Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Corporate Christmas - by Samuel J. Formica Portfolio

Merry Corporate Christmas

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord. Portfolio

Saturday, December 6, 2008

American History 4 Sale - by Samuel J. Formica Portfolio


Philadelphia, PAArtist, Samuel J. Formica, looks to the future and chooses to sell his acclaimed life-sized painting, Looking to the Future, in a manner that all indie artists with a vision should do—on his own. Looking to the Future chronicles more than one hundred scenes of historical triumphs and tragedies. The sweeping detail surrounds an image of Benjamin Franklin, the painting’s robust centerpiece. An omniscient Franklin peers through his window while on his cell phone in the five by seven foot, oil on canvas painting that took Formica three years to complete and can be viewed in person at The Franklin Institute at 220

North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 or online at Purchase inquiries should be directed to SJF Sales at 215-200-6007 or

Looking to the Future has been lauded by US presidents, including Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Gerald Ford, for its vigorous depiction of the history of America. “It’s a wonderful portrayal of American history,” said President George H. W. Bush after viewing Looking to the Future. And Frank R. Wolf, Member of Congress, House of Representatives stated, “The painting is truly an original with phenomenal meaning.”


Formica’s work is highly collectible; he paints only two to three new works per year.  Dense with allusion and vibrant colors, his careful composition has led him to international recognition. In 1985, Formica was discovered by the late artist agent, Ola Jones, who had a keen eye for recognizing self-taught talent. She encouraged him to trade in his syringes for brushes. Twenty-two years later, Formica is still drug-free, and his paintings have since been exhibited in international solo shows; published in Art Now, Art Matters, The Pew Trust, and American History Magazine; collected by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, President Jimmy Carter, and Donald Trump; and recently honored by the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary commission and placed in the official Ben Franklin Tercentenary exhibit catalogue, In Search of a Better World (Yale University Press).

I'll Be Back Portfolio

Saturday, November 29, 2008

DROWNING in DEBT - by Samuel J. Formica Portfolio

Drowning in debt… tis the season. Maybe consumers have learned a lesson about over-spending especially Credit Card spending. If you don’t have the cash, don’t buy it. This year’s financial crises are a wake up call to be more prudent with our money. I didn’t need a wake up call to tell me to watch my spending, I have nothing to spend.

Visit my Home page

Drowning in Debt Portfolio

Thursday, November 6, 2008

This Moment in Time is One I Deserve

This Moment in Time is One I Deserve

November 1, 2008, I am sitting at the dining room table enjoying a thick, juicy, organic, grass-fed, NY strip steak, cooked to perfection. Complete with an oven baked Sweet - potato, peas, carrots and a 1993 bottle of Baron de Pichon- Longueville, Bordeaux. I have been planning this celebratory dinner for when I finished a series of paintings about the seasons of wine. Little did I know it would take me four years to complete this project. That’s what makes this wine taste all the more delicious.

In 2004 I had a brain storm; I wanted to create a series of paintings about one of my favorite pass times, wine. I’ve seen so many painters approach this subject before, usually a still life with grapes and a bottle or two of wine in the back ground or there is the vineyard scene at sunset. I wanted to do something far more original, like a tribute to the grape. Its not like I don’t know anything about wine, I’ve served it in the finest restaurants, gone to countless wine tastings all over the U.S., taught wine appreciation classes and even sold wine.

I started collecting wine corks about ten years ago while working as a bartender at Ristorante Panorama an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia. Panorama has the largest wine by the glass program in North America and during the week we would throw hundreds of corks away. I would sift through them and find the best ones, take them home and try and figure out a way to use them in my art. One day it hit me, an idea for a series, I never painted a series before. I knew it was going to be an ambitious project, four separate paintings about the four seasons of wine, each one measuring 36” x 64” and made up of 48 smaller canvasses. Rich in texture, color and atmosphere of the season each painting was to represent.

In 2004 when I began this work I didn’t anticipate how many major (but good) distractions would come my way. I got married to a wonderful, supportive woman, changed jobs a few times and my wife had a baby. The last four years have been crazy making it difficult to focus on my art and finishing these complicated paintings. There was a time I almost gave up on them altogether. Not only were they extremely time consuming but expensive to make and with no real demand for my art I felt no urgency to work on them.

After my son was born, life began to change, actually everything changed but mostly my mind has changed, suddenly I felt this urgency to complete my work and follow my dreams again. How can I ever teach my son that you can achieve anything you put your mind to and yet here am half heartily working on my art and practically giving up on being the artist I dreamed of becoming. The summer painting shown here is the last painting of the series to be completed. The entire series entitled “Le Quattro Stagione del Vino” is finished. I have to thank my ten month old son who doesn’t even know what he has done for me and God in heaven for bringing him to my wife and me. I am invigorated now and so inspired to create new work, almost daily I am getting visions for new work. I don’t know how I’m ever going to complete it all.
So as I sit here staring at my completed painting, eating my steak drinking my wine, I can’t help but thank God for all his blessings in my life and for the first time I feel content with who I am and where I am going. This moment in time is one I deserve.
Now if I can just find a gallery who will show my work.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

God Stopped Me In My Tracks

Another beautiful autumn day in Philadelphia, in fact there have been quit a few fall days that were just perfect since the season began. Funny thing is, I hadn’t noticed any of those days. I used to be so in love with the autumn season, with the changing of the leaves, the crisp air and of course bringing out those comfortable sweaters from storage. The other aspect to autumn that I personally like and some people feel I’m crazy but I like the fact that we turn the clocks back causing it to get dark earlier. I have always been a studio painter and when those long days of summer are here I rarely come in out of the sunshine to paint, I feel I may be missing something by not being outside, I guess.

Today however, I was walking through one of my favorite parks in Philadelphia, Washington Square. I noticed a bench drenched in sunlight that just caught my eye and made me want to sit and bask in its rays. Just then this feeling came over me almost like a trance, the sunshine seemed to be stabbing through the leaves like swords, lighting the ground with brilliant hues of green. Even the trees seemed to be competing with each other as to which had the most shades of orange, red and yellow foliage; it was truly a spectacular scene. I looked up at the sky and almost wept, I never seen such a blue sky. God had stopped me in my tracks.

This was one of those times when I felt the spirit of God. I sat there humbled, thankful and grateful for this experience. I wondered how many times in the past I hurriedly walked by scenes just like this and never gave it a second glance. There may come a time when I may not be able to see and feel these special moments, that’s why it is so important to stop and see it now, absorb these days , drink them in and be thankful.

This painting is the autumn panel from my wine series titled “Le Quattro Stagione del Vino” The Four Seasons of Wine. I love this piece, the textures and colors are warm giving a feeling for the season it portrays. This series of paintings was inspired by a nine year job I held at one of the best Italian restaurants in the city, Ristorante Panorama. Panorama is world renowned for its vast selection of fine wines. “Le Quattro Stagione del Vino is the name of one of the banquet rooms that inspired this series of art. The series is almost complete after four years of work and after almost a decade of collecting the corks I am putting the finishing touches on the summer panel which I expect to have finished by years end.

If you need a creative boost, I suggest not allowing one of these autumn days to pass by without taking time to notice it.

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Batten Down the Hatches

Batten Down the Hatches is a nautical term meaning “Prepare for Trouble”. Our founding fathers warned that we must protect the Constitution; it is a fragile document. Americans have lost touch with Washington and the politicians we elected to represent us. We are to busy chasing the American dream, working our fingers to the bone paying our taxes, health care, mortgages, college tuitions and putting food on our table. After a hard day of work who has the time to follow up on the bills being passed by our representatives? These people are elected to uphold the Constitution and be our voice in government, instead they have sold us, the citizens who pay for their inflated salaries down the river.
I am so disgusted with what is going on in this country right now and I can’t help but think that our forefathers would be stringing these corrupt politicians up from the nearest tree. What will it take for America to wake up? Really… think about it… what will it take? We are in the worst financial crisis in history where the government is now grabbing up the banks, healthcare is out of reach to millions and companies who do provide it for their employees are going bankrupt trying to pay for it. The world stock markets are crashing down around us, unemployment is at an all time high and violent crime is rampant. Russia is on the move, China is killing babies and Iran wants a world that is governed under the flag of Islam. American troops are being deployed on our own soil , judges are letting criminals back on the streets with just a slap on the wrist and the best we can do is put two clowns on the ballet to be the next president of the United States.
Concerns about John Sidney McCain’s age, health, policies, and lack of passion or enthusiasm to create new ideas for jobs or moving this country forward. If McCain drops dead, Palin is our president… a hockey mom. Then there is Barrack Hussein Obama a community organizer, who was a 20 year member of a racist, anti American church. Obama’s ties to a known terrorist and questions over the validity of his citizenship raise a red flag in my mind. As a matter of fact here in a Philadelphia Federal court a suit has been filed trying to force Obama to show a hard copy of his birth certificate. This case has been going on for awhile and the DNC keeps tying it up in court. Why won’t he show a hard copy of his birth certificate? We as Americans have the right to see it, I am sure a lot of you don’t even know this is occurring. Then of course there’s the big endorsement from Louis Farrakhan calling Obama the” Messiah”. Give me a break, Obama couldn’t even get a job with the FBI with his background and we are handing over the most powerful position in the world to him.
Americans want change so bad we will overlook important details about politicians but scream and yell if there is a bad call during a sporting event or our favorite television show is interrupted by a presidential debate. Where do we start to repair the damage? I suggest getting down on our knees and begging God (not Allah) for mercy and forgiveness, start putting our representatives under the microscope and holding them accountable. Politicians who are corrupt or traitors, throw them into prison, I suppose we will have to build a lot more prisons.
I wish I could say “I hope you enjoy my new painting” but it is a painting I wish I never had to paint.

May God have mercy on us all.