“You should see what I see.”

Reina, Vivian and me.

Reina, Vivian and me.

Uncategorized

I was in awe of a woman named Reina.  I had the good fortune of meeting Reina at a meeting of the West End Visual Artists Guild in Long Beach, NY.  She was a real stunner!  Her short grey hair and gorgeous face and her smooth ways.  She was probably old enough to be my mother but I had a secret (not anymore) crush on her.  Especially after talking to her about her days as an artist in the 1960′s  Greenwich Village.  I am intrigued by anything 1960′s and Greenwich Village.  I remember going there as a kid with my policeman Dad who for a time worked in the area.  When most of my childhood memories are in black & white, my memories of walking with my father down St. Mark’s Place in those days are in vivid color.  I wonder if one of those beautiful hippie chicks selling their artwork on the street back then was Reina?!  I’m going to say that YES it was.

Reina left us in 2011.  She had gallantly battled cancer more than once but finally lost in October of that year.  She is missed by many.  Before she died I acquired one of her works, which she told me was the “grooviest” piece from those days in the Village.  The picture is of a nude figure, embossed and accented with pencil and ink and titled, “Vivian Reclining On A Pillow”.  As she handed it to me she said it would bring me good luck.  It hangs lovingly in my bedroom.

Fast Forward to September 2012.  I enrolled in a drawing class at the Art Students League of New York.  My instructor is a wonderful gentleman and amazing painter and sculptor, Richard Barnet, son of the late Will Barnet. During all the numerous sketches and poses I had Reina’s “Vivian” on my mind.  I just had to honor her, both Reina and Vivian with a drawing of my own.  I improved week after week, but still managed to keep my own style not knowing if it was approved of in the eye of Mr. Barnet.  At my home studio I used Vivian’s pose and created my own “Vivian”,  and it WAS approved by Mr. Barnet because he chose it to be included in the Art Students League of New York 2014-2015 catalogue which goes worldwide.

Thank you Reina for your friendship and ongoing inspiration.

Focus Interruptus

Focus Interruptus

Post

Conditions: Perfect.  The weather outside is glorious, studio windows are wide open, Music From Big Pink is on “shuffle”, and current drawing has consumed me.  I have been blending violet into a dark indigo.  It a very tedious process but I really like the results.  I have my head inches from the paper and my eyes are pinpointed to the spot where the blending happens, the pencil point barely touches the 80 lb. paper.  This goes on until the shuffled Big Pink ends and Grateful Dead from the Mars Hotel (also shuffled) begins.  What a coincidence since the picture I am currently working on is loosely based on this iconic flop-house!

The blending continues.  The violet colored pencil gets shorter and shorter because the frequent sharpening is required. The pencil gets too short to hold so I slip it into an extender, which gets to utilize the pencil down to a little nub.  I’m getting closer to the end of this pencil with more of an area to blend remaining.  It gets that the pencil is now too small to sharpen.  Thank you violet pencil for being such a good violet pencil, but now your job here is complete and one of your violet colleagues will have to take over where you left off.  Into the drawer to fetch yet another violet pencil.  WHAT?!  Let me search some more.  To no avail.  The violet pencil stash is depleted!  How could this be?  I rarely use violet pencils.

As the Mars Hotel shuffles, the Mars Hotel picture will have to wait.  Such perfect conditions to run out to the art store to purchase some violet pencils.

The Pleasure Was All Mine

Event Post

I was invited to share my artwork with the students of BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) in Massapequa Park, NY today.  This invitation came unsolicited from an extremely dedicated teacher whose life work is devoted to students with multiple physical and developmental disabilities. She had told me that the children would be thrilled to see my work and to meet a “real artist”. I must admit I was a bit intimidated. Since I was such a scaredy cat I brought along my friend and educator, Maureen. The first student I met was a young man named Anthony. He was also an artist and he stayed with us as we had our lunch, by the way in my honor. As the day went on and I got to meet other students, my heart went out to them, the teachers and aides, and their loved ones.  How many times did I thank God for my blessings! Maureen took many photos of our interactions with the kids which were intended for sharing on this site but I think I will just keep them for my own. Let me just say that I was invited to exhibit my artwork for the benefit of the students, but on the contrary, today selfishly was for me.

 

 

Load more

No more posts to load.