A little about me...
Know any jokes about starving artists? Hear any comments about art being for dummies that can’t do math? Contempt abounds and it irritates me because art is vitally important for the world. Here’s a true story: A hilltop town in Brazil was in trouble. Garbage collection ceased and people were starving amidst the filth. Two mayors were fired. In desperation a group of artists assembled and in three relaxed conversations over the course of a weekend they solved all the problems and devised creative ways to implement them economically. The town quickly embraced the changes and in record time the town began to thrive once again. Artists think outside the box!
I count myself blessed to have worked as an artist and supported three kids with my paint brush. I create because I have to “let it out’! Shortly after college, a photo of one of my paintings was featured in Enid Nemy’s “Discoveries” column in the NY Times and as they say, the phone started ringing. I worked in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington D.C over the course of five years for the first woman physicist in the USA (from Britain) named Patricia Wakling. I was positioned on a scaffold three stories in the air over an open stairwell painting her ceiling and my motto was “Just don’t look down.”
Subsequently, I worked for the Opera Diva Jessye Norman. I painted fountains in her garden, the floor of her music room and faux bois in her library. She owns two of my watercolors. I painted outside under her window in Croton, NY (she bought the estate from Alan Funt of “Candid Camera” fame) while she rehearsed the same passage all afternoon for her upcoming performance in “Carmen”. When people asked me if it was annoying, I told them: “It was a privilege to hear her bird-like notes repeat all afternoon. She was more of a perfectionist than anyone could imagine and it uplifted me to be around her.”
I did a stint as an associate professor at Bridgeport University, where I taught Illustration to very gifted students and learned right along with them. I also taught Interior Design at the College of New Rochelle which is where I earned my Masters Degree. I’ve taught Continuing Education classes in most towns where I’ve lived. And I’ve lived in fifteen states. I would get a commission and move and stay until the work dried up then move on. Willy Nelson sings right to my heart when he croons “On the Road Again”….
I worked for Georgiana Terrien, the sister of Ethel Kennedy, on her huge estate in Greenwich, Connecticut named “Sursum Corda” which means “Lift up Your Heart”. I painted portraits of some of her kids and decorated the many cottages on her estate. It was hard work but once again, it was a delightful experience.
My work has appeared in House Beautiful, Paint Decor and Women’s Day magazines many times. The magazines would call me and ask “What have you done lately?” and next thing I knew a photographer would appear on the scene and the painting would be in the magazine soon after. It was a great way to get more work.
I also did a brief stint of stage and scenic design at the Polokoff Forum. They have kept some of my work. I did not pursue scenic painting, but the practice helped me a great deal when I had big jobs to complete. I did an office ceiling in the Empire State Building. And I gilded grisaille murals that I created in the foyer of the Crown Building in NYC owned by Ferdinand Marcos. I also worked for his wife in her NYC apartment. It was kind of scary but it paid very well. Speaking of scary, I also worked for Miriam Weinstein and for her son Harvey Weinstein. That was a long time ago.
I have a show coming up in January 2024, at my local library here in Setauket, New York. My studio is also here. I draw nine hours a week and paint nine hours a week. And in August I will have three 16x20 inch watercolor portraits due. More fun ahead!