The Artful Mind magazine November 2021

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The Fine Art of Printing Fine Art. · Giclée and Photo Printing · Digital Reproduction of Paintings · Photo Restoration and Repair

“The prints have amazing clarity and are absolutely beautiful reproductions of the original works. Clients are amazed with the quality.” – Virginia Bradley

Playa Santa 22 — Virginia Bradley

Drop-off & Pick-up Available in Great Barrington, MA and Millerton, NY Studio located in Mount Washington, MA l l 413 · 644· 9663

ARTS CALENDAR Southern Vermont Arts Center 930 SVAC Drive, Manchester, VT. | Hiroshige and the Changing Japanese landscape Opening Nov 20 : A presentation of Japanese woodblock prints depicting how the political climate during 19th century Japan influenced its art and how the art influenced that climate. Hiroshige (1797-1858) is perhaps the most beloved ukiyo-e artist of Japan’s Edo period (1603-1867). The term ukiyo-e, which translates as “picture of the floating world,” refers to a particular style of woodblock print that focused on actors, beautiful women, historical scenes, erotic, flora and fauna. Featured in this exhibition is Hiroshige’s full series of the Hoeido Tokaido that elevated him to the country’s most esteemed woodblock print masters through his treatment of the landscape as the main subject. Over the course of 55 images, the series takes the viewer on a journey along the Great Tokaido, an important coastal road that connected Edo (now Tokyo) to Kyoto, more than 300 miles away. In addition, SVAC has invited New Hampshire-based artist Matt Brown to create a display using authentic tools and materials to bring to life the basic process of Japanese printing from multiple color wood blocks. A selection of Brown’s prints will be on display in the Wilson lobby.

Hiroshige, Spring Rain at Tsuchiyama, from the series Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido

ART 510 WARREN STREET GALLERY 510 WARREN ST, HUDSON NY • 518-822-0510 Kate Knapp: Portraits and Self Portraits, a 50 year retrospective, November 5-28, 2021 ALBANY CENTER GALLERY 488 BROADWAY, SUITE 107, ALBANY, NY • 518-462-4775 The Gallery Mixtape, Vo.1, thru Jan 19.2022 ARTSEE 529 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY • 212-227-2400 ARTSEEHUDSON.COM RyAn Turley: Then & NoW, THRU JAN 15 BERKSHIRE MUSEUM 39 SOUTH ST, PITTSFIELD, MA • 413-443-7171 Through Jan 9, 2022: Objects and Their Stories BERNAY FINE ART 296 MAIN ST, GT, BARRINGTON, MA • 413-645-3421 WWW.BERNAYFINEART.COM Walk The Line, Dec 10 -Jan 9; Winter Group Show, Jan 15. BERKSHIRE SCHOOL 245 N Undermountain Rd, Sheffield, MA berkshireschool,org Relativity: Works by Christopher Pouler, Oct 29Dec 18 2 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND


CARRIE HADDAD GALLERY 622 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY • 518-828-1915 Fragments of Time and Space, thru Nov 21. CLARK ART INSTITUTE 225 SOUTH ST, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA • 413-458-2303 Erin Shirreff, Remainders, thru Jan 2, 2022 DIA BEACON 3 BEEKMAN ST, BEACON, NEW YORK Joan Jonas, now; Fred Sandback, Dec 21; Keith Sonnier, this Spring 2022 ECLIPSE MILL EXHIBITIONS 243 UNION ST, NORTH ADAMS, MA Martin Landau’s EXPOSED, paintings, drawing and assorted Shenanigans, viewer discretion advised., Nov 3 - Nov 30. ECKERT FINE ART 1315 MASS MOCA WAY, NORTH ADAMS MA

Gallery Selections, Eckert Fine Art announces the opening of Gallery Selections, featuring artists closely associated with MASS MoCA: Robert Rauschenberg, Don Gummer, Sol LeWitt, James Turrell. Along with other favorites, including: Eric Forstmann, Robert Cottingham, Hunt Slonem, Chizuru Morii Kaplan, & Robert Mapplethorpe, thru Dec 6. FERRIN CONTEMPORARY 1315 MASS MOCA WAY NORTH ADAMS, MA • 413-346-4004 HTTPS://FERRINCONTEMPORARY.COM/ In Dialogue: Cristina Cordova and Kukuli Velarde, thru Nov 28. HUDSON HALL 327 WARREN ST, HUDSON,NY WWW.HUDSONHALL.ORG Off The Wall: Margaret Saliske, Jean Feinberg, Pamela J. Wallace, thru Dec 5 JANET PUMPHREY GALLERY FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY 17 HOUSATONIC ST, LENOX, MA • 413-637-2777 / JANETPUMPHREY.COM A photographic gallery showcasing the work of photographer Janet Pumphrey andother artists LAUREN CLARK GALLERY 684 MAIN ST, GT. BARRINGTON, MA LAUREN@LAURENCLARKFINEART.COM Regionally and internationally recognized artists of fine art and contemporary craft in all media.



Wendy Red Star Apsáalooke: Children of the Large-Beaked Bird Multi-media artist Wendy Red Star, a member of the Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe, offers accounts of American history that rectify the frequently flawed narratives about Native people. An avid researcher, Red Star re-examines cultural artifacts and primary source historic imagery, and uses them as the foundation for her beautifully annotated photographs and installations. The Children of the LargeBeaked Bird exhibition provides an opportunity for adults and children to look at history and representation with fresh eyes. As Red Star notes: “It is critical to preserve and pass along culture, heritage, and shared values while also providing future generations with a sense of identity, solidarity, and empowerment.” At the center of Children of the Large-Beaked Bird (the English translation of “Apsáalooke”) are Red Star’s annotated portraits of the historic 1880 Crow Peace Delegation that brought leaders to meet with U.S. officials for land rights negotiations. Using red pen to add text and definition to the archival images, she draws attention to the ways in which the original portraits deliberately remove the leaders from their contexts. New work created specifically for MASS MoCA turns these images into large photographic blow-ups and lifesize cutout figures, with the goal to bring the portrait sitters to life, and reclaim Red Star’s ancestors.

NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM 9 RTE 183, STOCKBRIDGE, MA / NRM.ORG Real and Imagined: The Art of Jan Brett, thru March 6, 2022 OPALKA GALLERY 140 NEW SCOTLAND AVE, ALBANY, NY OPALKA@SAGE.EDU Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of the Black and Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art, thru Dec 14. SCHANTZ GALLERIES CONTEMPORARY GLASS ART 3 ELM ST, STOCKBRIDGE, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-3044 / SCHANTZGALLERIES.COM OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ALBERT SHAHINIAN FINE ART SHAHINIANFINEART.COM 22 EAST MARKET ST, RHINEBECK, NY The Luminous Landscape 2021: Christie Scheele - Translating my World". Masks required inside the galleries. Show runs through Jan 10, 2022. SOHN FINE ART 69 CHURCH ST, LENOX, MA • 413-551-7353 / SOHNFINEART.COM Oct 15-Jan 2022: Jeff Robb: Solo Exhibition ST. FRANCIS GALLERY 1370 PLEASANT ST. ROUTE 102, SOUTH LEE, MA Ongoing exhibit.

WILLIAMS COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART WILLIAMSTOWN, MA Repro Japan: Technologies of Popular Visual Culture, thru 3.20.22; Sweaty Concepts, thru 12.19.21; Curatorial Close Looks, ongoing; Double L Excentric Gyratory II, ongoing; Unstable Connections, ongoing; Resist Covid | Take Six, on going

MUSIC CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC CEWMUSIC@AOL.COM • 800-843-0778 MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, GT. BARRINGTON, MA Dec 12: The Roaring Twenties- Berlin, Paris, New York COLONIAL THEATRE 111 SOUTH ST, PITTSFIELD, MA THECOLONIALTHEATRE.ORG/ Irving Berlin’s White Christmas Musical, Dec 2Dec 23. HUDSON HALL 327 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY • 518-822-1438 Through Nov 20: A Love Supreme: Celebrating the Legacy of Alice and John Coltrane; Nov 20, 7pm: JD Allen Trio MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 14 CASTLE ST, GT BARRINGTON, MA • 413-528-0100

Nov 27, 8-10pm: An Evening with Hot Tuna, Acoustic & Electric, plus special guest David Grisman’s Dawg Trio

ART CLASSES IS183 ART SCHOOL OF THE BERKSHIRES CITIZENS’ HALL, 13 WILLARD HILL RD, STOCKBRIDGE, MA Family Art Studio: Make Your Own Holiday Cards, open to ages 4 and up with caregiver, Dec 11, $35. Kim Waterman Recycled Collaged Holiday Decorations, ages 4 and up with caregiver, Dec 10, $23 per family, Diane Firtell SALEM ART WORKS 19 CARY LANE, SALEM, NY SALEMARTWORKS.ORG/WORKSHOPS Thursday Night Blacksmithing with Luke Claymon: Thursday nights in December, 6 PM - 8 PM Wednesday Night Welding with Woody: Wednesday nights in December, 6 PM - 8 PM

Send your calendar listings and inquiries to Join our FB group: ART GALLERY for Artful Minds Read all The Artful Mind issues: THE ARTFUL MIND NOVEMBER 2021 • 3









Nina Lipkowitz



Publisher Harryet Candee Copy Editor Marguerite Bride Third Eye Jeff Bynack Advertising and Graphic Design Harryet Candee Contributing Writers Richard Britell Michael Cobb Photographers Edward Acker Tasja Keetman Bobby Miller ADVERTISING RATES 413 ‐ 645 ‐ 4114

Where Does the Moon Go?36” x 24” | Mixed Media on Canvas 24x18 inches

510 Warren Street Gallery

510 Warren St., Hudson, NY 12534 Hours: Friday & Saturday 12 - 6, Sunday 12 - 5

4 • NOVEMBR 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND | Instagram FB Open Group: ARTFUL GALLERY for artful minds Box 985

The Artful Mind Great Barrington, MA 01230

YFI: ©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.

Ghetta Hirsch

“Fall Feast” unframed oil on wood panel, 17 1/2” inches square

Home Studio visits by appointment: 413-597 1716

robert wilk

From the series "Las Vegas" | ©2021 Julia Grey | At Large Studios Las Vegas, NV - 702 673 0900


RyAn Turley NOVEMBER 13 — JANUARY 15, 2021

529 Warren Street, Hudson, NY | 212. 227. 2400 | 6 • NOVEMBER THE ARTFUL MIND

Mark Mellinger Paintings - Collage - Construction

Golgotha. 2021. Acrylic on canvas. 20" x 20"

100 North St Pittsfield #322

914. 260. 7413

529 Warren Street, Hudson, NY | 212. 227. 2400 | THE ARTFUL MIND NOVEMBER • 7




JIM DENNEY: BEARING WITNESS SUSAN ELEY FINE ART HUDSON Susan Eley Fine Art presents Bearing Witness, a solo exhibition by Jim Denney, on view through November 21st. Currently based in Hudson, NY, Denney paints trees, forests and fires that are hyperrealistic in style, yet feel surrealistic in content. Within Denney’s dramatic landscapes, the hand of humanity is ever-present—although actual figures remain conspicuously absent. Employing simultaneously haunting and idyllic natural imagery, Denney’s works contemplate both terrestrial demise and subsequent sublime transfigurations. Flush with poetic dualities, they pose fundamental, existential questions about the future of the Earth and our place within it: What is the difference between “that which remains” and “that which is to come”? What do we humans do—individually and collectively—when we “can’t go on, but must go on”? How can a single image depict a seemingly post-apocalyptic realm (literally, after the end), while also holding hopeful promises of regeneration? Perhaps through the truths of an adept and passionate witness of our world. Susan Eley Fine Art - 433 Warren Street, Hudson, NY, 12534 - - 917.952.7641


The Yellowstone Series references the Fountain Paint Pots in the Gibbon Geyser Basin at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Thermal features in the basin include over 50 springs, geysers, vents and mud pots. The behavior of the thermal activity changes in relationship to seasons of the year and the amount of subterranean water. Shades of blue, red, yellow, orange, grey and brown are present in the water and mud creating varying combinations of textures and color. The differing colors are derived from oxidation of the iron in the mud. Rising gases and heat cause the bubbling action in the Paint Pots. These paintings depart from photographs I took at Basin after the first snow had fallen. The very cold nights were contrasted with warm days which created a rich, steamy and colorful world to investigate. The larger works reference the mystic world of the geyser steam and the smaller works are close views looking into the Paint Pots. The Yellowstone series was honored with a Fellowship in Painting by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and featured in Elle Décor. Yellowstone 5, 6, 7 and 8 are intimate meditative views of the Paint Pots created on archival transparent film with oil and graphite. Although the originals of the works are no longer available, I was able to create master giclee prints of this series. The prints are available in a limited edition of 10, 17”x 14”. They make a great holiday present and enhance any collection as a suite. Virginia Bradley - studio visits by appointment,,

Get involved ! Advertising rates & other info: 413.645.4114 Double Anniversary Issue: Dec | Jan 2022


GHETTA HIRSCH In 2017 I painted two fall paintings. I am showing you today “Liquid Fall” and “Fall Enclosed”. I pulled them out to match the colors to my Halloween decor and they are still on my wall. They are 30” x 36” oils on canvas and are foliage-inspired. This year we have had a fall season with spring temperatures. Warmer October and November in the Berkshires is not necessarily good news. I cannot help thinking that this tells us again that we have a problem with our climate and the earth is suffering from our negligence. Halloween and Thanksgiving always inspire us to be festive with yellow, orange and red. I look at these paintings with thoughts of Jack O’Lanterns, winter squash, apples and pumpkin pies and smiles. The paintings remind me also of other years when the foliage had been more dramatic, when Covid had not hindered our lives and travel was easy. I wish you all safe family gatherings and a return to normal life in the Berkshires. The exhibit at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is now closed. I hope you saw some of my paintings there. I am still showing at The Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, Vermont. I welcome studio visits in Williamstown or any requests for more photos or price information. My website can tell you more about me. Ghetta Hirsch -; Instagram ghettahirschpaintings.



Jacob’s Pillow, Pen and Ink, 11 1/2 x 8”





Landscape by Kate Knapp

Stamped Abstract Series #25 Size: 42x34 inches Studio appointments: Call 1-413-528-6945 Keith and Mary original artwork for sale Studio/gallery, South Egremont, MA

Sharon Guy

Puffin Watercolor 8 x 10 $150 Unframed (941) 321-1218 10 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

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

Front Street, Housatonic, MA



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

BOBBY MILLER PHOTOGRAPHY My teacher, master photographer Lisette Model, taught me that the secret behind a great portrait is the relationship between the photographer and his subject and the artistic capture of the moment. In my studio in Great Barrington, I do hair, make-up, styling, lighting and photography, thereby creating a finished portrait that tells a story even in its simplicity. I believe in incorporating both the classic tools of the camera and newer technologies like Photoshop. In that way my portraits correct the small flaws that nature has bestowed on us. I create images that show us not only as who we are but who we can be as well. So, if you feel daring and inspired to have a portrait that defines you at your very best, I encourage you to come sit before my camera. Bobby Miller Studio, 22 Elm St, Gt Barrington 508-237-9585. By Appointment Only.


MARK MELLINGER ABSURDIST ARTIST STATEMENT My work explores the interconnectedness of Bauhausian sensibilities and Trobriand Island chants. With influences as diverse as Noble Sissle and Shemp Howard, new insights are created from both mundane and transcendant dialogues. Ever since I was a child I have been disturbed by the essential ephemerality of space/time. What starts out as circumlocutory vision soon becomes corrupted into a hegemony of greed, leaving only a sense of ennui and little chance of a new paradigm. As spatial miasmas become transformed through emergent Unabhängigkeitserklärungen, the viewer is left with a catafalque for the prognostication of our future.


Morgan was interviewed and photographed for cover by Tasja Keetman in The Artful Mind, March 2018. Read on

UPDATE | visual artist

MORGAN BULKELEY Interview by Harryet Candee Hey, hi! Welcome to a new age of enlightment, Morgan. We were all thrown for a loop in 2020 with Covid, and other things. Tell us, what was life for you for over the past year? What are some of your thoughts about it all, and, did any of it affect your artistic career? The past two years, while I was working on this series of 64 carved/painted pieces, began as “Selfies”, beginning with a simple self portrait with a pileated woodpecker. As time wore on, events began to overwhelm me, COVID, friends dying or leaving, the world trembling. Many of the newer pieces were about “wounds”, or the consequent struggle with optimism and pessimism.


Photograph of Artist by Tasja Keetman

What new art work has come about? Tell us what you have been doing and working on. Have you altered your views on what you are creating now? Pieces, such as “No….Yes….No” contained a record of pain and confusion, as the gun does in “No….Yes….No” aimed at the four leaf clover lying on the Queen of Spades. Where does the bullet go? Luck or disaster? I was thinking of the structure of cubist painting where overlap and fracture compose space. “Goofyitis” is composed of varied levels of thoughts swimming in confusion. Four basic images, a brain stem (top left), a heart (top right), Venus of Willendorf (bottom left), and a Calabi-

Yau shape (bottom right) (this is a shape conjured by physics to support String Theory, which supposes ten instead of three spatial dimensions). Levels of objects, forms and paint sink beneath, while a whole different puzzle floats overall. You are presently in a new exhibit, what is this all about? My show at the Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston is my twelfth one person show there. It is a selection of 26 pieces from this series, the good, bad and ugly. I like the fact that you find the aging of wood,

Mountain Guard Carved, rotted white oak, 10’ tall, 32” wide, 32” deep, 1986 Goofyitis Oil on carved gessoed wood, 15” x 12” 2021 NOW SHOWING at Howard Yezersky Gallery, Boston, MA

for example, should do its thing and allow to change as it ages in your work. Can you show us one of your sculptures and tell how this all works for you? My large, old wood sculpture never found a home, so lies sinking into earth in a field. I used to sand and oil them, but nature had a different plan. Ants, frost splitting, lichens, mosses, even small trees began to grow on them, much better than any finish I could imagine. And you have a great sense of humor! Working up sculptures, reliefs, paintings, explain the importance for you to include humor into your work?And you also mention a frightening aspect to your work. Where can we find this, and how do you know it will frighten us, and not just you as the artist? When I made “Frittering With My Face” it felt like I had touched a raw nerve, feeling the complete loss of physicality, facing human powerlessness. My next piece, “Urge to Fly” was bright yellows, and included multitudes of cartoon characters (with a vestigial dinosaur and fighter jet). My work can sometimes wrestle me out of despondency. Is there a particular audience that collects

your art? Can you can tell us a great story about someone who has been a great fan of your art. I have been lucky to have one of my dearest friends, Bobbie Hallig, believe in my work. Her house bulges with my pieces. Bobbie is part Cherokee, which endeared her to me since I was always, as a kid, playing in the woods with a loincloth, moccasins replete with a “Mohawk” hairpiece made of deer hair tied to my head. Her dedication to environmental and human causes gives me hope for the future. Tell about your Masks. Why have you given birth to them? Masks have felt alive to me, African, Iroquois, Tlingit, Japanese, always a silent watcher looking out from behind the object…..benign, dangerous……….. some God?

ing, or is it one at a time for you? I ALWAYS finish the piece I am working on; the obsessive feelings of a particular piece are too omnipresent to allow different feelings for a new piece to sneak in. As a smart man, Morgan, I wanted to ask you, what message do you want to convey to your audience? Mostly don’t sleep through life. We are in an existential moment in our politics…will we choose to live in a lie that defeats democracy? And equally, will we hack away at nature until it is just more of the expanding dump of refuse we are building? Will all our gifts of birds follow the Lord God Bird into oblivion? Irreverence for the sublime will consign the future to a stunted Neanderthal existence in ex-Eden.

How long does it take for you to do a painting? These carved/painted pieces take me roughly two weeks, the carving about six days, the painting eight days. Do you work on more than one venue at a time, like bounce from a sculpture to a paint-

Thank you, Morgan, great catching up with you! H






CAROLYN NEWBERGER Music and dance returned with gusto to the Berkshires stages this summer. With joy and gratitude, and with pen in hand, I sat in the audience trying to capture the rhythm, intensity and artistry of the performers. Carolyn Newberger -,, 617-8775672.

The wonder of art is to see the world through someone else’s eyes. To see people—and the painter—through an artist’s eyes, is doubly fascinating. Trained in the American School of Impressionism, Kate Knapp, 70, has long brought the understanding of color and light so gloriously vivid in her landscapes to these seldomshown portraits. The paintings have a refreshing directness and honesty. Knapp paints quickly, before her subjects tire. She must feel a connection, and she does not hold back how she perceives her models. “I try to become a channel, so that the person can come through my paintbrush onto the canvas,” she says. “I really want my subjects to paint themselves.” And, of course, that is the literal truth in her self-portraits. Each portrait, whether of Knapp herself or another, evokes an intense presence that allows the viewer to know someone in a deeper way than possible in a simple likeness. And these are environmental portraits: How the sitter relates to the space—to surrounding objects and fabric and patterns and light—is integrated in complex and evocative compositions. A new book, “The Self Portraits, An Artist’s Journal,” will be available at the gallery to elaborate on how Knapp composes and conceives of her portraits— straight from the artist’s mind. We welcome you to come and see for yourselves! 510 Warren Street Gallery, Warren St, Hudson, NY. Hours: Fri, Sat, 12-6 and Sunday 12-5. 510

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC LAUNCHES 30TH SEASON Close Encounters With Music launches its celebratory 30th season with a signature mix of innovative programs – live, in person and with a virtual option. Café music kicks off the reopening with the upbeat classical jazz fusion medleys; escape to the twenties of the former century in roaring prewar Berlin, Paris and New York. Take a Da Vinci code adventure through secret symbols buried in ancient manuscripts with Grammy-nominated A Cappella Skylark singers; head to Havana for Flamenco Dance and much more. Plus, a fireside concert; collaborations and celebrations throughout the season. Embarking on its 30th year of presenting outstanding chamber music with lively commentary, Close Encounters With Music presents a season that sizzles and sparkles with the widest swath of genres, styles, composers and instruments—and of course, the great performers who share their brilliant artistry. Upcoming guest participants include the most recent Van Cliburn Competition Gold Medalist; first oboe of the New York Philharmonic; a Tchaikovsky Competition award-winning violinist; opera, lieder, and choral vocalists; a hip-hop artist; Flamenco and classical guitarists; dance diva; and returning favorites on piano and strings. CEWM supports the renaissance of the Southern Berkshires by presenting six concerts this season at the landmark Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. Situated in the heart of Great Barrington’s historic district, the Mahaiwe offers modern comfort in the nostalgic atmosphere of a 100-year-old theater. A seventh performance is held at the acoustically superb Saint James Place. Tickets, $52 (Orchestra and Mezzanine), $28 (Balcony) and $15 for students, are available through the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, 413-528-0100 and Subscriptions are $250 ($225 for seniors) for the series of 7 concerts (a 35% savings!). Season subscriptions are available on the Close Encounters With Music website,

Let the artists know you have read about them in



CLAUDIA d’ALESSANDRO Endings are hard, regardless of their circumstances, even as they prepare us for new beginnings. Taking stock of what has been - of the riches enjoyed, or lessons learned - is part of a healthy relationship with endings. Perhaps it is no accident that we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving in the last days of November, when the year and its season of harvest are at their end. First frosts have killed tender vegetation, and leaves have fallen from all but the most tenacious trees: the mighty oaks who seem to cling to many of theirs until the spring begins again. October’s flamboyant colors, too, have faded. Its glorious golds, reds, deepest oranges, greens, purples and pinks resolve to brown, while November skies show the many shades of grey interspersed with blues and whites. Early snows give a test-frosting to higher elevations, only to disappear as the last of the warm sun continues to shine. All is winding down. Yet hints of color persist, if we pay attention. In November, many of us feel some sadness, melancholy, or wistfulness at least. Some of us take advantage of special lighting that offers us safe, indoor, ‘sun’ at a time when our days seem impossibly short. Nonetheless, the month of “Thanksgiving” offers us a chance to be grateful for having passed another year. We can appreciate the stark beauty and deep colors that surround us, even if we have to look a little harder for them. We can hear new music and see farther through the newly bared trees. In the surround of endings, we can imagine and perhaps begin to design the new beginnings that will emerge after winter’s rest, in spring. As always, in this beautiful issue of The Artful Mind, I am honored to share my appreciation of “Autumn Endings.” Nature’s images remind me of the magnificent beauty that surrounds us - the mighty power of the natural world which we inhabit. Air, earth and water serve as my canvas. I hope that you will share my appreciation of “Seasonal Reflections.” “Claudia’s photography touches our souls with deep

FOOD AS MEDICINE The kitchen is our first line of defense against disease. According to the 4,000+ year-old Indian science of Ayurveda, our tissues are created from the digested foods that we eat…so, in essence, we are what we eat. Sound familiar? Following this line of thinking, if we have an imbalance of excessive heat in our body (ex. Acid reflux, inflammation, etc.), Ayurveda would have you begin by looking at your diet to instigate change. Eating cucumber is a way to counter heat in the digestive system. Digesting turmeric is a great way to counter inflammation in the body. The principle of opposites is a key tennet in Ayurvedic philosophy. The principle of opposites theory in Ayurveda is the idea of bringing the body into homeostasis by using opposing qualities of that which is predominant or that which is in excess. To avoid a health crisis, apply the theory of opposites to dietary practices and therapeutic treatments seasonally to stave off accumulations which can cause imbalances. Said another way, seasonal cleansing can help rid your body of muck. To cleanse or not to cleanse…that is the question. Or maybe, what is cleansing? A better question to start with. A cleanse could be something as simple as eating fruit for the day, or could be

as complex as spending 3 or more weeks in India following the guidance of a doctor who suggests a dietary and physical treatment regimen, including emotional/spiritual practices. If interested in the latter, research “panchakarma”. The degree of one’s cleansing will determine the degree of clarity of that which is being cleansed…one of the many beauties of Ayurveda is that it is logical. I’ll use my own experiences as an example. At 27 I stopped eating meat and dairy for a month to see the benefits. I lost 5 pounds and cleared all of the mucus out of my sinuses and throat (and probably other places that I wasn’t aware of). That impressed me, so I took it a step farther. I followed a protocol that had me eating just fruits and vegetables for a month, along with ingesting a regimen of herbs and psyllium shakes. There was quite a bit more involved, but the moral of the story is that I lost 35 pounds in that month, my energy levels were through the roof, and I can honestly say that it changed my life in every aspect, including emotional. Cleansing can be as simple or complex as one would like it to be. However, one must know their limitations physically and emotionally, and most importantly, you must appreciate the process. If it’s torture or creates dread, change the process or just don’t do it. Your mind has to be on-board. According to Ayurveda, the mind is shaped by the five senses. During your cleansing process, enroll the mind to be “in the game”. Make sure that your surroundings support what you’re doing. Try to make everything you see, hear, touch, smell, and feel be a positive part of this rare opportunity in your life! Terrel Broussard - Ayurvedic Practitioner, Herbalist, Bodyworker; 413-329-5440.

Offering private cooking nutritional consultations and the 21 day restorative cleanse

joy!” ~ CHR “She sees with her eyes and feels with her heart.” ~ DKAH

For more information on purchasing these, or other prints, please email me at:, - visit me at, or- follow me on Facebook at and on Instagram as: dalessandronatura. Don't forget to mention The Artful Mind for Preferred Customer pricing not printed here! Cheers to all for a safe, healthy and inspiring autumn!


Photograph by Shannon Malone

BRUCEARTIST MURPHY Interview by Harryet Candee

Tell us a little about your life starting from any point you want to share. My life really began when I moved from Tyler, Texas to New York City to attend Parson’s School of Design in 1970 where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting. I had finally arrived at a place that was about art and creativity. To wake up each day in New York City, was an exciting adventure. I have tried to live my life with that same intention of excitement and creativity ever since. I have always worked for myself doing something creative and innovative. I have done home renovations and furniture building for different publications from Mechanics Illustrated to Family Circle. My carved animal 16 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

Photographs supplied by the Artist

sculptures sold for ten years at Mabel’s on Madison Avenue, and they often still appear in antique stores and homes all over the Hudson Valley. In 1996 I became the co owner of China Rose, a popular Chinese restaurant in Rhinecliff, where I renovated the building and built the bar out of a pulpit I bought at an auction. I was tired of carving animals, and the sake margaritas were a real hit, so China Rose was my fortune cookie for over a decade. For the past 15 years, I have had the good fortune to just paint and take photographs. As an artist you’ve been into sculpting, painting, and you’re a great photographer and

gardener. Am I leaving out anything? Of all these venues, which one has taught you a great deal about art and life? I think photography and gardening have taught me the most about art and life. There is a certain permanence to a photograph, and a certain impermanence to a garden. My Asian inspired garden has been in process for twenty years, and my photography began only three years ago. The iPhone camera has taught me to see the garden in ways that I had never before experienced it. The play of light on the architecture of nature is never the same from minute to minute. Knowing that the flowers are going to die, inspires me to take more and more photos.

Past Looking Forward Bruce Murphy

With your time sculpting, painting, photographing, in what ways have they overlapped or grown into the next venue? I think that my paintings have overlapped and become a part of my photography and sculptures. I did a series of copper sculptures that I painted to go with a grouping of waterfall inspired paintings. Currently, I have been taking photographs that I then pair side by side with one of my paintings. Some photographs are of my flowers, and others are of sections of medieval paintings that I photograph, and then combine them with my paintings. It is a slow process that requires going through hundreds of photos to find ones that work together. The process merges my world, with another. Spray paint, sheet metal, all kinds of paper this leads me to believe you like recycled and found materials to use when you want to make art. And it’s so far from boring for you. What got your interest in working in materials not considered traditional? I feel a big part of using nontraditional materials, has been a desire to experiment, and the other part was not being able to afford oil paints and canvases. My main medium today is spray paint

on paper, mounted on board. Lowe’s is my art supply store. My great discovery this year was large rolls of photographic paper that I use to paint on. I am also partial to children’s poster boards. A dear artist friend of mine refers to my approach as “buy cheap, and sell high.” As an artist, you use whatever you can find and afford around you, to create what your work. Have you ever explored off-the-beaten-path for materials to use at some point for making art? I have tried applying spray paint to almost anything that I could, to turn it into art. Hollow core doors, cement construction tubes, and FDS construction board. I made a nifty hat rack out of tree branches that hangs in our home’s foyer. Do you consider to be spontaneous when creating art? What part of an art medium do you spend a lot of the time just getting the concept down, as apposed to what medium do you know that makes you move fast and free? Yes, I am spontaneous when creating art, and I am also completely in another world. My painting is totally about spontaneity. I find that if I try to think and paint at the same time, I am in trou-

ble. I am applying, removing, and manipulating the painted surface using fast drying enamel paints as my medium. My work is about the painterly process that tries to balance control with accident, energy with freedom, in the mysterious creation of art. The art that I am drawn to of yours happens to be the photos which includes old art combined with your art in one image. Clever to bring history in on this, what is the all about for you? In most of my paintings I try to incorporate the use of gold and silver metallic powders, which I combine with an exuberant selection of spray paint colors. During a visit to the Met, I began to notice the incredible painted fabrics and backgrounds of Medieval paintings. I took photos of them, with future color combinations in mind, not knowing that why would often work with sections of my own paintings. When these two work together to form one photo, it is always a surprise and a joy. I like the juxtaposition of my painting with someone else’s painting to make a photograph. Merging the two seems to make them both, timeless, and permanent. Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND NOVEMBER 2021 • 17


Dahlia and Pomegranate

Bruce Murphy

Photo Studio — painting as backdrop


Aging Beautifully Bruce Murphy

Into The Mist 44” x 28” Bruce Murphy

What art have you seen and had an intense reaction? The paintings of Pat Steir and William Clutz fascinate and excite me. Pat Steir’s use of dripping paint patterns is so amazing in its spontaneity and scale. Her work is nothing short of brilliant simplicity. William Clutz painted the light and movement of New York City better than anyone else. Both painters are represented in most museums, and I am proud to say that I was a student of both of them. Gardening is one of your interests. What has transpired between the garden and your camera? Do you enhance the photos or change them in any way? I was born an avid gardener. The German abstract painter and teacher Hans Hoffman taught that nature was the origin of art and that no matter how abstract a painting, the contrasts of color, form, and texture always convey the energy of nature. This speaks to me, and my work. Like nature, my camera is in the present tense, and it is always searching for the miraculous. I do often enhance my photos, not with

photoshop, just with the iPhone photo edits. To me, this is the equivalent of painting. Photographs have always been enhanced in the dark room. Today, one can enhance on their phone. But, a bad photograph enhanced, is still a bad photograph. It all begins with a good photograph. Carrie Haddad is proud to show your paintings and I can see why. Your paintings, abstract in style, have a lot of depth, color and dimension. What technique and materials do you use to create this body of work? And scale? I have been showing at the Carrie Haddad gallery in Hudson, New York for ten years. My gratitude goes out to Carrie and her wonderful staff. Their enthusiasm for my paintings sustains a relationship that continues to inspire me. The first three years that I was showing there, I was working on sheet metal frames using a combination of spray paint, chemically induced rust, and a gold metallic powder. Even with exhaust fans the rust process was finding its way onto any metal surface in my studio. So, I have

switched materials several times from wood, to canvas, to paper, which is my current painting surface of choice. With paper, I have a choice of scale from small pieces,18 x 24 inches to 4 x 8 feet. My most recent works range from 40 x 40 inches to 28 x 44 inches. This scale works well with the painting process that I use. The combination of enamel spray paint and gold and silver metallic powders has been my choice of materials for the last 12 years. The metallic powders reflect light in different ways, depending upon which direction that you are looking at the painting. In some light, the gold and silver powders become colors. In a different light, they make the painting glow from inside the other paint colors, adding an unusual depth to the work. This use of gold can be seen in a more classical way in early Byzantine religious icon paintings. If, and when, you have the opportunity to explore a new art form, visual or performance, what would you try? Why? What a great question. I have always wanted to combine my paintings and photos into a video Continued on next page.... THE ARTFUL MIND NOVEMBER 2021 • 19


Hudson River, Rhinebeck

form, combining music and videos of nature or city life to tell a visual story. I think that may be a learning curve that would require a more technically advanced artist than me. Though, one never knows what can happen at any age. I remain open to this happening, I would certainly welcome that collaboration. Have you ever saved a piece of art from the trash and reworked it, finding the result to be a surprise after reworking it? Some of my most interesting work has been done on paintings that were destined for the trash. Working over a painting that you have absolutely no attachment to seems to often free up the creative process. I had an art teacher that made us lay our pristine white sheets of paper on the floor and walk on them. “Now,” he would say, “they are no longer so precious. There is now no pressure to think that you have to do something that is good.” I believe that an or20 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

Bruce Murphy

ganic creation is a form of magic, if not, the outcome is seldom magical. What did you have to stop doing when Covid came around, and what are you happily back at doing? During the pandemic I redesigned and built up my Japanese garden. Going nowhere caused me to paint and photograph so much more in places that I had never before explored. The worst part of the pandemic for me was not being able to go to museums and galleries in the city. I love my rural small town life, but the inspiration of New York City, Washington, or Chicago awakens parts of the creative spirit that is often subdued in the country. It always feels nice to bring it back and infuse that art back into my work. Living in Rhinecliff sounds nice! Your description of the location on the river and the way the neighborhood is changing sounds

like a sign of the times. Living in your home sounds interesting as well. Can you tell us about it? I bought my home in Rhinecliff in 1997. It is an Italianate style building that is a 30 x 30 x 30 cube with a beautiful cupola and a 30 foot front porch. When I bought it, the original cedar sided exterior from 1850 was covered by a layer of asbestos shingles. I could literally see the classical bones of the house. In 1850, Rhinecliff was a thriving river town with a major ferry stop to Kingston, and a train to New York City. My home at this time was the Union Hotel, and the owners lived on the street level, which is now my art studio. It was a slow renovation process. I think the garden creation slowed down my home renovation, but I am deeply happy with the results. To wake up and see the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains out your windows is a wonderful gift. When I forget how lucky I am to be in this incredible place, my

Fade to Black and White Bruce Murphy

partner and fellow Texan and former Manhattanite, Shannon Malone, is there it remind me. Our home is our favorite place to be. If I was to walk into your studio now, what would I be seeing you working on? ((Is your studio a mess or is it tidy? To walk into my studio is to enter a world of controlled chaos. It suffers from bad lighting and low ceilings, and hundreds of cans of spray paint.New work is on the limited wall space and it covers rolling tables. I keep telling myself that this year, I will invest in metal flat files. It is always a thrill and surprise to see my paintings in a large gallery setting. Where is that large light filled studio? I’ll continue looking……. Can you bring up a favorite film of yours and why it is one you will always remember? My favorite film is THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, set in the forgotten plains of north

Texas. I saw it in New York City at the 57th Street Cinema. I am sure that I left the cinema crying. The plot of being stuck in a place where you don’t belong, could have been my life had I not left Tyler, Texas for Manhattan. One of the great surprises of my life is that my partner, Shannon Malone, who lives and creates with me here for over a decade, was the child actress kidnapped by the preacher’s son at the end of the movie. Today, we two Texans share this life in the beautiful Hudson Valley, looking back and forward with such gratitude.

pay astronomical prices for art as an investment. The average artist today has no real dealings with this rarefied world of art, and is lucky to be represented by a gallery. My renaissance is to go the studio each day, and create for myself and hope to make a living from it. Degas said, “Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” Selling ones’ art is the same, it’s easy to sell your art when you don’t know how, and it’s difficult when you do. AS Einstein said, Creativity is contagious, pass it on.

Bruce, do you have any viewpoint on where the art world is heading now that we are going through a Renaissance of sorts? The art world of today reminds me of the original Renaissance period with the wealthy Medici family and the Church during the 13th century. The Medici of today are a small group of gallery owners and the popes are the billionaires that

Look for Bruce’s work at FB: BruceMurphy Instagram: BruceMurphyart Thank you! H THE ARTFUL MIND NOVEMBER 2021 • 21


Bruce Panock

Title of Photograph: Grasses and Reeds 22 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND


Pike’s Pond Oil on canvas, 18 x 24” 1500.

Spring Rivulets Oil on canvas, 24 x 30” 1600.

Reaching Over Oil on canvas, 11 x 14” 700.

VISIT GHETTA HIRSCH: Instagram@ghettahirschpaintings Please text or call 413-597-1716 VIRTUAL GALLERY



November Dawn Tapestry

November Sunrise Window Reflections

November Tree in Mist

November’s Robin

"Autumn Endings" "As melancholy as they may be, 'Autumn Endings' are rich with the opportunity to reflect on what has been, and to anticipate what will eventually be once again." All works are 30x24 inches, on Canvas and cost $239.

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Cleopatra Acrylic on canvas 20 x 20" 2021

Chicxulub Event Acrylic on masonite 12 x 12” 2021

Yamabiko Acrylic on Linen 12 x 12” 2021


Contact Mark Mellinger:


NOVEMBER 2021 • 25


Stacks and Piles Oil on cradled panel 125.

Maine Rocks Oil on panel 12 x 12” 400.

Summer Paradise Oil on panel 12 x 9” 350. Thoughtful Watercolor 5 x 7” 100.

Contact: (941) 321-1218 26 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND



Apollo’s Fire at Tanglewood Pen and ink 11 x 17” David Finkel and Wu Han at South Mountain Pen and ink on toned paper 11 x 8”

Nicholas Van Young, Dorrence Dance Watercolor 11 x 8 1/2” Pen and ink 11 x 17” Joshua Bell at Tanglewood Pen and ink 11 1/2 x 8”

Visit Carolyn Newberger: 617-877-5672 Commissions Upon Request THE ARTFUL MIND NOVEMBER 2021 • 27


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


Abstract Dead Tree Portrait



Abstract Wall with Flowers

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

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November the stark bleak month of autumn an invitation to go within where the fire needs tending and perhaps some mending of mind & heart


JENNIFER BROWDY, PhD Whether you’re actively working on a memoir, thinking about starting one, or just interested in using writing to reflect on your life story, Jennifer Browdy’s writers’ guides and new writing prompt cards provide stimulating fuel for your creative fires. Browdy, a longtime professor at Bard College/Simon’s Rock and the founding director of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, which ran for seven years between 2010 and 2016, now offers online writing workshops and author coaching in what she calls “purposeful memoir.” “With purposeful memoir, you are sharing your life story in the belief that others may benefit from learning about your experiences,” she says. She developed this approach in her own memoir, What I Forgot…and Why I Remembered, and shared it in her award-winning writer’s guide, The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir. Her new book, Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future, offers essays and writing prompts designed to encourage deep thinking about the ways that life choices, past and present, can impact the future. Both the book and the companion card deck of writing prompts are illustrated by Jennifer’s stunning images of the natural world. Jennifer Browdy -

How do we tend and mend our lives? In ancient eastern philosophies we learn that life is an “exercise” to learn about ourselves in relation to absolutely everything from our body, mind, spirit, family, friends, community, the universe and beyond…with the ultimate liberation of our souls/enlightenment as the outcome. Food is the foundation of this “exercise” because it is more than just fuel/calories to keep us moving, it is most importantly, energy & vibration. Different foods have different effects, qualities, healing properties, energies, and frequencies. Methods of food preparation from cutting to cooking create a variety of energies in the foods, and the attitude we have when we make our preparations, has an enormous effect on the outcome of the food. There have been so many wonderful food films that illustrate this. Like Water For Chocolate, Mostly Martha, Babette’s Feast, The Hundred Foot Journey, are some of my favorites.

Quantum science is showing us that everything is light, frequency, vibration. Eastern philosophies & indigenous people have known this and lived by this inherent knowledge. The western world has sadly strayed so far from this knowledge that people have lost the understanding that we ARE nature, nature is not something separate from us. Knowing that each plant, vegetable, fruit, nut, seed has specific properties that are essential for the health and highest functioning of every aspect of our body, the organs and all systems (the integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, lymphatic system, respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, urinary system, and reproductive systems) is a window into the divine design. This has always excited me and is the reason I have devoted myself to this way of life for 50 years. Beyond the fascinating never-ending ongoing study, it has been my pleasure and honor to assist others in their pursuit of healing, wellbeing, and an exploration of their own, in the world of matter and spirit through food, herbs, and a natural lifestyle. Closing the storefront of Elixir has given me more time to learn, reflect, practice, and teach… If you are interested in learning more about these things and this way of life, if you would like to learn how to prepare food in this way, or if you are interested in experiencing these healing high vibrational foods, contact us. Elixir -

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Interview by Harryet Candee Photography of Artist by Tasja Keetman

Harryet Candee: How would you define yourself as an artist? ERIKA LARSKAYA: I like to think of myself as someone who aspires to lay out otherwise fleeting and intangible experiences on physical surfaces. The abstract result allows for flexibility in how viewers relate to and interpret the artwork. I explore new ways of representing experiences through my artwork by experimenting with various mediums and supports. I hope to demonstrate the unlimited ways of interpreting our experiences and seeing the world around us, and I hope to encourage viewers of my work to expand their perceptions. I am very inspired by the natural environment and am fortunate to be surrounded by it. Flowers, grasses, and tree branches create such a beautiful web of lines, shapes, and colors that I find impossible not to embrace. 32 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

Motivational Interviewing

In what ways was your childhood an influence on the ways you see and think as an artist today? I was lucky to have been exposed to a wide variety of art while growing up in St. Petersburg, Russia. I've been fascinated by the old masters’ paintings displayed at the Hermitage and many other museums. Though at the time I did not understand the importance of those historic pieces of artwork and architecture, they ultimately had a profound impact on my appreciation for the arts, eventually aiding me in my self-taught process. I know you spoke of growing up in a suppressed environment in Russia and how wonderful it was to come to America to live. I would love to hear your story, please. It's been over thirty years since then. I wouldn't

Mixed media on canvas 24 x 24”

say it was wonderful; it was better than what I had before. At the time of my arrival to US, I didn't speak English, didn't have a job, and didn't know how to find one. But when you are young and adventurous, you are not so scared by those things. The first place I arrived at was Brighton Beach in Brooklyn NY. The abundance of consumer products was the biggest shock to my system. Today Russia is not that different from any other European country or the US. Rain In My Coffee is very beautiful. Tell us about this painting, please. It was a very rainy day, with lots of water falling from the sky. While painting, I was listening to "Metamorphosis" by Philip Glass, which reminds me of the rain. Earlier that day, on my way to my studio, Continued on next page...





Rain in My Coffee Mixed media on canvas 30 x 24” Erika Larskaya

I was walking to my car. I was carrying my coffee mug as I always do. The raindrops were falling, splashing into my coffee. In that moment I felt different emotions, and I was moved. I think the painting reflects that experience in a way that words cannot. Can you explain your development in the various styles you have explored with your art and how each phase led you to your most current one? Exploring various styles, tools, and mediums is necessary for an artist's development. We need to go through different stages to grow. Sometimes, we circle back to one we originally started with. To confirm that's the one, we must know the ones that are not and so we have to try other approaches as well. With each new ex34 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

ploration, I've learned something about myself and the emotional states that are evoked. Some methods of artmaking cause time at the studio to feel like torture. You can endure it if it makes sense, and you feel driven enough. It was difficult for me for some time, and I wondered, will it always be this difficult? I'm glad I now find myself at a place where artmaking is pure joy. As far as artistic challenges are concerned between you and making art, what are some of those challenges that you can shed light on for us so we get a better understanding of the meaning and reason for what you create? I think the biggest challenge is to not let fear and overthinking take over. I can always tell by looking at my work where I was not in the right headspace. Those pieces get recycled. The art

must be genuine, created without concern about it being liked or accepted. It takes practice, but it's worth the effort. Sometimes, you have this idea that your next piece must be some sort of masterpiece. I'm not sure if it's ego or sense of responsibility to the viewer and the craft itself, but that's recipe for a serious creative block. Another challenge I deal with is finding balance between creating a consistent body of work and staying motivated throughout the time it takes to complete. I might start feeling anxious to begin something new after about five pieces in! I don't have a solution for that. Ultimately, all these challenges are part of the creative and learning process, so there are no mistakes or regrets. Have you ever thought that your life paral-

Advice on Leading a Better Life Mixed media on canvas 30 x 30” Erika Larskaya

Say Nothing Mixed media on canvas 48 x 24” Erika Larskaya

leled directly with inspirations leading up to your next work of art? Can you explain your thought process using a painting you have made or will make to illustrate your answer? There is one that I have brewing in my mind. It has a lot to do with someone close to me. The complexity of it is so overwhelming that I repeatedly seem to be putting it off. I'm waiting for the proper emotional response. That's what usually drives the process. If it's a sunset, it will be about how moved its magnificence makes me feel. But when it's about a loved one, that's where it gets complicated. It gives me anxiety just talking about it. (smiling) We have gone through quiet a year, and our problem-solving skills should be at a better level due to a massive learning curve we each

experienced. Have you had any profound art experiences that you have had over the year as a reaction to circumstances beyond our control? I'm not sure if I have had any overly profound experiences in the past year, other than I've realized something I've known all along - tomorrow may never come. I've always tried to live cherishing every day as a precious gift. The pandemic has intensified feelings of living in a time when we have less control over our fate to a new extent. But being isolated for a few months and spending every day in the studio painting was surreal and exciting for me. At that time, when we had little idea how things would unfold and with no other place to go but my studio, I realized that I needed to be able to do what I love most; make art. Nothing is more im-

portant than our loved ones and doing what we love to do. Last Minute Dream is one of my favorite paintings I have seen of yours, Erika. I am wondering what the title has to do with the piece? For me, titling artwork is more challenging than making it! I often have no idea how the title will come to me, and I usually rename pieces as time goes by. For example, the original title for this painting was very literal. Then one day, I had a very colorful dream right before I woke up. All I could remember was a lot of light and colors, just like the painting. And there it was, a new title. The Last Minute Dream is currently in the show, called Chaos Theory at Spazi Gallery in Pittsfield, MA. Continued on next page.... THE ARTFUL MIND NOVEMBER 2021 • 35


The Sound of a Pink Sky Mixed media on canvas Erika Larskaya

Summary of the Day Mixed media on canvas

24 x 24”

Erika Larskaya


24 x 24”

I think I have to agree with you on the subject of finding ourselves through the children closest to us. As you have mentioned, their openness and innocence are something we can learn a lot from as we get older. Tell us more about your closeness and relationship you have with observing children and creating your art? I think all children can teach us something we've forgotten. I believe it is important to watch and listen to them instead of telling them how to do things. There is so much wisdom in the simpler ways they perceive the world. We so frequently overcomplicate our lives with things we don't need. Only after spending time with my two-year-old grandson, when he would draw for hours on every possible surface, was I able to see it. Try telling a small child that his "dinosaur" doesn't look like one, see what happens. He was not concerned with expectations or his own doubts. His work was pure expression as is. That is liberating and empowering, but not something easily mastered by us as adults. That kind of fearless artistic expression is what I try to practice when making art. Tell us about your life as it is today. Where is your studio, what interests do you enjoy outside of making art? My studio is in Torrington, CT. I'm working on exploring new ideas including my latest, working with crushed paper. "Sleepless Night" was one piece from the "crush" series, and it made it into a juried show at Five Points Gallery in Torrington, CT, earlier this year. Outside of making art, I love connecting with nature and going on walks and hiking. I love experiencing live music, especially jazz. I'm glad we are back to almost normal when it comes to live music performances! Tell me about the painting Tango, please It has my kind of energy! "Tango" was a product of my mood that day, mixed with inspiration from "La Revancha Del Tango" by Gotan Project. I've been listening to that song for a few years. Many pieces were inspired by that tune. Music is often an essential part of my process. "Tango" was indeed a joy to make, hence the energy of it. Do you have a teacher or artist in your life that is responsible for your art education and passion for being an artist? I was passionate about art before I knew what it was. As far as education goes, everyone has inspired or made an impact on me in some way. I've taken some classes in the past, but I am always learning. Every artist whose work touches my soul is my teacher. Do you have any other careers that have brought you similar joy as being an artist? I can't say I do. Continued on next page...

Last Minute Dream Mixed media on canvas 48 x 24” Erika Larskaya



The Force of Good Mixed media on canvas 24 x 24” Erika Larskaya

Tango Mixed media on canvas 40 x 30” Erika Larskaya

Making art is more profound of an experience than the regards of selling art, do you agree or have an opinion? This is a very controversial topic. Yes, creating art is more profound, and it has a very specific purpose in our society. I don't believe it should be influenced or altered by sales. But who makes the rules? Would I decline a commission because the piece doesn't meet my personal standards of the depth of my creative process? Probably not. There must be balance, and artists need to be able to pay the bills like anyone else. What are your thoughts on art materials, those that you use and being used by others, that need to be environmentally addressed? I'm a bit surprised that there is not enough talk about this. Studio safety has been well addressed, but not so much the impact of our prac38 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

tices on the environment. I seem to keep circling back to trying to find a way to create with the least amount of environmental impact without sacrificing my artistic methods. The way art materials are made is far from environmentally friendly. It's an ongoing internal conflict for me. I admire artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, who found a way of beautifully using nature's "paints" and "canvases."

And thank goodness for that, or I'd be one very miserable person. Any changes would bring different wins and challenges. I think I'd be making plenty of art no matter what.

Being an only child and using art as you did like it was a normal everyday activity enhanced your talents and honed your eyes to see as an artist does best. Do you regret anything that you lived through and would change if you could now look back? Since I have no way of knowing what would have become of me if things were different, I can't say that I regret my childhood experiences.

If there was anyone in the world past and present you would like to meet and talk with, who would that be, and why? Helen Miren. Her confidence is inspiring. I would love to experience that vibe and get to know more about her approach to life. I'd also like to meet Mikhail Baryshnikov and pick his brain about his creative process. He is relentless. Love him.

What are some of your thoughts where you would like to be five years from now? I don't think that far in advance. It takes the fun out of life.

Sleepless Night Mixed media on canvas 22 x 22” Erika Larskaya

Photo of Erika by Tasja Keetman

If you were granted three wishes, what would they be? I would redesign the nature of human behavior. I would make it so that compassion always overrides fear, and the health of our environment is a priority before immediate comfort. That counts as two of the wishes. The third wish, I'd use it to alter that part of our brain that causes substance use disorders and addictive behavior. Of all the films and books you have read, which of those are your favorite and why? The film "Stalker" by Andrei Tarkovsky is an incredible piece of work. It demonstrates the flaws in our design, our desire to expand and improve, and our inability to get there. To some, it may be a depressing thing to contemplate. However, I find it somewhat comforting. In the

film there is a line which is relevant to my creative process and the way I look at life, "Weakness is a great thing, and strength is nothing. When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible. When he dies, he is hard and insensitive. When a tree is growing, it's tender and pliant. But when it's dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death's companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win." In the literature category, I love "Master and Margarita," a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. It exposes human weaknesses and strengths with a mix of seriousness and satire.

process videos on my Instagram @erika_larskaya_studio, or visit my website,, to see my portfolio and CV. You can contact me via either one email with any questions or requests for commissions.

Thank you, Erika. Thank you, Harryet. H

Where can we see more of your art? What is your contact info to find you? You can learn more about new paintings, photos, and videos I use for inspiration, as well as THE ARTFUL MIND NOVEMBER 2021 • 39

Bay of Fundy. Photo by Carmen Mikol

JENNIFER BROWDY PhD. UPDATE | Writing to Right the World Interview by Harryet Candee

Hi Jennifer! How are you doing? What’s new in your life since our last talk? Jennifer Browdy: I think each of us has a COVID story we’ll be telling for the rest of our lives—where were you when the COVID lockdowns began? How did you weather that horrendous storm? My story is that I had just come up to Nova Scotia, Canada, where my family has a home, for my March 2020 spring break from the college where I teach, Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington MA. I was planning a getaway of 10 days. It turned into an epic 18-month sojourn, as the college shifted to online teaching and I was able to work remotely, by the sea, in this beautiful place I have come to love so much. For all the turmoil and uncertainty of this COVID time, I am grateful for the door it opened for me to have a kind of solitary retreat, calming myself way down from the frenetic pace I’d been keeping up before. Out of that tranquility came my new book and its companion card deck of images and writing prompts, along with a newfound facility with 40 • OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

leading online classes and writing workshops, which I find I thoroughly enjoy! Thank you for allowing me to look through your new book, Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future, Inspiration for Writers & Seekers. How many books do you have out now? This is the third in my purposeful memoir series, which began with my own memoir, What I Forgot…and Why I Remembered, and my writer’s guide for memoirists, The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir. I have also edited three anthologies of personal narratives by women from Latin America & the Caribbean, Africa, and North America. And then there are all the books I have edited and published for others with my small publishing company, Green Fire Press. Among many things I love about your new book are the photographs. All of them are of nature’s bounty along the coast. Where were you and was your book completed in

this location? This is the first book I’ve done that brings together many different strands of my interests and talents, including photography. I’ve been interested in photography since I was a kid— in fact one of my first jobs was staff photographer of a newspaper. When I began visiting Nova Scotia regularly, in 2006, the beautiful landscapes and seascapes rekindled my interest in photography; all the photos in both my book and the card deck were taken along the South Shore of Nova Scotia, which is where I worked on both projects during the long months of COVID lockdown. The book weaves together my experience as a teacher and scholar of personal narratives, with my own personal history, and my more recent work as a writing coach and workshop leader for memoirists. It’s divided into eight chapters that I frame as Quests for the thriving future we all desire, for ourselves and our communities, including the larger Earth community of which we are all a part. In each Quest chapter, I consider a different quality

Lupins by the Seas Jennifer Browdy, PhD Photograph from, “Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future, Inspiration for Writers & Seekers

that we will need for our individual and collective well-being: Clarity, Courage, Vitality, Guidance, Love, Community, Joy and Freedom. Each chapter briefly discusses my own search for that quality, and introduces purposeful memoirs by the writer-activists I call “worldwrights”—people like Jane Goodall, Terry Tempest Williams, Mary Oliver, Audre Lorde, John Perkins and many more, who have made a positive difference in the world, and have also written memoirs that leave us clues as to how to do that kind of personal/political/planetary work in our own lives. To that end, each chapter ends with a series of prompts for writing and reflection, so that the reader can use the book to advance their own quest for a thriving future—exploring the past in order to better understand the present, and to step more intentionally into the thriving future that we are here, in this time and place, to co-create. The photographs provide additional inspiration, a reminder of why it’s so essential to do the work in our human realm to protect and nourish the beautiful planet that gives us life. Can you talk about how the card deck fits into the book project? How do the visual

images help promote the thought process needed for writing memoir? I have enjoyed working with Tarot and other oracle decks over the years, and have been surprised at how the right card seems to spontaneously surface from the deck when I shuffle it and ask a question. I wanted to create something similar using my own images and writing prompts. So I assembled 54 of my favorite photos of Nova Scotia, and paired them with 54 of the thought-provoking writing prompts I have dreamed up in my years as a writing teacher and workshop leader. The idea is to use the deck as a starting point for writing memoir—each card is like a portal you can step through to explore different strands of your life experience. There are cards relating to each of the eight Quests in my book; cards related to the four elements I used as a structuring device for my own memoir (Earth, Water, Fire, Air); cards related to ancestry, family and place, as well as “wild cards” like Allies and Demons. I really had fun writing the prompts and pairing them with evocative images, and early users of the deck have reported that as with Tarot cards, it is remarkable how the right prompt seems to emerge when you approach the deck with an inquiring mind.

Have you had a gust of inspiration from anyone in particular you would like to tell us about? There are probably many, since you refer to many great people in your newest book. Tell us about one or two of them, and what we can learn from them through their work, and through the introductions your book provides. I have been teaching a college class called “Writing to Right the World” for a long time, along with related courses like “Women Write the World,” and “Leadership, Writing and Public Speaking for Social and Environmental Justice.” For these classes, I assembled a wide range of writer-activists from various cultural backgrounds and different moments in history, from Plato to Virginia Woolf, and on through the 20th century right up to the present moment. I call them “worldwrights,” a term I coined taking off on the word “playwright”— playwrights write plays, worldwrights write to right the world. In my new book, I include short, inspirational introductions to some of my favorite worldwrights, some of whom are well-known, others less so. For example, I talk about the pathbreaking Chicana queer activist, Gloria Anzaldua, whose work has so much to teach Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2021 • 41


Wondering by the Sea Jennifer Browdy, PhD Photograph from, “Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future, Inspiration for Writers & Seekers

us about “Seeking Clarity” despite the many ways that the culture we’re born into can confuse us. I talk about Eve Ensler, now known as V, in the “Seeking Courage” chapter—she has been way out in front of us for many years, modeling how acting with courage in one’s personal life can lead to important cultural shifts in attitudes and behavior. In “Seeking Freedom,” I talk about U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, who wrote in her recent memoir Crazy Brave about how her innate yearning for freedom helped her escape her oppressive childhood and spread her wings to become the outstanding artist, musician and writer who inspires so many of us today. From the purposeful memoirs of each of the outstanding worldwrights I talk about in the book, we can see that they all started out as ordinary children, just like you and me—and then, as they moved out into the world, they had the clarity, courage and conviction to put their values into action on behalf of a thriving future for all of us. By sharing their stories, I aim to show that each of us has the potential to make a positive difference in our own spheres of influence. So much depends on how we 42 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

show up each day—the choices we make and the risks we are willing to take to manifest our vision of a better world. Jennifer, have you had any epiphany or new wave of energy thought/experience after this book was completed? Maybe it was just for yourself, but are you willing to share it here? This book represents a culmination of my decades of experience as a teacher of the writeractivists I call worldwrights. I was always aiming to inspire my students to take what they learned and apply it to the world around them—I always wanted to break down the walls between the classroom and the world around us, and this desire has only grown stronger as we have moved into our current era of climate disruption and environmental crisis. On the wings of this book, my next project is coming into view: I will be writing a book about my experience as a student and an educator, and the new forms of education that I believe are necessary for a successful transition to a thriving future. Since my 2017 memoir, What I Forgot…

and Why I Remembered, I have been talking about the need to “align the personal, political and planetary,” by which I mean we have to take our own personal trajectories and experiences into account as we seek to solve contemporary political and planetary challenges. Young people today need to understand how we got here, as a society, as well as how they themselves emerged from the particular cultural coordinates of their time and place. Interrogating ancestral and personal history through the lens of broader cultural and historical narratives can lead to a deeper understanding of the present moment—what we want to keep and preserve as useful for a thriving future, and what we prefer to jettison as no longer appropriate. It’s essential for the educational process to become more interdisciplinary and multi-faceted. Engineers have to understand ecology and culture; biologists and doctors need to become first-rate communicators; everyone needs a better grounding in ethics and how to forecast the cascading future effects of any action taken in the present. What’s needed is a deep transformation of

Book jacket

Beach Treasure Jennifer Browdy, PhD Photograph from, “Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future, Inspiration for Writers & Seekers

our educational mission and process. I’m excited to give my own imagination a free rein to envision the possibilities—and then to think through how, pragmatically, the necessary changes might be implemented, given how hard it can be to instigate change in a huge established institutional system like education. Here again my worldwrights provide inspiration, as each of them has led the way in becoming change agents in a wide range of contexts. There is a lot of emphasis now on moving forward and getting our feet out of the mud of the COVID year we all just experienced. Somewhat of a Renaissance maybe forming. Have you noticed such a phenomena? I think the forced pause of the COVID period, as well as the many tragic deaths in our communities, led many of us to rethink our priorities. I have felt an increased sense of urgency about putting my shoulder to the wheel of creating a better world, which for me means doing even more with my teaching, writing and public presentations. Before COVID, I was only offering in-person writing workshops. Having been pushed online has actually been a great

boon for me, as I am suddenly able to reach so many more people. This year I am offering two online workshop series: “Birth Your Truest Story,” which is for fiction writers as well as memoirists, coled with the novelist Audrey Kalman; and “Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future,” which follows the trajectory of the eight Quest chapters in my new book. I also do a lot of author coaching and developmental editing, all via Zoom. And some of my college classes are still online, which allows students from the US to mix with students from all over the world. If there’s any silver lining to the COVID crisis, it’s the discovery that we can connect with each other through the Internet, without having to drive or fly anywhere. Of course, I would love to do some in-person writing retreats in beautiful places in the future, but for the moment it is exciting and fulfilling to interact with people from all over the country and the world in my online classes and workshops. In the coming years, I look forward to starting an online “Worldwrights Book Club,”

which will give people a structure for coming together to read and discuss the worldwrights in my book—there is a reading list at the back of the book that can serve as a starting point and keep us busy and inspired for quite a while! Where can people find your book and your card deck, as well as information about your upcoming workshops? All the information is on my website, The book launches on November 15, 2021 and will be available to purchase online or at bookstores and libraries. At the moment, the card deck is only available by ordering directly on my website, but I hope in the future to make it available more widely on Amazon and elsewhere. Thank you, Jennifer! H



MARY DAVIDSON Interview by Harryet Candee

My New Hat Series #59

Abstract Series #27


“‘““One of my favorite art teachers along the way used to say, ‘It is only a piece of paper and/or canvas. No Rules. -Mary Davidson

Stamped Abstract Series #16

Harryet Candee: Mary, what’s new in your life? Mary Davidson: My last year that has just passed was not really that much different for me personally. I work two days a week , I am a nurse of 44 years, I paint three or four days. I keep up with the chores around my house, I love to walk, spend time with my husband and friends and family.

I understand your husband is an artist, and often you work together. Can you explain how you work as an all-around team and artists-in-crime partnership? We share an art studio, and when we get stuck we can ask the other person to look at the painting we are working on for feedback, this is so amazingly helpful. Sometimes you get so lost in a painting you just lose perspective.

What are you presently working on in your art studio? I am currently working on my Stamped Abstract Series.

Mary, tell us about how you create your two-dimensional decorative work? Has it developed or changed over the past few years? I cannot really explain my process, I would really have to show it to another for a full understanding. I can tell you I start with an elaborated drawing, which is an abstract design at present, my favorite part, next I transfer it to canvas. I then apply acrylic paint, this I refer to as my underpainting. My next layer is stamping.

Where did the ideas come from that we see in your new body of work? I love design and that is the focus of my work at present. I have a lot of creative energy, so my ideas come from the painting I just finished. The process is evolving.

Tell us the background behind your Hat series, please. It all started in a workshop, many years ago. The teacher wanted us to incorporate something from the room, into the design we were working on. I chose my shoe. After 100 shoe paintings, I switched to a fashion figure. This is when I also started to work in a series, moving right on to the next painting, not spending time trying to figure out what to paint next. This gave me a great focus. I also was developing my own unique style. Did you enjoy your education in Fashion when you went to Newbury College in Boston? What was the focus? And, now when you work, does anything in particular come back to you that you consider important to use and work with that you were taught? I loved fashion design school, although that was many years ago now. Right out of High Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND NOVEMBER 2021 • 45



“I love the intense complexity and ambiguity of space and dimension -Mary Davidson Stamped Abstract Series #23

School, I became a nurse, and then later I went back to school for Fashion design. I have always been searching for a creative outlet, and have tried many things. Painting came into my life later. Since I was older, I could recognize my strengths and work with those, instead of tackling techniques I would never be good at. Since I love fashion, I was able to focus on the same subject matter for years. Practice, practice, practice. Just learning about color is a challenge. What outside influences have affected your skillfulness in design, concept and color? What do you look at that helps generate new ideas? My ideas seem to come from inside me, much 46 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

more than from outside, although I do believe they are the same. What medium do you work, and why do you find this medium works best with what you are creating? Acrylic paint dries very fast and is very forgiving, in the sense that you can just paint over a mistake. If you were to take on an artistic challenge, what would that be? Right now I am developing the art of stamping, for me that is challenging enough.

What do you enjoy the most about your artwork? There’s concept to completion, so much to enjoy. I enjoy the drawing, the most creative part of the process. I also enjoy the outcome of the painting, which can be quite a surprise to me. Thank you, Mary! H

What art venue would you love to learn? Right now I am happy with what I am doing.



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SHARON GUY CONNECTING WITH NATURE ART TO TREASURE My purpose as an artist is to connect with the healing power of the natural world and to encourage others to do the same. Nature is alive and infused with spirit. I constantly seek to reconnect with this spirit of nature through creating art. While I quietly observe and study land, water, and skies, the ordinary world around me is transformed by light and shadow into the sublime. I enjoy painting birds, wildlife, and scenes from the Gulf Coast to New England. My work is in private collections in the United States and Canada. Sharon Guy -,, 941-321-1218

Art is unquestionable one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colours flowers, so does art colour life. —John Lubbock

WINTER IN WATERCOLOR Winter just may be my favorite season to capture in a watercolor. Snow seems to turn everything into a magical winter wonderland. That is not to say I don’t love painting the other seasons….I just love winter the most. Often winter house portraits turn into holiday cards….plus, with your painting you will receive a cd with the image so you can be quite creative with your cards. I always welcome your house and or business portraits, depicting any season. Be sure to visit “the Art of…” Gallery on Housatonic Street in Lenox to see a new selection of my original winter paintings. Please consider shopping local this holiday season. Why worry about your gifts being stuck outside a port somewhere when you can support your own local artists and artisans right here in the Berkshires. We all thank you. Marguerite Bride – Home Studio at 46 Glory Drive, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by appointment only. Call 413-841-1659 or 413-442-7718;;; Facebook: Marguerite Bride Watercolors.


House by the Bridge Oils, cold wax medium 10 x 10” | 518. 928. 7401 Studio open by appointment THE ARTFUL MIND NOVEMBER 2021• 47

“That Shell station is new,” I continued. “It was built about two years ago, but the bathroom is a ruin, and looks like a bathroom in an abandoned building. You would have thought a bomb had gone off in the stall. I’m the only person in the world who knows how that bathroom got into such a sorry state because I did it myself, a little bit at a time.” Then again I looked up at my listener, but seeing only a sympathetic expression on her face, I continued. "I was hiding in that bathroom, because I didn't want anyone to see me and tell my Mother what I was doing. I don't think my Dad would have minded so much, even if he had been alive, but my Mother would have given me the silent wounded treatment.

Something For Over The Couch PART 6

“I Start To Smoke” Sitting at the kitchen table that Saturday afternoon I began telling my substitute art teacher about the first time I smoked a cigarette. I had already told my brother about it and it made him laugh. He was drinking a glass of milk when I told him, and he laughed so hard milk ran down his face from his nose. The milk on his face was funnier than my story, but we could always make each other laugh till we cried. So now I began to tell this “funny story” to my art teacher. I tapped my cigarette into the Cinzano ashtray on the table and began. “About three years ago, just about the time I began doing the watercolor abstraction paintings in a sketchbook, I woke up about one in the morning and went downstairs to the kitchen. Everyone was asleep. I stood on a chair and from the top shelf of a cupboard took a pack of cigarettes from my father’s carton. He was dead, but his carton was still in the same place as always. I went out for a walk in the dark. I had decided to start smoking.” Hanna interrupted me at that point asking, “How long was it after your father died that this happened?” but I continued without answering her question. “That night it was violently windy. The wind came in gusts that made me walk like I was drunk. It would blow so hard, and so suddenly that you would be pushed right off the sidewalk into the street, and you could stretch out your arms and just lay on the wind, as if it was a mattress, and it kept you from falling onto your face. At the corner of Sunset and Mildred I turned left, and went over to Rose Place. I walked to the corner to the Shell Station, and went to the men’s room at the back of the building. The door was unlocked, it was unlocked because I had jammed a piece of bubble gum cigar into the latch the week before, and it had not been fixed yet." Suddenly I stopped speaking as I became aware that I had told an adult, and a teacher about my act of vandalism, but she seemed unconcerned so I continued. 48 • NOVEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

I took the pack out of my coat pocket and banged it on my fist, like everyone does, and then I banged the pack again on my hand so that three cigarettes peaked out, like you see in advertisements. I lit a cigarette and blew out some smoke, but I didn't inhale. I kept puffing and blowing out the smoke without breathing it in and I only felt a little light headed at first. The taste and smell were very strange, I can’t describe it. Later, when I had really started to smoke it never again tasted or smelled like the first time. Suddenly, without intending to, I inhaled a mouthful of smoke down into my lungs, and then all hell broke loose in my body. I felt like I had breathed in a mouthful of molasses, and thought I would die before I could breathe again. Then I threw up all over the door of the stall, and broke out in a cold sweat all over my whole body, even my feet. I put out the cigarette without taking any more drags from it. I tried to stand up but I couldn’t because the stall was spinning around too much. My heart was pounding bam, bam bam, and then it would suddenly stop like it was going to take a rest, and then it would start up even faster like it was late for work. All that was nothing compared to how frightened I suddenly became. My mind was racing and I wanted to do a lot of things all at once. Right then and there, I wanted to get some things, some very important things, settled once and for all. The first thing I wanted to do was to tell the gas station attendant that it was me that had vandalized the bathroom. I was going to go straight to the office and tell them but if I let go of the walls of the stall the walls would speed up, and I would need to sit down again. I soon realized how to get the walls to slow down. I threw the pack of cigarettes into the toilet, and flushed them down. That did the trick, and I started to calm down. I decided to go home, wake up my Mother and tell her about the gas station, and about smoking cigarettes. I was sure this was the best thing to do. I ran almost all the way home, but I stopped at that mailbox at the corner. I was going to make a vow to never smoke any more cigarettes again when my mind started to play a funny trick on me, and I thought I was seeing things.

In the light of the street lamp I noticed the letters U.S. Mail on the side of the mailbox. These letters were raised up and the edges of them were lit up by a street light. It was as if the letters had never been there before, and had now appeared out of nowhere, just because I was looking at them. I ran my fingers over the letters, and I can’t find the words to describe how interesting their shapes were. Across the street was an apartment complex where I had the job of taking out the trash cans on Monday and Wednesday nights, and I realized, as if for the first time, that there were people I would never know living there. It sounds stupid, but I never realized it before, in that way. It was two in the morning. On the second floor a light was on, someone was watching television. It was so clear to me, as if it was stretching itself out to me, and pressing itself onto my eyeballs. At the same time I began to feel wonderful. I felt strong and good. I felt like I understood everything, I felt like I even understood the sidewalk, in a way I had never realized before. But, most of all, I decided to smoke another cigarette. So I went into the house and stole another pack. I went up to the corner and stood by the mailbox and lit up. I was careful not to inhale too much at one time, and, sure enough, I felt dizzy and sick again, but it didn’t bother me so much, since I was expecting it. I looked at the sidewalk, and thought about how, like a continuous ribbon, it wandered about and connected all the different sections of the city, and I set out in the night to follow it. I would walk to a corner, and not decide which direction to go until the very last instant, either to go straight, to the left or to the right. I walked for two hours, with my collar up and my head down while the wind blew first into my face, then against my back, and then again into my face again, for, as I said before, it was the edge of a hurricane that night. After that, somehow, I became a different person. I have been smoking for two years already, and nobody knows about it. I am not a heavy smoker however, half a pack a week is my limit.” My substitute art teacher found nothing to laugh about that afternoon as we sat talking in her kitchen. I could see myself that it was not exactly a funny story, and fell more into the category of the confession of a crime. Like a confession to a person who might only not find fault, but even absolve you of guilt, and even go further and cheer you on in your aberrant behavior. But Hanna was after something darker, and once I had finished my funny story, she again asked me about the death of my Dad. Again I refused, and to change the subject said I wanted to tell her about the art collection in my house, but it would have to wait for the following Saturday, after the lawn was done. —RICHARD BRITELL PARTS 1 THROUGH 5, AT SPAZIFINEART.COM (SHORT STORIES)


Time Flies D Get Pictures 413-446-8348

Morgan Bulkeley


15”x12” Oil on carved, gessoed wood 2021

Website: Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA

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