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.

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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.