Archive for the ‘Painters’ Category


ON THE SCENE Best Of…Ready To Roll

December 18, 2012

Two days, holed up in a dark editing booth and now ON THE SCENE the Best Of 2012 show is ready to see the light of day.

We cut and culled until we made it to seven of our favorite artists featured in our show during 2012. And we took the very best excepts from each of those interviews and put them in this year-end special.

With one exception: Bernadette Peters. A good portion of my original interview with her this fall never aired and so a brand new piece with her is in this show.

So tune in News 12 New Jersey this Saturday and Sunday, December 22nd and 23rd at 11AM, 1:30PM and 3:30PM each day.  The show includes Joe Pantoliano, Peter Max, Chris Botti, Lewis Black, Jim Norton, and Rob McClure who stars at Charlie Chaplin in “Chaplin” the Broadway musical.


The Art Of The Hudson River

June 4, 2012

Hudson River In Saugerties, NY

I’m keeping a promise made to myself long ago to explore the Hudson River in Upstate New York.

This weekend I traveled to Saugerties, located in the Catskills. The scenery and vistas on a dramatically overcast day are stunning. I see how this river has inspired painters and other artists for, well, just over 400 years now.

I’ve gotten interested in the Hudson River painters and the river’s art movement.  It’s associated, from what I can tell, entirely with the river in New York state. Does anyone know if any artists on the New Jersey end of the river in Hudson County were known for painting the river? I haven’t found any information about that. If there ever was a trend of painting in the urbanized section of the Hudson, I would like to explore that in a television piece.

I’ll be checking out other sections of this magnificent American waterway over the summer.

Hudson River in Saugerties, NY


Blind Painter Bojana Coklyat…Be Inspired

May 17, 2012

I see that Yahoo News just featured blind painter Bojana Coklyat in a story. And as a result a lot of web searches are leading people to my blog at website to find out more about her.

I’ve interview Bojana twice, most recently last year for ON THE SCENE. In fact our interview was nominated for a New York Emmy Award a couple months back.

Bojana lost her much of her eyesight due to diabetes when she was in her late 20s. She’s legally blind. Yet she doggedly learned to paint again. To see her story please go to the Credits page of this website.

Do something for yourself today. Watch Bojana’s story and feel inspired about life.


New York Emmys Are Tonight

April 1, 2012

In just a few hours we’ll be headed to the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for the Emmy Awards.

It’s a big, black tie gala with close to a thousand people filling the ballroom. TV professionals, people who talk for a living, so the room can get LOUD.

Wish us luck. As I’ve mentioned ON THE SCENE is nominated in the Arts category for a beautiful piece we did called “Through Bojana’s Eyes” a profile of painter Bojana Coklyat who suffered vision loss and a life and death battle with diabetes.



The Emmys Are Almost Here!

March 25, 2012

The New York Emmy Awards ceremony will be Sunday, April 1st. Wish us luck, “ON THE SCENE” is Emmy nominated for “Through Bojana’s Eyes,” an emotional profile of painter Bojana Coklyat who has battled back from vision loss and chronic diabetes.

It’s my honor to have received two previous Emmys for coverage of arts and entertainment (2005, 2009) but it always surprises me when people ask, “where do you keep them?” So, the FIRST TIME from the living room to the blog, here’s a picture of the Emmys. (Btw, that’s a Gracie Award that they’re bookending. And recognize who’s in the pictures with me?) No, I don’t keep the awards on some gilded shelf or behind glass. That’s not how I roll, which you know by now!

John's Emmy Awards At Home


Watch My Peter Max Interview Here

March 10, 2012

ON THE SCENE Encore: “Red” With Randy Harrison; Peter Max

February 25, 2012

This is late notice to you, apologies, been an extremely busy week. But the ON THE SCENE episode with the cast of “Red” at George Street Playhouse (Bob Ari, Randy Harrison) and my interview with artist Peter Max, will be on again this weekend.

Tune in to News 12 New Jersey at 8:30 AM, 11:30 AM or 4:30 PM on February 24th or 25th.

This show got a big response so we decided to air it get soon, and also before “Red” closed to move on to its run in Cleveland.


ON THE SCENE Is Emmy Nominated Once Again!

February 21, 2012

ON THE SCENE Is Headed To The Emmys!









It’s time to celebrate! ON THE SCENE received a New York Emmy Award nomination for coverage of the arts. The piece selected for this honor by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is entitled “Through Bojana’s Eyes” and you can watch it on the Credits Page of It chronicles how painting helped bring artist Bojana Coklyat back from the brink of death.

Wish us luck!


ON THE SCENE: The Feedback, The Future

February 16, 2012

Thanks for the emails, unprecedented number of blog views, kind words and inquiries about last weekend’s ON THE SCENE featuring Peter Max and the cast of “Red-” Bob Ari and Randy Harrison.

This episode was spectacular in high definition…the vibrant paintings of Peter Max and that splattering crimson paint flinging across the set in “Red” lit up the screen. (No wonder Randy Harrison thought his famously blond hair would turn red by the end of the play’s run). Oh yeah, the host didn’t look bad, either, but I am hopelessly biased!

More interviews with fascinating artists are coming your way so check back for announcements here on the blog and for details about encore presentations of  ON THE SCENE episodes. And to watch the bonus feature with Randy Harrison and me discussing his role on the series “Queer As Folk” check the post “ON THE SCENE Schedule Reminder, Randy Harrison.”


“Red” With Randy Harrison

February 4, 2012

Here’s more about my interview Thursday evening with Randy Harrison, now appearing in “Red” at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  He plays a studio assistant to abstract expressionist Mark Rothko (played by Bob Ari). Harrison’s role of “Ken” was originated on Broadway by Tony Award winner, Eddie Redmayne.


Our conversation covered two areas: this play and the role for which he is best known, “Justin” on the television series “Queer As Folk.” When I asked him about QAF Harrison said, “It’s strange to be remembered for something that’s been off the air for seven years. It’s really a time capsule, now.” Not that he’s turning his back on the early success QAF brought him.  But when I asked if he looks back on tapes of his performance I was surprised by his answer: “No, after the first two seasons I stopped watching. I found it was distracting me.” It was his first time doing work on camera so he wanted to see how the show looked, then decided watching made him too self conscious about the performance. It wasn’t until the past year when he was putting together a compilation reel of his work that he saw later episodes, he said.


It’s been twelve years since QAF went on the air, so audiences might wonder if Harrison is still suitable to be cast as the “young apprentice” which he plays in “Red.” He is, indeed, impossibly youthful looking to this day. But I’ve watched two performances and sat through part of a rehearsal of “Red” and there’s a seriousness and maturity in his performance that’s no doubt developed during the abundant stage work he’s done since the series ended.


Harrison says he did not see “Red” on Broadway in 2010 but read the play soon after and wanted to do this part. One, because it’s a two actor play which Harrison has never done before (a two-hander is the industry term for it) and secondly it was an opportunity for him to reunite with director Anders Cato.


Speaking of Cato, I met him for the first time Thursday while we shot footage of rehearsal.  I had seen a show he directed at George Street Playhouse several years ago, “I Am My Own Wife,” which I also had done a piece about for ON THE SCENE. Shortly before curtain on Thursday we ran into each other and had a conversation about mentors which is a central theme of “Red.’ Cato pointed out what a complicated relationship it can become when the mentor we hold in high esteem peels back the layers and reveals the real person within. I also realized through talking to him how many mentors I’ve had whom I have never met…the television journalists I watched in the early years who had a tremendous influence on my own performance. Cato made me realize that, too, is a form of mentorship, virtual as it may be.


The deeper I get into a play by interviewing the cast or creatives, the more interesting it becomes to me. And I will be spending hours watching, writing about, and working with an editor as we put together the Randy Harrison and Bob Ari interviews next week.


And you can read about it here…