tears in my eyes I left Sarajevo, the town I once loved.  We said goodbye to the people we shared blankets with in the basement of our neighbor’s house and the last crumbs of bread.  We left behind our apartments, our people, our belongings and the remains of our once beautiful Olympic City.  The Military Police car easily passed through all of the barricades.”

DoN designed Her Philadelphia Tales, The Art of Lilliana S. Didovic (Volume 1) in Apple iWork ’09 [OLD VERSION] Pages, Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Microsoft Word 2010, the publisher is Amazon’s CreateSpace featuring beautiful images of Lilliana S. Didovic‘s painting in lovely full color.  Read the Side Arts blog post that prompted writing the book.

Her Philadelphia Tales, The Art of Lilliana S. Didovic (Volume 1) by DoN Brewer is available on  Thank you to Side Arts for making this opportunity possible.  Learn more about the book at DoNArTNeWs.  Read about the Her Philadelphia Tales, The Art of Lilliana S. Didovic Book Signing Party, 2/25/2012.  Read the blog post that inspired the book.


DoN Brewer, Contributing Writer, Side Arts Philadelphia art blog

[Affiliate Marketing Disclosure]