Page 1

THE ARTFUL MIND THE SOURCE FOR PROMOTING THE ARTS IN THE BERKSHIRES SINCE 1994

ARTIST SEAN McCUSKER

OCTOBER 2018

Photography by Tasja Keetman


CL LOSE OSE E EN NC COUNTERS OUNTERS W WITH ITH M MUSIC US I C

at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Great Barring gton, MA

A R oss ssini Ex tr tr av a vag a ga ga nza n za za! za! Sattu Sa urday day ay, O Occtto obe berr 13, 6pm pm Emily Marvosh, contraltto Sonja T Te engblad, soprano Roman Rabinovich, piano

MOZART MO Z A RT & S SC CH HUB UBE ERT RT Marzipan M arzipan & The The T Trou rout

Sattu urday day ay, De De eccce em mbe be b er 8, 6pm

Max Levinson, piano; Itamar Zorman, violin; Karine Lethiec, viola; Da avid Grossma an, double bass; Y Yeh ehuda Hanani, cello

Subscribe: 800.843 .077 78 or www.cewm.org

Tickets: 413 .528 .0100 or www.mahaiwe.org


Jennifer PAzienzA

Piacere, 16 x 14 inches, oil on canvas The Artful Mind Gallery, 22 Walker Street, Lenox, MA October 1 - 31 https://www.instagram.com/jenniferpazienza/

http://Jenniferpazienza.com


THE ARTFUL MIND ARTZINE

OCTOBER 2018

Among all the beautiful things in life, there is you. OUR REMAINS OF THE DAY: LETTING GO / HOLDING ON CARL BERG AND JUDY BERG ... 8

TYLER BLODGETT IN YOGYAKARTA INDONISIA... PHOTOGRAPHS BY TYLER BLODGETT 11

SEAN MCCUSKER PHOTOGRAPHY BY TASJA KEETMAN... 20

RICHARD BRITELL FALDONI PT 3. FICTION ...31

GESSICA SILVERMAN ... 32

GRANDMA BECKY’S OLD WORLD RECIPES VEGETABLE SOUP WITH HOME MADE KREPLACH LAURA PIAN ...39 Contributing Writers and Monthly Columnists Richard Britell, Laura Pian, Joyce Silver, Carl and Judy Berg Photographers Edward Acker, Lee Everett, Jane Feldman Tasja Keetman, Sabine von Falken Publisher Harryet P. Candee Copy Editor

Marguerite Bride

Advertising and Graphic Design Harryet P. Candee

artfulmind@yahoo.com issuu.com instagram FB

413 854 4400

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.

2 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

THE ARTFUL MIND Gallery 22 Walker St Lenox MA

mattbialer.com


Mary Carol Rudin

Pearls and Pearly Whites

18x18

acrylic on board

THE ARTFUL MIND GALLERY 22 Walker Street, LENOX, Massachusetts 413. 854. 4400 artgallenman@yahoo.com theartfulmindgallery.com Thursday through Monday 12 - 5 and by appointment

marycarolrudin@earthlink.net

mcrudin.com


ART

AUTUMN IN THE BERKSHIRES...

WORKSHOPS / Readings

THE MOUNT LENOX, MA Hester Velmans in conversation with Matt Tannenbaum: October 11, 4 - 5pm

510 WARREN STREET GALLERY 510 WARREN STREET, HUDSON, NY 518-822-0510 510warrenstreetgallery@gmail.com / 510warrenstreetgallery.com Hanna Mandel, A Retrospective, Oct 5 Oct 28 Friday & Saturday, 12 - 6, Sunday 12 - 5 or by app

DEB KOFFMAN’S ARTSPACE 137 FRONT ST, HOUSATONIC, MA • 413274-1201 Sat: 10:30-12:45 class meets. No experience in drawing necessary, just a willingness to look deeply and watch your mind. This class is conducted in silence. Adult class. $10, please & call to register. First Tuesday of every month.

DOTTIE’S COFFEE LOUNGE 444 North St, Pittsfield, MA Oct 5 - Dec 31, Impressionism. "Red Orange Yellow, Green Blue Violet," featuring the paintings of Mike Carty, Scott Taylor, and Terry Wise. EUNICE AGAR CAMPHILL GHENT GALLERY 2542 Rte 66, Chtatham, NY People Paintings: Oct 1 - Nov 30

ECLIPSE MILL 243 UNION STREET , NORTH ADAMS. 14th annual North Adams Open Studios on Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14, from 11 am to 5 pm both days. There will be more than a dozen artists’ studios open to the public. The event is free and fully handicap accessible.

FRONT STREET GALLERY 129 FRONT ST, HOUSATONIC, MA • 413-274-6607 Kate Knapp oils and watercolors and classes open to all. LAUREN CLARK FINE ART 325 STOCKBRIDGE RD, GT. BARRINGTON MA 413-528-0432 Lauren@LaurenClarkFineArt.com www.LaurenClarkFineArt.com Fine Art and framing

L’ATELIER BERKSHIRES 597 MAIN STREET, GREAT BARRINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS www.atelierberks.com. • 510-469-5468 natalie.tyler@atelierberks.com Discover contemporary artists in a historic Great Barrington building. Oil paintings, metal & glass sculpture and custom furniture at L’Atelier Berkshires.

LISA VOLLMER PHOTOGRAPHY NEW STUDIO + GALLERY 325 STOCKBRIDGE ROAD, GT. BARRINGTON • 413-429-6511 / www.lisavollmer.com The Studio specializes in portrait, event, editorial and commercial photography : by appointment. The Gallery represents Sabine Vollmer von Falken, Thatcher Hullerman Cook, Carolina Palermo Schulze and Tom Zetterstrom. (Open daily from 11-4pm closed on Wednesdays) 4 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER CASTLE ST, GT. BARRINGTON, MA Scott Eyerly’s Pre-Broadcast Opera Lecture: Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West October 13 11:30 am R&F ENCAUSTICS 84 Ten Broeck Ave, Kingston, NY • 800-206-8088 Oil & Wax: Pigment Stick Fundementals Thurs Nov 15 - Sat Nov 17, 9am - 5pm Wayne Montecalvo

NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM 9 GLENDALE RD - RTE 183, STOCKBRIDGE MA DON'T MISS KEEPERS OF THE FLAME: PARRISH, WYETH, ROCKWELL AND THE NARRATIVE TRADITION CLOSING OCTOBER 28

MASS MoCA 1040 MASSMOCA WAY, NORTH ADAMS, MA • 413-662-2111 LAURIE ANDERSON, THRU 2019; LOUISE BOURGEOIS, THRU 2019

MARGUERITE BRIDE HOME STUDIO AT 46 GLORY DRIVE PITTSFIELD, MA • 413- 841-1659 or 413-442-7718 MARGEBRIDE-PAINTINGS.COM FB: MARGUERITE BRIDE WATERCOLORS Steven Valenti, 157 North St Pittsifled, Oct 2 - 27; Nov 1 - Dec 31, Hotel on North, Pittsfield

NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM 9 GLENDALE RD, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-4100 Keepers of the Flame: Parrish, Wyeth, Rockwell, and the Narrative Tradition. Thru October 28, 2018

SAINT FRANCIS GALLERY 1370 SOUTH ST, RTE. 102, SOUTH LEE, MA Ongoing exhibits

SCHANTZ GALLERIES 3 ELM ST, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-3044 schantzgalleries.com Hours: Daily, 10:30 - 5 THE MOUNT HOME OF EDITH WHARTON 2 PLUNKETT ST, LENOX, MA • 413-551-5111 info@edithwharton.org SculptureNow Exhibition thru Oct 31.

VAULT GALLERY 322 MAIN ST, GT. BARRINGTON, MA • 413-644-0221 Marilyn Kalish at work and process on view, beautiful gallery and wonderful collection of paintings

SOHN FINE ART 69 Church St, Lenox, MA / www.sohnfineart.com The Whole Menu: Navigating Your Life as a Fine Art Photographer & Portfolio Review; Michael Foley: Oct 28 & 29

MUSIC

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC THE MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, GT. BARRINGTON, MA • 413-528-0100 October 13, 6 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of the great Italian composer Gioachino Rossini with an evening illustrating the wide range of his majestic, hilariously wicked and sparkling music--arias and duets from Tancredi, Adina, Cenerentola, and selections from his brilliant piano music Péchés des vieillesse (Sins of Old Age) composed at the end of his life.

CLUB HELSINKI HUDSON 405 COLUMBIA ST., HUDSON, NY • 518-828-4800 heslinkihudson.com / info@helsinkihudson.com On the Fly Grand Slam: Oct 16, 7pm

HUDSON HALL 327 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY Oct 27, 7pm: New York Polyphony is one of the foremost vocal chamber ensembles active today. Praised for their “superb musicianship and vocal allure” (The New Yorker), the group has earned two Grammy nominations and helped move early choral music into the classical mainstream. This event is presented in partnership with Leaf Peepers concert series.

artfulmind@yahoo.com ISSUU.COM 413 854 4400


Nina Lipkowitz

ROBERT FORTE

BATTLE FATIGUE DADDY COME HOME SOON

MULTI MEDIA 40 x 30”

November 2 — November 25, 2018

Opening Reception for Artist: Saturday November 3, 2- 6pm

WWW.ROBERTFORTE.COM

510 WARREN STREET GALLERY Hudson New York

Sunday 12 - 5 Friday and Saturday 12 - 6 & by Appointment 510WARRENSTREETGALLERY.COM

NINALIPKOWITZ.COM

NINA@NINALIPKOWITZ.COM

CAROLYN NEWBERGER FOREST REVELATIONS

The Artful Mind Gallery 22 Walker Street Lenox MA Art In The Barn Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Early this summer I found a morel mushroom near our home, bordering on the edge of a deep forest. About the same time, our little dog, Lily, a rescue, began running into the woods, leaping, snuffling in holes, and racing with abandon across every obstacle. We discovered the forest together, Lily and I, she in pursuit of rodents under logs, and I in pursuit of whatever other delectables were nestled on the forest floor or in the crevasses of fallen trees. Lily and I enter the forest in early morning, I swathed in insect proof clothing, mushroom knife in pocket, bear bell on hiking pole, and with folding stool, notebook and art supplies on my back. Perched on my stool, I draw, paint, and record in words the many insights the forest offers. I am surprised every day by the forest’s astonishing variety, beauty, power and wisdom. During October, you can view these drawings and paintings at The Artful Mind Gallery and the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, both in Lenox MA.

www.carolynnewberger.com

617-877-5672

THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 5


MARGUERITE BRIDE COMMISSIONED HOUSE PORTRAIT, WATERCOLOR

MARGUERITE BRIDE WATERCOLORS

ROBERT WILK RED FORTUNE

YEHUDA HANANI

L’ATELIER BERKSHIRES GALLERY

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC

Bring into your world, unique and timeless artworks at L’Atelier Berkshire Gallery, while supporting the arts. Artists from the Berkshires and beyond are exhibiting this October. Incredible car paintings by renowned artist Shan Fannin. Ella Delyanis’s landscapes capture the beauty of the outdoors and bring nature inside. Paintings by Carter Wentworth, Kiki Dufault, and other artists. Outdoor Sculptures by Robert Wilk, and indoor sculptures by Eva Cocco, Sarah Logan, Eva Connell, Natalie Tyler. For More Information contact: Natalie Tyler, Phone: 510-469-5468. L’Atelier Berkshires Gallery - 597 Main Street, Great Barrington, Mass. www.atelierberks.com, natalie.tyler@atelierberks.com

The Close Encounters With Music’s 27th season opens Saturday, October 13, 6 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of the great Italian composer Gioachino Rossini with an evening illustrating the wide range of his majestic, hilariously wicked and sparkling music—arias and duets from Tancredi, Adina, Cenerentola, and selections from his brilliant piano music Péchés des vieillesse (Sins of Old Age) composed at the end of his life. The enchanting contralto Emily Marvosh is joined by soprano Sonja Tengblad (“crystalline tone and graceful musicality—Boston Globe) in a romp through vocal works, that will also include the glorious Barcarolle by Jacques Offenbach, whose music Rossini championed. Pianist Roman Rabinovich, winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, presents some of the fiendishly challenging Péchés that reveal a portrait of a bon vivant who pushed humor, gastronomy—and technique—to their limits. A finishing flourish will be a performance of a string quartet written originally at the tender age of twelve! Close Encounters with Music presents string and piano virtuosos and stars of the Chamber Music and vocal worlds in concerts at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington Fall, Winter, Spring 2018-2019. Visit website for more details and schedule of concerts and events. Close Encounters with Music - cewm.org or call The Mahaiwe Box Office at 413-528-0100.

PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURES

27TH SEASON

There is an abundance of artful events going on this fall and early winter. During the fall, Marguerite Bride will be exhibiting in two Pittsfield First Friday Artswalk events: October 2-27, at Steven Valenti’s at 157 North Street, Bride focuses on commission work. “Your Castle in Watercolor” will be on display throughout the month. You will see a display of many house portraits and other commissions she has done plus there will be an abundance of information available as takeaways. As a bonus, there will be something special for those who commit by October 31. This is a great time to commission a painting for holiday gift giving. November 1-December 31, Hotel on North will host a two-month solo exhibit entitled “Berkshires in Winter”. Bride will be introducing new watercolors that depict the beauty of our local surroundings in winter. A reception will be held on Friday, November 2 from 5:30 – 7:30pm in the lobby of Hotel on North. On Sunday, December from 12 noon – 2 pm, Bride will be doing a painting demo at Hancock Shaker Village. Original paintings, fine art reproductions and note cards of Berkshire images and beyond are available locally at The Artful Mind Gallery (Lenox), the Red Lion Inn Gift Shop (Stockbridge), Lenox Print & Mercantile (Lenox), Good Purpose Gallery (Lee), and also directly from the artist. Seasonal scenes are always on display in the public areas of the Berkshire Plaza in Pittsfield, and Jazz Visions (series of 22 paintings) is on display at 51 Park Tavern and Restaurant in Lee through the fall. Marguerite Bride – Home Studio at 46 Glory Drive, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by appointment only. Call 413-841-1659 or 413-442-7718; margebride-paintings.com; margebride@aol.com; Facebook: Marguerite Bride Watercolors

“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” - Alberto Giacometti

6 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND


ELEANOR LORD

FRONT ST. GALLERY

Painting classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1pm at the studio in Housatonic and Thursday mornings 10am - 1pm out in the field.

ELEANORLORD.COM

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 PEOPLE PAINTINGS

“Eric’s Great Gardens”@FB LANDScApE DESIGN INSTALLATIoNS ERIcSMITH715@GMAIL.coM 917. 892. 7548

FIGURATIVE O IL PAINTINGS BY ARTIST EUNICE AGAR

OCT 1 TO NOV 30, 2018

CAMPHILL GHENT JOAN ALLEN ART GALLERY

(518) 392-2760

2542 ROUTE 66, CHATHAM NY, 12037

THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 7


Our Remains of the Day

Letting Go / Holding On PHOTOGRAPHS BY CARL BERG WRITTEN BY JUDY BERG

Letting go of Summer feels more bitter than sweet. Letting go of Summer is letting go of warm air on bare skin, fresh berries from right around the corner, all the nourishment you need either in your own back yard or a neighbor’s, stretching out your body in cool water on a hot day, bedroom windows open to the night sounds of crickets, cicadas and owls, and the thrill of the first firefly. We are turning a corner, right now, and heading towards winter. But, on the way, we’ll have a few weeks of crisp mornings and deceptively warm afternoons, apple cider and donuts, and our tastes will change, too. We’ll begin to crave warming soups and savory stews in place of fresh tomatoes, corn, and grilled whatever. This year, more than any other that I can remember, it feels like we’re also letting go of necessities that offer no taste to the tongue, or scent to the nose, yet, necessities that provide nourishment and comfort. I’m talking about even a very modest confidence in the good will and sound judgement of our public figures. The Greeks and Romans had their Gods. We have our celebrities and public figures. To be sure, the Gods were no paragons of perfection. They went berserk, had temper tantrums, and, at times, lost their way. But, we are living through a season when it’s almost surprising if one of our “Gods” turns out to deserve the admiration and trust we vest in them. In this season, we lost and mourned two, with a grateful appreciation that I believe owed to our gratitude that, while not perfect, they had not shamed themselves, or us, for our loving regard. I’m speaking of Aretha Franklin and John McCain. They had their low moments, Mc-

8 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

Cain, certainly, in elevating Sarah Palin to a height where the Presidency would have been within her reach. As for Ms. Franklin’s missteps, I don’t know them. I do know that she gave us music that made our spirits soar and our bootys shake. And, I do know that McCain was a Republican who joined Democrats to try to limit the proliferation of big, dark money in our political campaigns, and who voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, saving the health insurance of many Americans. We mourn these two, who bridged our political and cultural divides. We must let go of their continuing presence in our public sphere, but we can hold on to the gifts they gave us of a soaring musical spirit, and the integrity of bipartisan workmanship for the common good. September 21 The last day of summer, and I find four slender eggplants in the garden, now ripe enough to eat after struggling through summer’s deluge and drought. They are as delicious as they are brave, simmered in a middle-eastern style lamb stew. They deserve their crown of yogurt and a spicy green sauce made with cilantro and parsley. To eat these fruit, for fruit they are, is to honor their fortitude for making it to adulthood against grave climatic odds. We savor this meal, full of the knowledge of the disastrous floods in North Carolina from Hurricane Florence. Destroyed homes, drowned chickens and baby pigs, coal ash, and hog manure have turned parts of the state into toxic cesspools. Yes, hurricanes happen, but warmer seas add to their destructive power. Meanwhile, our current ad-


ministration in Washington turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to the common good, while hacking away at any protection that cuts corporate profits. And our mouthpiece in chief had the shameless audacity to fault Puerto Rico for giving a full accounting of its dead after Maria, while Florence was bearing down on North Carolina. This brings me to our latest shame: the spectacle of a fifteen year old girl being set upon by two drunken, horny seventeen year old boys. Leave aside for the moment of who’s telling the truth. Right now, I’m concerned about what it does to our civic psyche to behold this spectacle, knowing that one of those seventeen year olds is now a forty-seven year old man courting a lifetime appointment to the highest court of justice in our land. We take sides, but we can’t look away, and are polluted by the spectacle. September 24 Already, the 90 degree days are barely a memory, and the morning’s chill to the mark where Summer’s basil checks out put me in a mood for roast pork loin with root vegetables spiked with Fall’s persistent rosemary. This had to be shared with a friend, and one graciously obliged. While apple cider would have been perfect with this meal, we had to fortify ourselves with something stronger to digest the morning’s news. Another woman has come forward to accuse our Supreme Court nominee of grossly bullying behavior, and there are rumors of yet another. One wonders, are they standing in line, stacked up like planes on a runway

waiting to take off, or the hurricanes that blow in one after the other this time of year. And what, precisely, is the destructive force of these stormy (no pun, honest) deeds? How do they affect us as citizens, and what is our role as citizens? We could be made apathetic, even nihilistic, incapacitating our civic will. The game is rigged, it’s all corrupt, no public figure is what he or she purports to be, so I’ll just create my own little island of sanity and not concern myself with the rest of the world. Or, this can be a wakeup call that it’s up to us. Good citizens search for the truth, and don’t take sides until that truth can be known. As a progressive person, I don’t want this nominee to receive a lifetime confirmation to the highest court in the land, but I would not forfeit the truth to that cause. Talk about a slippery slope. I also believe that what we have to let go of in these times, is any illusion that we can count on our public figures working for the common good, that we can coast along and leave it to them. Full disclosure: not so long ago I actually believed that the EPA offered me some protection from environmental toxins. In this season of letting go, we need to wake up and take hold of our role as citizens fully vested in producing the policy outcomes that affect us all. And, whatever truth may see the light, Judge Kavanaugh, you are no Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. -Judy and Carl Berg

THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 9


TYLER BLODGETT

IN YOGYAKARTA INDONESIA Close up of intricately painted shadow puppets photo by Tyler Blodgett


Four shaodw puppets

Interview by Harryet P. Candee

Welcome back, Tyler! You must feel transformed from being in Indonesia this past summer. What was the biggest thrill you had Yogyakarta you experienced? Tyler Blodgett: That depends on what you mean by thrill. Driving up the side of an active volcano on a motorbike at dawn to visit a village about to partake in ritual animal sacrifice for Eid al-Adha was pretty thrilling. But overall it was the pervasive creative energy of the group I was with that I’d say was the most lasting thrill. Where did you stay? All over, or just one hotel? Tyler: While I drove all around, I stayed at one hotel the entire trip, which served as a hub for myself and most of the other photographers.

How was the weather? Tyler: Being on an island just below the equator

photo by Tyler Blodgett

Photographs by Tyler Blodgett

it was hot (low 90’s) and humid every day. Luckily it was dry season so there was barely any clouds or rain.

How were the plane rides? Tyler: Four flights through 11 time zones for someone who is 6’4” wasn’t exactly pleasant, but I had no real issues. I even served as a headrest for a snoozing fella on our way to Japan. He had a young child with him so I just let him rest. :) Did you work much with your camera while developing your story on The Wayang Kuilt, the ancient Javanese art form using the shadow puppets? Tyler: My camera was like an extra limb, I had it with me everywhere I went, even if I was just walking up the street. Yogyakarta was such a busy and beautiful city and there was constantly

something to see.

What was something you experienced that was totally heart-warming, heart aching and a slice of life? Did you catch it? Tyler: I’ll save the sentimental story for the end. Here I’ll just share a recurring event throughout my time in Indonesia, which was my ongoing paparazzi moments. Being 6’4” and shockingly Caucasian, I, needless to say, stood out. Everywhere I went people were taking pictures of me. One guy vehemently grabbed me and insisted he knew who I was. He couldn’t name what movie I was from but he was absolutely certain I was an actor. Despite my denial to the claim, I could not dissuade him. I was roped into probably a hundred other photo ops throughout my journey. However, it really was my pleasure to be surrounded by wonderful and outgoing people. Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 11


Ki Seno Nugroho looks intently into camera 12 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

Photo by Tyler Blodgett


Gamelan makers hammer the gong into shape Photo by Tyler Blodgett

You travelled with world-renowned photographers John Stanmeyer and Linda Bournane. Tyler, how did this plan materialize for you? Tyler: Partly networking, mostly serendipity. I’d been showcasing some of my work up in Dalton alongside some of John’s photography. Every time I went up I hoped for the chance to meet him, just to pick his brain a little bit. Then one day I was about to head out of town and my friend who suggested I go check out John’s gallery/cafe in West Stockbridge. I knew John was in China at the time, but figured it would be worth it to just grab some coffee and peruse some of his work. So, I stopped by, and started poking around, talking to the barista about John and how much I admired his work and that’s when it dawned on me…the barista was John. He had flown in early and decided to stop by the cafe. So after an hour of talking he mentioned

that he’d be potentially doing this workshop. He was collecting a short list of people to contact when and if it occurred. Naturally, I said “yes”, and months later I got the email, asking if I’d still like to go…and voila! What was the purpose of the trip? Tyler: To do a deep dive into the art of storytelling with these marvelous mentors and other fellow photographers.

What is in your professional background that qualified you for this trip? Tyler: Photography was never my profession. It was always an artistic expression for me. But if you spend enough time and energy on anything it eventually becomes a skill. So, now, what have you left behind of yourself in Indonesia, and what have you welcomed

new into your life in terms of your over all look at life? Tyler: I say that I went to Indonesia as a photographer and returned as a storyteller. Now that’s a bold statement given that I’ll be learning how to be a storyteller the rest of my life, but I know without a doubt it is the direction I want to take. It’s one thing to take a pretty picture— it’s another to imbue it with meaning.

What were some challenges you faced on your travels, and did John and Linda mentor you through some of them? Tyler: As an introvert by nature, when it comes to new situations with new people I often approach things gradually from afar. You could see it in the photographs taken from Day 1. There was distance, caution, and safety. And while I was able to share a few interesting and visually Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 13


Curious boy peeps in to see performance

14 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

photo by Tyler Blodgett


Puppeteer begins his performance

pleasing moments, it lacked any real intimacy. The first critique with John and Linda was by far the most influential. They had no qualms in calling me out and shooting down every excuse I made. If I wanted to tell this story, I had to get out of my comfort zone and get close. And so after that I took what they said to heart, and forced myself miles outside of my comfort zone. I immediately saw the change, not only in my photographs, but also in my interactions with those I was encountering. I became a part of their group. We became familiar. Even though we did not speak the same language, there was a comfort that we shared that allowed for more sincere and tender moments.

You are a poet, and now have studied the world of visual storytelling. Tell us more about what you have learned. Tyler: In a way, visual storytelling is poetry. It takes the literal and layers it with nuance. It becomes more than the objective reality of people and things. It become an emotion, a feeling, often subtle but noticeable. The only difference between a poet and a visual storyteller is the tool they use to convey what their hearts are seeing. One uses a pen, the other a camera. I wonder how the influence of a different culture has had on you, and how you may have sorted through and translated some of the dif-

photo by Tyler Blodgett

ferences? Tyler: I’ve encountered quite a few cultures throughout my life, each one teaching me something new. But I’d have to say that without a doubt, I connected with Indonesia the most, likely because it was so disparate from that which I was familiar with. Yogyakarta, which is aptly named the City of Art, was the most charming and colorful community. And the people were so kind and giving. A far cry from the Manhattan hustlers I am used to. It was also a view into a moderate Islamic culture that most Americans would benefit from seeing. There was just so much love. No one shut down your beliefs, even if it wasn’t their own. Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 15


Gamelan gong being forged in the fire

photo by Tyler Blodgett

The acceptance and assimilation of ideals seemed to be embedded in the Javanese culture.

Did you go to any art galleries? Tyler: Did you meet any artists that you will keep in touch with? My time there was extremely busy so I didn’t have time to stop by any galleries, though I know there were plenty given it was the City of Art. But you didn’t have to go into a gallery to see beautiful art. It was omnipresent. Nearly every street had a hand painted mural. And not with the gratuitous and repetitive graffiti you often see in the North Eastern urban environments. The street art had meaning. The artists were known for taking a stand against the ills of society. Think of Banksy but with pretty colors :) What were your most uncomfortable moments 16 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

while travelling? Tyler: Other than leg cramps and questionable cuisine, there was nothing particularly difficult. Other than trying to get a 4-foot tall shadow puppet through security in three different countries. Now you may want to travel to other exotic and profound locations, yes? Where to next? Tyler: YES! I am not one destined to sit behind a desk. I need to be out in the wild, both literally and metaphorically. I know since my return I have begun developing stories locally. But as I continue to reach out, there will be more opportunities that could bring me virtually anywhere. Plus John is already talking about getting the gang back together next year. So who knows? It’s a great wide world with an infinite amount of stories to tell.

Can you tell us a story that we can think about as we begin our day? Thank you Tyler! Tyler: I met Ki Seno Nugroho, a renowned dalang (shadow puppeteer) in Yogyakarta, the first night of my story. It was at this point that I was still struggling to break out of my comfort zone. Our initial encounter was awkward at best. I told him why I was there and he seemed vaguely interested. I figured it was just the language barrier. The next day was when I had my critique with John and Linda, that’s when I realized that I was keeping my distance and that it was that mentality that was prevalent in all aspects of my encounters. That’s when I decided I needed to see Ki Seno again. So that night, with the help of my fixer/translator, I went to his home and spent time with him and his family. I wasn’t there to take photographs. I was there to build a bond. I left


Happy crowd enjoys the performance

photo by Tyler Blodgett

with him from his home, and travelled to his performance. That night he invited me on stage so that I could be up close and get more intimate photographs of him and the other performers. By the end of my trip I had returned to his home a third time to share some of my story. He thanked me. His wife hugged me and said that I was welcome in their home whenever I came back to Yogyakarta. None of this would have happened if I stayed in my comfort zone. This was the ultimate lesson I learned and one that has changed how I approach my art, my relationships and my life.

Where can we find out more about you and the story you developed? Tyler: You can go to my website www.tylerblodgett.com to see more of my art and some of the photo narratives I’ve done, including my Indonesia story on The Wayang Kulit. I am also working on publishing the story with several publishers over the coming weeks so stay tuned! Thank you, Tyler!

Recently made shadow puppest photo by Tyler Blodgett THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 17


FRONT ST. GALLERY

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. A teacher for many years, Kate Knapp has a keen sense of each student’s artistic needs to take a step beyond. Perfect setting for setting up still lifes; lighting and space are excellent. Peek in to see! Front Street Gallery – Front Street, Housatonic, MA. Gallery open by appointment or chance anytime. 413-528-9546 at home or 413-429-7141 (cell).

18 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

collins | editions

Opening in 2005, as Berkshire Digital, we did fine art printing mainly for artists represented by The Iris Gallery of Fine Art in Great Barrington before opening our doors to the public. We do color calibrated printing on archival papers. These archival prints, also known to many people as Giclée prints, can be made in different sizes from 5x7 to 42” x 80”. Photographers & artists also use us to create limited editions of their images. In addition to the printing services, collins | editions also offers accurate digital photo-reproduction of paintings and illustrations for use in books, magazines, brochures, cards and websites. See a complete overview of services offered, along with pricing at www.collinseditions.com The owner, Fred Collins, has been a commercial and fine art photographer for over 30 years having had studios in Boston and Stamford. 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 dropoff and PU is available through Frames On Wheels, located at 84 Railroad Street in Great Barrington, MA (413) 528-0997. collins | editions studio - (413) 644-9663 www.CollinsEditions.com, fred@collinseditions.com

EUNICE AGAR PEOPLE PAINTINGS

Great Barrington artist Eunice Agar will have an exhibition of her figurative oil paintings in the Joan Allen Art Gallery at Camphill Ghent in Chatham, NY from October l to November 30. The exhibit is called “People Paintings.” The artist will give a short talk at an opening reception on Saturday, October 6, at 3PM. Ms. Agar employs an expressive painterly realism to depict groups of people in public spaces – restaurants, amusement parks, and fairs. She makes a point of presenting people as they are, respecting but not exaggerating individual characteristics. She is also well known for her landscapes painted on location in the Florida Panhandle, Maine, and Massachusetts and on trips abroad. She works oil, casein, watercolor, all the drawing media, and makes block prints and etchings. This show will focus on her genre figurative paintings. Ms. Agar has a degree in art history from Wellesley College and studied at the Art Students League of New York with Jean Liberte, Robert Beverly Hale, and Edmond Cassarella. She has had many solo shows, including exhibits at Denise Bibro Fine Art in New York, the Ainilian Gallery in Washington, D.C., Le Moyne Art Center in Tallahassee, and the Albany Institute of History and Art and many other venues throughout the Northeast. For many years she was a contributing editor of American Artist Magazine for which she wrote interview articles on other artists and has recently written for the Artful Mind published in Gt. Barrington. Camphill Ghent has received the 2018 Hobart Jackson Cultural Diversity Award from LeadingAge, a national association representing 6,000 nonprofit aging services organizations throughout the United States. Camphill Ghent prides itself on being the only integrated assisted living home in New York State serving seniors both with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities ((I/DD). Community inclusion for I/DD individuals is core to Camphill Ghent’s inclusion and nondiscriminatory philosophy and practices. Camphill Ghent is a nonprofit community offering independent and assisted living options for seniors over age 55. Its mission is to serve the needs of elders through caring for the body, soul and spirit in home settings within an inclusive community so that they may continue to live a life of wellness, dignity, joy and fulfillment. Camphill Ghent Gallery - 2542 Route 66, just outside the center of Chatham, NY. For more information or a tour, contact Camphill Ghent at (518) 392-2760. The gallery is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.


THE ARTFUL MIND GALLERY

ARTIST TALK with

Guest Artist NINA LIPKOWITZ BATTLE FATIGUE

“My father’s story as told through my heart and my hand, using original material from his scrapbook represented through photo transfers and paint. I hope that it will provide the viewer with some insight into the life and wartime experiences of a man whom I never got the chance to fully know.”

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, 4 pm AT

An exhibition of art at 510 Warren Street Gallery, Hudson, New York November 2 - November 25

THE ARTFUL MIND GALLERY

22 WALKER STREET LENOX, MA 413.854.4400 Refreshments follow presentation and talk • Open to the Public & free of charge

JenniFer PAzienzA

Winter’s End, 27 x 84 inches, oil on canvas

Diana Felber Gallery, 6 Harris Street West Stockbridge, MA https://www.instagram.com/jenniferpazienza/

http://Jenniferpazienza.com THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 19


SEAN McCUSKER SEAN IN HIS ART STUDIO

Harryet P. Candee: Sean, what you have come up with in terms of your art is totally signature. Please explain how you began with the rounded, gentle personas and how did they all end up on such a lovely, earthy ground? Sean McCusker: Early on I felt that the figure, some representation of a person, was important for my art because it gave the opportunity for the audience to relate to the scene. However, a straight reproduction of the human form I found limiting, as it caused all sorts of conflicting questions. A realistic figure may indicate race, gender, social status, etc.; while an abstract symbol for a figure is not laden with such labels. As I started to simplify the figure, I maintained the rounded forms that appealed to my sensibilities. The end result was the figure I use today which can relate in various ways depending on the con-

20 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

PHOTO BY TASJA KEETMAN

Interview by Harryet P. Candee Photography by Tasja Keetman

text, and the viewer. My figure needed a place to exist, so in the same manner I began developing the elements of its landscape one at a time. Each element added more connections, but similarly was ambiguous. Can you tell us about your techniques in terms of preparing the canvas, the layering of paint and varnish, and why you choose to work on such a lovely medium as opposed to the traditional canvas? Sean: My oil paintings are built up with thin layers of transparent color. I will paint a layer, let it dry, and paint another. Each painting is constructed in this way with roughly 30 layers in the final product. In order to maintain all of these layers I mix my pigments with a transparent medium so they are more translucent than out of

the tube pigments. I also never mix colors when painting, all of the secondary and tertiary colors in my work, such as greens, are mixed by light penetrating through various layers of color, such as yellow and blue to make green fields. This process gives the effect of light emerging from within the surface of the painting because light literally penetrates 30 layers into the surface before reflecting back out. Oil glazing was a technique born out of my varied interests in art mediums. Before I tried oil painting I was obsessed with printmaking. The rhythmic procedures involved with producing the final product were soothing for me. However, the intense colors of oil paint captured my heart the moment I first tried them. Because of my love of the process of printmaking, it was natural for me to develop a similar procedure


SEAN MCCUSKER SPACE OIL ON PANEL 24 X 24 2017

with oil paint by building up layers of color. Similarly I have taken lessons from charcoal drawing on how to build up contrasts and drama in my work. It has given me the feeling that everything we do comes out in one way or another in what we produce as artists. Glazing has the added effect of creating a glossy surface. Because I am essentially varnishing the surface with each layer, a natural gloss emerges 20 or so layers into the process. This effect makes the scene look fresh and alive like a wet river rock. However, because of this overall shine, rougher surfaces have more of a chance to reflect unintended bumps. Due to this, I do not use canvas, but instead paint on board. I was happy with this compromise because I never liked painting on canvas. There is a give with canvas that never appealed to my exacting nature; I wanted the paint applied where I put the brush, not smooshed into that general area as the support bowed. I must get personal….. What kind of life and personality do you possess that may be mir-

rored in your paintings? Sean: I have always been an independent type of person. I enjoy the quiet moments of being alone, contemplating the world. I consider myself an optimistic pessimist. I’m constantly worried about what the future may bring and what dangers there are around me, yet I can’t help but think everything will end up all right. This is certainly part of my work as the darkly lit world is dotted with areas of brightness... hope. I would rather strive for a better world than succumb to any notion of negativity. It is also part of my philosophy that the light cannot exist in the absence of the dark. It can also be said that I constantly strive for perfection. That isn’t to say I believe such a thing can be achieved. For me, the act of trying to make the best out of something is all we can hope for. This is what makes me fuss over the little details like painting the edges of a painting, how to title a work, fully labeling a finished painting, and a multitude of other little end steps that are easy to forget but essential to make a well polished presentation. I suppose that is why

my figures are always looking for that greatness just over the horizon. Like me, they see their goal and go for it, but there is always a little bit more to go. Can you share with us a personal growing experience you’ve had that was up till now your most significant? Sean: I have always been a shy individual. Most artists tend to be this way as our profession is usually very solitary. I embraced this in my youth and dreaded any moment I had to face crowds of people. Ironically in my adulthood I became Assistant the Director of a house museum: Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio. It became my job not only to give tours to large groups of strangers, but also to train others how to give those tours. There was a particular day, years ago, I needed to give a slide lecture and I did my usual over preparation. I planned out every beat, memorized my script, made note cards just in case, and even recorded a few trial runs to hear it back. To get through, my focus Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 21


was on my lines, not the large crowd I was speaking to. And then, right in the middle, I went blank. As the next slide turned over I couldn’t remember a thing and I looked out into the half sleeping crowd. Not knowing what to do I make a joke about forgetting my lines. All of a sudden everyone perked up, the experience of being embarrassed, vulnerable, connected me with the audience. I was no longer talking at them, but with them. From then on I have not been afraid of talking to crowds and instead of dreading moments of failure, I embrace them as opportunities to connect with my audience or learn a greater lesson.

And what philosophy do you stand by as the truth for you? Sean: Art is a collaboration. The artist can only start the conversation, it is the audience that continues the story and only with both can a work of art truly exist. It is a shame that so many people are apprehensive about interpreting art, but I understand it. We expect some great message from artists. If we hold them up as some kind of authority, then to not understand that message is a blemish on us. Although there may be artists that feel this way, it doesn’t really matter. Unless the artist is present, and sometimes even then, what you see is what you see; it is your experience and only you can have that. If you don’t see what the artist intended, it may not be for you, but the opportunity that you could bring something more to that art by your unique experience is, in my opinion, the true beauty in art. We connect or we don’t and the only wrong thing is not to try. I, as an artist, give my perspective; and you, as the viewer, bring your own, the work is a success if something new comes out of that experience. What is it you get out of life the most and that you utterly and totally drink up and enjoy? Sean: Stories. Life is made up of so many interweaving stories. As we hear, read, or see them we get to imagine and experience different places and events. They connect us to each other and tell so many lessons about ourselves. I have often said that my paintings draw a lot from film. The lone figure standing against the world. This draws connections to how I see myself, for sure, but it is also a recreation of the stories I have enjoyed in film. Now I tell versions of those stories from my unique perspective and the cycle continues to spread person-to-person growing and evolving as it goes.

ARTIST SEAN SITS OUTSIDE OF THE ARTFUL MIND GALLERY

22 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

PHOTO BY TASJA KEETMAN

The marketing and promoting of your artwork probably takes up a lot of your time. Do you find you fight between getting your work out there and time in your studio? Sean: It is a struggle. I am luckier than most in that I am a quick painter and enjoy painting at night, so most of the year I can find a way to get back to the studio by the end of the day. Essentially I split the year into two seasons where summer is spent getting the work out there and winters are spent creating it. Would I like to spend more year round time in the studio? Of course, but I also wouldn’t want to miss out on interacting with my audi-


SEAN MCCUSKER DESTINED OIL ON PANEL 24 X 36 2018

ence and letting them influence what I do. If all promotion existed between the artist and his/her audience then I would be very happy indeed.

What to you is the most challenging in terms of being an artist in 2018? Was it ever easy?! Sean: It hasn’t ever been easy, that is for sure. Perhaps some have had it easier than others, but the balance of introspection, extraversion, and finances necessary to sustain an art career always makes it difficult. However, I do find it particularly hard right now as the world is changing from the personal to more impersonal interactions (I’m talking about you Facebook). Galleries and art shows used to be more of an opportunity to meet people and experience things. Nowadays we receive these interactions from our online posts. Although artists promote on these platforms, the experience is not the same, and not having that hub of connectivity makes it more difficult. True connection with an audience and

building those relationships I feel is changing; and although it may be changing for the better, right now it’s tough.

Who has been your most important mentor in terms of education in the art world? Sean: Ironically my greatest mentor for art is neither an artist nor an art professor but a professor of literature. Michael Filas was a creative writing professor I had at Westfield State University (College back then). He knew I was an artist, enjoyed my creative writing and at a very uncertain point in my student career fostered a focus in me that I didn’t think possible. At the time I was merely performing assignment after assignment without any clear goal in mind. I wanted to become an artist, but the work I was producing was not connected. With his mentorship we focused on what was common in my work and I started researching surrealism and wrote my first artist statement. From then on I was able to hone my

work into the specific, and unique work you see today. Without his mentorship I may have never simplified my figures or begun the surreal path that has been the genesis of my style.

What did you paint that lead up to what you paint today? How did they transform? What kind of time frame did it take for you to get to this point? Sean: My work fluctuated between representational and abstract. Finding the commonality between these two expressions was the key to discovering my artistic voice. Themes emerged of the rotund. Whether drawing a model, still life, or shapes suspended in space, my natural inclination was to simplify, arc, and round them. Angles and straight edges I found less use for and tented to leave out of my early work. After I wrote my first artist statement I had a clear understanding of my compositional interests; my Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 23


SEAN MCCUSKER THE CLIMB OIL ON PANEL 10 X 8 2018

style. I began to simplify the figure and develop a world made up of the kind of objects that interested me. It took about four years to develop the world of my current landscapes, but the hardest part was the motivation to begin the development. From then on I have taken an evolutionary approach to building the world, adding new elements one at a time and deciding whether they live or are usurped by some better version.

People have an expectation now when they go to see a show of your art. But, what would happen if you completely changed your style and knew that you would be possibly shocking your audience. Would it matter much? Do you feel free enough to try anything such as changing what you now have? Or, possibly, do you have a body of artwork that is personal, and not for the public to see, and is very different than what you publicly show? Sean: I have no doubt someday my work will

24 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

change. However, I don’t think my style will ever change significantly enough that it would seem like another person had done it. I have spent a long time finding out what I like about art and that is what I put into all of my work. Whether photographs, drawings, or paintings, all of my artwork has a similar aesthetic, tone, or craftsmanship that I think would bridge the gap between periods of work. To show a work of art means that I have deemed it good enough for the public to see and whatever that is, as different as it may be, I would be proud of it and I have no difficulty in showing something I’m proud of. As for works that don’t meet my standards, I will happily show those to anyone who visits my studio. The pile of unsuccessful art is ever growing and a great reminder of how far I’ve come; it doesn’t need to hang in a gallery though. Tell us about your home life, please. Sean: Not much to tell. I live in a small house in

Becket by Yokum Brook. I’m not currently in any relationship and spend most of my time creating art and working to support that life. Did you enjoy your summer? What made it special for you? Sean: This was the busiest summer I have ever had. Most significantly I had a solo show at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, which I filled, with my oil paintings. On top of that I was also shown in several group exhibits throughout Berkshire County. It was also the year I purchased the house I have been renting for the past four years, so quite a lot of activity going on. Perhaps the most surprisingly influential part of the summer was being a part of The Artful Mind Gallery and meeting so many new artists I had not had the chance to talk to before. It was a real community building experience. Thank you, Sean...What is your primary focus


SEAN MCCUSKER THE BERKSHIRES

when beginning a canvas? What do you dig up from your subconscious that you feel needs attention through art making? Sean: I tackle a new painting in a purely abstract manner. Although my paintings end up having a strong narrative feeling to them, it is my intention to leave any story infinitely open to interpretation. To do that, I arrange the composition purely aesthetically and let the narrative build as a happenstance of the elements used. For example: I will choose how many figures to use, if I want a tree or a moon, and then arrange those shapes on the canvas according to how they can balance the composition. Because I used a tree and one figure, the viewer may create a narrative between the relationship of the tree and figure or the tree may simply be a prop in a larger story. Any interpretation is correct, because there was no predetermined narrative being set. Working in this way certainly also allows for the subconscious to influence the outcome. Most

notably my use of figures has changed over the years. For a long time there was only a single figure in nearly all my work. However, as I have become more involved with the art community over the years, the figures in my work have continued to multiply. Now multitudes gather as artists and art lovers enjoying the creative process together surround me.

What personal interests balance out your lifestyle? Sean: I don’t know if I would say I’m very balanced. Most of my endeavors relate in one way or another toward either my art, or financing myself so that I can keep making art. Thankfully I have a good mind for and quite enjoy problem solving. When I’m not working out how to solve a composition, I’m working out how to fix something in my house. I suppose that’s how I keep my mind from going off the rails. Keeping busy!

PHOTO BY TASJA KEETMAN

Did you grow up in the Berkshires? Why did you decide this should be your home base? Sean: I grew up in Middlefield, which is technically a different county, but is so close that I consider the Berkshires home. The natural areas of the Berkshires are so beautiful, and some of the towns so quiet that they create the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the world and contemplate its grandness and serenity. Growing up in the woods I could see myself living nowhere else. I truly believe the rolling hills and lush green of this area has been the single greatest influence in my signature style, as abstract as it may be. Is your artwork a reflection of your past experiences, or possibly a way of balancing out the hectic parts of daily life that are sometimes mundane and at other times simply unmanageable? Can you refer to specific pieces of art that tell us the answer? Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 25


SEAN MCCUSKER

Sean: All experiences influence us, it’s human nature that we absorb our experiences and they help form us our entire lives. So in that regard I think my paintings certainly have connection to all the bad things I’ve experienced, just as much as the good. That being said, I try to keep such direct connections away from my work. In order to do that I can only paint when I’m in a calm space emotionally. As a result, I usually don’t paint in the summertime because there are so many things to do that I get too stressed to get into that happy place. This has also caused a soothing effect for me while painting. Working on a composition like “Reach the Sky” for example, helps calm whatever evils are going on inside my head. I’d like to think the same applies to people looking at the finished painting as well. How would you say mathematics and science have anything to do with what you are interested in if at all? OR, possibly, astrology? Sean: I love science. Not to say I would be any good at it, as my memory is terrible. I love what

24 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

PHOTO BY TASJA KEETMAN

is says about human beings as a species that we have been able to figure out a system that can get to the root of existence and make some sense out of it. I have also always felt that science is much more closely related to art than we give credit for; because the only way to discover something new is to think outside of the box, and create it, which is exactly what artists do. We’re just dealing with individual experience rather than searching for underlining rules about the universe. I know what you mean though. My paintings have a very science fiction feel to them and I think that comes from my love of science and science entertainment. I am also a bit of a techy and keep up on the latest technological trends, so the future is constantly on my mind. What other venues of art have you taken an interest in? Sean: Oils of course are my bread and butter, but with the length of time it takes to finish one of my paintings, about three months, I gladly step into different media from time to time. My first love was printmaking, unfortunately without a

press I have not been able to keep up with that desire. I have found silver pen drawing to be an excellent medium as it is so much the opposite of what I do in painting. The maker’s mark is eminently visible as there is no way to blend the pen line. The medium is innately monochromatic so the contrasts of the drawing must speak for themselves. Finally, and perhaps the most significant, drawings will take only a matter of hours to create so quick iteration is possible. I have created a couple of time-lapse videos of my oils in development as well, and posted them on my website. Animation was an area of art that I was very interested in when I was little and certainly still interests me. I don’t know if I will ever go anywhere with animating my work, but who knows.

Have you enjoyed your experiences curating art shows? Where, and what was it like for you? Sean: I have curated for the First Fridays Artswalk for six years now. In that time I have


curated exhibits for several venues, most notably Steven Valenti’s Clothing store. Curating is a great experience and one that I highly recommend to other artists. You get to meet other artists and learn how different works respond to one another. It is also a great chance to see the other side of the business. When I first began contacting galleries about my work, I was very apprehensive because I didn’t want to waste the curator’s time if they had already seen my work and never bothered to contact me. What I realized as a curator is there is so little time in the day that any chance for someone to bring their work to you was a blessing rather than a curse. It also taught me a valuable lesson about interacting with your audience. Those artists who were lively and talkative during their openings were by far more successful. I’ve learned a lot from my curating experience; and although I am cutting back on my curatorial responsibilities, I intend to take it up again when I have more time. Let’s get working on those 26 hours days shall we! Shall we- yes! What future ideas do you plan on trying to get a handle on, and, if they are crazy sounding, all the better! Sean: For years I have been talking about my work going in another direction, but it never has. I’ve always thought that the compositions I have honed in on are part of some subconscious idea that needs to be expressed and once it does, then I will move on. Although I have certainly seen some compositions fall out of favor, in that I have expressed them to my personal perfection, the overall world is still on my mind. The only time I really thought I was onto a new track was a series of tunnel paintings I made. They had no figure, tree, or moon, but were either paths through hills or tunnels stretching into the canvas. They were exciting for me at the time, but I only made five or six and then I was satisfied and continued my usual landscapes. Every now and then I dabble in realism, but it never lasts long enough to have a complete work. I have been fascinated with illusion for a while now. Creating work that is static but looks like it is moving is something that I may start to play with. I really think three dimensionality will play a big part. Not full on sculpture, but constructed surfaces that have dimension to them. There’s really no way to tell until I finally paint my last figure and find my next muse.

What is your all time favorite film actor, and film, and why? Sean: I think my favourite film is The Big Lebowski, although any Cohen brothers’ film is up there. They have an incredible sense of story and their dialogue is so poetic, not to mention the cinematography. Every film is beautiful and poignant. As for actor, that is very hard because filmmaking is such a collaborative process. Robert De Niro is certainly up there with how he is able to capture the character so uniquely and have a presence so uniquely his. Continued on next page...

SEAN MCCUSKER OVER OIL ON PANEL 24 X 18

2015

THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 27


SEAN MCCUSKER CRADLE OIL ON PANEL 24 X 24 2018

Denzel Washington is also amazing in this way. Julianne Moore or Natalie Portman, I can’t do it! Too many!

That’s one of my all time favorite films, too, Sean....When you were little, you answered this question: When I grow up I want to be a _________________. How did it go!? Sean: Little is a bit vague. I had many incarnations growing up. The earliest I can remember was very noncommittal, “Astronaut, Comedian, or Artist”. Over time it got whittled down, especially as I became very shy and realized I couldn’t remember dates to save my life. Thankfully I always drew and that dream never faded.

What do you see is in the future for the art world in terms of artists successfully selling 28 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

their work? Will galleries go belly up? Sean: I can’t predict the future, but my gut says galleries are going to be a thing of the past. It is sad because I don’t know a better way for an artist and audience to interact. In this digital age most things are moving online and into other media, but for visual arts there are many things that simply can’t translate and that will be very difficult. It also feels to me that the motivation to own a piece of original art is not there like it used to be. I have personally just started an art collection, but for the longest time I had no concern for it whatsoever. Hopefully I am just short sighted and have it all wrong. If I were to predict the future of art I would say there is an emphasis on digital integration and people will support an artist through services like Patreon vs. purchasing work from them.

Do you read any art magazines? Sean: I don’t have a regular schedule, but every now and then I like reading up on artists in The Artful Mind and Art New England. It is always a treat to get to hear what other artists think about the world and their field. I’m always trying to find out what is the current trend in art. I haven’t found it yet, but I’ll keep looking.

Thank you, Sean!... Do you find yourself having a healthy sense of humor? I mean, we all need to find one at times. What is one experience you can share with us that have left you in stitches, and always will when thinking about it? Sean: This is a very old story but definitely one that still brings tickles to my heart. First, let me give you a little bit of background. When I was


SEAN MCCUSKER MEANWHILE OIL ON PANEL 22 X 18 2013

a kid I was terrified of, and tormented by, a rooster we had in our chicken coop. He would chase me whenever I came near him. Whether I was bringing water or food to the coop, he smelled fear and went for it. So when I saw this rooster at the bottom of a hill one day, my best friend and I hatched a plan. We had one of those bouncy balls. You know, the kind with the handle that kids can ride on. Timing the perfect moment we rolled the ball down the hill at the rooster. The plan was perfect; the ball didn’t hit a rock or waver from our plan one bit. We had worked out the precise trajectory and even had

the handle on the side so it didn’t bounce uncontrollably. The rooster was unaware as the ball picked up momentum down the hill. It absentmindedly continued eating worms under its feet. Giggling with delight we eagerly watched as our target became obscured behind the projectile, three times its size. Then, in a flash, the rooster spun around and with a quick karate chop with its leg it kicked the ball. And along with our spirits, the bouncy ball deflated before our eyes; never to return again. The rooster kept eating worms off the ground and… we mourned that ball.

When all is said and done… what is your most favorite food you like to snack on? Food for thought? Sean: Macadamia nuts are my favorite snack food. They are nutty with a little sweet and just enough crunch. Thank you, Sean!

THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 29


DOTTIE’S COFFEE LOUNGE RED ORANGE YELLOW, GREEN BLUE VIOLET

The term “Impressionism,” is familiar to almost anyone with even a passing interest in art, but its companion movement “Post Impressionism,” is somewhat more obscure. It was a movement following Impressionism when color became liberated from form, and color began to be used as an idea in and of itself, entirely separated from structure. In this movement, one side of a face might be painted green, and the other side blue, with perhaps a yellow stripe down the center. Gauguin sometimes paints his figures completely blue while Matisse paints all of the furniture of a room red, and Seurat finds the entire spectrum in every form. This exhibit, which runs October 5, thru December 31, is devoted to artists who not only make up their own colors for their forms, but also resolve the representational images in their paintings as a set of relationships existing between assorted colors, and their tints. This is the source of the title, “Red Orange Yellow, Green Blue Violet,” featuring the paintings of Mike Carty, Scott Taylor, and Terry Wise. Opening reception is on October 5, from 4 to 6PM. Dottie’s Coffee Lounge - 444 North Street, Pittsfield Mass.

Photography by Jane Feldman

www.janefeldman.com janefeldmanphoto@gmail.com 30 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

My Studio Porch, Monday September 17

JENNIFER PAZIENZA

In my May Artful Mind column, I asked, “How lucky can one painter be?” After a full season of exhibiting work in West Stockbridge at Diana Felber Gallery where currently Winter’s End (please see advert) is now on display and at The Artful Mind Gallery, where Piacere (please see advert) hangs with several root vegetable landscape still life paintings, and at Kimball Farms Life Care Community from July through end of August a range of my paintings were exhibited, I would say the answer is, “over the moon lucky.” Some of you may question the ethics of having work in these very different galleries at the same time, or in overlapping time. My answer is simple. These three venues offer visitors very different viewing experiences. As a 40 +years artist and art education advocate my view is, why not? Particularly when the primary motivation is education and having the work seen. As the photo above suggests, summer is fast giving way to autumn in eastern Canada. Keswick Ridge will soon be alight with colour and the hibernation period for this cross-border painter will begin. My intention is to immerse myself in the studio, gather up and play with the feelings, hunches and ideas that are swirling around in me, like the falling leaves that will soon come. Thank you all for a wonderful artful season! My work is held in Public and Corporate Collections in Canada and in numerous private collections throughout the US, Canada, the UK and Italy. I exhibit in the Berkshires at St. Francis Gallery, Good Purpose Gallery, Diana Felber Gallery, 510 Warren Street and The Artful Mind Galleries. Designs by, Jennifer Owen in Great Barrington also represents my work. Jennifer Pazienza - To learn more about my paintings, or for inquiries please email me: jennpazienza@gmail.com, and visit my Website, http://jenniferpazienza.com/ and Instagram @jenniferpazienza

The Principles of true art is not to portray but to evoke. –Jerzy Kozinsky

NINA LIPKOWITZ BATTLE FATIGUE

My father was a difficult man. Eleven years after he died, my mother said to my sister and to me, “How come nobody ever talks about Daddy?” The truth is, we didn’t know what to say. His anger was frightening, and his criticisms were searing. At age 15, I painted my first painting, and he suggested that I paint it over white and start again so I wouldn’t waste the canvas. I became a stone carver and a potter, but I did not pick up a paintbrush again for the next 50 years. My father was complicated and unknowable. In his 30s, a lawyer, married with a one-year-old child, he became a First Lieutenant in Patton’s Third Army and went off to fight in a war that he as a Jew knew was absolutely necessary. After fighting in five European battles including the Battle of the Bulge and wintering over in the Ardennes Forest waiting for fuel, he found himself in newly-liberated Paris in August 1944 and attended the first Rosh Hashanah services at the synagogue Victoire two weeks later. In April 1945, he helped to liberate the concentration camp Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, won a Bronze Star Medal and ended his war career as a Captain. He came home to my mother and my sister on August 13, my sister’s third birthday, and went directly into Mason General Hospital, a psychiatric facility opened to treat returning GIs. In World War I it was called shell shock, in World War II battle fatigue, and today we refer to it as PTSD or Combat Stress Reaction. For some reason which I will never know, but for which I am eternally grateful, my mother and father put together a scrapbook of photos and memorabilia from those two-plus years of his life. He never spoke much about his experiences. I knew not to ask too many questions. I am now the age my father was when he died, and I feel like it is time to finally talk about Daddy. My new show, “Battle Fatigue”, is a departure from anything I have done before. It is my father’s story as told through my heart and my hand, using original material from his scrapbook represented through photo transfers and paint. I hope that it will provide the viewer with some insight into the life and wartime experiences of a man whom I never got the chance to fully know. 510 Warren Street Gallery, Hudson, New York. November 2 - November 25, opening reception Saturday November 3 / 2 - 6pm. www.510warrenstreetgallery.com


FALDONI PART 3

It is a simple matter to trace a profile of the face going from the forehead down to the chin, and Faldoni made his line turn in and out in all the correct places. But he discovered that even if he had all the ins and outs in the right places, it was possible for the nose to be too big, and the eyes too small. His drawing of the profile of a face was just like those maps of the Americas drawn by ancient mariners, where they have carefully picked out all the ins and outs of a coastline, and yet the entire image is not only wrong, but also somehow comical. Nevertheless, Faldoni liked his profile drawing of the head, and painted it in with his colors on the plaster as best he could. This was his third painting and at this point he made a vow to himself to never destroy anything he did and furthermore to find a way to be pleased with it despite all of its obvious faults, or perhaps because of them. The idea that Faldoni might like his paintings because of their faults and not despite those faults is the most difficult, and yet the most important thing an artist might hope to learn, since it is in the faults that the character of a person resides, it is the faults that make a work great, and it is the frustration, inherent in the line that struggles to explain something misunderstood that the identity of any individual can be most clearly seen. Soon the back wall of Faldoni’s cell started to fill up with painted heads. Each evening before he went to bed, he would plaster a section of his wall and paint a new head. After many days the back wall began to have the appearance of a crazy quilt, each patch of plaster having one painted head. Once in his cell he did what countless other artists did for thousands of years, he put on a hat surrounded along its brim with candles, and by their flickering light he worked away at his task. But Faldoni had no budget for candles. Nevertheless he had an ample supply of the cheaper sort of tallow wax and innumerable very small wicks to go along with it. One of the laborious tasks he was required to do each day was to scrape out the left over wax from the hundreds of votive candles visitors lit in the church in front of the

various holy images and statues. These candles would burn down to their holders, and Faldoni had to clean out the holders and remove the stubs and the wicks. The good Lord seemed to be looking out for Faldoni, arranging in his mysterious way to provide him with a source of plaster and sand, and an infinite supply of pigment and containers. God even saw to it that he could work by a very divine kind of light, a light entirely created with the wax of the devotional candles of the laypersons of the church. I offer this as an explanation of Faldoni’s good fortune when it comes to the abundance of supplies for his paintings. Either that, or Faldoni had a very faulty idea of the concept of theft. After a while, however he began to look at his assembled little portraits with a critical eye. The appearance of a certain dissatisfaction with his work had a curious source; it was the comments uttered by the other apprentices about the master’s paintings when the master was away. For example, it just so happened that all of the portrait heads painted by the master seemed as if they all had the very same Grandparents. They looked like they had the same Grandparents because no matter how hard he tried, the master was unable to overcome a tendency to resort to certain stock shapes for the eyes, nose and mouth, that over the years had provided him with the best results. Not only did all the characters in his paintings look like they were related, they looked like they were related to the master himself. On the other hand Faldoni would hear the master's works praised to the high heavens if there happened to be a group of visiting church prelates paying a visit to the convent. They would stand in front of a half completed mural and make obscure but intelligent sounding remarks intended to please the master, and at the same time show off their sophisticated knowledge of art. He tried to imagine what the expert visitors might say of his many portraits painted now on his back wall, numbering over one hundred, since four months had gone by since he began his project. He couldn’t help but imagine those very important people lined up behind him as he worked, all rubbing their chins in silent admiration. Then his imaginary audience disappeared and is replaced by different spectators; he imagines the other students are looking on and finding fault with everything he has done. They are especially critical of all his portraits that have been done in profile, and one of them says, “You see, in Faldoni’s world, all people go around sideways, and never turn and face you directly. Faldoni is obviously one of those ancient Egyptians, because they say that the Egyptians actually went around only sideways to each other, as can be clearly seen by their wall paintings.” Regardless of the imaginary criticism Faldoni suffered from while doing his paintings, still he labored at his project, and continued to paint his faces all one color with black lines around all the shapes and separating all of the forms, and it was quite by accident one day that he discovered that light is a “thing” and you can paint it just like you can paint a chair. One evening he was especially tired as it was late. He

was in the middle of painting a very difficult three-quarter portrait. He had painted almost all of the face, going from left to right. Just before he finished the right hand side of the face he ran out of his flesh tone and hurriedly mixed up a new batch, but he was so careless and inattentive that he mixed up two parts of white to one part of Venetian Red instead of the reverse. He was almost done with the outside edge of the face using his new color when he noticed his mistake. This is how tired and careless Faldoni was: he was putting color on his painting and all the while hardly looking at it, since he was practically falling asleep. Suddenly he saw what he was doing and jumped up from his chair in disgust. There was only one thing to do, scrape it all out and start over again, but instead he left it as it was and went to sleep instead. In the morning when he woke up the first thing he did was to have a look at his painting. If he had been fully awake he would have seen his painting as a disaster, but instead, for several seconds he could not comprehend what he was looking at. His painted face seemed to be somehow round, and lit by the light coming from the window. It looked this way to him for only a moment. Then it turned into the mess from the night before. So, completely by an accident, Faldoni discovered that lighter tints of his skin color could be used to make a face look like it was illuminated by a light source coming from the side, and therefore round instead of flat. This was such an exciting discovery that it occupied his mind for the entire day. At breakfast he was given an orange along with his porridge. He held the orange up to the light from a window and considered how the light changed the color of the orange over on the side facing the window. Not only that, but the light from the window did the same interesting kind of thing to his fingers also. Then there was his white porridge bowl to consider. With this in mind he began to do all of his portrait heads with this new discovery, having every face look like it was lit up by a light coming from the right hand side. Once he had mastered light coming from the right, he began to practice painting faces lit from the left. He called these various heads “Morning heads,” and “Evening Heads,” because the light comes from the right in the morning, and comes from the left in the evening. It is not really true that light comes from the right in the morning and from the left in the afternoon. This is only true if you consider the source of light from one point of view. For example, if you are looking to the North, the sun does come up on your right hand side, and it does set on your left hand side. But if you turn around and face the South, then the sun will be coming up on your left, and will be setting on your right hand side. An Aristotelian conception of the universe assumes that the earth is the center of things, and it is a conception characteristic of the middle ages and the early Renaissance. But a Copernican conception of the universe is a child of a late Renaissance or Baroque era, in which the earth rotates around the sun, so the earth is no longer the center of the universe. So, coming back to Faldoni, we could truly say that he had neither an Aristotelian or a Copernican conception of the universe, what he had was a Faldonian conception. A Faldonian conception assumes that Faldoni is the center of the universe, and everything is revolving around him, or his cell, he was not sure which. "Faldoni" part 3, from "No Cure For The Medieval Mind" By Richard Britell

THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 31


Mandala Flower

Gessica Silverman

GESSICA SILVERMAN Interview by Harryet P. Candee

Harryet P. Candee: How did you get to the place where you have become very detailed in your art work? Gessica Silverman: To some degree or another my work has always been detailed. Whether it’s the work I did with soft sculpture and felt, mixed-media paintings, or my most recent works on paper, there’s always been an element of detail. Details are important. They tell a story. They create intimacy. They show thought. There’s so much detail in the world that we just routinely pass by. Just look at any tree: the bark is a fascinating compilation of texture and sculpture, and each leaf is an amazing pattern of line, form and color. I like these things. It’s part of who I am. My work reflects this “world in a

32 • SEPTEMBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

grain of sand” idea.

Photographs by Gessica Silverman

Textile designing must be in your background, yes? Tell us! Gessica: Actually, I’m brand-new to it! When I was creating my latest body of work, the Mandala Flowers, they kept calling to me to “live beyond the page.” I didn’t really know what that meant, but I took it as an opportunity to experiment and explore. I tried lots of different ways of expressing them, but nothing was clicking. I happened upon a class on pattern making using my art and instantly felt compelled to do it. My work is smaller-scale art, bright, colorful, human, and happy. It’s primed for pattern and

fabric. When I started playing around, I got that tingly feeling and I knew I was on to something! I made some paper print outs of the patterns to show to my studio-mate, Ellie. She loved them, and knowing she could sew, immediately signed us up for a fashion show. It was at that point, I had to figure out how to make them into fabric and hoped they would look alright. Needless to say, it worked and the fabric came out as I had intended. Ellie and I collaborated on a kid’s collection of 11 pieces for Beyond the Pattern Fashion Show in Somerville, MA. Our joint project is called “Gellie”, a play on our names. I am excited about taking my art into fabric and all the possibilities it offers.


I Am Me Gessica Silverman 2017

Gessica, what is your life like? Is it similar to the art work you make? Gessica: It’s all interrelated. The mediums, materials and scale may change, but my art is always connected to what is going on in my life and in the world around me. I feel like all art at some level is a self-portrait. What do you want your audience to know about you as an artist? Gessica: I am very interested with the symmetry in

nature, the patterning, and the repetitive nature of the shapes. My newest work, Mandala Flowers, are inspired by forms in nature. I spent a lot of time examining and drawing flora and fauna. Getting acquainted with these, painting them, really searching out their lines, their energy, looking and connecting with each species, one at a time. Through this exercise I really got to know several plants, their petal shapes, their feelings, their energy. I found after a while, I had a collection of shapes and feelings: a new visual language to work with. I started using this language to create new works based on the old shapes. As I worked with the shapes, I found myself intuitively gravitating toward symmetry and circular patterns. The result was reminiscent of flowers and made me think of mandalas, so I called them Mandala Flowers. Mandalas have

many definitions and cultural references. For me, they are circular shapes made up of smaller shapes that are about connection and the universe. Each piece within it is significant. They can also be representative of unity and personal growth. These ideas fit well with the process I was doing of using the “old” plant shapes with their feelings and meanings, and unifying them into new configurations with new expressions and new life. Although symmetry is important, the work I make has a very human feel to it

What do you find fun about your art making? Gessica: I enjoy searching for the right ways to express what I need to put out into the world. I love when I get into flow state and realize a whole afternoon has passed while I draw out a piece. I like that childlike feeling of delight when I know I’m on to something! When I was making Circle of Love, I had an urge to start cutting up pieces of my previous work, drawings I wasn’t sure what to do with. I didn’t understand where it was going, but as I began playing around, relationships emerged and I got that same childlike feeling that I was on to something. Figuring out how everything fit together was fun, like solving a puzzle with

my intuition as my guide.

What year was your favorite and why? Gessica: One year stands out specifically, my first year at SMFA in the Post Bac program. I had never been in such an amazing environment before. It was like anything was possible, I just had to put my intentions out there and then work, work, work on it. If something got in the way, there were people to help navigate the obstacle or offer ideas to explore, materials to try, feedback to consider. It was remarkable. I felt free.

What training in art have you had? Gessica: I have always done some manner of drawing and art-making since I was little. I remember taking classes when I was just a toddler at the MFA. I always did a lot of drawing on my own growing up and I focused on photography in high school. During my undergrad at Washington University in St. Louis, in addition to my regular studies, I took several classes in the School of Art focusing on ceramics. After college, I attended two programs at the School of Continued on the next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER 2018 • 33


Mandala Flowers by Gessica Silverman the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (SMFA): a Post Baccalaureate Certificate and an additional Diploma.

Where do you want to be in five years with yourself and with your art? Gessica: Hopefully, still making it!!! If I look back five years, I would not have predicted I’d be where I am now, making the work I am making currently. I am hopeful that in five years, I will continue to develop meaningful artwork that speaks to people at the heart-level and spreads love through art. I also hope to develop more of my art into fabric, wallpaper, giftwrap, and have a business that complements my art practice.

How do you find working with such detail line work and adding color? Its like working with peanut butter and chocolate! Gessica: I tend to immerse myself in my work, a process I find challenging, exciting, and meditative. Challenging because the materials I am

34 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

working with are not very forgiving, so I really have to commit to a line or color. Exciting, because like the poet, Ruth Stone, who was chased by her poems, I know I need to express something. I know it’s there somewhere. I feel it coming through me, and I’m excited to let it reveal itself through the art. Once I’ve made an initial drawing with all the detailed lines, I take a pause – sometimes days, sometimes weeks. The work has to tell me when it’s ready for color. Once it’s ready, I breathe and get myself into a meditative state and work very carefully and stilly. Sometimes I mess up and have to quickly remove the color before it sets. For the most part, I’ve figured out how to work in a way that conveys my intention. It’s an intimate experience to be that close to something.

Tell us about one of your techniques you like to work with? Gessica: At the moment, I am very fond of my Micron 005 and 01 pigment pens and my water-

colors. I really like the extremely fine lines the pens make. It’s like a tiny guideline or boundary for my images. They lay down smoothly and clearly. As for my watercolors, I really like the palettes I’m using. The colors are very flexible and can layer well. I enjoy the range of markmaking and gestures that I can make with them. I like using deep saturations of color in my work, as well as washes and layering. The watercolors I work with now allow for that flexibility. I also enjoy watercolor pencils, I like the marks they can make and the allusion of texture that can be created. Sometimes I’ll make work using both watercolors and the watercolor pencils. It creates a nice balance between the materials. Are you solely an artist or do you have another unrelated or related career? Tell us about it please. Gessica: I have a background in both art and design, but at the moment, I am focusing my energy


Fabric composits by Gessica Silverman and Gessica with her 2018 Gellie Collection

Gessica SIlverman Circle of Love (tissue paper) 2017 on making art. That said, the design background has been helpful, especially in terms of composition, being able to see how things look together.

Who has influenced your art career the most? Gessica: My father encouraged art-making from a young age. Before it was popular, my Dad brought art supplies into restaurants so me and my sister could draw while we waited for dinner. He encouraged an environment of exploration and imagination. We even had a dedicated Arts and Crafts area in the basement growing up. My first set of colored pencils, at age 5, was a Berol Prismacolor 60 Color Art Set. Most kiddos get Crayola’s, but my Dad supplied me with artist grade pencils, which I still have and value!!! I am grateful to my dad for nurturing this aspect of my life. It is vital to who I am, to my art, and it will always connect us.

Favorite artist and why? Gessica: I enjoy a lot of peoples work. Art is so visceral. It’s about an emotional connection, and that can depend how I feel on any given day. On a recent trip to MoCA, I saw a small gallery containing work by Etel Adnan. I completely fell in love with the pieces on view. The use of color, the block-y shapes, the palette, the scale. It worked for me. It felt hopeful. It just made my day. It was also a lovely contrast to the heavythemed work on display through the of rest the museum. I also resonate with the work of: Emma Kunz, Thomas Nozkowski, James Siena, Julia Berkman, Julie Graham, among others. What is your most supportive catch phrase you tell yourself over and over? Gessica: “Trust the Path and the Process”. My friend Alicia Arnold introduced me to that one.

Sometimes when making a piece there comes a point when I am not sure where it is going and I cannot figure out what to do. Or in the process of creating one thing, I’ll create a challenge for myself and have to figure out how to resolve it. I think of this saying, take a breath, and just keep going, one step at a time, knowing that if I keep going, the answer will reveal itself. Thank you, Gessica!

Gessica@gmail.com THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 35


36• OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND


FINE LINE MULTIMEDIA

LIVE PERFORMANCE PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO

Fine Line Multimedia provides single or multi-camera video of music, dance and theater performances. Services include: scripting and storyboard art, videography with professional high definition cameras, high quality audio recording, sensitive lighting design and creative editing with the latest non-linear editing system. For the past 45 years Fine Line Multimedia has provided audio/video performance production for The Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, Berkshire Performing Arts Center, National Music Foundation, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, United Way of the Berkshires, Arlo Guthrie, Rising Son Records, Bobby Sweet, World Moja, Phil Woods, Grace Kelly, Heather Fisch, Opera Nouveau, Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company and many more. Fine Line was established in 1970 by Lee Everett in Lenox, Massachusetts. Everett came to the Berkshires after studying Advertising Design and Visual Communications at Pratt Institute and working for years as an Art Director in New York. He taught Art in local schools and began a full-service multimedia studio in Lenox specializing in the Performing and Visual Arts and other business and industry. With Photography, Graphic Design, Advertising, Marketing, Audio/Video Production, Website, Social Network Creation and Administration together under one roof, Fine Line can satisfy the artistic communications and promotional needs of a wide range of clients. Please look at some examples from our portfolios of work on our website and use the contact information on the site to get further information, to see more samples, photographs or video reels, for professional and client references or for a free project consultation. Fine Line Multimedia - 66 Church Street, Lenox, MA; www.finelinelenox.com Contact: Lee Everett, 413-637-2020, everett@berkshire.rr.com

MARY CAROL RUDIN

As a painter I love to take on the challenge of subjects and mediums. My website, http://www.mcrudin.com/ shows the variety of themes and interpretations I have explored to date. My journey continues as I try new combinations of material and interpretations both representational and abstract. Sometimes a metaphor, a symbol, a phrase, or a quip provokes an image that I decide to want to express. I also like to create titles that I hope lead the viewer closer to what I had in mind when I was painting. Travel also provides me with inspiration. I find the experience of colors, light, and culture endlessly interesting. Images and imagination are at work and thoughts of interpreting them in art run through my head. Recognizing that I will not recall all that I saw, I take many photographs that I can use as references when I return to my easel. Some of my work can be displayed in any direction desired. I describe these works as “No Right Side Up” and to overcome the idea that a signature dictates the direction the painting should be hung, I only sign on the back. I layout my ideas on paper and make studies in color before I commit to a final work. This allows me to work out the details and arrive at what feels like a successful composition. Often what seemed like a good idea has to be reworked and the final painting is quite different than the initial concept. In Los Angeles I studied drawing and watercolor and pastel at Brentwood Art Center and UCLA Extension. I also studied with landscape painter John Strong, and abstract painter Ilana Bloch. In New York City I have studied at the Art Students League and Chelsea Classical Studios. My work has been sold through St. Francis Gallery in South Lee, Massachusetts and 510 Warren Street Gallery in Hudson, New York. Please visit me at The Artful Mind Gallery in Lenox, and www.mcrudin.com http://www.facebook.com/marycarol.rudin mcrudin123@gmail.com

ENJOY leaf peeper SEASON!

CLAUDIA D’ALESSANDRO

When our world seems too filled with dismay and worry, Nature stands steadfast as a powerful ally, offering respite and inspiration when we choose to engage her. The natural world offers a not-so-distant mirror of our experiences reflected in sky, water and earth. Great drama, intricate patterns, hidden faces, abstract shapes and a spectrum of colors abound in shifting light. But sometimes, they last only for an instant. I strive to artfully capture such quixotic moments and transform them into paper, canvas and metal prints that can ornament and inspire our living spaces. It is one of my life's joyful pleasures to share these images with others. “A long time Berkshire County resident and photographer Claudia d'Alessandro makes her home in Great Barrington with her fiancé musician David Reed, and a cat who enjoys tangling her yarn” She firmly believes that it is best to: “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” -Henry David Thoreau, Walden Please visit me at my website, Claudia d'Alessandro, Photography at: www.dalessandrophotography.com., or on Facebook as Claudia d'Alessandro, Photography, You may also contact me at: cdalessandro26@gmail.com, or through my website at contact@dalessandrophotography.com THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 37


Grandma Becky’s Old World Recipes

Written and shared with a loving spoonful by Laura Pian

Vegetable Soup with Homemade Kreplach

This week, it was time to clean out the refrigerator. All of the veggies that I’d purchased with the greatest of intentions were

about to spoil and soon become “farshtunkn” (spoiled, no good). In our home, this means that it’s soup time! Of course, soup

time is deeply ingrained in my DNA. Grandma Becky would NEVER let a drop of food make it into the garbage, instead, she’d bless us with her marvelous soups and stews. While Grandma would “potchke” (dabble in) around the inside of the fridge, literal food magic would be happening in apartment #5F.

Like my Grandma before, I searched through the vegetable bins, and amongst the shelves. I discovered a large array of not-so-perfectly-fresh-anymore veggies

including carrots, celery, shallots, a bulb of garlic, green zucchini, broccoli crowns, green beans, cauli-

flower, cabbage, spinach, mushrooms and red pep-

per, I washed and chopped them all. Then, in a 7 quart stockpot, I added a small bit of olive oil and quickly

sautéed everything in order to bring those awesome,

natural flavors to the top, as well as giving a head-start to softening some of those harder vegetables. Keeping an eye on these beauties and allowing their natural juices to meld for about 10 minutes, I then added enough warmed beef broth to fill the pot (you can use chicken or vegetable broth if you prefer). Into the pot I added a can of pre-rinsed chick peas, and a large can of

diced tomatoes including the liquid. Feel free to throw in all the spices you like. I added salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil flakes, oregano, thyme, and parsley. Cover, stirring occasionally, and keep this pot going on a low boil for about 40 minutes, but cooking longer wouldn’t hurt it. Approximately 10 minutes before it was ready to serve, I shredded up a left-over cooked chicken breast and put it into the pot as well, also adding tiny elbow macaronis (for the Italian husband).

You may be wondering the exact measurements of these ingredients. But remember, Grandma Becky never officially measured

anything she cooked. I’d often ask, “Grandma, how much (of an ingredient) should we put in?” she’d reply, “Doz iz nisht far shule, dos iz deyn mitog” (This is not for school, this is your supper!), and that was that.

The secret gem added into Grandma Becky’s soups, actually the cherry on top which I always crave, were her homemade kreplach.

These are little dumplings filled with any left over meats that she’d grind into small pieces and then combine with sautéed onion and seasoning. Grandma would often find use for left over chicken, brisket or liver in making kreplach. Think of them as the wontons

in your Chinese soup. Or the raviolis in your Sunday sauce. Of course, Grandma Becky would knock out her own dough in just a

matter of moments, but I find it so easy to just use wonton wrappers (shhhh!) When you’re ready to fill, take a teaspoon of meat

filling, place into the center of your wonton wrapper, fold it diagonally to form a triangle, paint the sides with beaten egg. Then

fold the two corners until they meet and press the ends to seal. Now gently drop these little angels into a separate pot of salted, boiling water and cook for about 20 minutes. Drain and add to your dish for an easy-breezy, fresh and hearty meal-in-a-bowl of: Grandma Becky’s Vegetable Soup with Kreplach.

Eat your vegetables, enjoy your soup, your kreplach and best of all, enjoy your newly cleaned out, roomy fridge! As always, “esn gezunt meyn friends” Eat well my friends! THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2018 • 39


Be Seen! advertising rates and the perks that go along //// Call or email for Artful Mind details

THE HELpERS Hpc 2018

40 • OCTOBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND

artfulmind@yahoo.com 413 854 4400


EDWARD ACKER PHOTOGRAPHER

Time Flies D Get Pictures EdwardAckerPhotographer.com 413-446-8348 THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER 2018 • 41


THE ARTFUL MIND artzine OCTOBER 2018  

Sean McCusker... Tyler Blodgett...Gessica SIlverman...& more! Read about your favorite artists and what Berkshire County has to offer this...

THE ARTFUL MIND artzine OCTOBER 2018  

Sean McCusker... Tyler Blodgett...Gessica SIlverman...& more! Read about your favorite artists and what Berkshire County has to offer this...

Advertisement