Discover Local Artists: Sam Perry

Coffee: some see it as an essential to the day, and insist on Starbucks. Artist Sam Perry fits into that category, and calls himself a “Starbucks junkie.”

Sam Perry

“When I’m not teaching at Palm Beach Atlantic University, the Digital Media Center, Armory Arts Center AND The Lighthouse Center for the Arts in Tequesta, I’m at Starbucks  — morning and nights,” he said.

Perry has always enjoyed observing people,  studying them and DRAWING them.  His latest body of work,  “The Starbucks Series,” exhibited at Liman Gallery March 25 through April 9,  comprises oil paintings, pen and ink sketches and prints and are the product of his many Starbucks hours.

Take, for example, the elderly disabled gentleman that Perry observed, a flashy patron reminiscent of Perry’s favorite rock star, Brian Ferry. He became the subject of “Old Get Wiser.”

“Old Gets Wiser,” 72 by 48 inches, oil on wood, $14,800

A young woman, portrayed in “Studying for the Bar,” becomes the subject of Perry’s artistic study and composition.

Perry believes people should not take themselves so seriously, and, as such, his work reflects a lightheartedness and whimsy, a freshness and unusual perspective.

Watch out the next time you visit Starbucks on Clematis. Perry might be drawing you!

Perry’s show opens at Liman Gallery on 4-7 p.m. Sunday, March 27, with a painting demonstration at 3 p.m. Liman Gallery is located at 139 N County Rd., Palm Beach. Hours 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Tuesday through Saturday. For information, call the gallery at (561)  659-7050.

Environmental students energized by Nobel Laureate

It’s not every day that high school students get to attend a class taught by a Nobel Laureate. But that’s just what happened for environmental science students at Jupiter High School recently. In the process, they got to shoot the breeze with Dr. Martin Heimann, and hear about a lot of hot air.

Heimann, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry director, served as a lead author in assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Along with 2,000 scientists on that board, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Focusing on the carbon cycle and its link to climate, he knew the students already had an understanding of the Greenhouse Effect. “It’s not a new idea,” Heimann said. “Arrhenius discovered it more than a hundred years ago. When sunlight penetrates the atmosphere, the energy is absorbed on the surface of the earth and warms it. The heat is returned in terms of infrared radiation and that is CO2.

“If you change the amount of gas, you warm the atmosphere more. It’s like the blanket that covers you at night and so the earth is receiving heat both from the sun and the atmosphere.”

The Keeling Graph, tracking data recorded at the Mauna Loa Hawaii laboratory since 1958, shows the steady rise of CO2 as well as seasonal variations, he told the students. A red zigzag line goes catty-corner from the bottom left to the upper right. A blue line runs through it.

The red zigzag line tracks CO2 in the northern hemisphere. The blue line tracks it in the southern hemisphere “Plants like CO2, so there’s less of it in the atmosphere during the summer. In the northern hemisphere, there’s more foliage, that’s why the line shows more variation,” he said.

Before 1958, when scientists didn’t have instruments to measure PPM (molecule parts per million), scientists took measurements from ice cores, he explained.

Snow is porous and when it freezes, air is captured in the bubbles. Scientists can take a core sample, count the layers from each winter freeze to figure age, and then analyze the air that the ice has stored away in its pockets. After looking over layers representing thousands of years in the Vostok Core, scientists saw that CO2 and temperature (or the climate system) are linked together.

“It’s kind of like the chicken-and-egg scenario,” Heimann said. “We do not fully understand the relationship; it’s a topic we want to study. “But what’s important is that CO2 concentration over the last 8,000 years was never as high as it is today. We are running a new system now.”

Humans are the driving force behind this, he said. “We are burning fossil fuel at a rate of one billion tons a year.”

Deforestation also contributes to the high CO2 levels, he said, because burning forests puts CO2 in the atmosphere. And although this is happening in developing countries, be careful about pointing fingers. He asked the students, “Where do you get your shoes? India, Taiwan, China. They are producing for us. This has to be taken into account and this is one of the complications in this field.”

The amount of CO2 that is emitted into the air is another mystery that scientists are trying to unravel. “About 50 percent does not stay in the atmosphere. The earth system passes things out. We want to know about those processes, how they will acerbate, and how they will change over time.”

The scientists study the flux between land, water, atmosphere and CO2. Measuring how much CO2 gets pushed into the ocean by the atmosphere can be done by ships, he said, but scientists don’t have a technique to measure what goes into land.

“We came up with a project about the carbon balance (that takes into consideration) emissions, the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and changes in land use. We’ve found about 47 percent stays in the atmosphere and 36 percent is taken up by land, vegetation and some in the ocean. Computing over time, the amount remains the same. We want to understand why this stays so constant.”

written for Palm2Jupiter


All sorts of characters at the Hatsume Fair (celebrating the first buds of spring), some dressed as anime characters.

Looking across the lake to the main museum…

The two on the right were dressed in character, but I’m not sure about the character… They were carrying little pocket-size dolls that they dressed to resemble.

This young woman said she was not dressed as anyone.

and aren’t these girls adorable?

just some nice greenery and a waterfall.

Couldn’t ignore the drums…

Doctors’ Burger Club

Hamburger facts (according to the USDA): The good (high in protein), the bad (high in cholesterol), and the ugly (fast food burgers are high in calories).

So, these docs, members of Palm Beach Burger Doctors, play it safe, because they stick to high-end hamburgers and eat them in moderation.

David Lickstein, a Palm Beach Gardens plastic surgeon, known as The Godfather by fellow burger doctors, founded the club.

“A couple of us used to get together to hang out and we were always talking about where to get a good burger,” he explained. “Then, the Today Show featured Burger of the Month Club in New York, and we knew we had found our calling.

“That was about a year and a half ago, and we made a ten-year commitment to find the best burger in South Florida. We started in Palm Beach Gardens because we work at the Gardens hospital, but we are slowly increasing our radius.”

The burger docs meet once every four to six weeks, because of health considerations, club members admitted, and, for a while, they kept a low profile, for culinary and professional reasons.

“At first, we didn’t want anyone to know who we were, but that’s long gone away,” Lickstein said, adding that an occasional burger is really okay. “My wife cooks fish and chicken, so this is my only burger during the month.”

Club members rank burgers from various restaurants from best to worse, but each doctor has a different idea about what makes a good burger. Some, for example, like their burger doctored up with cheese.

“We don’t talk about it until we are halfway done, but a lot of looks go around,” Lickstein said. “And Darryl Miller is the toughest critic.”

Lickstein put Café Boulud’s burger at the top of his list. “We went back. It’s still very good,” he said.

And he notes, there’s a big difference between a five-dollar burger and a 20-dollar burger, but, never-the-less, in his opinion, the Grease Burger Bar on Clematis has a very good burger.

It all comes down to the quality of the meat, and the better burgers, he’s found, are ground on-site every day. The combination of lean meat to fat has a lot to do with tastiness, too.

His final words, concerning the burgers and health, are just what you’d imagine: “Be reasonable about what you eat and don’t go overboard.”

The Godfather’s right-hand-man, Darryl Miller, was sitting just to The Godfather’s right. A Palm Beach Gardens cardiologist, he works at Cleveland Clinic.  “They call me the Connoisseur,” Miller said.

Concerning his daily diet, he eats fish and salads at home, and a burger is unusual. “In limited amounts, red meat is okay,” he said. “My philosophy in life is moderation.”

He seconds Lickstein’s choices: Café Boulud and Grease. “It’s all about the intense flavor. Products off the shelf are pretty generic. To stand out, it’s got to be unusually good, and these two places fit in that category.”

William Gans, a urologist who lives in Palm Beach Gardens, and is nicknamed “Big Willy G,” is a charter member of the club, which now has16 members.

Gans doesn’t eat burgers at home, and mixes up his diet, he said, eating beef, chicken and pasta. “Moderation is the key to eating. And going to the gym,” he prescribed.

His favorite burger was at Asian Fin, but he can’t pinpoint why. “I can’t dissect it. I just enjoyed the whole thing.”

Brett Rosenberg, a Jupiter endodontist with the code name B MAN, was another founding member who said unashamedly, “I love hamburgers.

“The burger club members are a good group of guys and this is a good way to get away from our wives once a month. You can print that,” he said.

The group is no longer incognito, he adds. “Restaurants give us special treatment – a private rooms, specialty burgers and other perks.”

He, too, eats very healthy at home, with a diet that includes fresh vegetables and very little red meat, however, he said: “I’m not aware of any studies linking eating beef with dental health.”

For best burgers, he votes with The Godfather and The Connoisseur: Boulud  (because it’s high end and has style) and Grease (traditional classic pub burger).

Noah Weisberg, the Burgermeister, is a Mohs surgeon who practices at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center and Jupiter Medical Center. Normally, he eats normal food and this is a nice indulgence, he said. His personal favorite burger is served at Grease. “Sometimes, the ambience, or the lack thereof,  plays a part in the equation. I liked the atmosphere at Grease. It was casual and enjoyable, and it’s a good burger.”

Jeffrey Garelick, called GI, a Palm Beach Gardens gastroenterologist, said that eating burgers gives him expertise in all things gastronomic, and he didn’t mind being quoted on that. “I don’t think any of us eat burgers on a regular basis, but it’s nice to get together once a month and have a treat.

“We eat very little beef at home. My wife is a wonderful cook, and our kids eat ethnic food –curries and Asian things. Once a month, a burger is okay.”

Grease serves up his favorite burger, which, he said, is cooked perfectly and the size is perfect, too.

Oren Lifshitz, a Palm Beach Gardens dermatologist, said he has two code names. “I’m from Pittsburg, so I’m The Pitts Burger and I’m also the O Man, which stands for the Original Pitts Burger.”

Basically, he said his family eats a very diverse diet. “Chicken, fish, pasta, whatever we can get the kids to eat.

“I feel everything is okay in moderation. As a dermatologist, I don’t say don’t go outside, but wear sunscreen. I feel the same way about dietary experiences.”

His favorite hamburger place is Three Forks. “The meat is extremely lean, and at the same time the burgers are juicy and perfectly seasoned.”

Rommel Francisco, a Palm Beach Gardens orthopedic surgeon with no code name is relatively new to the group. This was his third meeting.

“I’m a rookie at rating hamburgers,” he admitted. He also said red meat is his favorite food and the more grease, the better.

“Beef is a good source of iron. I don’t care about the heart. Let the cardiologists deal with that. I just want my patients to heal and red meat is a good source of nutrition and for the healing of the bone. It helps build up blood count, so that patients can avoid transfusions, and keeps them from getting anemia.  Protein from meat will help with healing.”

His favorite burger is at Grease, “for all around tastiness and greasiness.”

written for Palm2Jupiter

Don’t call em cowboys

In Florida, they are cowmen.

The Cracker Association puts on a cross-country ride every year on the Cracker Trail, starting in Bradenton, and ending in Fort Pierce, with overnight camps at ranches along the way.

Every year, I say I’m going, and then, when I tune in, find out I missed it. Well, this year, I at least made it to the parade.

What a day! I went with Carol, who couldn’t figure out what all the commotion was when we arrived first thing Saturday morning. “The police lights are blinking. How come those cars aren’t pulling over?”

Seemed we made it just in time, and were actually part of the “parade” of horse trailers on their way to the staging area. We followed them in, hung around during staging, and got a ride into town, and ended up being part of the parade, again. Carol practiced her parade wave…

When we finally got on the road again, we ended up being in another procession out of town.

Seems like the day was about being in it, rather than about it.

Discover Local Artists: Choosing the right sofa

Get your priorities straight. And don’t choose a painting for over the sofa. Pick out the painting first, and let it inspire its surroundings — your home environment. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

When artist Carol Korpi-McKinley moved into her Palm Beach Gardens home, she already had her gorgeous collection of paintings ready and waiting to be hung.

Carol Korpi-McKinley in her studio

So, for her, the question that stumps others –“What painting should I hang over the living room sofa?” – just would never come up. Rather, she asks – “What environment should I create that would best showcase my art?”

And as you can see, these rooms absolutely do extend her colors, themes, dreams and schemes, right off the canvas and into the midst of her everyday life.

Korpi-McKinley, a long-time and prolific painter, is a master at making a flat surface three dimensional (her site, studio-ten, gives an idea of the scope of her work) so she can certainly offer the rest of us some thoughtful observations. For her, at the very heart, a painting is not just a window into another world, it’s a window into this one, as well.

These exotic animals feel right at home in Korpi-McKinley’s living room.

Because decorating is mostly visual, it’s important to set the mood of your home with the things that are going to make the biggest visual impact. Almost always, that revolves around the artwork.

•  Since I specialize in creating large paintings, it was important for me to pick out furnishings that would accent and enhance my artwork. So, I picked out neutral tones for the large pieces – sofas, rugs, tables – and accented with bright pieces that carried the themes of the current artwork throughout the house. The accent pieces are themed around desserts, fruit, palms and animals. The textural elements of each room are also themed around the current paintings. For example, I used leopard-print throws and pineapple pillows.

These paintings of lovely landscapes, flora and fauna set the stage for serious dining

•  I love decorating with large-scale paintings because they make a big impact on my mood. I want to surround myself with things that make me feel happy and at one with nature — things that are warm and cozy, sometimes fun, and sometimes exotic depending on the room. I want to feel comfortable in my sanctuary around things that elicit good energy.

Eat your cake and have it, too. Who said paintings don’t belong in the kitchen?

•  I enjoy my dessert paintings in the kitchen and decorated around them, because they remind me of how good life can taste. I hung my animal paintings in the rooms where I sit and talk because they make me feel like I’m connected to a more peaceful nature, and they remind me that we are always surrounded by friends – some of them are just a little bit furrier. I think large vistas work well in smaller rooms, because they create a sense of space.

•  I sometimes go against the trend of hanging paintings at eye level, and hang them higher, because that creates grandeur since they loom from above. I also like to display pieces that are different from current popular decorating notions because it conveys a sense of my own distinctive personality and it reminds me to stay in tune with my personal happiness and joie de vivre.

Written for Palm2Jupiter