Inquiries -

Beck's work available thru Eden Fine Art, NYC.
Call: (212) 888-0177 for info OR contact Beck directly with questions!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Entry 70: Strolling a little further down the Lane - what I've learned and how I responded

I love to paint.

I absolutely love to paint.

I live to paint, my head is constantly in a state where it's working on solving a painting "issue" or working on the next few pieces and calculating what will need to be done to make them work. But I've learned to have other types of artwork or try to have alternatives available at my shows so I can not only offer a variety of work to people but also so I have different price points for people to chose from. I'd love to stand above the crowd and demand people buy my paintings but #1 my ego isn't that strong and #2 I believe it's important to be polite and provide the widest range of audience the opportunity to take something home...if they want to. Sounds simple enough but it took me few years and lots of listening to figure it out.

Thru my experience in painting and showing, I've learned something flattering: a lot of different types of people like my work. People from all different backgrounds - racial, financial and people from all different ages feel akin to the energy that's expressed thru my figures and the space that surrounds them on the canvas. But I've also learned that the work I produce is not something everyone can afford or room (4ft x 4ft or 4 ft x 5 ft and larger) to hang so it is with that varyied audience in mind that I started to put together pieces that have the same feel as the oil paintings but are in different price ranges (as well as sizes) and mediums.

Several years ago I really started to hear people when they said: "I love your work". I started to hear it as less of an ego boosting compliment and more of what they were actually saying: "this is how I feel", "this is how music feels to me", "this is how my head feels"..."you captured how I FEEL". Or, best of all, "I've never wanted a piece of artwork before but I can't stop thinking about your work". However, all the compliments were followed by the caveat "but I can't afford it" which is something I've learned to remedy.

Whether it's painting figures in motion (from black and white photographs) OR serious, contemplative, dour or exuberant and happy portraits - the work is meant to express the energy or felling or inner conversation that person could be having at that moment.  The work is also meant to express an action or thought and not just be a recreation or nice depiction of the person in the picture and that is what people seem to be drawn to - the expression of what life feels like on the inside of our heads and bodies. Confusion, excitement, anger, frustration, joy, realization, trepidation, etc. I'm lucky in that people usually see the reflection of their inner world performed on canvas and recognize what it is I'm trying to do as opposed to seeing my paintings as strcily being something that would look pretty hanging over the couch. It's deeply flattering to know viewers feel it, feel the work and want to have it and I'd love for each person who feels a strong connection with the my paintings to be able to take a piece home but I cannot lower the prices of my paintings - it took me years to have the courage, experience and self respect to raise my prices to a level I was comfortable with. So, instead of lowering my value, I've found different ways to offer work but without feeling diminished. I decided to invest in producing work that everyone from the caterer to the collector could afford: prints - original, limited edition, one of a kind, hand pulled silk screen prints and also poster prints of my work:

"Waiting"" as a two panel silk screen piece. "Waiting" is one of dozens of silk screen prints I've produced and had available at my shows.

"I am a man, I am here, I am here, and everyday I earn my place everyday"
"I am a man" is one of my favorite silk screen prints - he's a young, black, city shoe shine boy from the depression but he's also someone who could be treated with very little regard - like an ant, under our shoes. But he is - he is here. And like all my characters he's saying "I am and I DO make my way in this world" but unlike a lot of my characters he's saying it with joy - he's young, proud to be working and sees how he will make his way his better future.
The expression of a painting is still there - the strength of intent, the idea but less expensive and more intimate.

The poster prints I had made last year, have been even more popular. The initial investment took some time and dough but it's really gratifying to see people who are so excited by the work be able to take a version of it home -

A few poster prints of my work.

Lesson learned: because I finally heard what people where saying to me about the work I was able find ways to afford different types of work to a variety of people and price ranges I'm now looking in other directions as well. My newest obsession is to have work printed on fabric and see it used in clothing....Project Runway here I come. Finger crossed.

"When you find a piece of art that you love,
you find a piece of yourself" -
Eden Fine Art 
(212) 888-0177

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Entry 69: A walk down Memory Lane

So, in order to start making steps towards my goal of getting work in a gallery in New York, I made two big girl trips to the city in 2011. The first was Labor day weekend, the second was Sept 28th thru Oct. 04th. The first weekend was designed to help me learn the layout of the city a little, gain some insight and see some neighborhoods. The 2nd weekend was designed to be the weekend I was going to march into each and every gallery I decided was a top match for me. I spent the weeks in between researching spaces, art reps, and galleries in an attempt to find buinesses I thought would be a good to partner with...if they would take me. Using online sites, like,  I gathered as much info as I could so on my 2nd trip to the city I'd be armed and ready. And that's what I did - portfolio brochure in hand, I went from gallery to gallery and asked if they would please take a look at my brochure and consider carrying my work.

To see a video about the portfolio brochere pictures above and getting your work out there go to:

The first weekend was a dream- took a bus from Providence to the city (won't do that again unless I have to), met up with my old high school pals Kathy and Paul and spent the next 3 days running around the city explored. 3 days of taxis, subway rides and walking, walking walking later and I started to get the rhythm and layout. I took pics of street signs, gallery and building placards, looked in windows and talked to people. It was pure magic and I did not want to leave.

The 2nd weekend was a bit more stormy...literally. I drove from RI to NY in the ran, out to Kathy and Paul's house on Long Island in the rain, got up the next morning and Kathy and I took the communter train from LI to the city in overcast/sprinkles but when we landed in the city grey and black clouds billowed in and absolutely filled the city skyline. We spent the rest of the day being pounded by a massive storm - thunder and lightening but marched ahead with our plans to knock on doors till I managed to gt someone to "yes" and show my work. 

Torrential downpours, flooding, excitement. But despite the "incovenience" of weather, by the end of the day, I had walked into all my top gallery choices (all the ones I knew of at the time anyway) sporting a bright orange rain pocho from Walmart, a backpack and a handful of my portfolio brocheres. Every gallery I went into talked to me, every gallery rep liked my work and every gallery said "no".  I could have been deflated that smart littlle me wasn't snatched up on the spot but it didn't feel like a failure because I did it - I stuck to my plan and after 9 months of hard work I had stuck to the plan I'd written out and I was here in NY pushing my work. Granted, I got so overwhelmed I cried a couple times while talking to gallery managers but they were talking to me...... and being nice. I did it, WE did it - I was in NY, with a friend for support, showing my work to top galleries! That is/was something incredible to me.

At the end of it, after a full, emotional day Kathy and I headed to Penn Station and the LIRR - soaking wet from the storm, exhausted from my moment to moment anxiety attacks and inner storms we sauntered in only to find out a breaker on the railroad had been hit by lightening earlier in the day which caused the entire system to fry which left us and thousands and thousands of other people completely stuck till about 1 am:

Cut to the chase: we didn't get home till 3 am. In total it was a 15 hour day in the city.
Cut to the chase: We got up the next day and did it all again.

Cut to the chase: My friend Kathy allowed me to take her picture, later that night, just at a moment when she probably wanted to murder me which then lead to a painting I am incredibly proud of -

Painting of my very patient friend, Kathy, at midnight, in a Times Square Starbucks
waiting to get the LIRR home after spending a very long day with a very trying me in the rain..

Detail from "Waiting", a 2 panel piece -
oil on acrylic and aerosol with oil crayon and pencil on canvas

Detail of a section of hair in "Waiting". Like most of my work, the lines, color and layers are meant to express an inner energy - in this case exhaustion, lightening, frustration and excitment.

Details from "Waiting", a 2 panel piece -
oil on acrylic and aerosol with oil crayon and pencil on canvas

This detail comes from the lower section of "Waiting' - as in a few sections, it's left fairly to help express depleting energy or draining energy.

Detail from "Waiting", a 2 panel piece -
oil on acrylic and aerosol with oil crayon and pencil on canvas

All work available thru Eden Fine Art -
don't forget to visit, like and share Eden's new Facebook page!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Entry 68: One year ago or how to hang by a finger nail on the edge of a cliff

One year ago I had my first solo show in New York City (Brooklyn really). Because NYC is the culture capital of the world, having a show in NY was something I had dreamt of almost my entire life but had no idea how to make happen. I didn't know NY, I'd only been there on a high school field trip once, I never went during the big adventurous 80s when Basquiat and Madonna were running around it's ruins, but, and most importantly, I honestly believed only certain types of people could go to New York. Like you could be stopped at the terminal and rejected for being too small town, too pedestrian.

To me New York was a place only open to people with courage and a strong sense of who they are and what they want. The idea of NY represented a strongly structured person, defiant and cocky, of singular vision and unwilling to bend. To me, it was a a place ordinary people with 2nd hand clothes do not go - for most of my life, I had this weird idea that people are not allowed to go to NY unless they have themselves completely and totally together and are fully formed human beings with very nice shoes. I am not any of those things but I am a person who's not only gone to New York but knocked on gallery doors, had 100s of pieces shown and managed to attain a place in an international gallery in Manhattan. If I weren't me writing this I'd have to say that's kind of F-ing incredible.

But I have to say - this year has been both exciting and completely devastating, uplifting, filled with desperation and unrelenting hard work. This year has been nothing short of  trial by fire. Nothing, nothing, NOTHING has been easy and if you read thru this blog or visit my Facebook page you'll learn - I've spent a large portion of the last 12-13 months struggling to survive. I've spent huge blocks of time without any income or a working vehicle, food or clean clothes. I've had to sell my furniture and some of my favorite belongings, been insulted by people I adored and trusted, been deeply humiliated by circumstances, I've even had to take food and handouts from friends just to make it from one day to the next.

And because of people and issues way beyond my control I've been on the brink of losing my apartment, truck and my little Bugsy man. I've spent most of the last year hanging by a finger nail off the very edge of a cliff and feeling that tiny bit of security slip and crumble to the point I thought my life was done....but, as it turns out, it's not. I am still here damn it and I am very proud to say my work is hanging on Madison Avenue right now - something that wasn't even in my realm of possibilities last March or April.  I honestly believed that was an impossibile position for someone like and that that tupe of recognition was only granted to certain kinds of people - like a magic wish.

Detail from reworked face in "I am" - a painting that hung in NY last year.

Now, I can say, I'm still not completely together but at least I have a better grasp on what personal courage can be and an even better idea of what I am capable of.....sometimes. I can say I know I am capable of reaching beyond what I understand and am most comfortable with. I also know New York is the greatest city in the world filled with generous, kind, helpful people and  you don't really need to have very nice shoes or be a fully formed human being to go there but if you're going to be an artist who shows in New York (or anywhere that isn't in your comfort zone) you do have to be willing to hang off a cliff and dangle your feet in the uncertainty.

Limited silk screen edition of "I am" featured in solo show last year.

To some it up: I am no longer a tourist dreaming about having my work in New York. I am no longer a tourist ambling thru my own life, dreaming and waiting for things to magically happen - I am here. let's keep our fingers crossed I'm here to stay for a while...

To see video chats on not giving in to fear of failure, philosophies behind painting and artwork, how to get your work out there and the life of an artist visit my Youtube channel: Studio 120 -

 or go to:

Now it's time for me to go dangle somemore.

All work available exclusively thru
Eden Fine Art, NYC
on the corner of 50th and Madison  

"When you find a piece of art that you love, you find a piece of yourself" - Eden

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Entry 67: A quick thanks

I'd like to say thank you to everyone who's visited, liked, shared and posted comments on Eden Fine Art's brand  new Facebook page. I'm incredibly proud to be an artist in their stable  and deeply appreciate your generosity and kind support.
Thank you.

But if you haven't visited Eden's site yet ...
well, dude - grab your happy, freak flag and get a move on!

Up on the page right now "Leap frog":
"Leap frog"
- oil on acrylic and aerosol with oil crayon on 48" x 60".
Video from my Youtube series Studio 120 - #31:
The construction and development of "Leap frog"
from beginning to end -

All work available exclusively thru
Eden Fine Art, NYC
(212) 888-0177
"When you find a piece of art that you love, you also find a piece of yourself." - Eden

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Entry 66: Eden Fine Art

Please join Eden Fine Art on their
Facebook page:
Video slideshow of the construction and development of
"lil Gingko" (pictured above) from my Youtube video series
Studio 120:

Eden Fine Art, NYC 
(212) 888-0177
To see some of my work currently hanging in
two Eden Fine Art locations visit:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Entry 65: Wow - it's been a year already

Almost one year ago I had my first solos show in NY - "Living in a Culture of Disregard".
Still can't believe I did it and how much time has actually passed.
Photo taken last week in March 2012.
Wow, feels like it yesterday and a million years ago all at the same time.

A blog post after the show was up:

Quote from the blog post that reflected the tone of the show and something I can only timidly express: "I am. I AM. I am and I will have your acknowledgement and respect."

Two of my favorite paintings from the show:

"When I close my eyes I can see him"
 - oil on acrylic and aerosol on 24" x 36" canvas.
Available thru Eden Fine Art, NYC.

Stay out of the pool"
 - oil on acrylic and aerosol with oil crayon, chalk and pencil on 48" x 48" canvas.
Available thru Eden Fine Art, NYC.
And a year later.....
- we're on -
Madison Ave.

Pic taken by my friend Angelian O'Brien when she was in New York for a visit.
So cool.

 And a really long video of some of the work completed over the year (it was my attempt at making a video slideshow on Youtube...haahahaah - whoopsy!)
To see some of the work currently hanging in

    Eden Fine Art, NYC - (212) 888-0177
Find out what's new on Eden's  Facebook page!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Entry 64: Dude, I can't find my big girl panties

It's been a rough week (month, year, life)  and I haven't been in the mood to post - nothin' nice to say blah, blah, blah. And although I was hoping to muster the energy to make my way to the studio to work on two paintings I was initially excited to start, my schedule has been a little full - I've been very, very busy being depressed and overwhelmed watching my world avalanche in on itself.

Normally, my prescription for everything is "go paint!" but not this time - for reasons waaaay beyond my control, I'm stuck in a nightmarish holding pattern and I just can't muster enough energy to even pretend I can 'fake it till you make it'. So we've got two large-ish scale paintings hanging in my studio that're only partially done and me sitting here just staring at the computer screen.
Right now - my mojo is gone, my big girl panties are missing and I've got some very scary fish to fry.

I do have pics of last week's half assed attempts at painting though.

the messes I leave behind:


Ugh....Pepe has glaucoma.
Will do surgery if/when things decide to straighten out.

Hmmmm - kinda looks the way I feel....
shock, awe, and with a hint of
"dude, no way that just happened".

" the......?"

"Nope, no way. Can't be real"
"Maaannn, that's imposseeble. Absowutewy imposeeeble".

Double ugh.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Entry 63: Walking in shadows

I started planning my present journey over 5 years ago.

The bulk of the steps I needed to take to get where I planned to be
were primarily placed on the last two years. With a high degree of concentration, I pretty much have done nothing but work for the last two years on reaching my goals and desired successes.

But now it seems despite all my efforts, planning, determination, focus and diligence
 I may have failed.


Found my first blog entry from 2011, two years ago almost to the day:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Entry 62: Short interview at CW28

Had an inconceivably horrible week that's ended with something wonderful - an interview at Providence's television station CW28.

CW28 is made up of a group of kind, generous peope and I will always appreciate having been invited to be interviewed by Sevan Donoian (interviewer/videographer/editor) -

To watch the short inteview go to:

Bugsy says: "POOP on that! Take me out!!!"

Monday, March 11, 2013

Entry 61: When it's broke fix it

This blog started, a few years ago, as an excercise. I've never been a writer or had any confidence in writing but I've kept at it regardless. I didn't start it to pat myself on the back or to be self aggrandizing - I started blogging as a way to find confidence, feel a part of the world (without being too much in it) and to train myself to articulate ideas.

Posting pics of my work, whether it's in process or finished, is extremely uncomfortable for me - no one wants to admit to making terrible misteps in what they do but I go ahead and do it anyway for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason being: posting the pics online somehow clears my head so I can see the work as it really is and not how I want it to be. Posting online pushes me out into the open and into a state of no holds barred, undeniability. I realize that may sound dramatic but I'm not an artist who can have people over their studio - I don't lounge around swilling wine and chatting with other artists about the state of things. I work, I work dilligently and I work alone. But, in my de la hermitage nature, I don't get much feedback on my work - by posting on this blog, Facebook, and a few other sites, I get all the advatages of a critique but without all the time sucking drama a social setting is capable of.

Sometimes the blog is goofy, like the post I put  up a couple days ago. Sometimes I use it to expose my anger and frustration. But no matter what silly, seemingly frivolous thing I post, make no mistake - this blog exists to reinforce and sharpen my painting skills and to help others find their voice and courage as well.

That said:

Sometimes it's good to give up and throw in the towel on a project. But then again sometimes it's good to scrape the project down, wipe it as clean as you can and try your best to see it with fresh eyes.

A couple weeks ago I felt driven to start a larger painting. I had a tiny photo that had been on my mind for a long time and was over the top, excited to use as reference on a piece of canvas that's, in total 8ft x 9ft. The little photo is of three figures seated against a shocking white sky and deep, dark bottomless backgroud. They are clearly family and, at seeing it, I automatically knew what I wanted to do - no prob. I worked the project out in my head. No prob, till there is a prob.

My problems started when, for some reason, I derailed and chose to use basic flesh tones (on all three figures) instead of going in a more compelling or interesting direction. I want the feeling of family or relationship but it's never my desire to produce traditional and perfect depictions of family photographs. I prefer to abstract them and build an under story - imply an under current or idea.

Because of the use of flesh tones, I spent days working and reworking the little one's face and no matter what I did, she looked cutesy and flat. The boy, who's supposed to be in mud face or shadow, just kept coming out petulant. Cutesy and pouty would not have been appropriate for the direction I want to take this painting. 

So.... after scraping the two faces down to the canvas, I moved his head to (our) left about an inch, turned it so he's looking off to his right, gave her a bob cut and applied teals to their faces - much better. They feel abstracted and a bit more compelling. They won't stay this way, static and pedestrian in feel, but now I have something I can really work with instead of work around or simply tolerate:


I believe, the two smaller children differentiated by color from the young woman are more able to give a subtle hint to the intent or ideas behind the painting now. Or, at least, get the viewer a reason to think about the relationship. Hopefully.

It's still a little broke but you know what? - it's all fixable.

From Studio 120, my video series on Youtube -a video about working the entire canvas and not getting stuck in the details right away. Video was made several session before I scraped the canvas down and made readjustments -

But whatever you do, my advice - paint with confidence:

Available exclusively thru
Eden Fine Art, NYC
(212) 888-0177

Please visit, like, shae and join me on Facebook:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Entry 60: Ugh, blurg....poop

"When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes." - Paul Coelho

So, after spending 7 hours in front of the computer doing online work (posts, updates, uploading videos, reorganizing Youtube and this blog, communicating with people and posting some more) I walked Bugsy and then got to take a 2 hour bus trip/hike to my studio ('s approx. 7 miles away).

By the time I arrived and got myself settled, I ended up with about 2 hours of studio time. But in that two hours, I was able to celebrate my success and hard work with my 5 millionth bowl of Ramen noodles and then went on to paint.....however, my attempts at painting resulted in taking apart several days worth of work and two embarrassing messes.

Behold one of my astonishing failures today:

Funny, I never manage to see what an incredibly bad job I've done till I get home and post it online. Only kidding, Helen Keller coulda seen the work I need to invest in this one.

Granted, I just started this one and it will fix itself but still......who wants to walk away from a portrait of a woman that looks like the birth product of Larry from the Three Stooges? And, right now, her pup looks terrified - but really.... who can blame him.

No, I was not trying to channel Larry. It just kind of happened.
Regardless, this tragic mess is in much better shape than 8ft long "We don't know what we mean to each other" - the painting kind of resembles a Cecilia Gimenez restoration project at the moment.

However, during the hour and half ride home I went from deeply angry with myself and frustrated beyond belief that I couldn't just stay and do the work, to underwhelmed by my progress to feeling pretty fortunate bc I realized: I know how this will turn out - the paintings will right themselves. The paint, the paintings and that magic thing in my head will work together to fix the situation - they usually do..

And just like Paul Coelho said in my new favorite book "the Alchemist" -“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." Well, I really want these two paintings to work out an not be and embarrassing mess after Monday if that's alright with you universe. Please help me achieve.

Ramen Noodle recipe tip: After cooking noodles add seasoning (chicken is my favorite) and black pepper. Let mixture boil down till noodles are a sticky mass stuck to bottom of pan, place in bowl, add a small spoonful of mayonaise. Mayo is the lazy man's cream sauce. Only add vegetables if you're feeling chef-y.

Sing it Bob -

Entry 59: Every morning I give thanks

Every morning I have a routine that I stick to like Rainman - I get up, make some coffee and get to work going over my online posts, updates and stats. Because my job right now, in addition to painting, is to build an online audience it's a something I take very seriously and put before anything else I may want to do. 
Like paint.
Or shower.  
But never, ever, EVER before I make a sauce pan full of cowboy coffee.
 Since January, I've been relentlessly working Facebook and this blog to build an online presence. As soon as I had a good enough base built, I expanded to making videos and posting them on Youtube, then I joined Twitter and Tumblr, Pinterest, Picassa and, have consequently had my pics and videos streamed thru Google and Google +. I've thought about joining other sites and expanding but I already spend about 8 hours a day tending the sites, links, and profiles I have. That's 8 hours spent doing nothing but sitting on my bottom and working online before I take the (1 to 2 hr) long trip to my studio to do that one thing makes my soul sing: paint.
As the online audience grows I am both proud and gratified with the results but I want to say: thank you. I am EXTREMELY grateful to people who are visiting my sites and pages. Watching the views, shares, likes, comments, follows and Tweets grow in numbers gives me the courage to keep moving forward every single day.
Every morning, as I drink my coffee and start my online work (while grumbling because I just want to be painting) I think how incredibly lucky I am to have people showing any interest in my work at all.
So, I say this from the bottom of my heart -
thank you.
"Picnic table" - oil on acrylic and aerosol on 48: x 60" canvas.
Hanging at Eden Fine Art, NYC

Join, follow mix and mingle on some of my favorite social sites:

Available exclusively thru
Eden Fine Art, NYC
(212) 888-0177

10:30 am -
P.S. This pic was JUST sent from my friend and one of my favorite painters - Cassandra Complex, who's visiting NYC and stopped  by Eden for a look see!

Thanks Cass - you can visit Cassandra complex on Facebook:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Entry 58: Which way to we go today?

Well, it's snowing again. Apparently we're going to be knee deep in snow and cold and all the problems winter weather brings with it....again. So, the question is do I stay home and avoid the cold and concentrate on my online work or do I start the hour to 2 hour bus trip to my studio and keep working on the two large canvas I have underway? 
The online work is important - I have networking accounts to tend to, people to communicate with, photos of work to post and circulate.....
BUT if I don't put in my time at the studio that means I won't have pics of work to post and that I haven't done my best to produce work this week......
However, if I go to the studio that means I haven't done my best to push my work online and build an audience for my work this week. 
Both are important investments that keep me marching towards my goal(s). Both are time consuming, both are exhausting, both make me feel uncomfortable (for different reasons), both the work in studio and my online work are challenging's just that one is a lot warmer and drier than the other.
So I guess I better get dressed and get going.
But then again it's really snowing out and I haven't been Tweeting or spending as much time on Tumblr and Facebook as much as I should.
But tomorrow there is limited heat at the studio tomorrow (Saturday), with none on Sunday.
But I have a number of video slide shows to make for my Youtube channel.
But then again,  how lucky am I because...
 this is what awaits me when I get there:  


Either way, this is what happens when you set your goals, put all your time and energy into reaching your goals...... and if/when the Gods and Life are on your side -
Ugh...what to should see me work a menu - it's an all day event.
 even when I get in the studio I have decisions to make.
However, once I make a decision, any decision, and get going on a project I am as solid and as full of direction as a bullet train:
New video on Youtube -
Studio 120: Changing my mind again, again
 Video content: it's okay to change your mind again, again and again; choosing reference and ideas rooted in passionate feeling, and some basics I use to lay out a painting.
...speaking of which, maybe I better reorganize and number the videos on Youtube before I make any decisions....
Then there's the photos on Goggle+ that have to be labeled...and Picasa..and....
All work available exclusively thru
Eden Fine Art, NYC
(212) 888-0177