There are no words to express how much I love walking my dog, Snowball. We see everything. I saw the first crocus yesterday. We meet other dogs and people. I am now trying to memorize a lot of dogs' names: Sammy, Mikey, Max, Pepper. Snowball is a geek of people and other dogs. But just to smell the air or look at the sky is such a joy now that we are about to enter Spring. I looked up and the sky was actually the same blue as in my painting. I tried to capture the exhilaration we both feel as we walk at a brisk pace. The tulips aren't up yet, but they will be soon!
This painting will be on exhibit at the Guild Of Creative Art, 620 Broad St., Shrewsbury, NJ, in the Guild's 26th Annual Juried Show, 2018. The show runs Sept.29- October 31, 2018. I'm honored to be in this show because of the high quality of art always on exhibit at this Gallery, which we visit whenever we're in Shrewsbury. The Reception is October 7, 3-5 pm. The painting will be on sale. It is Oil, 24" H X 24" W. I was inspired by the wonderful Georgia O'Keefe in Hawaii show at the NY Botanical Garden. I had a glorious hibiscus in my garden, and I always have wonderful hummingbirds in the summertime. I am happiest painting what I love! Great Show! Thanks to David Levy and the staff of Guild Of Creative Art.
We just got a new puppy. He's a frisky Westie and his name is Snowball. What is more wonderful than that? Maybe our wonderful grandson, Harry, who was one of the first to come meet his new family member. The two got along great. So far, Harry is the first child Snowball has met. Someone a little closer in size to love. Harry and I tried playing ball with Snowball, but he didn't quite get it. Snowball is under 3 months after all. But Harry and I played a good game. He's quite the sportsman. I look forward to many more happy hours with the two of them. A side benefit= they're both terrific muses!
We went on the amazing Cape May Dolphin Watch. It was our third time, but our first time with grandson, Harry. It was a joy to watch the wonder in his eyes, not to speak of the wonder in his father's eyes, as the latter stood mesmerized on the side of the boat by the beauty of the sea. And the dolphins!! We saw dolphins the other times. A few barely peeking up. Too impossible to photograph. But this time there were hundreds leaping everywhere, close enough to the boat to see without binoculars. Their glossy bodies rising in wondrous curves. I used silver acrylic to get that shine. I wanted to mirror the glorious dolphin curves in Harry's hat, the stern of the boat, and even in the splashing white foam of the sea. What a memorable day! The dolphins were too quick for my camera, but not my inner artist's eye.
This is a magical place. I don't know if there is anything else like it. There are 42 acres of over 800 sculptures that range from ordinary people just sitting there, to famous paintings recreated in sculpture, to notable sculptures by well knowns. The whole experience, as one walks on wending paths, through woods and greenery, past a lake and ponds, is rapturous. As if one were walking through a dream. And as my son, said, "Statues are therapeutic." One wants to hug them. They are friendly in their immobility. They represent our higher nature in some weird spiritual way.
There are several sculptures, like this one, of ordinary people. You want to sit down and read the book with her. In fact, for fun, our family sat on a bench (5 of us) and froze in position. It took awhile to coordinate ourselves, there was coughing and laughing, but once we got settled we actually fooled some people! Great fun!
And then there are the iconic paintings, like this one, "Dejueuner Deja Vu" by Seward Johnson, the founder of the sculpture garden and the main contributor. Imagine stepping into this amazing Impressionist painting.
Redon's Fantasy Of Venus, Seward Johnson.
Of course you can't get more iconic than AMERICAN GOTHIC. Those figures of a man and boy are my son and grandson, temporarily turned into statues!
For me the highlight was this room one could enter for private serenity and contemplation. It was on the other side of The Scream. Because that is the way life is. Yin and Yang, dark and light, both represented at this enchanted place.
Wow and super wow! I've just returned from the Georgia O'Keefe Show at the New York Botanical Garden (through October 28, 2018). I love her flower paintings and truly can say my flower paintings are influenced by her (bee's eye view). This show is based on her trip to Hawai'i in 1939. She painted two of my favorite flowers both native to Hawai'i: Birds of Paradise and Hibiscus.
Two wonderful surprises. She went to Hawai'i at the request of a pineapple company that wanted her to paint for their advertisements. She painted a rainbow colored pineapple.
She also painted the Ocean and lava in such a moving way. While the painting is deceptively simple, it totally captures the mighty power of the sea.
I think her own words say it best and express what all artists hope to do.
What does it mean to stay in the same house for such a long time? Longer than I've lived anywhere else. Forty-four years! Yes, it means you grow old along with your house. And the young boys, ages seven and four when we moved here, have grown up and moved on. Married and had children of their own. Those children have all run up and down the stairs in this glorious house. Their laughter still ringing in my ears. That room on the upper left, once was the older boy's, then the younger boy's, then a granddaughter's. That spacious room turned into my art room and from it have flowed all the paintings you see on this website.
That tree on the left was a beautiful pink tulip magnolia. Magnificent and perfect for two boys to climb. Alas, it was strangled to death by wisteria. Yes, you heard me right. Read "The Giant Wisteria" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman if you don't believe me. But I was young and innocent when it came to the garden and I thought the wisteria, cloaked around the tree like a necklace, was beautiful. But it killed the tree like the most merciless killer in an Agatha Christie mystery. Later I planted a weeping cherry blossom tree in that spot, and it brings the Spring every year. Black-eyed susans still smile under the fir tree. Though they are more spare, shade will do that. And the red roses still bloom every Memorial Day. That prize winning yellow dahlia has never been reduplicated, though I remembered it in a painting, "Nude Woman With Dahlia". The bluejay is emblematic of so many that have made our house their home, nesting in the upper rafters of our front porch. Our house has grown old along with us. How I cherish it and all the memories, inside, outside and yet to come.
Don't come to this exhibit looking for happy paintings. You won't find them. These are Expressionist paintings from a very painful period in German and Austrian history between the World Wars. Expressionist artists express emotion, and the emotion evoked is horror. Most assuredly for the Jewish artists represented, but for the Gentile artists, as well, whose works were vilified as "degenerate" (a previous show at the Neue Galerie exhibited the "degenerate art' by the same curator, Dr. Olaf Peters).
The show opens with Still Lifes. If one were to enter this room with no knowledge of the time and place they were painted, one would guess that they were the works of very disturbed mental patients who happened to be great artists. Even a seemingly harmless painting of a vase with flowers, "Autumn Bouquet" by Rudolf Wacker (Oil, 1938) on close examination depicts dead leaves and flowers whose petals are like dead fingers.
There are four paintings that win the prize for most horror provoking. Karl Volker's "Puppet Theater" (Mixed Technique ,1931-2) in which serious faced children are streaming in to see a creepy puppet show. The puppets cannot be described, except that they are slimy, with faces that horrify. And Volker's "Mask With Balls" (Mixed Technique, 1930), is a gory head on a stick as one might have seen in the village square in Medieval Times.
The power of Expressionism is truly on display here to evoke the oppressive time. The viewer can feel it palpably.
There are two paintings of ugly dolls with old women's heads by Rudolf Wacker, "Sheep And Doll" (Oil, 1934) and "Japanese Doll And Poppy (Oil, 1934). These are not childhood playthings!
Of the paintings in the first room, I was most struck by "Storm" (Oil, 1932) by Franz Sedlacek. His paintings are categorized as Surrealist. A tiny white deer flees eerie trees with dead branches and a black background. But at least in the white deer, one perceives the human spirit.
As you go up the stairs to the 3rd floor gallery, you are assaulted by a horrendous poster by Bruno Heinrich, in which a stereotyped caricature of a Jewish Man with a Jewish Star pendant and a grotesque nose and face stands behind the American and British Flags, "Der Jude Behind The Enemy Flags (1941-3). There is also a photo/poster by John Heartfield, "A Tool Or God's Hand?" in which a man dangles Hitler like a puppet on a string.
There are many works on paper on this floor that are depressing as hell as they depict Hell, with Nazi flags, Hitler with blood coming out his eyes and nose, a soulless faced German soldier with hollowed out eyes, and cartoon drawings from the time.
I was drawn to the Surreal landscapes. Again Franz Sedlacek caught my attention with "Thunderstorm" (Oil, 1936) in which a dark silhouette on a bicycle drives over a bridge under blackening skies, passed a factory with broken windows. The effect is of a silent nightmare. Sedlacek also painted "Rainbow" which, though blunted in color, on a black background on a road reflecting ominous clouds, nevertheless holds out a ray of hope as the rainbow lights up a small patch of green trees.
Richard Oelze's "Expectation" (Oil, 1935) is also a Surrealist painting in which an urban crowd is huddled out in nowhere. It made me think of War Of The Worlds.
The painting that haunted me the most after I left the museum, was "Railway Underpass" (Oil, 1934) by Rudolf Dischinger. Beautifully painted, it portrays an ordinary German mother and her young son. They both have the same sad eyes frozen in place, as a dog forages for scraps on the ground, and the big back of a man in a business suit walks by. That young boy will be sent as a soldier to die in ten years time. So it is, that everyday lives are destroyed by the evil of the times.
The show includes the works of many more familiar names: Max Beckmann, Max Ernst, Oskar Kokoschka, as well as a chilling self portrait by Felix Nussbaum, "Self-Portrait In The Camp" (1946), because tragically, that was where it all lead.
This painting (Oil, 30" H x 40") will be on display at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 118 Chadwick Road, Teaneck, NJ, for a special Good Friday Service, March 30, 2018, 7:30 pm. The Lenten Sketches, by Joseph M. Martin, inspired by the life and message of Jesus Christ, with the St. Mark's Choir and a Chamber Orchestra. Sixteen paintings will be on exhibit representing, Suffering, Forgiveness and Rebirth. The art exhibit reception will be on April 2, 2018, at the Church from 6-8 pm. The paintings will be for sale.