The Small Works Progress Administration

So, I am launching a thing at the moment, I am playfully calling “The Small Works Progress Administration.” It’s an obvious allusion to Franklin’ Delano Roosevelt’s depression-era Works Progress Administration. During the 1930’s in this country, among other things the WPA did, was launch the careers of artists like Jackson Pollock, a personal inspiration of mine. The WPA paid artists to produce art during the Great Depression and the result was American art blossomed and put America and New York City on the map as one of the modern artistic and cultural hubs in the world. 

But, much like the 1930’s, it’s a hard time to be a person that aspires to make a living creating art. That’s why this photo:


What’s in the image is a bunch of found objects in gesso. There are 5 pieces of found card-board, and piece a typical brick like many found in 19th century buildings. The brick is the only piece that there’s a clear plan for right now. When it’s done it won’t sell for 10 to 25 dollars –there’s a big back-story behind that one.

The rest are open to interpretation.


My lovely partner gave me a couple found objects that I gessoed today. Here they are with gesso drying: two paving stones found locally:

I’m going to give a little thought to what needs to go on them. They are both rather small. I’ll post results as I have them.

I finally got around to working on the small pieces.


This is what my floor ends up looking like in the process…


two of the gessoed cardboards on my easel.

I spent a few hours and got the first three (in a series of five) of the small works done. These are 7.5” by 10”. All are acrylic on gessoed cardboard. I am looking to sell these cheaply to fund other things (see below). All of these three are loose extrapolations of figure studies I have done based on Eduard Manet’s work “The Old Musician.”

Here are two of the small works drying next to my boots on the radiator:


And here is the third drying on my easel:


More as they come…

Finished another of the small works. From the book “Hudson Valley Ruins,” this image of Fedralsberg, an abandoned Mansion south of Albany: (drying, next to my boots)


Another new addition, this of the former Trinity Church (Albany’s South End Neighborhood) The building was demolished in an emergency demolition in 2011. The images is based on a photo I took the day the historic church was demolished:


This is an image of the Hudson River Psychiatric Center in acrylic, on paper. I did this as an in-class demonstration:


“Old Main” Hudson River Psychiatric Center, Poughkeepsie, NY. (SOLD) Acrylic on gessoed paper.

The two commissions are finished. (acrylic on cardboard, sold.)



Lastly, I have a glut of mounted and unmounted photographic prints (most are from 35mm film and are of local/regional architectural landmarks). I am looking to unload those for $3 to $5, so inquire if you are interested.

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I don’t have so high a hope for my small work progress administration as the result FDR got. I just need a few things. What I’m looking to do is 5 simple images on the cardboards in hopes of selling them for about $10-15 a piece. I’ll commission one of the card-boards for $25 for –whatever you want on them (bear in mind: the cardboards are only  7.5” x 10”). I like the idea of producing original art for anybody that wants it –not just the typical crowd that buys art from galleries. I like the idea of making original works that anybody can afford, but I need supplies to keep making new larger projects.

Some of the things I need:

Pencils, especially 2 and 4b.
Sketch pads of quality drawing paper
Oil Pastels
Max Grumbacher water-soluble oil paints
Especially in the following colors: titanium white
cadmium red
yellow ochre
burnt umber
french ultramarine blue

Canvases (any size)
Water-color paper

Money for gallery entry fees
Money to travel

You can use my e-mail contact if you are interested in a commissioned work. Or, you can send an e-mail about a particular piece when they are finished. All pieces are 7.5” by 10” acrylic on cardboard.

  1. November 14th, 2013
  2. June 29th, 2014

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