Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove artists’ Category

“Heck Avenue” by Jack Bredin of Ocean Grove, NJ. Special to Blogfinger. Jan 1, 2019. Photo by Rob Bredin.



Read Full Post »

Balzac brings color, class, creativity and warmth to the OG downtown. Paul Golfinger photographs. 10/10/18 ©

Russell Brent, the proprietor of Balzac, chats with Joan Ann, a Grover knitter who couldn’t wait to visit the shop. Looking on is Liz who works there and is a knitter herself.  The enthusiasm is quite palpable in Russell’s “gathering place.”

By Eileen Goldfinger and Paul Goldfinger, editors at Blogfinger.net.

Russell Brent is an Ocean Grover who wanted to participate in the community by opening a shop that would be a “welcoming gathering place” for creative folks who were interested in knitting or crocheting.  He is an expert in knitting, and his shop  “Balzac” is now open at #50 Main Avenue in the Grove.

Balzac is a lovely place because of all the colors and textures on display.  In the windows are some beautiful hangings which he knitted himself.  Russell sells natural yarns (“fibers”) made of wool, cashmere, silk, cotton and alpaca.  He also stocks “notions” which refer to the accessories one needs to engage in the knitting/crocheting arts.

Russell says that he “loves” Ocean Grove and was attracted by the welcome which he received when he moved here one year ago.

His shop will be a meeting place where a wide spectrum of knitters/crocheters can come to discuss their “wips”  (works in progress).  There is a large table in the store where customers can bring their projects and work on them there. He wants enthusiasts to stop by, have coffee, and discuss their works.    Lessons will be available for individuals and groups.  Spinning classes will also be held.  Russell says that he will “have something for everyone—a broad range.”

The yarns come in different weights, and he buys from a selected group of independent yarn producers.   For example he carries a wonderful display of fibers from The Neighborhood Fiber Company of Baltimore.

Working with Russell is another knitter Liz Scott whom some will recognize from the OG Hardware store.  Both workers are enthused and happy in their endeavor.

Russell is a bit of a philosopher. He named the store after Honoré de Balzac, a 19th century novelist and playwright. “He wrote about people and treated them equally,” said Russell, so his motto for his shop is “we will create together.”

Since the store opened a few days ago, many excited fans have arrived to check it out. A knitting club “Navesink Knitters Guild” already visited, and Eileen’s group “Happy Fingers,” who meet in Bradley Beach, is planning a field trip, and Russell couldn’t be happier. He says, “The response is overwhelming. They are coming out of the woodwork.”

Blogfinger has been looking forward to more shops in the Grove that will promote the arts and be geared towards the residents as well as towards tourists.  Because fine knitting stores are fairly rare, this shop should attract enthusiasts from elsewhere, so it is a win-win situation for the Main Avenue downtown.

And, by the way, the coffee shop “Odyssey” should be opening in November  (next to Comfort Zone’s small store.) We plan to interview the owner. He has placed some fine literature in the window, probably from the 8th century by Homer,  so the cultural indicators seems to be rising in town —a welcome change.

IMG_5699 (1)

That’s me taking the photo and waiting for the door to open. 10/10/18

Eileen is crocheting a pumpkin. She says it’s orange. This is an unfinished work of art. Her hook is on the left, but she is no hooker.  And please, no knitwit jokes. ©

FRANK SINATRA:  From the movie What Women Want.

Read Full Post »


Intricate use of multiple colors can be difficult. Click to enlarge.

Home on Pennsylvania Avenue in Ocean Grove , just painted,  used new historic red and bright yellow from Benjamin Moore.   Blogfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @blogfinger

Major paint manufacturers offer color charts that are called “historic Victorian.”  The HPC in Ocean Grove seems to pay heed mostly to the Benjamin Moore company. Choices from the historic charts of other companies might get rejected at the HPC. Perhaps you have wondered about the purple house as you enter the Grove.   That was an approved color, but evidently the HPC later said that it was a mistake.

Those of you who have wrestled with color decisions for your OG home know that there are a wide array of choices, but perhaps you don’t know that the paint companies are always adding new colors.

A lot of the paint company decisions are based on archeological information. The chemical makeup of historic home colors used in the 19th century  resulted in a limited choice, but now you can get many approved colors available in latex paints.

Some homeowners use 14 or more different colors. Of course that sort of paint job can be expensive.

Delicate painting of decorative trim requires a steady hand and a bucket loader. 113 Mt. Hermon Way. Blogfinger photo .  Joan  Corbo painter. Click to enlarge.


Some people think of the San Francisco “painted ladies” when they think of Victorian colors, but, as Ocean Grove designer J. Cortese has said, the “new  look” are darker hues. And we have learned that the “painted ladies”  pastels would not be approved in the Grove.

33 Main Avenue design by J. Cortese. Blogfinger photo ©


The quote below is from a 2015 Blogfinger post.

“This purple house (above) is at 33 Main Avenue.   Some people love the colors while others hate them.  We spoke to J. Cortese about this restoration project which he designed, color consulted and construction managed. J. uses historic colors, but he also enjoys the unexpected, changing over recently to darker “rich” colors in the Grove.  He says that all his colors are approved and chosen from historic color charts. He thinks that darker colors are “more historic.” 

Yellow seems to be more popular recently.  Some of you are familial with the spectacular restoration at the Founders Park end of Seaview Avenue  (26 Lake Avenue, a yellow Bersheeba Award winner).  Link below:

BF post on spectacular yellow home

And then there are colors which most people in town don’t like, but either they were done that way without permission, or the HPC made a mistake. Do you think that the Mary’s’ Place blue color  (see below) ought to be considered historic?  Is a blue roof historic?  Does the HPC practice favoritism?

And do you recall the orange house on Mt. Hermon Way?  That owner went ahead with it even though that orange is not historic. The owner argued that 19th century homeowners were allowed to pick any colors they wanted —–the palette was very limited;—-all the colors then were dreary. So the orange house owner said that our modern choices should also be whatever we want. And, she argued, that the  orange house would make her happy, so how about the “pursuit of happiness” promised  in our Declaration of Independence–definitely some colorful patriotic reasoning.

Mary’s Place. 12/15.   Main Avenue Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo. Is the blue roof OK? The other blue on the siding  looks darker now.  Blogfinger photo 12/15. ©

KEITH URBAN with a song about the color blue—“Blue Ain’t Your Color”  (This song was nominated for two 2017 Grammy awards.)



Read Full Post »

“AURORA” Goddess of the Dawn by Ocean Grove artist Jack Bredin. ©  Click to enlarge.  August, 2018.   Photo of the painting by Rob Bredin.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Jack Bredin decided years ago to paint the historic Aurora Hotel.  This year he finally completed the project.  Jack usually begins by photographing his subject, and when he was doing that, he saw a woman watering her lawn near the Aurora.  It turns out that she is the owner of that house, and she gave Jack permission to use her in his painting.  The dog walker also was present on the day of the photographs and he also gave permission.

The historic Angel of Victory statue  is depicted at the lower right corner.  Jack has used the famous statue in other paintings.  Here is a BF link by Kathy Arlt regarding the Angel:

Angel of Victory

Jack works in oil on canvas, and his paintings often contain historic and current references.  For example, Jack always admired the giant American flag hung from the Aurora  at times such as the 4th of July.  But the flag obscured many details, so Jack placed bunting instead.

The vacant North End is readily seen.  Someday much of what Jack shows here will be considered historic   For example, the “White Whale” building near the upper right hand corner, will probably be demolished in the future.  And the glorious views currently available to all at the North End will be blocked by a commercialized OG North End  (aka “South Asbury Park.”)

Wonderful Victorian homes are shown in the foreground, but looming behind, like some prehistoric monster, is a condominium building, the sort of place that mars the views in the Grove.

Jack insists on accuracy in his paintings, while taking some minor liberties.   For example, the girl on the bike is a Heck Avenue neighbor named Jackie.  And the Aurora, the symbol of the Greek Goddess of dawn, will be converted into 4 condos if the out-of-town interlopers get their way,  with the gears greased by the feckless HPC  (def: lacking initiative or strength of character; irresponsible.) and the out-of-town, don’t-give-a crap Committee.

It should be noted that although Jack’s work might stimulate  political discussions, he never mixes art and politics.

You also can see that Jack has frozen the time of his subject by including the 16 story Asbury skyscraper currently going up near the ocean.   You can see the giant crane on top. What effect will that huge building have on life in the Grove?



Read Full Post »

Janet (L) and Bev from Ocean Grove. On the right is the pink lady from out of town .Paul Goldfinger photo ©. July 16, 2015

Janet (L) and Bev from Ocean Grove. On the right is Diane, the pink lady from Summit. .Paul Goldfinger photo ©. July 16, 2015.  Reposted from July, 2015. Blogfinger.net


Diane from Summit sits at the feet of Stokes who probably would have liked her in his congregation.

Diane from Summit sits at the feet of Stokes who probably would have liked her in his congregation. Bev holds her painting of the great man. Paul Goldfinger photo ©


By Paul Goldfinger  @Blogfinger.net

They were painting outdoors on a gorgeous  Jersey Shore day, right on Ocean Pathway by Rev. Stokes statue. Stokes probably would have liked this painting class in the Ocean Grove of 1870.  After all, the camp meeting idea included a variety of leisure activities.  In fact, Troy Messenger’s fascinating book is called “Holy Leisure: Recreation and Religion in God’s Square Mile.”

Norma Tolliver, of the Main Avenue Galleria, was conducting the class in the spirit of the French who invented “en plain air” painting—which means painting outdoors.

Janet, Bev and Diane were having a happy time being creative with their canvasses.  They could kibbitz with me while making their masterpieces.  It actually looked like fun.

BF article Main Ave. Galleria 2012    Click here to see a nice photo of Norma Tolliver, owner and artist-in-chief at the Main Avenue Galleria School of Art (732 988 1002) where you can take lessons, paint outdoors and even have wine and cheese during a painting event, in the spirit of Picasso who liked to drink when he met his artist friends, perhaps explaining his two headed, one eyed women subjects.      (You must see Midnight in Paris by Woody–you will meet Salvatore Dali and Hemingway in a left bank bar—not exactly en plain air; more like en stale air.)

DJANGO REINHARDT   “Body and Soul” 1938

Read Full Post »

Tree Lighting Ceremony  ©  By Jack Bredin, Ocean Grove. Photograph by Rob Bredin.  Click image to enlarge it.  You may find some surprises.





Read Full Post »

Ocean Grove., New Jersey.   Paul Goldfinger © 2012



Read Full Post »

“A Cottage By the Sea” by Jack Bredin. This is an Ocean Grove scene, and Jack continues his series of paintings of our town. Photo by Rob Bredin. July, 2017.

Jack Bredin continues his series of Ocean Grove scenes.  His paintings of our town are famous, and lucky is the art lover who has one hanging in his home.

Editor’s note: You can feel the life of the seashore in this painting by Jack. The breezes are blowing the flag and the trees, and you can smell the ocean.   The young couple are perhaps planning their evening.  Maybe they will go to a dance. Do they still have dances? Well, let’s assume that they do, and he may approach others, but he wants to have the last dance with her; and then he’ll take her to Days for an ice cream soda.

And that’s where the cottage by the sea comes in, because he hopes to take her there, under the watchful eye of her parents, of course, and they’ll sit on the porch and maybe there will be some music in the air.  Which brings us to our song below:

PATRICK RIGUELLE AND JOHN TERRA  with a song made famous by the Drifters in 1960.



Read Full Post »

“Romeo” by Marylou Shipman of Ocean Grove.© Special to Blogfinger.net 2017.

Hello Paul…

Happy Spring! It’s that time of year when I’m starting to see more of our feline friends hanging around outside and happy dogs walking with their people along the boardwalk. I thought I would send you my latest painting, Ocean Grove dog “Romeo”. Actually, I heard that Romeo has since moved to Asbury Park, however when I met him, he was an O.G. dog. I first saw him one day while I was walking past the Tumblety Gallery and saw his adorable face peeking out at me from inside.

He is a Brussels Griffon, one of my favorite dog breeds. I could not pass up the photo op even if it meant tempting a barking episode…which it did! Romeo’s owner, who was at the Gallery doing some renovation work, saw the commotion and asked if I would like to meet this funny fellow. You can imagine my joy when he opened the door and out came this happy, tail wagging little guy in a blue sweater. What a thrill!



Read Full Post »

Sue Gioulis, Ocean Grove artist and Blogfinger cartoonist. Portrait by Paul Goldfinger © April, 2017 on Main Avenue.  Click to make sue SUE.


From Sue Gioulis’ series of pen, ink, and watercolor scenes of Ocean Grove.



Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: