the artful mind artzine oct.nov 2020

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Berkshires artzine promoting and supporting the visual and performing arts since 1994

THE ARTFUL MIND October / November 2020

Artist KEITH EMERLING Photography : H Candee

“Little River, Stowe,VT” 18” X“24 Oil on canvas 2020

Ghetta Hirsch website: instagram: @ghettahirschpaintings Text or call : 413. 281. 0626

Carolyn Newberger

Lang Lang with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood



MATT CHINIAN “Paintings of village life in Upstate New York”

Come visit! See open studio schedule at #1485 Marina 2019 11 x 14” Was: $450. Sale: $200!

#1524 Schaghticoke Fair Grounds 2019 11 x 14” Was: $450. Sale: $200!

By appointment,

#1610 Second St. 2020 11 x 14” Was $450. Sale: $200!

THE ARTFUL MIND Off the edge of the canvas With no boundaries We see beyond the morning mist.






RICHARD BRITELL / FICTION A BLACK EYE AND A SUIT AND TIE...42 "Don't Look Back", 2017. | By Julia Grey. | From the series, "Mad Grace" Traditional Open Shutter self portrait. Julia Grey


Publisher Harryet Candee Copy Editor

Marguerite Bride

Third Eye: Jeff Bynack Advertising and Graphic Design


Harryet Candee Contributing Writers Richard Britell

Mike Cobb

Photographers Edward Acker, Tasja Keetman CALENDAR LISTINGS and ADVERTISING RATES, please call 413 - 645 - 4114 / instagram FB Open Group: ARTFUL GALLERY for artful minds

Tempest. Acrylic and collage on canvas. 20" x 16". 2019

100 North St Pittsfield #322 Painting - Collage - Construction 914. 260. 7413 4 • OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND

The Artful Mind Box 985 Great Barrington, MA 01230

FYI: ©Copyright laws in effect throughout The Artful Mind for logo & all graphics including text material. Copyright laws for photographers and writers throughout The Artful Mind. Permission to reprint is required in all instances. In any case the issue does not appear on the stands as planned due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, advertisers will be compensated on a one to one basis. All commentaries by writers are not necessarily the opinion of the publisher and take no responsibility for their facts and opinions.

ALEX KAMAROFF One of the greatest abstract hard edge painters in the world. Glendale Brook Studio 27 Church Street Lenox, Massachusetts

413-623-5081 THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 • 5



BRUCE PANOCK PHOTOGRAPHY I have been a student of photography for more than 20 years, though most intently for the last five years. I am primarily a landscape photographer. Recently my photographic voice has migrated to the creation of work with reference to other art forms, notably encaustic painting and ancient Chinese and Japanese brush painting and woodblock art. My intention is to create with viewer a moment of pause and reflection; a moment to digest the image and find their own story in the art. Each image is part of a limited edition. There are several sizes available. Each piece is priced according to size. Images are unframed and printed on Hahnemuhle archival papers. Bruce Panock

As we gear up to make our 2021 event, workshop, and artist residency season as vibrant and collaborative as ever, SAW must continue to raise money and solicit support. We invite the public to preview and bid on items in a wide variety of categories, including but not limited to ceramics, glass, blacksmithing, paintings, jewelry, photography, and sculpture, as well as SAW memorabilia and gear. The Auction will occur starting Monday October 26 through Saturday November 7th. The first week will be a preview week without any bidding. Bidding will begin Saturday October 31st at 8am and conclude the following Saturday November 7th at 8pm. Winning bidders will be able to pick up their items from SAW the week following the auction or pay an additional fee for shipping. Please follow SAW on Facebook (SalemArtWorks) and Instagram (@salemartworks) for more information, and on October 26 please visit the auction at



CAROLYN NEWBERGER Carolyn Newberger is an artist, musician and writer who came to art after an academic and clinical career in psychology at Harvard Medical School. A recipient of awards from Watercolor Magazine, the Danforth Museum, the New England Watercolor Society and Cambridge Art Association, she writes and illustrates music and dance reviews in The Berkshire Edge, a publication of news and ideas in Western Massachusetts, often in collaboration with her husband, Eli Newberger. Her most recent project is an illustrated book of essays, “Illuminating the Hidden Forest,” which is being serialized in The Berkshire Edge. 617-877-5672 /



Portrait by Kate Knapp

Painting classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1pm at the studio in Housatonic and Thursday mornings 10am - 1pm out in the field. Also available for private critiques. Open to all. Please come paint with us! Gallery hours: Open by chance and by appointment anytime 413. 274. 6607 (gallery) 413. 429. 7141 (cell) 413. 528. 9546 (home)

Front Street, Housatonic, MA 6 • OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND

Barn in Sheffield, MA pastel

“10-10-19” 2019




OLIVE TREE 2020 11 x 17” “VASE” 2020 BY ALFRED PERRY

ELLENBOGEN GALLERY On a 2019 trip to a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, an archipelago comprised of 18 rocky, volcanic islands between Iceland and Norway connected by road tunnels, ferries, causeways and bridges known as the Faroe Islands, Reginald Darling encountered forms and spaces in nature that resonated with his approach to thinking and painting along nonrepresentational lines. Many of these breathtaking vistas have been captured by Darling, applying his unique visual language to all paintings, in his upcoming exhibition, “Impressions from the Faroe Islands”, ends Wednesday, December 5, 2020. Ellenbogen Gallery is thrilled to introduce Alfred Perry to Manchester and our online followers this autumn as a participant in our group show “Cornucopia of Color”. Many other artists will participate including Richard D. Weis, Michael L. Williams, Dona Mara, Dublin DurllerWilson, James Vogler, etc... Cornucopias are associated with “autumn” and “plenty” and one thing is sure, Vermont has plenty of color at this time of year! We will honor the season with an exhibition of artworks drenched in the dominant colors of the season. “Cornucopia of Color” ends Wednesday, December 5, 2020. Ellenbogen Gallery is a 7000 square foot open plan gallery featuring the contemporary artworks of 20+ artists with a focus on nonrepresentational and conceptual art, providing an opportunity for anyone to start building or expanding a collection of original artworks. The gallery also provides services to artists and collectors that include photographing and scanning of original artworks for reproduction, marketing and archival purposes. Ellenbogen Gallery - 263 Depot St., Manchester, Vermont. Hours: Wed-Sat, 11-6, or, by appointment; e-commerce 24/7/365. Facebook/Instagram @ellenbogengallery;, or, 802-768-8498.

LARRY FRANKEL HOW BAD IS CLIMATE CHANGE NOW? IS WHAT I DO IMPORTANT? The growing issue of Global Warming became the inspiration and impetus to create these new images. My imagination transformed Flora and Fauna into a future representation of a newly created landscape. My newly created world consists of constructed photos using combinations of various imagery I have taken and have in my inventory. Shifted colors become my new reality in which to view our environment. / Cell 914-419-8002

Pastels, oils, acrylics and watercolors…abstract and representational…..landscapes, still lifes and portraits….a unique variety of painting technique and styles….you will be transported to another world and see things in a way you never have before…. join us and experience something different. Painting classes continue on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1:30pm at the studio and Thursday mornings out in the field. These classes are open to all...come to one or come again if it works for you. All levels and materials welcome. Private critiques available. Classes at Front Street are for those wishing to learn, those who just want to be involved in the pure enjoyment of art, and/or those who have some experience under their belt. Perfect if you are seeking fresh insight into watercolors, and other mediums. Front Street Gallery – Front Street, Housatonic, MA. Gallery open by appointment or chance anytime. 413-528-9546 at home or 413429-7141 (cell)

Karen Bognar Kahn

Reflections 48 x 36” Acrylic 413 441 9754 THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 • 7



Art is a sound investment and a lifetime of enjoyment... Box 985, Great Barrington, MA 01230 FB: ART GALLERY for Artful Minds 8 • OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND VIRTUAL GALLERY


Eugene Drucker of the Emerson Quartet Pastel and graphite on toned paper 9 x 11” $650.

Jeremy Denk at Ozawa Hall Graphite and pastel on toned paper 9 x 11” $650.

CONTACT: 617-877-5672 Commissions Upon Request VIRTUAL GALLERY THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 • 9

Bruce Panock Grasses and Reeds

Bruce Panock Grass and Concrete For this body of work, everything starts with the search for shapes and patterns in the landscape. When I get back to the computer I then mask out what doesn’t add to the subject. This could take days of effort. When the shapes and patterns have revealed themselves, Then I begin thinking about the background, the colors and the textures. It all evolves….or fails magnificently. —Bruce Panock 10 • OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND



Grasses and Reeds

Each image is part of a limited edition. There are several sizes available. Each piece is priced according to size. Images are unframed and printed on Hahnemuhle archival papers.

Lines and Shapes of Grasses

CONTACT: 917-287-8589



Red Lilly 2020 11 x 17”


Kodak Truck 2020 11 x 17”

Olive Tree 2020 11 x 17”



Pez 2020 11 x 17”

Lillies and Butterflies 2020 11 x 17”






Uncertainty 2018 5x7” (without frame) Oil and cold wax on wood panel, grey painted wood frame $200 Mystic 2020 10x10” (without frame) Oil and cold wax on wood panel, painted wood frame $300

Uncertainty 2018 5x7” (without frame) Oil and cold wax on wood panel, grey painted wood frame $200

Full Moon 2020 6x6” Oil and cold wax on mounted wood panel $275

Here are four pieces on wood panel ready to hang! These are perfect for special gifts. All are oil and cold wax. Cold wax does not melt in the heat but gives a different sheen and texture. All are small enough for me to ship and for you to ship to your favorite person! - Ghetta Hirsch CONTACT: Instagram@ghettahirschpaintings Text 413-281-0626 Paintings can be viewed in my Art Studio. Masks and proper distancing required. Accepting PayPal and Venmo at Ghetta Hirsch


Katrin Waite Crystal Forest 2020, 11 x 14” Oil on canvas $480

Katrin Waite Entering The Town

Acrylic on wood panel, 10 x 10” $300



The Mountain 10 x10” Acrylic on wood panel $300

Birches 10 x 10” Acrylic on wood panel $300

CONTACT: instagram: @katrinwaite Tel. 518-223 3069



Wash of Light 10 x 8” Oil on panel $250

Red Bucket 8 x 10” Oil on Arches oil paper $150

Universe 10 x 8” Oil on paper


“Connecting with Nature” Journey 24 x 30” Oil on canvas $2,400

Summer Aſternoon, 7 x 5” Oil on Panel SOLD


Upstate Pasture, 7 x 5” Oil on Panel SOLD



Autumn Blues

Dante’s Dream

FInal Glory

Copper Ripples

Gold on Lead

October Crescendo

Fallen series One of Nature's miracles is that the air, the earth and, as here, even the water can serve as a canvas. This month, I train my lens on what has "Fallen." 24 x 36” $235 each 413.717-1534

Mention The Artful Mind for a Special Discount VIRTUAL GALLERY


Mark Mellinger Hell and Heaven in Old New York Collage on canvas 12 x12" $650

Mark Mellinger Midnight in Paradise 2016 Acrylic on canvas 34x38" $1800




Miro is my Daddy 2020 Acrylic and collage of Miro reproductions on canvas 20x16" $2200

I live in two separate worlds. One verbal and one visual. What they have in common is an attitude of pushing into the unknown; of allowing unconscious elements to take form within consciousness. I couldn’t live without both. — Mark Mellinger Madame Miro 2020 Acrylic and collage of Miro reproductions on canvas 20x16" $2200

CONTACT:  914-260-7413


JULIA GREY Hummingbirds love people, unless given a reason not to. Under the right conditions, they form connections and seek out their humans…

Leatherneck with Bacopa Flower (2012, Ruby Throat) 10 x 15” $150

Dirty Pete with White Poppy (2014, Ruby Throat) 10 x 15” $150

Lorus #8 (2019, Anna’s) 10 x 15” $150

CONTACT: At Large Studio, Las Vegas 702 673 0900 20 • OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND

Mohawk with Tulip (2013, Ruby Throat 10 x 15” $150 VIRTUAL GALLERY

CAROLYN M. ABRAMS Carolyn's artwork is intuitively created from the soul and honors the beauty of the Creative Spirit in us all.

Afterglow Mixed mediums on paper 6x6” $125 As Above, So Below Mixed mediums on canvas 24x36”


Flying Home Mixed mediums on board 6x6” $125 Home for Sunset Mixed mediums on board 6x6” $125

Prints are available through the website: Like my art on Facebook VIRTUAL GALLERY THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 • 21

Karen Bognar Kahn Self Portrait 40x30” acrylic $15,000

Karen Bognar Kahn Painting Magellianic Cloud 34x28” acrylic $15,000

Karen Bognar Kahn End of the Year Clean Up 36x36” oil $15,000




Night Vigil 36x36” acrylic $15,000

Meditative Flow 46x24” Acrylic on canvas $15,000

CONTACT: 413 441 9754

Reflections 48x36” acrylic $17,000 VIRTUAL GALLERY








I am exploring a softer movement with the palette knife while attempting to accept the duality of our political world and its negative impact on our society. The ad painting presented in the earlier pages of this issue “Little River, Stowe, Vt” is full of hope for a calmer future but the neat composition and brush work could not translate for me the insecurity we all feel. By using a palette knife in this new work, the colors appear emotionally unstable and tentative. The message is more fluid and ethereal. This is what I experience right now: I do not know where we are going but we all fight with courage and patience towards equilibrium. As we all need a peaceful home and country, I tried to create it on my canvas. Please continue to view my work at The Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, VT and at The Three Stones Gallery in West Concord, MA. Ask to visit my studio in Williamstown. Ghetta Hirsch -, text 413-281-0626.

When I look back on creating the St Croix Series, I resonate with Vija Celmins when she mentions how she “loves big spaces and tries to wrestle them into small spaces”. I think I was not only trying to wrestle infinite space into the series but also a wide range of emotions layered and buried in COVID isolation. In February 2020, I was invited to St. Croix to be an Artist in Residence at the Caribbean Museum for the Arts in Frederiksted. I was immediately inspired by the lush landscape and its interplay with the ever-changing Caribbean Sea. Simultaneously I watched huge cruise ships dock as the COVID pandemic emerged. During the residency, I started 8 paintings inspired by the St. Croix landscape and the emerging pandemic. The paintings traveled from St. Croix to my Winter studio in Puerto Rico in the wing of an 8-seater plane, which was severely affected by the 6.4 earthquake and then back to my home in Western Massachusetts, where Covid-19 was in full swing. During this time, I continued to work on all eight of the 20x20 paintings as a group. With the St. Croix series, I am inscribing the physical and emotional happenings of this period into the complex layers of the image and endeavoring to create a meditative vision of this defining time. Virginia Bradley -, 302-540-3565

This latest painting is my attempt to bring together all that I have learn through a lifetime searching for meaning. I have been influenced by poets such as Rumi, Mary Oliver and Kabir. Transpersonal and Jungian psychology. Men’s work with Robert Bly. The tranquility of the turning Dervishes and the many friends who have been traveling with me on the Journey. My paintings are attempts to offer works that will enhance living spaces and bring tranquility to peoples’ lives through their stillness. For several years I worked on a series of vertical striped paintings, with a fixed form, allowing the freedom to explore colours. They offered stillness and a gap to squeeze through to another space. I am always trying to offer the opportunity to move away from our busy lives into a more serene space. When cataloguing recently I was amazed to find there are ninety-five of them! The above is the culmination of my current series of which there are twenty-two paintings. I am interested in symbols and what they convey. For example, the swastika is ancient in one form but reversed has come to stand for total evil. The cross has a multitude of powerful associations. I wanted to try to create images that had no associations which, of course, is almost impossible but I have enjoyed the attempt. It was so pleasing when a visitor suggested that they could be used for meditation. It is always good to have visitors to the studio and get their comments as it is difficult to see one’s own work. Do contact me if you would like to set up a time to visit. Chris Malcomson -,



Artist KEITH EMERLING Interview and photography by Harryet Candee

Harryet Candee: All these Berkshire years that I have been acquainted with you, I couldn’t help but notice your endless thirst for the arts. You love painting, photography, cooking, and being a supportive member of the arts community in and around the Berkshires. Tell us, how and why you decided to become an artist? Keith Emerling: I never really decided to be an artist, it something I just sort of became and am only now realizing that I am. Making or creating is something I’ve done my entire life. From model airplanes and rockets, in my youth, to the art making I do today. I don’t know why it comes as such a surprise to view myself as an artist but it does. As far as the Arts, I try to support the com-

munity by going to arts events, music and art venues and by participating in artist organizations. The community has been very supportive of my endeavors as well. Right now, in the age of social networking and with less and less public gatherings, this has been more important than ever. Through the years, growing into being an artist, you must have picked up some valuable lessons in order to succeed as a full-time artist. What are some of those lessons, or rules, or disciplines you follow? Always do what you say you’re going to do and try, as much as possible, to do it right away. Learn to express yourself both verbally and in


writing. Be meticulous and do a good job and strive for quality, honesty and integrity. Be kind, there is no reason not to be, it’s always important and might be even more so, at that particular moment. Are you able to live off of making art solely? I am not, I have other resources that allow me to be freer with my time and give me the ability to make art. I’ve always been fairly good at what I do but the money part has yet to come. It seems the ability to do things well does not go in hand with the world’s desire to pay you for your efforts. What are some of the concerns and what did


you honestly have to figure out when it came to deciding that you wanted art to be a fulltime career? I am sure there were a different set of questions needing to be answered for when you went into commercial art and another set for when you decided to take on the seriousness of being a fine art artist? To be a full-time artist, I had to make sure I could produce enough work and produce it consistently over a period of time. Since you never really know if you are going to be successful, I had to make sure this is how I wanted to spend my time. I also had to make the effort to get my work into shows and do all the things that attend to that. With the commercial photography, it required a lot of networking and attending business events. It also required being able to sell something that hasn’t been created yet. Working in the fine art world is also about the ability to produce work and get it out there but for me the work was already done, I just had to get it out there. They both require work and have self-promotion in common but the avenues for each are different. Has your commercial art and your fine art overlapped? How so?

The skills I developed as a commercial photographer have definitely helped me make better reproductions of my artwork in order to present a professional looking fine art portfolio. They also helped me to pursue fine art photography and photograph the food I cook. All the computer software I learned, as a commercial photographer, has helped me design my own websites, do the layout for my cookbook (with help) and do all the graphics for my line of greeting cards available on my Etsy shop “studionotes” Learning how to write has also been of tremendous value. We often know early on that art or music is our calling. Was that so for you? No, definitely not, I’m only just now starting to realize that. I was more of a math and science nerd as a kid, though I loved the idea of painting at some level. I had a color wheel as a child and it was one of the most precious things I owned. It was a sticker and with my parents greatly recommending against it, I put it on the back of a checkerboard. A while later the checkerboard split in half down the center and I was heartbroken. I should have realized I wanted to be in

the Arts then but I did not. Even now I still struggle with the idea of being an artist, even though the evidence is overwhelming. Keith, now tell us about the artistic path you have focused on in photography and in the commercial art field? I’m very traditional in my approach to photography, I do edit my photographs but only to enhance what’s already there or to minimize or remove distracting objects. I’m not an effects user or creator of abstract photography. The commercial work was fairly technical and I often used strobe lighting as well as continuous light sources in my work. I also made the transition from film to digital photography relatively easily though it required quite a bit of education. The fine art photography came before the commercial photography and after it. This included landscape and fine art still life work as well as some festively costumed self-portraits that often included painted backgrounds. My fine art landscape photography, in both color and black & white, was mostly natural in appearance while trying to give the best rendition of the Continued on the next page...




scene I had in front of me. You can see my photography at . This approach to fine art photography is also very much like my past and more recent involvement in Plein air painting, in which I try to represent the scene I see in front of me to the best of my abilities. Out of curiosity, what jobs can you recall having in your lifetime that were completely unrelated to art? Did you learn anything from any of them by chance? I don’t do well in the traditional 9 to 5 structure of the work world. I’ve almost always done something creative, from being a fine art painter/photographer, to private chef, to a commercial and fine art photographer, to a writer and recipe creator and back to being a painter again and now the cooking and recipe creating is a big part of what I do. Keith, I see you as a person needing to soak up knowledge of all kinds. What interests do you have outside of the artistic realm? (or, might I ask you, do you believe --- Everything is all related?) I love music, though I can’t play a note, I wish I

could. I used to go out and hear a lot of live music. I enjoy art books, especially monographs and ones that are like or that actually were someone’s Ph.D. dissertation. Though I’m not very athletic right now, I’ve had a serious interest in surfing and skateboarding since high school and also skied when I was growing up. I surfed again, paddle boarded and snowboarded about 6 to 10 years ago, it was really great for me to get back out doing it. Though these are not necessarily intellectual pursuits they were very dear to me. To answer the second part of your question, is everything related? I would answer, things are just starting to come together, they are just now starting to interrelate. The skills I’ve acquired are becoming useful to one another. The writing, photography, cooking, art making, painting, graphic design and the use of technology are starting to coalesce. I don’t know what will exactly become of all this but time will hopefully reveal it. I should pick your brain, then, and ask you: What do you suppose is the basic nature and character of a true artist, now and through history? Artists seem to be people who look at or interpret


the world slightly differently. It can include being preceptive or seeing a path to something in a way that is different or creative. An artist is probably someone who likes to make things or produces something from their own hand or with their own talents. The definition of an artist is a tricky one for me, as I just see myself as who I am, and am not trying to label it. The term artist seems like a description of something abstract rather than relating to the day to day efforts of doing creative projects. To the question of Art throughout history? I don’t know the answer but the definition of who is an artist keeps changing. Some of the most famous artists have sold very few paintings, or even none, in their life time. Some people think so far ahead of their time, that the world has to catch up to call them an artist. And, as an artist, do you believe that the universe goes on and on and on out into space forever, or, is there a stopping point? Give us one of your theories on the universe, Keith. Your imagination must be so rich with ideas. The Universe is a big topic but I’ll be very pragmatic about it and us. I think the world is what we see before us and that we are all organisms


with the same finite constraints as any other organism. I believe the great cosmos is defined very practically. I would guess there are always new realms to discover but that they have explanations and properties that they also abide by. The soul is our life force and is a live energy but governed by our living physiology. I hope that a sense of rightness, decency and faith in ourselves is a as much a part of who we are as the undefinable characteristics that encompass us. All those characteristics, in combination, define who we are. What would be one of the strangest phenomena’s you have ever heard of or have encountered so far? And please tell us all about it! The mind is an amazing thing and science, I would be sure, does not fully understand it. It has fantasies, it lives, it is reality and it can process so much of the world and at the same time keep our bodies functioning. It dreams, it feels, it tastes and does so much to connect our senses together. Like the Universe in the question above it is vast and its boundaries are hard to comprehend.

The other strangest phenomenon is the times we are living in now. What a wacky, mixed up and dangerous world we are living in. The things I’ve seen in the last few years, I never could have imagined. Do you think there is any truth to time travel? Even if you wouldn’t know, perhaps, but with your possible enjoyment of sci-fi films and books, you may have an opinion? I view sci-fi as entertainment, there is some that has been shockingly prophetic but you never know that until you reach the future and it’s come true or almost true. Time, at least as far as the mind is concerned, is rather fluid and our thoughts travel back and forth through our experiences over the course of our life. Keith, are you a man of science, religion, or nature? What do you think you are most of? I guess I follow the path of nature, though again, I consider myself rather practical. Science is part of nature so it would follow Continued on next page...




that there is some kind of logic in it but nature also has a randomness that follows its own set of rules. This is what makes landscape painting so fascinating and difficult. For the human hand to recreate the randomness and order of nature within a painting or work of art is truly a challenge. I think this is why painting flowers and En Plein air (painting outdoors) fascinates me so. What time period in history would you most want to live in, and why? I respect the age of craftsmanship and the ability to produce good work and fine works of art, something we don’t see as much of as we used to. Other than that, I’m not particularly romantic about any period in history. If I could go back in time it would be to a state of mind, one of contentment. As far as the past, I think the world of yore is a hard life and that we are very luck in some ways to have “modern conveniences.” I do think about the Impressionists sometimes but I’m not sure I would really like to live back then. As far as the present, I have made good use of 2020 but could due without a good part of the news events of the last four years. I don’t think you can set back the clock but going forward I hope things get much better.


Batter Fried Squash Blossoms stuffed with Fresh Mozzarella Topped with Edible Dahlia

Are you a worldly traveler? Where have you travelled to that was completely amazing and out of the ordinary? I am not a traveler in the true sense. I’ve traveled breath of Berkshire County and beyond, sometimes many times in the course of a single day, going to Arts events. On a more global level, I’ve been to France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Mexico, Canada, Great Britain and other parts of the United States. My interest French and Italian food and art have been enhanced by this travel. I am not one to actively seek out travel however and have actually rather enjoyed staying in during the last many months (for the most part.) How does travelling help you as an artist? Seeing new and different places and ways of life is enriching. I’ve painted, cooked and photographed in my travels, so I would say it’s been productive in that way. Seeing the great works of Art and the homeland of some of the fundamental cuisines of the world, has been enlightening as well. The regional nature of Italy is fascinating, especially from a food perspective. When you go home to visit your family in California, how does it make you feel? Do you by chance have a minute of realization, being a way from here, that you have been thriving and doing great things with your life? Often, going away from one’s home base gives a sense of where you are at on a scale. Right now, with the fires and Covid, I’m grateful to be here, home in the Berkshires. California was once a haven for me, I loved surfing and you just can’t do that in the Berkshires. I’ve moved on from that and my interests have changed. I still paint and draw when I’m in California and have a full set of artist supplies out there, so I keep connected. Family is great but I don’t see them as much as I’d like, even when I visit. I’ve mostly figured out the personal and internal challenges I face, so trips with family go pretty smoothly. It also means I’m pretty content with where I’m at.



But travelling now seems impossible, of course with Corona. Tell me Keith, how has Corona im-

Keith Emerling’s “The Little Cookbook of Philosophy” is a collection of writings, photographs and recipes with an emphasis on health, well being, the food system and the world in which we live. ( ISBN 978-0-9909042-0-5 BUY from Amazon )

pacted your daily life? What have you learned? I’ve been happy to stay in and work on my projects, at least so far. I hope that will continue. I spent so much time going out before the pandemic, that staying in is kind of refreshing. When the pandemic first started, since it was spring, I painted a lot of tulips, mostly in watercolor. It was great to have flowers in the house and be inspired to paint them. Below is excerpt taken from a recent artist statement to expand on this: The beauty found in nature is a valuable commodity in a world with so much uncertainty. Flowers are an illuminating beacon. Quarantine has been an inspiration to keep tulips in the studio and to paint them and paint them often. They are a sign of spring and a new beginning and in a time with so much turmoil, they are an upwelling of hope. Keith, tell us a little about the path you took as you went into photography, then becoming a secret chef, then into the world of painting

in watercolor and oils? What was the order? How do they all connect to one another? They kind of jump back and forth and usually happen independently of one another. In the past, I often did one art form at a time then would move onto the next, there would be some overlap but they never all happened at the same time like they are starting to now. I went to college for painting, drawing and photography and then painted and worked in restaurants for a few years. The painting continued for a while when I became a private chef, which I did for almost exactly ten years. After that I crossed over into commercial and then fine art photography. After that I didn’t paint again for decades. There was writing and recipe creating next and the cookbook, “The Little Cookbook of Philosophy” (available on Amazon.) Then, all of a sudden, I started painting again and dropped everything else like a hot potato. Now things, as I said, are starting to integrate and happen all at the same time. Who knows where it will lead?

Were there any challenges to face as you changed focuses from one venue to another? Yes, attention span. I get sick of one thing and move onto the next, sometimes after the projects become harder to sustain professionally. I find something new or revisit something I’ve done in the past and get hooked on it and pursue it passionately, until I switch gears again. I don’t understand the process but that’s how it seems to go. Tell us, Keith, about your career in photography, please. You won awards, such as three Fuji Masterpiece awards. This part of your life must have been so exciting for you. Describe what you feel was most enjoyable, and what might have been not so much the case. The awards were great but as usual with what I do, I really love the creative process, the work as you could call it. The three Fuji Masterpiece Awards gave me confidence and a sense of being in line with my peers. They were great to bring Continued on next page...



KEITH EMERLING purple cauliflower with cheese sauce

back to the Berkshires but the reality of it is, business is about business and not necessarily awards. I think the awards were helpful to me as a commercial photographer but one still has to put in the time to find work. Where does cooking come into play for you as an artist? Tell us about yourself as the creator of great cuisine and the author of a cookbook, please. Why would you say it’s a secret part of your life? The cooking isn’t so much of a secret any more but I like the idea of the mystery behind the name. I just built myself a food and cooking website and the cookbook has its own website too . Food and cooking are a big part of my life right now and have become one of my Covid projects. I cook and create recipes, sometimes several in a day, so I’m fairly prolific. I like elegant and adventurous food, so that keeps it interesting for me.



Now, with all your knowledge and experience being an accomplished artist, what are some of the most valuable disciplines you adhere to? I work when I feel like it and don’t sweat it if I don’t feel like it, I go do something else. Even with that philosophy, I am very prolific and have accumulated a lot of showable, saleable, artwork. I think listening to yourself is the best way to stimulate creativity. Yes, I do fret when I’m not producing but I always seem to eventually find


something productive to do. Seeing the world around you choosing what to draw, shoot or paint is a mindful activity. How do you decide what subject you want to study upon? I tend to paint what is around me, flowers, landscapes, food, still life, people. I don’t feel I have to look very far to find something to paint. Those things I listed inspire me and that is useful, as it takes a lot of effort to finish a painting. I tend to paint relatively quickly but I also have to be invested in what I’m painting in order for me to feel excited about doing the work. Sometimes picking up a paint brush is enough inspiration but having something beautiful to paint can make all the difference. Do you often want to apply a new technique to a fresh drawing or painting, or do you like to stick with what comes out naturally for you? I tend to paint intuitively and I am a big fan of painting from life (observation,) except of course for the imaginary landscapes. I tend to be rather traditional and use mostly brushes. My main mediums are oil and watercolor but I do draw from life and have done some dry point etching. There are some basic rules and concepts in art making, that can make the process more successful. They are not such firm, fast, rules that they can’t be broken but they do provide ways that help in the process of “building” a painting or in creating other types of art.

Do you ever paint from memory? I do a series of Imaginary Landscapes that are painted from either memory or created from my imagination. They try to be mostly representational but nature is so complex and varied it is hard to “invent” a scene totally on my own. They range in size from 5x7 inches to 36x48 inches. Some people have said they are kind of surreal, though that is not my intention.

Mindfulness Drawing Group on Saturday mornings and have produced a lot of paintings that I have gone on to frame and exhibit, though that is not the goal of the group. Being with a group of people, in pursuit of mindfulness and doing art, is a wonderful experience. This is a great gift, by Deb, to the community, along with her IWOW (In Words Out Words) open mic/performance events on the first Tuesday evening of the month.

Many artist find that marketing themselves is a must. How have you dealt with this part of being an artist? The big things are my art website and the Etsy shop for my greeting cards I also printed a range of deluxe business cards and postcards with many different images of my paintings on them. I’m a prolific painter so I enter a lot of shows and have won awards for my paintings. I keep active in the Guild of Berkshire Artist and I am their Treasurer. I also participate in the Housatonic Valley Art League, HVAL, and have online shows, already up or coming up, with both organizations. The online shows can be found on their websites.

What is it you wish to have accomplished over the next several years? The goal, I think, is to integrate all or most of my art forms, either by doing them concurrently or developing projects that incorporate them. The future is a fickle thing and I hope the world is a place that values the Arts more and more and that the Arts are a vehicle to bring out the best in people and our leadership.

Something just reminded me, Keith, of Deb Koffman’s art classes in Housatonic. What do you think of her classes that you have been part of? She is amazing and a great inspirationalist. What have you learned from Deb? I have really enjoyed the community at Deb’s

Thank you, Keith!

Keith Emerling 413-442-2483


MARGUERITE BRIDE WATERCOLORS Marguerite Bride is a Berkshires-based watercolor artist. Besides capturing the beauty of local and regional scenes in all seasons, Bride specializes in creating custom watercolors… particular, house portraits, and paintings of very personal and meaningful places. Right now, Bride is working on a new series called “Autumn in the Berkshires”. Visit her website to see her new paintings in this series. And if you are interested in a holiday commission, do not hesitate to contact the artist. “I tend to get crazy busy in the fall. Lots of folks like to have a snowy winter scene done so they can make holiday cards. Something special for the folks? Get together with your can be the holiday hero! Think about it...I’m here...painting away and happy to answer any/all your questions.” Visit Bride’s website and click on the “Commissioning a House Portrait” link for all the details about commissioning a painting, her newly started “gallery” “Autumn in the Berkshires”, plus lots more! Marguerite Bride – text or call 413-841-1659 or 413-442-7718;;; Facebook: Marguerite Bride Watercolors.


KAREN BOGNAR KHAN Karen Bognar Khan was born in Pittsburgh, PA. She knew her path as an artist since childhood. She pursued private art lessons, then pre-college art classes at Carnegie Mellon University. She obtained a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Karen spent her twenties in NYC and internalized a wealth of visual input from galleries and museums. She studied art history and modern art criticism at Columbia University. At Parsons School of Design, she studied illustration. A love for the figure, lead her to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Karen worked as an illustrator and muralist, while she gained exposure and gallery representation as a fine artist. Ultimately, she evolved a unique style of still life painting, inspired by quantum physics. 413 441 9754



SHARON GUY CONNECTING WITH NATURE My purpose as an artist is to connect with the healing power of the natural world and to encourage others to do the same. Nature is alive and infused with spirit. I constantly seek to reconnect with this spirit of nature through creating art. While I quietly observe and study land, water, and skies, the ordinary world around me is transformed by light and shadow into the sublime. I enjoy painting the dramatic seascapes and clouds of the Gulf Coast and New England scenes. My work is in private collections in the United States and Canada. Sharon Guy - , 941321-1218,


Red Lilly, Photography, 2020 Wash of Light 10 x 8” Oil on panel $250 Cell 914.419.8002

34 • OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND (941) 321-1218



Experiencing the colors of the North, I felt a deep connection with colors. Of course, every artist knows how essential colors are for a painting. However, the subtlety of the color changes in the Northern nature and seasonal changes opened a book for me. They taught me that each color can be a landscape in itself. Shades, color transformations and contrasts seem to work in their own ways. They talk! For long years I worked with acrylics exclusively. That was easy. It was a great medium to experiment with. On the one hand, it was a perfect practice for preparing my skills for what was about to come: oil, mixed media, metal, and rust. On the other hand, it opened a door for seeing through the colors and their potential, learning the skills that my paintings do not live from color combinations alone and make the invisible layers speak. I wanted to learn to show the layers that the human eye does not see, but the senses feel. To be honest, I wanted to find out how to reach a depth on the playground

of the canvas and tell a story. Soon I noticed that colors, texture, and layers do communicate. A canvas, a panel of wood or paper can be a field of polyphone voices. They interact. Such a field does not know barriers nor limits. I added layer after layer, sometimes more than 20 colors. The results are astonishing. Even the covered layers still make their voices heard. The secret was to work with the degree of liquid in the color paste as I applied them. Then, I dared take a step further and began to violate the peace. A good start was one layer of ground color. As usual. I let it dry overnight. Then, I added the next layer, a bright color. I gave it about 2 hours of time to dry, 2 hours of interacting with the layer underneath. After these 2 hours I added another layer, another bright color. Half an hour drying time. A fourth layer was allowed to dry 15 minutes. Then came a brutal intrusion with a sponge that interrupted and removed the entire “conversation” of drying and wet colors. The end result is always a surprise. I have never been disappointed. All the polyphone interaction led to a color-field in each of the various drying phases. It´s a mix of bright and basic colors that a brush never could do. All the result of acrylics, water, and time. Layers shimmered through layers and opened a world of seeing through colors. The transparent patterns opened a magic story like a complex novel written by a master. After these years of working the conversations between the colors in acrylic it took me some time to get used to the next level: oil. No matter what medium we use…colors do talk! And in my work I am still trying to reach the beauty of the Northern seasons that nature masters. An eternal challenge… instagram: @katrinwaite Tel. 518-223 3069


CAROLYN M. ABRAMS My work has been an exploration of the wisdom of art that is continually being presented to me through the art process. Many layers reveal to me a story or message…some piece of wisdom. The inspirations afforded me in daily life make their way to reveal themselves through the art process. I invite you to sit with my work for a bit and see what is revealed to you as well. What inspiration comes to you? You never know! Come visit my studio in Brunswick. Carolyn M. Abrams; Facebook



Full disclosure, Antony Zito is one of my oldest friends. We often joke that we’ve known each other “since we were embryos.” But our longstanding friendship doesn’t taint my ability to recognize that Zito is one of the all time great living artists and a superb and fascinating human being. Our families have been friends ever since our moms started working together as Montessori teachers over 45 years ago. I remember my parents taking me to the Zito homestead in East Granby, Connecticut in the late 1970’s. As we pulled into their driveway, I saw the Zitos emerge from a teepee to greet us. For a young child, this was mind blowing. “People still live in teepees?” I wondered. I learned that the Zitos were temporarily residing there because they were building a stone farmhouse, a masterpiece structure that looks


like it’s been airlifted out of Tuscany and dropped into rural Connecticut. The house stands strong today and is itself a work of art, Antony’s father John being a gifted stone worker descended from Italian artisans. Though he passed away in 2003, John Zito’s work can be found throughout CT, including gargoyles that adorn the campus of Trinity College in Hartford. Antony and I drifted in and out of contact as we grew up, went to college, and eventually reconnected in New York City in the mid 1990’s. I crashed with him in the East Village in ‘95, then known as Alphabet City, at a time when the city was gritty and wild. His dreadlocked head led funny freak parades throughout the streets, sometimes accompanied by The Hungry March Band, a ragtag brass band who would invade yuppie bars filling them with a cacophonous assault on the senses. These mad marches would


usually end up at the infamous and now defunct punk rock club CBGB’s with after parties at the dirtiest dive in town: The Mars Bar, a haven for artists, freaks, and weirdos. Zito often led the procession on a low-rider banana seat bike. It was thrilling stuff. Zito’s strong connection to the Lower East Side art scene established him as one of New York’s most important artists. The city had a huge impact on his work, and he had a huge impact on the city. Though he relocated to the aforementioned family home in Connecticut a few years ago, his large-scale murals can still be found on buildings and storefront windows throughout the East Village. His paintings are collected by leading luminaries such as filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, who spotted Zito’s portrait of actor Lee Marvin hanging in the window of his gallery on Ludlow Street. It was featured be-

Antony Zito "New Skin for the Old Ceremony", acrylic and collage on wood, 76" x 147" x 6", 2019

hind rock band The White Stripes in his film “Coffee and Cigarettes.” Zito’s works have popped up in other Jarmusch films including “Broken Flowers.” From the clothes he wears to his paintings to the way he sets his table, everything Zito does is artful. It’s a philosophy driven by a rejection of conformity and a passionate embrace of originality. Zito and I sat by the Farmington River in Collinsville, Connecticut recently to discuss his life and his work. Mike Cobb: By the time I was seven, we were building a home in the country, which was a really powerful experience. We were living in a construction site where my father was lifting giant mantelpiece stones with a crane, while we lived in a teepee for a summer. We worked hard as kids and watched it come together over a decade. It was loaded with spirit, memories, and my parents’ ideas of getting back to the land. But we were also immersed in art. I’m one of those lucky people who had two loving parents; they were obsessed with art and caused me to be the same way. Bedtime stories were Rembrandt drawings and Picassso lithographs. Our trips to Disneyland were trips to The Met, MOMA, and The Wadsworth Atheneum. It was really a classicist upbringing; our heroes were DaVinci, Michelangelo, and Picasso. My father was really into Native Americans and the Egyptians, early cultures rooted in the earth. My parents were not interested in modern lifestyle; we had no television. I was always surrounded by art and encouraged to make art, which I was “drawn” to,

no pun intended. (Laughs) How much of your upbringing was an extension of your Italian family artisan heritage versus the back to the land ethos of the 60’s and 70’s? I imagine it was both of those things. They were in art school in the 60’s and as modernism was encroaching, they rejected 1950’s suburban ideals. They resonated with working with the earth, which was definitely the southern Italian farm life. My father designed his house based on what he saw in Tuscany and Europe in general. It was about farming. There was a plot of land dedicated to raising fruit and vegetables; we were constantly working on the land and living off the fruits of our labors. Farming mixed with classical artwork, antiquities, especially Egyptian and Native American cultures, permeated our daily life, hence my father’s earth bound spirituality. He was in love with plants and trees. I remember him taking us on drives around the state to see the oldest trees. He knew all their names and origins. I remember your dad talking to me about the importance of Titian and Carvaggio and their use of light. Titian was a huge influence on him, his closest connection to classical art. Would you ever paint side by side? Yes, there were times when we’d paint side by side. There were some great lessons. I remember

being stuck, not knowing what to paint, and he said, “Just think with the brush” and on a more humorous level, “Do something, even if it’s wrong.” I realize he meant “Make a mistake, stick your neck out there. If it’s not too horrible, you can remedy it, and at least you got started.” I learned that there’s never any harm in just throwing something at a canvas; you can always change things. You’re capable of a high level of classical realism, as evidenced by your copy of Vermeer’s “Girl With The Pearl Earring” inspired by Scarlett Johanssen’s role in the movie with the same title, but that’s not necessarily your thing. Your style is more expressive, and you use found objects. How did you get from realism to expressionism? I always had great teachers beginning with my parents, and then a great high school teacher, Mr.Z, who was passionate, if a bit ornery. He would have us do extensive observation drawings. I think of it as boot camp. I work with painting students who want to take leaps to achieve mastery and instant gratification, which I understand, but you can’t do it without years of drawing. It doesn’t sound fun, but it can be. I spent my younger years engaging in life drawing, which was a DaVincini thing that my father always echoed in my head. “Work from life.” It means, put an object in front of you, render it, understand how the light hits it and describes the form; manage to illustrate its volume, weight, and mass, and if you’re lucky, somehow some Continued on next page...



an intense, abstract collage that has a certain narrative but also leaves space for the mind to wonder. Yeah, I started working with a representational portrait within an explosion of collage. I was exploring symbology and narrative and got a little distracted. I went into that distraction and found that my favorite kind of narrative is one that doesn’t necessarily lead you anywhere in particular but could lead you on your own story wrapped around this central character who has a strong narrative built into their presence, a pillar of representation surrounded by a swarm of almost psychedelic color and detail. You can make of it what you will. How did pop culture influence your style? That started when I moved to New York after UMass and already being well steeped in music and the underground culture of the 80’s and 90’s, seeking out the darkest, dingiest, dirtiest bars and off the beaten path galleries. I was looking for uncurated spaces being populated by the community. I always loved that and dove right into the East Village culture, CBGB’s, The Mar’s Bar, The Apocalypse Lounge, The Deep Dale Gallery, all these really gritty, self made spaces aligned with my anti-establishment somewhere between hippy and punk roots where I wanted to build on and be a part of the subculture. I was never interested in the mainstream, unless something crept into it like Nirvana. In retrospect, I found myself a little stuck and lost in that.

Antony Zito "William Burroughs", acrylic and collage on wood, 36" x 48", 2016

expression or feeling comes out of it. Hopefully, ideas of duality will come out from a simple drawing. The essence of the dynamism of art is that there is a duality in everything, in our own lives and everything around us. Anyway, then I ran off to college at UMass, where I spent two full years in the foundations program, drawing, building, really basic stuff to get under your belt. Master the essentials and in that you find some sort of direction. But I was always a painter. I did my first painting when I was seven, emulating my father, but I did get into sculpture at UMass, which is so much fun. It’s about simple structure, which even a three year old knows. Does it stand? Painting is complex, rendering 3d into 2d, whereas the sculpture I was doing was abstract, gutsy, and fun. To me there’s a duality between the intensity of painting and the whimsy of abstract sculpture. Even now, as I go more into representational sculpture using junk metal, it’s still so much fun to me. It’s about making it stand up and feel like something, whereas painting is still very intense for me, at times a little overwhelming, but has at its essence problem solving built into it, which all art does.

enjoy at the same time, which is unique to music, I think. There’s an artist from New York named Thomas Lanagan Schmidt, who I helped install a show at UMass. He once said, “All art aspires to the condition of music”, which always stuck with me. Because music gets you whether you’re planning it or not; it engages you. Sound can creep around corners and through time. Music will catch you in the strangest of places.

And then there’s music, which you also do. Yeah, to me music is a lot more like sculpture. It’s very cathartic and pleasing to create and

That makes me think of your painting of William S. Burroughs. At a distance it’s a straight portrait, but as you get closer you see

Whether you like it or not! Like cheesy pop songs that stick in your head. Yes, it can ruin your dining experience. (Laughs) In a way the visual arts require more of the spectator, in the sense that it demands showing up and considering it, which contrasts with the immediacy of music. Yeah, that brings up a great point. I like narratives that float between the very specific and non-specific. Somewhere in the middle there are layers of mostly representational images, then abstraction. As an artist you can give a little shove by implying things.


Why do artists seek out dark, moldy caves, and how do you navigate dark desires and live to tell the tale? Zito: Somehow I made it out of that. I always managed to partially be an observer, whereas many of the people I encountered there were already pretty damaged. I was always and still am relatively disgusted with mainstream pop culture. The fact that it’s always layered with a sales pitch and now has this element of deep media manipulation that’s creeping into everyone’s’s that thing that drove me away from it all. There’s a degree of that in Connecticut that’s always been around, a real, wilful conformity that always horrified me. I pushed away from the drone of the 9-5 factory, insurance lifestyle. I had a much easier time hanging out with the rednecks and metal heads instead of the country club set. I’m not as judgmental about it as I used to be. God bless anyone who can make it work, but it’s not for me. I understand that people do things they don’t wanna do out of the need for safety and security. My lifestyle is definitely not for everyone; I’m often just “dongling” out there in the breeze, stretched thin, not knowing how I’m gonna make it work, and that can be hard. But I believe that is a more sane path than giving my life away to the corporate beast. It’s curious because Connecticut has all those things from beige suburbs, to rural rednecks, to interesting artists tucked away in the woods. Yeah, I once shunned it, but I’m learning to re-

Antony Zito "Griffin", welded found metal objects, 156" x 156" x 156", 2018, (shown in photos outdoors at Governors Island NYC, and at HOWL! Happening in NYC)

love it. I had no intention of coming back, but as I watched my community in New York disintegrate, I became diaspora, and now I’m back here, and I love it. Go figure. It’s a very healthy and wise person who can be open to things changing all the time. Even in a place you once felt very little connection to, you can create your own community, adventures, and discover interesting people. I always think of you as someone who creates an impact wherever you go, which makes me think it’s not so much about where you are as what you bring to it. What everyone wants is connection. New York in its heyday had a thriving community with a lot of connection, expressions being shared. I’m learning that it takes a will to connect, and I’m finding that there are interesting people everywhere. Where you are does matter, but where you are in your head matters more because you're the person responsible for connection. Just as New York has been losing its vitality to its corporate overlords, little places like Connecticut are having a renaissance. I believe caffeine and alcohol are very responsible for bringing people together. Look how chatty we’ve been today; it’s my second coffee. (Laughs) Pubs and cafes bring people together, though now it’s more about breweries.

It’s no wonder the art and music scene happened in coffee houses in Greenwich Village in the 50’s and 60’s. Cycling back to medium, one of the things you’re known for is working with found objects. How did you come to that? I can see it coming from my parent’s love for antiquity and patina. I learned that was more beautiful because it already has a story in it. I’ve always liked things that look a little worn, like they’ve lived and maybe even died a little. When I was first living in the East Village, I was struggling, so rather than buying canvases, I’d just find great stuff on the street. My object of choice was always cabinet doors coming out tenement houses. Little did I know that these would become a rare find. I was painting portraits in pre-framed rectangles; if there was an old latch from the 1890’s, all the better to me. I’d gather and stash these objects and when someone came to sit for me, I’d grab a door to paint on. It became a huge part of my vocabulary. Coming to the present day, when I had my show at the end of the year at Howl Gallery in NYC, I was asked to go big. So, I gathered as many doors and panels as I could to cobble together large, mural sized paintings, which tell mountains of stories. Found objects take things to another level with multi object integration.

It’s an overload of narratives which soften into one general narrative, hopefully. The closer you look, the more stories you find. And of course doors symbolize many things. Yes, mostly change, passage, transition, stepping through from one experience to another. I recall some intense themes in the show, in particular the snake with skulls in its belly, sloughing off its skin, which seems to represent both death and rebirth. Today, we face a lot of darkness, literally now under smoke filled skies from the fires on the west coast in the middle of a global pandemic. What role does art play in navigating tough times? I think having a positive view of death is probably the most important thing a person can do to endure difficult times. All of our problems come out of fear, and the central fear of human existence is death. I’ve been very fortunate to have a friend who’s helped me see death differently than the culture at large. There are many cultures that handle it much better than we do, as a necessary and integral part of who we are. For me it was very helpful to read books like Many Lives Many Masters by Brian Weiss, who inadvertently became a regression hypnotherapist studying people’s near death experiences and past lives. Continued on next page...



Antony Zito "The Threshold", acrylic on wood, metal, glass and found objects, 92" x 226" x 109", 2019 (shown in photo at HOWL! Happening in NYC)

Antony Zito "Giovanna", oil on wood, antique frame, 17" x 27", 1996


There’s so much evidence everywhere for reincarnation; it is one of the strongest beliefs throughout the history of spirituality. This idea of returning, and that sort of in between space, between lives. I’ve lost a lot of very close people in my life. For me, with the help of my mother and my good friend, I manage to see things in a much lighter way and not get dragged down by it. I think with a healthy perspective on transitioning from this world into the next experience, the anxieties of this world can be lightened. We know this world is temporary and that we’re going to change and go to another dimension. So, that’s how I temper my anxiety about all the madness in the world. I also don’t pay too much attention to it. I’ve been criticized for having my head in the sand, but everyone’s here to live out their own journey and experience. If in this lifetime I can step away from the extreme inundation of fear based media stories, then I will. I mean, I know what’s going on, and I feel for people, but a lot of “news” is so much bullshit, bias, manipulation, and dividing people up. Maybe it’s better not to know. It begs the question, are we better off knowing everything that’s going on? What I see since I’ve grown up is the extreme acceleration of things, whether it’s the speed of traffic or climate change. There’s a desire amongst people to slow down, yet we’re also all involved with digital technology. Yeah, there’s too much information. We were talking earlier about that movie The

Social Dilemma on Netflix. There’s definitely some scary things happening from the manipulation of the masses, the desire for connection being twisted into a need for approval, and very biased information causing division. It’s all pretty scary. I really wonder what the way out is? We need to know about the dangers of life, that’s why we have stress centers in our brain, but I think it’s very different being chased by a lion than by things that aren’t even part of our physical experience. I’ve seen you explore different styles throughout your career. What’s inspiring these days? Part of my inspiration comes from the need to make a living. It’s always tricky paying the bills as an artist! Some would say that your practice could become damaged by turning it into commerce, but I’m looking for creating more venues for regular sales of my work. An artist has to bring creativity to business, even if it’s not something that comes naturally. We’ve always been taught that you’re either an artist or a business person, and I get that it can be difficult for creative people to think about money, but the stupidest people in the world can be rich. So, I figure, how hard can it be to just be comfortable? I’ve met some people who’ve figured it out without being dirtbags. What have they figured out? Zito: They’ve found a niche. If there’s anything that all this interconnection of devices can bring us, it’s this ability to be-

Antony Zito "Fear", metal, 60" x 36" x 60", 2019 (shown in photo at HOWL! Happening in NYC)

come an entrepreneur in your own right, find a niche, create value that people are interested in, and manifest a better flow of funds. I believe creativity takes on many forms. I’ve been drawing, writing, doing a little bit of painting, and playing a ton of music. It’s not a job, but it keeps my creative juices flowing. I don’t like to pigeonhole or discriminate between my creative work. I’m also very into gardening, native plants, the flow of seasons, and trying to understand more about growing fruits and vegetables. I find all that to be incredibly creative. I find having an organized and aesthetically pleasing environment in my home creates more room for creativity. Some people are surprised to find that I’ve become neat and organized. I like things in their place; it creates head space for more movement inside the mind when the external environment isn’t so cluttered. I’ve always been a gatherer and a collector of all sorts of things, but now, if there’s too much stuff, I'll take them all away except one. Environment is

incredibly important, which is why as the city has become more austere with glass buildings replacing beautiful old tenements and the community becoming uprooted and displaced, I feel that nature here is more conducive to a better way of life. Creativity can be expressed however you want, from the way you make a sandwich to the way you take a walk, play music with your friends, or arrange objects on your countertop. I’ll always be painting, drawing, writing, and playing music. Art is a way of life more than a specific discipline is what I’m trying to say. Everyone’s an artist, especially young people. The younger you are, the more artful you are. Keeping that intact, having the expression and catharsis of creativity in its many forms is what makes life enjoyable. While the immediate future of art exhibits may be tenuous, Zito continues to work from his home studio in Granby, Connecticut and is available for painting lessons online. For more

information about Zito, check out his website: Mike Cobb is a creative based in Norfolk, CT. Check out his writing and photography at , his podcast at and his music at Mike Cobb is writer, multimedia producer, and musician. Having lived in Spain for five years, Cobb is bilingual and writes in English and Spanish. His articles have appeared in Spanish rock magazines Ruta 66 and Mondo Sonoro, and in English for Shindig!, The NYC Jazz Record, The Independent, The Litchfield Times, The Red Hook Star Review, Elmore, and elsewhere.




A Black Eye and a Suit and Tie It was the regular habit for Bluto to be late for work in the morning and so it would happen that I would wait in the old truck for him every Saturday. He would always apologize and insist that from then on he would be on time, but I could see that he was the sort of man whose convictions evaporated when he had to get up in the morning. On one fateful Saturday instead of waiting in the truck I rang the doorbell of Mrs. Sweet’s apartment. This was such a drastic thing for me to do, that I had to rush up to the door and ring the bell without thinking about the consequences; otherwise I would have never been able to do it. The door was opened by Mrs. Sweet herself and she looked at me in a curious way and retreated into the apartment with me following. She said not a word. In the kitchen I found Bluto and Jason and I suddenly realized I had walked in on some sort of catastrophe. “I’ll just wait outside,” I offered, but my remark met with such silence that I simply stood in the doorway. This is what I saw. Bluto was standing at the sink with his arms crossed, Jason was eating corn flakes, milk running down his chin, Mrs. Sweet had a black eye. In between spoonfuls of cereal Jason took furtive glances at Bluto, and then at his grandmother. The silence in the grandmother’s kitchen was obviously only a lull in some altercation, and before anything else happened I again announced to the silence in the room that I would wait for Bluto in the truck and left the apartment unnoticed. I jumped to an obvious conclusion. I assumed that for some reason or other Bluto had struck Mrs. Sweet in the eye. During this time of working for Bluto I had started to assume that Bluto was sort of Mrs. Sweet’s partner. I could see that they were not a couple in the conventional sense, because Bluto had his own room someplace nearby. I am going to admit to you an embarrassing fact about myself, I was jealous of Bluto. Not only was I jealous of him but I had even been engaged in spying on him as if by accident. This spying on Bluto had to do with the location of his truck. Was the truck at her house early in the morning? Was it parked there all night? Did he go home every night? So far I had assumed that Bluto and the grandmother did not spend the night together. But the black eye was forcing me to accept some conclusions I was reluctant to admit. The black eye said that the two

of them had to be in a serious relationship, so serious that conflict was involved. In short it was an adult relationship, something I could not possibly begin to understand. These erroneous assumptions were occupying my mind when Bluto suddenly opened the door of the truck, got in and started the engine. He did not let out the clutch, although I had already grabbed hold of the dash and the doorknob. He just sat in his seat looking intently at the steering wheel, and seemed to be struggling for some words to explain the situation to me. Finally he turned to me and began speaking in a serious tone, he said, “Look, I want you to do me a favor,” then there was a long pause and he did not continue. It was as if the complexity and difficulty of what he was about to say overwhelmed him with confusion, and instead of saying anything else he simply let out the clutch and we drove off. “Do me a favor,” what possible favor could I do for him in this situation? I did not even really know what the situation was but in the silence of our drive to work, a silence almost unheard of in Bluto’s truck, various ideas began to sort themselves out in my mind. Bluto had started to ask me to do something and that could have only one possible explanation, he must have wanted me to talk to Jason about something. What possible thing? But then I saw it clearly; it must have been Jason who had given his grandma the black eye and not Bluto. I couldn’t resist the temptation to ask Bluto some question, any question, just to get him talking, but I didn’t. I was afraid to find out what was happening, and then, despite myself I said, “Did Jason give his grandmother a black eye?” “Yes,” he said, and then, “no, I mean, she is not actually his Grandmother, and I would really appreciate it if you would talk to Jason about…” Again he did not finish what he was saying and was unable to go on. A few minutes later he came out with this strange question, “Does Jason behave himself with the girls in your class, does he ever say things he shouldn’t say?” The length of time it took me to answer Bluto’s question should have been an answer in itself, but finally I just said “No,” but it was a lie. I mean, it was not a lie because he was shy to the point of terror with any of the girls in our class and he had never said a word to any of them. It wouldn’t have mattered because they all acted as if he didn’t even exist, as if he was invisible. I noticed this because I received the same treatment. But with strange adult women we passed in the street that we did not know he was reckless and would make obscene, suggestive comments to them under his breath. I was unable to tell Bluto about these activities of his for the same reason I have not mentioned it in this account of my friendship with him, because of shame. How could I admit to anyone that I was friends with someone who was doing such a ridiculous thing as propositioning strange women in the street? That was the reason it was impossible for me to tell Bluto the truth. Even one instance of such behavior would have justified and even required that I break off my association with him, regardless of any promises or any sense of loyalty to the friendship I had sacrificed so much to maintain. Granted, I had made some halfhearted attempts to break it off with him, but perhaps those attempts were insincere. No, the friendship continued because of the worst and most despicable of reasons. I admit


what you perhaps already suspect; I wanted to use my association with Jason in the hopes that it would lead to another strange encounter with his grandmother. What this encounter was going to consist of, and how it might come about, I had no idea, but if there was anything on my mind at the time it was her, and her provocative manner, and also her black eye, the explanation I longed to uncover. I tried my best to picture what this second encounter with Mrs. Sweet was going to be like and how it might come about but I was unable to form any picture of it in my mind. All I was able to see in my mind’s eye was a scene like this. We are in her kitchen seated at the kitchen table. There is no one else around and no possibility we will be disturbed. She is talking to me at great length and earnestly about something very important to her and I am listening to her full of concentration. She becomes upset, her voice shakes and yet in the next moment her face is consumed with anger and pride. Her voice cracks, she holds back tears, and yet I am unable to imagine even a single word of what she might possibly have to say to me about herself. That was the picture of my dream of her, the details I longed to fill in, to be her confidant, to be the one who understood her completely while saying nothing at all. In short, as you see, I was in love with Jason’s grandmother. The following morning, having made up my mind to question Jason about the black eye, it was with trepidation that I approached the corner where we usually met on the way to school. He was, however, nowhere to be found and this seemed like a bad omen. For the first time since we began our association he did not wait for me at our corner, but had gone to school that morning by himself, breaking what had become a ritual of our friendship. It was obvious he was avoiding me, but this just made me more curious to question him. At lunch and after school let out he still managed to avoid me. His evasiveness caused me to resort to extremes. The following day I set out early and ran ahead all the way to school and set myself up behind some bushes just to the side of the boy’s entry door, but Jason did not arrive in time for the bell. At 11:00 that morning the phone rang in our classroom. There was hardly a single occurrence of that phone ringing that was not a warning we should be prepared for something unpleasant. That this particular call was another ominous summons could be instantly detected by the anxious and sober “Oh,” murmured by our teacher. This being followed by an “I see,” sealed somebody’s fate, but whom we did not yet know. Our teacher hung up the phone and walked distractedly to the windows and looked down into the parking lot. A few minutes later Jason came in the door. He was almost unrecognizable because he was wearing a suit and tie, and his hair was combed. It would be a few years before I came to realize the significance of a suit and tie on a person who has never even owned the costume. At the time, the only explanation I could think of was that for some unknown reason Jason must have decided to recreate himself as a serious student who was now going to do homework and behave himself. RICHARD BRITELL: FROM THE BLOG NO CURE FOR THE MEDIEVAL MIND

ASTROLOGY Randy Spiers Take a look at the screen on your new wristwatch. Which of your friend’s live images and conversations are there the most? Gaze for a moment at your hand-held device. How many friends’ images can you tune into at once? Visualize your television screen. How many people do you see in those little squares on the screen? We are in the midst of changing how we live, work, think of ourselves and communicate. Increasingly almost everything that we do... and how we do it... is becoming outdated. “Outdated” here simply means “not progressing with the times.”

There is a breath of astrological fresh air that seems not too far in the distance. The planets Jupiter and Pluto... who helped to deliver a pandemic to our doorstep at the beginning of 2020... have both done an astrological about face. On October 3, 2020 Pluto changed from retrograde movement (appearing to go backwards in the sky) to forward movement. Planet Jupiter did the same thing on September 12, 2020. Over time... with the involvement of other planets like Neptune and Uranus... we will be able to more easily craft and fine tune a different future. This does not mean our pandemic is complete. It means we are creating a way to do things differently and circumvent problems. If you are like many of my friends you have probably had a couple of “Oh Wow” experiences during these last few months that got you to thinking about your sense of possibility. Cling tight to your sense of possibility. These bursts of realization are what keep us moving forward. We feel them because they give us a sense of promise about the future. They help us to change our orientation when the need arises. It is as if we are allowed to see our future potential flash before our eyes. And all of a sudden we “remember” why we are here. There exists one important step in this process that has not been mentioned that we are also so close to experiencing. It is called “manifestation”. This year we have an astrological newcomer in our midst alongside an experienced lawmaker. Kamala Harris was born on October 20, 1964 (9:28 p.m./Oakland, CA). She tauts a

Full Moon in Aries and the Sun in Libra. Her Sun-Moon opposition reflects a purveyor of truth, justice and peace. She is doggedly determined and will not stop in this pursuit until she achieves her goals. Her Gemini ascendent means that she’s very open to growth and bringing people together. Her opinions are honest and straightforward. As a leader, she’s fair-minded, passionate, and someone who wants to change the world through universal healing. There is a magic to their synastry (comparative) charts. Their ascendants are in opposite signs. This is an indicator that they are born to be in each others lives in some way. They compensate for each other’s qualities and flaws especially when it comes to their political and public views. Harris’s North Node of Destiny in Sagittarius falls on his ascendant in Sagittarius, which means that their pairing is fated in the stars. To reach Randy Spiers, you can call 828-3330906 or THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 • 43


CLAUDIA d’ALESSANDRO Endings are hard. The beauty of nature’s autumn splendor falls away into months of waiting for the return of warmth and vivid color. In these endings, however, are the promise of beginnings, and each fallen leaf tells a story. This month, I train my lens on what has “Fallen.” Nature’s images remind me of the awesome beauty that surrounds us, and the mighty power of the natural world which we inhabit. The air, the earth and the water can serve as a canvas. I hope you will enjoy this look at what has “Fallen.” “Claudia’s photography touches our souls with deep joy!” ~ CHR “She sees with her eyes and feels with her heart.” ~ DKAH For more information on purchasing these, or other prints, or to order 2021 calendars, please email me at:, - visit me at, or follow me on Facebook at and on Instagram as: dalessandronatura. Don’t forget to mention The Artful Mind for Preferred Customer pricing! Cheers to all for a safe, healthy and inspiring fall!




Since opening in 2005, Berkshire Digital has done fine art printing for artists and photographers. Giclée prints can be made in many different sizes from 5”x7” to 42”x 80” on a variety of archival paper choices. Berkshire Digital was featured in last Summer’s issue of PDN magazine in an article about fine art printing. See the entire article on the website. Berkshire Digital does accurate hi-res photo-reproductions of paintings and illustrations that can be used for Giclée prints, books, magazines, brochures, cards and websites. “Fred Collins couldn’t have been more professional or more enjoyable to work with. He came to my studio, set everything up, and did a beautiful job in photographing a ton of paintings carefully, efficiently, and so accurately. It’s such a great feeling to know I have these beautiful, useful files on hand anytime I need them. I wish I’d called Fred years ago.” ---- Ann Getsinger We also offer restoration and repair of damaged or faded photographs. A complete overview of services offered, along with pricing, can be seen on the web at Another service offered is portraits of artists in their studios, or wherever they would like, for use in magazines, as the author’s picture in a book, websites or cards. See samples of artist portraits on our website. The owner, Fred Collins, has been a commercial and fine art photographer for over 30 years having had studios in Boston, Stamford, and the Berkshires. He offers over 25 years of experience with Photoshop, enabling retouching, restoration and enhancement to prints and digital files. The studio is located in Mt Washington but drop-off and pick-up is available through Frames On Wheels, 84 Railroad Street in Great Barrington, MA (413) 528-0997 and Gilded Moon Framing, 17 John Street in Millerton, NY (518) 7893428. Berkshire Digital - 413 6449663, or go online to

Hummingbirds love people, unless given a reason not to. Under the right conditions, they form connections and seek out their humans. Hummingbirds are naturally courageous and curious. Over the last 15 years, I have spent more than 5000 hours training and observing them. It started as a photographic endeavor, which continues to this day, where I teach the hummingbirds where and how to pose for their photos. But in the process, I formed connections. So did the birds. Even with a full feeder outside, they would come to the window and get my attention when they wanted me to come out and play our game. The game? Find the food in the flower. Leatherneck with Bacopa Flower (2012, Ruby Throat) - A “wild” hummingbird who proved difficult to train, he taught me a lot about hummingbird body language. (I may have been his first human interaction.) In spite of the training difficulties, he became the star of many photos, second only to Dirty Pete in 2014. Mohawk with Tulip (2013, Ruby Throat) - Mohawk was once dubbed a dumb bully. Indeed he was a bully, though I soon learned he was not dumb. He was a fierce defender of his territory. He also had a different way of learning. To wit: instead of trying to figure out where the food was, he would let another hummingbird do it, chase him off, then come back and take advantage of the interloper’s discovery. Ironically, Mohawk the “dumb” bully holds the record for solving the most difficult puzzle. Dirty Pete with White Poppy (2014, Ruby Throat) - When Dirty Pete arrived on Florida Mountain in early May, our connection was immediate and strong. Even after the shooting season was over and the feeder was close by, he would seek me out to feed him. And though I discouraged it, he would follow me around the house if I wasn’t careful about closing the screen door. To date, Dirty Pete is the most prolific hummingbird I have worked with. Lorus #8 (2019, Anna’s) - Lorus was my introduction to one of southern Nevada’s most friendly hummingbird species. Like the ruby throats, he learned fast and helped create photos worthy of an MJ Heade painting, even in an abbreviated season. Like Dirty Pete, Lorus would ask me to come outside and play. At Large Studio, Las Vegas 702-673-0900



Time Flies D Get Pictures 413-446-8348

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