Tagged: Philadelphia

Cindi Ettinger

Cindi Ettinger. Master printer for 30 years, at her studio in Philadelphia.

sonata or surfing Chi town studies O'Hare +  Reading Terminal Mutter Museum SEPTA passenger  train to phil a international

Two of the better portraits I got during transit drawing on SEPTA regional rail.

2Dave on conference call Beek Daddy Hives

Got back to Philly for a week and took care of some business while visiting with very dear friends and dining on some excellent food. From the time I first set foot in Philadelphia in 1981, my tastebuds have been treated in the best way possible. That continues on every trip back to Penn & Ben’s town. This trip included a trek to Roxborough plateau where my buddy Dave gave me a sample of honey direct from the hive. A gorgeous day and beautiful morning light let me sit comfortably before the hives and sketch in Pitt Pen and fountain pen a few of his stacks. Brought along just the black and greys for this trip. Made use of my Visconti Rembrandt, Pelikano Jr., Sailor Calligraphy, Pelikan M 215, and Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pens.

Anne D'Harencourt Sculpture Garden

Stu & Billy

Stuart holding Mr. Billy, who loves to play tirelessly, but doesn’t care too much to be held.







Matt McGoff was an artist of real power and a devoted friend of mine. He left an assertive body of work that has been witnessed by too meager an audience. Wednesday, June 8th, would have been his 50th birthday. This post is dedicated to Matt, his art, and our friendship. A wisecrackin’ Irish kid from the working class Philadelphia suburb of Folcroft, Matt was, save a couple months in New Orleans, a life long resident of the City of Brotherly Love and an alumnus of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

He wasn’t at the Hussian School of Art long before a teacher there told him he was a natural painter and chased him off to PAFA. Oil painting was just in the boy’s bones. Bright, if not somewhat naive regarding the “fine arts,” motivated, a voracious reader, and a talented athlete whose principle craft heretofore had been baseball, The Academy suited Matt. The young artist flourished under the discipline and let’s just say the social environment suited the good looking young jock’s philandering ways.

This picture of youth is, I believe, from circa 1980. The pompadour would be gone in a bit over a decade.

Next to the image of our young friend is a painting of a dancer who was a principle model during the late 90’s and in whose father’s house I was a boarder for my last 18 months in Philly. To the right of her is a watercolor of the occasional male nude.

It wasn’t his style to dawdle over details. He attacked the basic structure with a brush or palette knife as evident in the unfinished female nude on the left, the slightly more developed painting of Kathy in the center, or a completed sketch from a 10-15 minute pose. Matt worked from life, at great expense over the years. Just ask any artist who plies their trade dependent on a hired subject. The landscapes are there, and the still lives, as harshly lit as the nudes, but it was the body of work with a model that he pursued when finances allowed.

As someone who still goes to life drawing on a regular basis, it’s an impetus to focus. Not that he was one to brood quietly working himself into a Sturm Und Drang sweat. He was a pretty lively guy and couldn’t harness his humor and need to interact for long. I drew alongside Matt on several occasions when I made one of many return trips to Philly. We ‘d head off to The Sketch Club or The Plastic Club on Camac Street or pop over to The Fleisher Art Memorial for open life sessions. He was pretty loose and jocular, knew a lot of the models and many of the artists present. He definitely worked fast, in ink, ballpoints and later gels, in old ledger books. A material preference he copped from me. There might be a period of time when he just sat there doodlin’ away; the noise coming from a pen that was being worked furiously by a heavy hand. He might crack a joke or bust your chops about something. And I most surely heard him humming some Celtic diddy when had his Blarney Stone on. But even when we were dorkin’ around and trading barbs he was focused. The ball field was long in his past, but a vibrant sense of competitiveness thrived in Matt’s marrow. We had mutual respect for each others’ abilities and gobs of self confidence so that when we went off to the drawing clubs, game was on. I’ve had some of my loosest moments, especially with the short poses, sittin’ next to ol’ Irish Eyes.

Below are drawings I did at some of those sessions. It is my hope that as friends of Matt’s send me scans of his that I can add them to this post. Including some drawn from the same poses I drew from.

I did this drawing of Matt in his studio one winter night in 2006, before we headed off to the Sketch Club. He was living in his studio at that time. Just a work space, no kitchen, no shower, virtually no heat. His much adored Boxer, Wilma, had passed away after 13 years, and Matt, no longer needing a home for his dog, cut his expenses and lived exclusively out of the studio.

Sorry, but I’ve had no end to technical problems posting these images and must now retire before I throw this fuckin’ computer thru the window. I’ll try and clean it up this week as I add more about Matt and more images. Thanks.

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