Winter’s Tale

The artist at The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild opening with her sculpture Moving On

The artist at The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild opening with her sculpture Moving On

The new year has brought a lot of activity on the art front, as well as politics. The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild hosts a winter show and I have two pieces of sculpture on display. There is a dearth of figurative sculptors in the region, so I am glad to show my work and discuss with other artists. The Guild was started by the original Woodstock art colony of Byrdcliffe, created to encourage handmade goods at the beginning of the industrial revolution.

In November I traveled to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with the National Association of Women Artists. It’s a high desert town near Mexico City which is an art colony drawing 16,000 expats from all over, including about 40 from Woodstock, I heard. It’s a town of steep hills and completely cobbled streets and narrow sidewalks, all adding to the charm factor. But it’s known as “the city of fallen women” because many do injure themselves. I painted en plein aire at the nearby Botanical Gardens and at a sleepy crossroads town Atotonilco. Now that I’m home I painted the street scenes from photos.

Click here to see some of my watercolors from that trip.

The artist hard at work in her studio

The artist hard at work in her studio

The artist is hard at work finishing the new piece in the NYC studio, and painting watercolors at home. I’m reading through art school catalogues and musing on other modalities, like abstraction and pastel. And also looking at garden catalogues, and dreaming of spring.

Publish or Perish

two_publications_2016This week photos of me and my sculptures appeared in two publications.  One is the catalogue of the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club‘s 120th open juried show now at the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park.  My latest piece “Moving On” was selected to be in the show, and the reception was on December 9th. The historic mansion was decorated for the holidays, and the public rooms filled with wonderful paintings and sculpture. Thanks to my friends for coming to support me, and for a special surprise visit by Toni and Bill who came down from Albany.

Last year I also had sculpture in that show, and attended the awards dinner as well as the reception, which is always a benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Catherine Lorillard Wolfe was the only woman among the founders of the Met, and her donated art works formed the start of the European Painting Collection. Last New Year’s Eve the members of my sculpture class joined our teacher, a club member, for a black tie New Years Eve there on Gramercy Park in the fabulous private rooms, gorgeously decked out for the holidays.

The other publication is the Art Students League magazine “Lines from the League.”  Rhoda Sherbell, great sculptor and teacher, was the cover story which included photos of the class at work.  I am in two shots, and in one of the photos she is teaching from my new work in progress.  Rhoda has been in 27 museum shows, and has spoken at recent annual meetings of the Portrait Society and the National Association of Women Artists.  Students join her class and become part of her coterie.

sculpture_class_2016Our class is unstructured, everyone works on their own different piece and the model takes poses for each of us.  We drink wine as we sculpt and listen to all kinds of music: Opera (which Rhoda loves) and all kinds of other sounds, from jazz to rock & roll.  One member of our class is a Swiss DJ, and he loves techno. Four of us from sculpture class at the League took the party to Birdland last week to hear songstress Stacey Kent in person.  Her father is a former member of the class, and we listen to her CDs. Our class is social and fun and the students are multinational, from their 20’s to 80’s, doctors, scientists, finance pros and full time artists. It’s a party every Monday and Tuesday evening!

 

The Natural

img_9751People are surprised to learn that I didn’t go to art school or have formal instruction as a child. I went to museums and made crafts, but that’s it. It was in 1977 after my father’s funeral that his brother told me he had taken up sculpting since retiring to Florida. My hands started to tingle and a voice in my head said “I could do that.”

I enrolled in a figure sulpture class in the now defunct Forest Hills Adult System. I remember talking to a classmate and then turning around, shocked to see the male model standing naked in the middle of the classroom. I have since learned that models are nude, not naked.

The first piece I completed was good one, and I had it cast. I showed it at the first exhibition of the Alliance of Queens Artists. But when I brought it to the WomanArt Gallery on 57th Street and they offered me a contract, I thought I would float right up to heaven! You can see this first piece here, it’s called “Davidoff.”  He’s been standing around my homes for almost 40 years looking good.

Details

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The details in some of my sculptures enable me to express my playful side and incorporate meaningful objects to bring depth to the piece.