25 Things You Should Know About Me and My Art Work
1. I have loved the visual arts for as long as memory serves me.
2. Both my parents were extremely artistic and were my first formal teachers in the realm of creative arts.
3. I was originally studying to become a child psychologist instead of a teacher. I wanted to do art therapy with children.
4. The first word I learned in English was "stupid" because that is what everyone called me since I did not speak English. My drawings would help me escape my unhappiness.
5. I am an avid collector and collect glass figurines, children's books and teddy bears.
6. As a representational artist, I struggled all through college since the focus in the 70s was on abstraction and I was told that my type of artwork was not considered fine art but rather commercial art.
7. My first live exposure to Michelangelo’s work was seeing the Pieta at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. I was awestruck and it left an indelible mark in my artistic soul.
8. I was extremely underwhelmed when I saw Leonardo’s Mona Lisa…. “Is that all there is??????”
9. While gazing in absolute wonderment at the exquisiteness of King Tut’s Funerary Mask I had to be quickly ushered away from two “patron of the arts” who were wondering about his ability “to breather with that thing over his head.”
10. I sat on the floor in front of Monet’s “Waterlilies” for over an hour just taking it all in.
11. Mary Cassatt’s pastels of mothers with their children always give me the “warm fuzzies.”
12. Although I am not a fan of Picasso’s work after his early Cubism period, “Guernica” made me cry and I felt overwhelmed by its size and powerful images.
13. Standing in front of Salvador Dali’s “Crucifixion” (Corpus Hypercubicus) transfixed me. I felt as if I was rooted to the ground and could not move.
14. Although small in comparison to other works at just 4 feet by 2.8 feet, Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World” always evokes in me a strong psychological reaction regarding the sheer power of the human spirit and how disabilities should not limit us.
15. I went fishing for the first time when I was 6 years old, off one of the piers in Casablanca, Cuba. I nearly got pulled in by a fish that I hooked and my Dad caught me as I was slipping off the pier. I went fishing for the last time when I was 6 years old. But I am fascinated by the textural elements that are found in fishing piers and love to paint and draw them.
16. My ability to reproduce things accurately could easily have led me to a life of crime. I used to forge all of my school notes so that my parents would not know just how much trouble I would get into.
17. I love and appreciate crafting as much as I do the fine arts and I am in awe of the unrecognized and underappreciated artisans who produce work that is sometimes looked down upon by the “fine-arts” community.
19. I love painting landscapes and the Grand Canyon was certainly a Plein Aire bucket list item for a real long time. When I finally got to go, I needed a Xanax and telephoto lens to take pictures……due to my paralyzing fear of height. next visit, I will manage to paint or draw on site. Same thing happened when I visited the Petroglyph Museum in New Mexico.
20. I sold my very first painting when I was 15 years old for $25.00 during our annual high school art show. It was an oil painting of an old schooner. I never thought about taking a photo of it because I did not own a camera. After I sold it I gave my father the money to help him pay for my tuition, he held three jobs to pay for our schooling, but he declined and told me to use it to get more art supplies and continue improving my skills.
21. After going to an exhibit of Dale Chihuly's work, I was interested in the possibility of buying a small piece. As I was standing in front of the piece that interested my a small unattended child ran by and bumped into the pedestal on which sat the piece I was admiring. As the salesperson came running over in an attempt to catch the piece and accusatorially scolding me for touching it, I quickly changed my mind and walked out without ratting out the kid. That night I had a dream that I was back at the exhibit, bumped into a huge display and shards of glass rained all over me and impaled me….I decided that I would stick to painting what I had seen of his work instead of actually having a piece in my house.
22. I had to take a course in sculpture as part on my BFA and decided to make an abstract wood piece, basically because I thought it would be the easiest thing to do. My first power tool was a Valentine’s Day gift of an electric jigsaw – you may not think it was romantic but it was one of the best and most useful presents I ever received.
23. Although he was an accountant in Cuba, my father worked odd jobs in the US because he did not speak English. He eventually started working at Kulicke Frames where he became a skilled artisan in the art of gold leafing and, restoring antique frames, matting art work and making new frames look as if they were valuable antiques. He taught me how to properly cut mats and frame works which has come in very handy and saved a ton of money when preparing for shows. I have many of his museum quality frames which I plan to use for pieces which I will never sell.
24. I did not feel comfortable sharing either my art work or my writing until I was over 60 years old.
25. I now draw, paint, write and create because it heals my soul and brings me joy and if by some small chance it brings joy to others than that is an extra bonus.