This series is inspired by old black and white photographs of my family. At first, it was difficult to get used to painting in black and white, especially since I love color so much. It was crucial though, in order to capture the essence of what I wanted to convey.
Particularly poignant for me are the paintings of my father, who passed away when I was 4. My memories of him are few, and the photographs I have helped me to access who he was. In the process of painting him, I was able to paint a relationship with him. I never anticipated how moving this would be for me, but to this day I feel so blessed to have had this experience.
What I didn't realize when I started was that even though these paintings are quite personal, the concept of a family album is universal. In the shows I have had with these, people have shared with me how the images of my family could have been theirs. So take a look and enjoy. May these images provide you with a sense of belonging to your family.
Ever since I first started visiting Jamaica (the country, not the place in Queens), I have been fascinated with the culture, the color and the people. For about 30 years now, I have been attempting to capture this fascination in my artwork. I have spent countless hours on my vacations drawing and painting the foliage, the flowers, the ocean and especially the people.
The resourcefulness and creativity of each and every one of the Jamaicans that I have met moved me to want to capture it all on canvas. Jerk chicken, as much as any other thing Jamaican, epitomizes the zest for life that I see and feel when I am there and this moves me so.
Many of these portraits are of my Jamaican friends.
And lastly, having mentioned Jamaica, Queens, I find it so interesting that I attended Jamaica High School, and my address now is Kingston; it's New York, but that's just a state of mind, cause a little piece of my heart is always in Jah.
Since the sale of my jewelry business, Pididdly-Links, I have gotten my rocks off (pun intended) by dabbling in decorating objects with glittery baubles. I've made bird houses and magic wands; I've covered telephones and shoes and a tv; I've even put them in my garden. I am always amazed and delighted by sparkle.
These assemblages are my most recent work. I have incorporated the use of crystals, gems and minerals into the sparkle mix while exploring the world of sacred geometry. These pieces combine my interest in sparkle with healing crystals. What better way to heal than to be sparkled upon!
At one time, the Catskill Mountains were a vacation haven for New York City Jews. During the summers, people would flock to the hotels, bungalow colonies, and private homes where people would rent rooms called Kocheleins, a Yiddish word meaning cook alone. It’s hard to imagine that during the fifties, sixties and seventies there were over 500 resorts in Sullivan and Ulster counties.
My mother used to attend singles weekends at the Concord, and Grossinger's. Although I never was included, I became aware of the phenomena of these big hotels at an early age.
When I first got married, my husband and I moved to Ellenville and lived there for about 6 years. We got fully educated about this world, affectionately known as the Borscht Belt.
Sadly, it no longer exists. One by one hotels closed, as people stopped coming.
Given my Jewish heritage, I felt called to pay homage to this world with my paintings.
This is a new series, and I will add paintings as they get complete.
Artist Statement on “The Bar Mitzvah”
As an artist, I never know when an idea or a concept is going to grab me. I have found that sticking to subject matter that is close to my heart is crucial. The Bar Mitzvah was an important part of my teenage years. Even though I never participated in this ritual (at that time during the 60’s it was not as important as it is today for Jewish girls), most of the boys I Knew did.
A boy’s Bar Mitzvah was a major social event and being invited to one was a sign of inclusion in an elite group. What to wear; how to wear one’s hair; and what to give as a present were all important choices.
Over the last few years I have been collecting photographs from my friends and family. It is from these photos that these paintings are inspired. I have focused on the time period from the 50’s through the sixties. For me these paintings are iconic and ironic.