September 1, 2022
When my husband and I moved to Deep River, CT over six years ago I made it a priority to join Essex Art Association. I offered my help at the first opening I attended and explained that I wanted to be a hands on volunteer. This was a way to make new friends and remove myself from the sometimes exciting sameness of being a full-time caregiver. I was shortly asked to attend a Board meeting and then offered a seat.
It's been a very real pleasure to serve this small community gallery. The friends I've made are dear and special. The non-profit ESSEX ART ASSOCIATION is housed in our own antique house with all the maintenance that entails. This year our fundraiser is a White Elephant Sale, raising hopefully enough to refinish the floor in the two gallery spaces.
ART AND DESIGN
For me, art and design are a reflection of my surroundings, thoughts, memories and relationships. Although I'm always conscious of looking, seeing and recording, the actual formulation of a design or an artwork is a result of the unconscious mixing of all the senses. I don't necessarily separate design and art into separate categories because the process of "conceptualizing" and "making" is so all- encompassing. There is an endless borrowing and sharing between two and three dimensional concepts.
The idea of "craft" has transformed over the years from activities associated with the manufacture of practical and useable items such as clothing and furniture to the assimilation of "craft" into the creation" of aesthetic works which stand on their own as artwork.
As a two dimensional artist of graphite drawings and digital photographs, I'm also connected at the same time to the manufacture of jewelry, knitted items and sewn garments. The inspiration and concepts for all of this come from a stored collection of subconscious ideas. I can't just do one thing. It would be like trying not to breathe too much. Art, thought, concept, etc are autonomic reflexes which are an integral part of my DNA.
Above: My husband, Gary, and me next to a Chuck Close mosaic, NYC Subway, 2017
MARK MAKING Sunday, October 29, 2017
Today is a day for reading in bed. Fall in this part of New England hasn’t been as colorful as in past years due to a summer infestation of Gypsy caterpillers, then frequent rain. But the view from my bedroom office where I now sit is always interesting. It might be argued that I’m looking at the same thing all the time but that wouldn’t take into account the barred owl that lit on a branch across the terrace or the many birds that are active in the early morning. Leaves may be falling, but I love the green lichens that speckle tree bark and the maze of intersecting branch shapes and the pattern of skeletonized leaves.
There really is no valid excuse for not making art. Although I’ve had a marathon session updating my websites, I also keep a sketchbook and memo pad at my side for random ideas. The wheels always turn; I think that every artist would say this.
I’ve committed to more graphite drawings for my gallery north of here and subject matter has been collected. Interestingly enough, my cat respects the twigs and branches which I have pinned to foamcore, but makes gargantuan leaps onto high shelves to bring others to ground. This is a season for methodical and mesmerizing mark making with graphite pencils, my favorite tools. I love the surface of the paper and the gradual building of the image. I work slow but steady and there are times when it becomes a little tedious. But as with Fall to Winter to Spring, the end is always in sight.
Above: view from my office, Deep River, CT
WHAT IS ART THERAPY? AND HOW IS IT HELPING PEOPLE? Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Artsy Editorial by Casey Lesser
OCT 20TH, 2017 5:12 PM
PROBLEM-SOLVING Friday, December 1, 2017
I've has this bright idea for the past six months, to take an old mirror, spray it gold and decorate it with dried rhododendron clusters. Then the whole thing is sprayed again until all the plant material is covered. It seemed a good idea to use this mirror which is a beat up antique but the more I planned my strategy the more obvious it became that some repairs were needed. I bought birch veneer to replace wood that's missing from the inside opening. Unfortunately, in some places there's nothing to glue it to and I need to maintain the rabbit for the mirror to rest in. Jeesh! Granted, the plant material will overlap the inside opening, but just the same I'd like it to be seemingly sturdy.
And so it goes. In life as in work there are situations for which there are no users manuals, just paltry on the job training, flying by the seat of one's pants. My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in August 2015. His world is shrinking as he becomes increasingly unable to remember, learn and problem solve. It's a cruel life when he is still capable of knowing that he can't remember. In my very rich interior and physical worlds I would be desperate, DESPERATE, to hold on to my intellect, creativity and vision. I'm unable to imagine what he's feeling perhaps because it brings to mind my understanding of claustrophobia: being gradually sealed in a box with no hope of escape.
I try to create for us a seemingly sturdy world of family, routine, activity and sometimes entertainment, denying the walls creeping steadily inward.