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shop talk...art at last

busy always

1980 Cafe Harlequin Drawing 26

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Loneliness is a decision. The first year after the accident taught me a lot about reality. People I thought were my friends hid from me.

I had spent the night with my friend the evening her young son shot himself, heard her laments about past and family, held her hand when her boss my client shred her to bits. A fragile spirit; I saw her twice since that fateful afternoon.

One secretary, (I had three, at different times of course) became  part of my daily life, but she hid from me. I'm told she  couldn't face me, afraid of breaking down. True or not; another did come by for an hour with her baby and husband.... that's the last I heard from her.

What would I have done if the tables were turned? Always so busy trying to keep afloat, making art more of a priority except for children's needs. Could not chastise anyone, just missed their presence.

Lo and behold classmates from grade school to the rescue. Four or five of them had come to visit that first year; they bought dinners at the fund raiser and now we planned an annual trip away from home during an early fall weekend.

These friends are pragmatic, diverse and fun loving. Cape May was our first choice, a seaside motel let me walk out the door to view an infinite blue. Imagine sitting on a chair with large wheels to traverse the sand. Embarrassed or fearful feelings did not keep us from doing anything for fun.

We stopped at a church fundraiser on the boardwalk. Eyes trained for antiques; I spied some twenties paste. Encouraged my friends to buy some; the prices were a steal.

This trip was a couple of weeks before the New Mexico wedding; I looked for jewelry to wear and  found beautiful pieces way beyond my means. I wanted to charge a handmade necklace with dangling beads and charms; remembering how easily I've gotten into debt in the past... I passed.

I found this piece that has become a lost part of my life; it evokes some memory-like impulses without form or words. "Paper Bag." 27

1979 House Party

During the day I worked at the graphics; and managed to fit in a large body of paper works. Began to paint in oils again. There was only one room available...my bedroom.

It looked out over Roslyn Park, a 1x1 block area of grass and trees. Beyond that I could see rooftops, and an idea of the harbor. Down The Street (1980) was one such imagining. The first time I mixed watercolors with oil on paper was a success. A play with imaginary planes, infinite space and symbolic form. There was a look undeniable mine finally,

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Tossed cotton paint rags suddenly took on the look of shrouded figures. Instead of a model or still life...the first painting, Primavera  (Spring) took on a mystical quality; no interior, a specter.

I used those rags to wipe the palette, brushes; I couldn't throw them away all the beautiful colors remained on them. Washed them until soft and dyed them to create an all over background. Waste not want not was a favorite motto.

So simultaneous to the canvas pieces were the constructions. Or deconstructions since I unraveled the cloth creating fringe and long strands to tack back and forth. More difficult to unravel than weave.

One night I was awakened by the sound of snoring from the front porch below me. Going down I opened the door to see a man sleeping on one of my antique porch chairs. I woke him and asked him what he was doing there. "You were calling for me."

Now P. Kahn and his brother were clients of mine a couple of years before. They were the crème de la crème of woodworkers. I felt honored when they asked me to design their logo and stationery collaterals! Except for occasional hellos there was little communication.

I called the police who took him home to sleep whatever it was that he was on, off!. I wondered what energies I was sending out, feeling guilty about NOTHING. I found out later that he thought I was one of the two witches in town.

Kimono, (1980) has the attitude of a hanging artifact while in actuality it's a bunch of rags. Albeit it took a long time to deconstruct that heavy canvas. Found out later there was a movement in art called "Deconstructivism."

The work was put together under the exhibition title: Rag Time. The HHA organization received some funding for the promotion and execution of gallery administration. It was an extensive exhibit and received a large press coverage. Helen Harrison wrote a one person article in the Long Island section of The New York Times.

Primavera2.jpg (21928 bytes)Primavera 2 (1981) was a repeat of the first one; all the oils sold through North Shore interior designers including Joan Shields.

Painting in the same room I slept in was not very healthy; I was, however, able to study the work in progress upon awakening. A very objective method for self criticism. One's mind is fresh and clear; there's an immediate response to the image before you.

A studio of my own was becoming a necessity, the raw space of the garage seemed the best alternative. There was an outlet for electricity lending me light and a kerosene heater for warmth.

A month later someone stole the heater. Nothing else!

Once again, Tree (1982), this time as a deranged symbol of trash and environmental disregard.

There's a branch from an actual tree encased in cloth strips and detritus. The total impression is of a figure rather than a tree!

What was a boost to this series is the lack of cost for materials. Literally throwaways and found pieces. I hardly visited an art supply store. They seemed so hobby-like to me now. 

 

 

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