The Artful Mind magazine JUNE 2022

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JUNE 2022


Artist Alex Kamaroff Glendale Brook Gallery Lenox MA

Photograph by Edward Acker







Publisher Harryet Candee Copy Editor Marguerite Bride Third Eye Jeff Bynack Advertising and Graphic Design Harryet Candee Contributing Writers Richard Britell Liz Lorenz Bob Edwards Photographers Edward Acker Tasja Keetman Bobby Miller ADVERTISING RATES 413 ‐ 645 ‐ 4114 | Instagram FB Open Group: ART GALLERY for artful minds The Artful Mind Box 985 Great Barrington, MA 01230


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Bruce Panock

A Bucket of Blues 2021, Oil on canvas, 34 x 24”


Http:// Http:// 917-287-8589

Mark Mellinger Paintings - Collage - Construction

100 North St Pittsfield #322 914. 260. 7413 Arshile Gorky and his Mother 1916. Acrylic and Collage 2020



"The George Russell, Jr. Trio with Lydia Harrell at the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival"

Jazz in the Berkshires 4 • JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND


Jacob’s Pillow, Watercolor, 15” x 22”


Ghetta Hirsch

“Summer Hill” 16”X20” Oil on Canvas

Home Studio Visits by appoinment: 413. 597. 1716 THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2022 • 5


35 Days to Baltimore Monday, June 20, 7:00 pm- 8:00pm The Spencertown Academy in collaboration with The Chatham Bookstore presents Jana Laiz and Alex Portillo for a reading and discussion of their new book, Thirty-Five Days To Baltimore. In 2004, seventeen-year-old Alexis Portillo embarked on a harrowing journey from Honduras to Baltimore in the hopes of starting a better life. Over a decade later, Alex recounts his story to author and activist, Jana Laiz in this bilingual retelling. This book will give readers insight into the incredible power the American…Spencertown Academy Arts Center 790 Route 203, Spencertown, NY 518-392-3693 /

ART 510 WARREN STREET GALLERY 510 WARREN ST, HUDSON NY • 518-822-0510 june 6-26: Ian Wilson Clyde: “Grey to Green” BERNAY FINE ART 296 MAIN ST, GREAT BARRINGTON, MA • 413-645-3421 June 17-July 10: Lines and Colors: The show will feature the work of: Noah Post, Simona Prives, Karen Schaefer and Lynda Schlosberg. We are extremely excited to include the work of Jane Fine and Sabrina Marques. Opens July 15: Summertime CARRIE CHEN GALLERY 16 RAILROAD ST, GT BARRINGTON, MA • 413- 645-3006 Form, Light, Color: Dai Ban, Liane Nouri and Susan Lisbin; thru June 26. CARRIE HADDAD GALLERY 622 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY • 518-828-1915 My Own Backyard: Frank DePietro, Jeri Eisenberg, David Konigsberg, Allyson Levy, Ragellah Rourke; Reception, June 4, 5-7pm CLARK ART INSTITUTE 225 SOUTH ST, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA • 413-458-2303 June 18-Sept 18: Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern 6 • JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND

DIA BEACON 3 BEEKMAN ST, BEACON, NEW YORK June 24--June 5, 2023, Dia Bridgehampton: Leslie Hewitt; Robert Irwin, opening Aug 6, Dia Beacon FERRIN GALLERY 1315 MASS MOCA WAY, NORTH ADAMS, MA 413-346-4004 Public Reception & Artist Talk: June 4, 4-6pm with Sergei Isupov; Sergei Isupov: Past and Present: features new ceramic sculptures presented with both a multi-dimensional, mixed-media wall installation and independent pedestal-based works. HANCOCK SHAKER VILLAGE 1843 WEST HOUSATONIC ST, PITTSFIELD, MA May 30 opening: A Spirit of Gift, A place of Sharing. A campus-wide exhibition featuring three artists—Yusuke Asai of Japan, Kimsooja of Korea, and Pinaree Sanpitak of Thailand—who explore links between 19th century Shaker art and contemporary Asian art. HIS DAUGHTER PALOMA CONTEMPORARY GALLERY OF ART & OBJECTS 26 CHURCH ST, LENOX, MA 413-551-7500 Sat, June 4: 1 Climate 8 Realities

HUDSON HALL 327 WARREN ST, HUDSON,NY WWW.HUDSONHALL.ORG June 25-Aug 28: Alan Coon, Annuals 1998-2022: For the past two decades, artist Alan Coon has created one selfie a day, each year documented on a single piece of paper; June 25-Aug 28: T. Klacsmann MASSMoCA 1040 MASS MoCA Way NORTH ADAMS, MA 413-622-2111 / INFO@MASSMOCA.ORG On view now: Choreopolitics: Brendan Fernandes & Nibia Pastrana Santiago: Choreopolitics juxtaposes the work of multidisciplinary artists Brendan Fernandes and nibia pastrana santiago, who use dance to resist, heal, and connect. NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM 9 RTE 183, STOCKBRIDGE, MA / NRM.ORG JUNE 11-OCT 30: IMPRINTED: ILLUSTRATING RACE: Examines the role of published images in shaping attitudes toward race and culture. PAMELA SALISBURY GALLERY 362 1/2 WARREN ST, HUDSON,NY 518-828-5907 INFO@PAMELASALISBURYGALLERY.COM June 11-July 10: Kiki Smith and Valerie Hammond: Wander; Shari Mendelson: Greetings and Offereings; Portia Munson: Momento Mori; Jennifer Coates: Para Pastoral; Phoebe Helander: Sessions

The High Kings July 21, 2022 • 8:00 pm Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA 413-528-0100 | Finbarr Clancy, Darren Holden, Brian Dunphy Paul O’ Brien The High Kings continue to set the bar extremely high for Irish Folk bands across the world

photo courtesy The Mahaiwe

SCHANTZ GALLERIES CONTEMPORARY GLASS ART 3 ELM ST, STOCKBRIDGE, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-3044 / SCHANTZGALLERIES.COM OPEN BY APPOINTMENT STORM KING ART CENTER 1 MUSEUM RD, NEW WINDSOR, NY Wanechi Mutu, May 21-Nov 7, 2022; Outlooks: Brandon Ndife, May 21-Nov 7, 2022 SOHN FINE ART 69 CHURCH ST, LENOX, MA 413-551-7353 / INFO@SOHNFINEART.COM Ongoing photography exhibits WILLIAMS COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART 15 LAWRENCE HALL DR #2, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA (413) 597-2429 / HTTP://WCMA.WILLIAMS.EDU/ May 14-June 11: Strict Beauty: Sol LeWitt Prints "Strict Beauty: Sol LeWitt Prints" is the most comprehensive presentation of the artist’s printmaking to date, including single sheets and print series, for a total of more than 200 individual prints.

THEATRE SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY 70 KEMBLE ST, LENOX, MA 413-637-3353 / SHAKESPEARE.ORG June 3-July 3: “An Iliad” From Robert Fagles’ translation, An Iliad transforms Homer’s epic poem into a riveting monologue. Crafted around the stories of Achilles and Hector with language that is both poetic and conversational, An Iliad refreshes a world classic, thus creating a powerful piece of theater that explores the human compulsion toward violence.

MUSIC ASTON MAGNA MAHAIWE PERFROMING ARTS CENTER, 14 CASTLE ST, GT BARRINGTON, MA 413-528-0100 / MAHAIWE.ORG JUNE 25, 7-8:30PM: Aston Magna presents “Humanity and Lucifer” and “The Soldier's Tale.” CLARION CONCERTS ANNUAL GALA! SAINT JAMES PLACE, 352 MAIN ST. GREAT BARRINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS June 5, 3-4:30pm: annual fundraising gala, featuring the return of a quartet of players from the New York Philharmonic! Sheryl Staples, Yulia Zizkel, Cong Wu and Eric Bartlett will play a program of string quartets by Haydn and Schubert in a beautiful private location in Egremont, Massachusetts. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC • 800-843-0778 MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 14 CASTLE ST, GT. BARRINGTON, MA SUNDAY JUNE 12, 4-5:45: Musica Latina. Classical Spanish and Flamenco dancer and choreographer Irene Rodriguez has been the leading figure of Spanish dance in Cuba. CEWMUSIC@AOL.COM

HUDSON HALL 327 WARREN ST, HUDSON,NY WWW.HUDSONHALL.ORG June 24: Aston Magna Summer Music Festival; Enjoy five evenings of Baroque and Classical music by Hudson Valley’s own early music masters

MASS MOCA 1040 MASS MoCA Way NORTH ADAMS, MA / 413-622-2111 / INFO@MASSMOCA.ORG JUNE 10, 8PM: KRAFTWERK 3-D Kraftwerk stops in North Adams during their 3-D tour of “multi-sensory magnificence” (The Guardian). MUSIC MOUNTAIN MUSIC MOUNTAIN, FALLS VILLAGE, CT 860-824-7126 / MUSICMOUNTAIN.ORG June 12, 3-5pm: Misha & Cipa Dichter Piano Four Hands and Piano Solo Program; Brahms, Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak ST. JAMES PLACE 352 MAIN ST. GT BARRINGTON, MA SAINTJAMESPLACE.NET June 12, 4-6pm: The Art of the Improvisation: Two Keyboards in Dialogue. From Giovanni Gabrieli's Canzonas, Bernardo Pasquini's improvised Sonatas for two figured bass lines, to Handel's (unfinished) Suite for two Harpsichords. TRINITY LIME ROCK 484 LIME ROCK RD, LAKEVILLE, CT 860-435-2627 / TRINITYLIMEROCK.ORG June 25, 6-8pm: Grandson of Afro-Brazilian Slaves:Classical Star Composer José Maurício Nunes Garcia. Matinas do Apóstolo São Pedro à 6 (1815) and Missa S. Pedro de Alcantara à 4 for chorus, soloists, two bassoons, and organ; “Te Christe solum novimus” (1800) for soprano and organ. Crescendo Chorus, Soprano Schauntice Shephard and Baritone Jermaine Woodard Jr., Crescendo Period Instrument Ensemble. THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2022 • 7

KK Kozik, SIgnal, 2018, Oil on linen, 57 x 46”

KK KOZIK VISUAL ARTIST Interview by Harryet Candee

Harryet Candee: What mental process goes on in your mind when you first begin a painting? KK Kozik: What I am attracted to in painting is usually driven by something going on inside me, a state of mind, an interest, a conflict, and it is usually something below the surface, often below consciousness. Then I stand back and eventually come to understand what I have made and that I am communicating. Signal, for instance, was painted when I was about to turn 50 and I was living in Sharon, CT, raising my family and still trying to eke out an existence making good paintings that could connect to other people. I think the lava lamp is me, kind of groovy, kind of cheesy, not too powerful in terms of casting light but still trying to send a message out into the ether. I wanted to place the lava lamp is an unglorified, industrial environment like a working artist’s loft so the lava lamp is plugged in with a tangle of heavy-duty extension cord. What amused me later was what my subconscious did there: the extension cord is snarled up 8 • JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND

Photographs Courtesy of the Artist

in cans of paint, like it is the paint that powers the lamp, like it is the paint that powers me. I get attracted to certain subject matter for the reason above — my subconscious — and then I am looking for things that will be fun or challenging to paint and things that have not been seen before. My goal is to make a stand-out painting that packs a punch so I am not ever working with variations on a theme like many artists do. My bodies of work and shows end up looking quite varied. An example of how a painting comes to be is the recent painting Fishing Line (2022). I had seen several images of fly fishermen standing in rivers. Their lines are wet and the sun is hitting the looping wet lines as they cast. The lines lit by the sun are in complicated, calligraphic shapes and I thought, “Lines are a big part of drawing and painting, I should see if I can turn this line into a painting.” But it was a big challenge to marry something graphic like a line in a loosely painted, brushy painting. This painting has gotten a great response so now I am working on a painting with

two fishermen with lines overlapping. Transporting viewers on an active adventure is what you must enjoy as part of the art making experience. Mystery, curiosity, even intrigue lurks behind every corner within and far beyond the boundaries of the canvas. Looking into Ghost, 2021, I really do not search for your explanations, but am encouraged to see what I can discover on my own. However, when I discover symbols, such as the crow and circle around the tree, I really do want to know about what you were thinking. KK: Well I saw a tree like this one in Oregon, and it stood by itself in the forest almost like the other trees around it were, standing back and giving it space, like it was a respected elder. It felt ritualistic and I wanted to convey that. I wanted to bring out the ritualistic feeling and that’s where the crow marching in a circle came from. In what ways have you opened up to new ways

KK Kozik, Fishing Line, 2022, Oil on linen, 37 x 46”

of seeing now that you live in the country? KK: I think living in the country has slowed me down, and I developed a new interest in landscape as subject matter and maybe even more importantly in landscape painters. I developed an appreciation for Tom Thomson, Fairfield Porter, Alex Katz, Lois Dodd, Charles Burchfield and grew interested in the abstracted way they rendered what was in front of them. Aside from being a visual artist, you are also a writer. You have many written entries about artists in the publication, Brooklyn Rail. Are you still actively writing? KK:Yes, I am though only periodically. For some reason, my last website deleted half of the entries which were PDFs of articles I wrote for a publication I was an editor on that has only just begun to digitize the contents, and I have not had time to put them back together. I have published over 100 articles in 15-ish publications. The last one I wrote was an interview and discussion with Katherine

Bradford about her painting “Mother Joins the Circus.” It was requested for an issue of New Observations Magazine but was pulled at the last minute. You certainly have my curiosity going when I look at your unlabeled walls of books you have painted. Can you tell us about the Bookshelf Series? What prompted you to choose this subject to paint? It must be your desire to exercise design skills you possess? Pushpins is a very interesting painting. KK: The bookshelf series evolved from a more typical earlier interior of mine that had a red library. There were two or three versions of this subject. I had developed an interest in very shallow space like the paintings of 19th-century American painter William Harnett. These paintings were typically of Ephemera and had a trompe-l’oeil quality. I love books and I see them as repositories of ideas, thoughts and memories - if there is a book on my shelf I have probably read it but may have

forgotten all about it. Something similar happens in many artist studios where something they have seen will interest them and they will pin up a photo or a postcard from a museum showing a painting they like or something ripped from a Magazine or a quote… anything that they want to hold onto. I like the geometry of books and that I could paint them really loosely. The paintings ended up being frontal and had an abstract quality together with an illusionistic quality which I thought was an intriguing duality. There are many copies of paintings I like that look like they are postcards tacked to the shelves. In Pushpins, the copies are all of Tom Thompson northern lights paintings. Not everyone knows who he is - an early 20th-century Canadian painter who I adore. The poppy also tacked to the shelves was in honor of my dad who had died — he was a veteran. The little piece of paper has my outdated Brooklyn phone number on it. Just something I remembered. Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2022 • 9


KK Kozik, Pushpins, 2019, Oil on linen, 37 x 46”

KK Kozik, Cabin Fever, 2018, Oil on linen, 24 x 28”


KK Kozik, Ghost 2021, Oil on linen, 57 x 46”

Cabin Fever seems as if you are sending a message, where is that paper plane going? KK: I don’t think there is any big message in this one. It was a gesture I liked, throwing the paper plane, and I also liked the loop it made in its flight through the composition, and how the viewer could complete the movement. At this time, what are you mainly concerned with accomplishing at this time? Artistically, personally, spiritually? KK: I’m heading into a lot of transitions that all seemed to be bearing down on me at the same time. I’m mostly concerned with surviving those. I have some notions of the next few paintings I intend to pursue so I am in gear on those. It will be interesting in the future to look back and see what I was getting at, what my subconscious was trying to tell me. What takes up most of your time? How is it you

manage to divide your time up with so much on your plate? KK: I’m a hard worker and very organized. How did ICEHOUSE Project Space first begin its exciting projects that involved many handpicked artists offering large-scale installations? Why did you feel the need to make this possible? KK: On our property we had a historic 18th-century icehouse that we fixed up as a playhouse for the kids, which they soon outgrew. Then, it became a repository for junk but I kept looking at it and thinking, this could be a cool exhibition space. I finally got my ass in gear and cleaned it out and repainted it. This coincided with my children growing up and heading to college, and I felt the need to reconnect to my tribe. I have curated projects in the past so it seemed a natural development. The next project is a group show called “Baggage” executed in tandem with a Brooklyn project space called Russell Janis Projects.

The question underlying the concept is, “What do artists take with them when they leave New York?” It emerged from the experience many have had, that they are forced out of New York by finances or COVID, or they choose to leave and face some culture shock, or a feeling of leaving community behind. There are 18 artists, and each has been given a suitcase box, a blank box shaped like a suitcase with a handle, and their task is to reflect on the experience and fill or alter the box anyway they see fit. Baggage opens May 18 at Russell Janis and then travels to ICEHOUSE Project Space and reopens July 9.



FOOD AS MEDICINE LAKSHMI’S GARDEN Last month I focused on the cleansing of the 5 senses and its effects. This week I’ll look at another aspect of intestinal cleansing, which in Sanskrit is called kavaigunia, otherwise referred to as a person’s weak link. In a nutshell…the human body is made up of groups of specialized cells, which come together to form different structures in the body. Liver cells form the liver, bone cells form bones, etc. Cells are formed from the essences of the foods we eat. Basically, mastication (chewing) stimulates digestive juices that flood the mouth and stomach. From that point, foods are continually broken down until the foods are turned into juices that flow from the small intestine to the colon. These nutrient-rich juices are assimilated back into the system where tissue creation begins. The excess of foodstuffs is then eliminated by the body, hopefully. As you can imagine, this process can run into any number of snags. Let’s start at the beginning.

If someone is not chewing their food properly, then they will be relying more on the liver to produce the appropriate amount and quality bile to help breakdown foods. If the liver is not functioning optimally, foods will not be broken down sufficiently, and our digestion and assimilation will suffer. As discussed recently, accumulation can happen once digestion is bogged down. This can have a detrimental outcome because of its effect on one’s digestive fire. Digestive fire is referred to as Agni. According to Ayurveda, when our Agni is altered, disease can ensue. When digestive fire is insufficient, food is under-processed and certain nutrients and qualities are missed. If the fire is too high, your food juices are overcooked with a similar outcome. Inappropriate digestive fire creates substandard tissues and recognizable conditions, such as constipation or loose bowels, respectively, for example. Disease has a process. It does not begin when our symptom(s) arises. Disease begins when our weak link has progressed to a point of cellular deterioration, which leads to cellular failure. According to Ayurveda, there are 6 stages to disease: 1) accumulation, 2) aggravation, 3) dissemination, 4) localization, 5) manifestation, and 6) diversification. It is during dissemination that pre-symptoms begin showing, and during localization that the disease finds its weak link to create a home. The manifestation stage is typically where Western medicine acknowledges and identifies a disease and gives its diagnosis.

It’s important to recognize the three major areas of the body that are involved in the disease process: 1) The digestive system (origin of disease), 2) the circulatory system (site of dissemination or spreading), and 3) the localization site (the body’s weak link). The cleansing process is an opportunity to reset the quality of cells produced by the body. What we put into our body determines the outcome. Eating easily digestible foods for an extended period of time while removing complex, processed foods allow for the digestive system to flush itself while we feed the body excellent building blocks for new tissues. Certified organic food assures us that precautions were taken to ensure the highest quality of care in its production. Small production and local farming have the potential to give the same assurances. There is a saying, “you get what you give”… give your body subpar food, and you will get subpar cells. Please see our ad in this issue of The Artful Mind and refer to our column in previous issues for more information on cleansing. Be well and heal thyself! Lakshmi’s Garden, Terrel Broussard, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Herbalist, Bodyworker. 413-329-5440.

Carolyn M Abrams

Diedre Bollinger DBA

homespun productions 518-429-9658

A Sense of Place, 11 x 14” on cradled panel oils/cold wax collage Carolyn M Abrams Art

~ landscape design gardening ~ certified designer & horticulturalist; insured; references


Atmospheric and Inspirational Art Brunswick New York Studio visits welcome — Call for appointment

An Invitation from the Faerie Queen A timeless traveler from a magical realm I am happy to announce that I shall return To the Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival On June 18th, from 10 am-10 pm At Bowe Field in Adams, MA. Please come in costume if you wish To celebrate the arts and creativity The admission is $10 for adults Ages 6-12 $4 Five and under Free There will be storytelling A Faerie Village Music and puppets Merchants and artisans Enchanting Delectables And so much more! Come to my Queen's pavilion And I shall send you on a quest For faerie wings and other things And tell you ancient stories From our faerie lore.

Portrait of the Faerie Queen by Deirdre Flynn Sullivan


Ode to Ana Mendieta (installation in Mahwah NJ using goose feathers, feed, rocks and ground hog hole) (Digital) 2014

MATUSCHKA VISUAL ARTIST Interview by Harryet Candee Harryet Candee: Choosing paintings that answer these questions, with your words, explain to us who you are, and how can we follow your visual expressiveness and language? Matuschka: My visual ‘language/style’ is basically organic, rarely mapped out, but chosen by happenstance, what is going on around me, when I migrate from one location to another. For instance, when I rented an office space in Mahwah, NJ to work on my memoirs, during breaks from the computer I would go on ‘nature walks’ around the grounds of this peculiar sky scrapper awkwardly located in the middle of a nature preserve where ducks, geese, porcupines, ground hogs, hawks and rabbits—had first rights to the land. But those who owned the property didn’t want these creatures spoiling their walkways and water fountains. Unfortunately, the water fowl often got trapped in man-made ‘lakes’ with steep walls, and no way to get their offspring out, or even when the adult geese lose their flight feathers after ‘giving birth’. So, I found myself making ramps for them to get out of the water and tried to protect their nests which I started photographing along with their eggs. I was also fascinated by the tunnels and holes 14 • JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND

Photographs Courtesy of the Artist

the ground hogs dug. I have a serious case of pareidolia so I ended up embellishing these ‘artistic’ landscapes that the beasts of the fields already made naturally, with feathers I collected, bird food, sticks and rocks, and then took pictures of ‘our collaboration.’ Show me “control”. M: I was lucky to have Jennifer Bartlett as a teacher at SVA in 1974. She stressed one very important rule: be responsible for every square inch of the canvas or surface you’re working on. Every drip, splatter, smudge, or marking should be intentional. If you look at my abstract work, it is very neat and orderly. Every paint particle is there for a reason. Show me “Radical”. M: I think my most radical work, if we apply the standard definition, lies within my photographic works. Particularly my “Minus One series” and “I love myself more than I love myself” monograph soon to be published. There’s a saying in photography: if what you see thru the lens you’ve seen before, don’t take it again. My motto precisely. I

always work within a theme I’ve ‘accidentally stumbled upon’, and then riff it out. My breast cancer series, for which I’m most known for, took a lot of time figuring out the images: first I made drawings before shooting the images. Show me “freedom to live”. M: I was really impressed with Ana Mendieta’s work and pay homage to her in two images that I created when I was hanging out with the geese and groundhogs in Mahwah, NJ. I knew of her work, as it was explosive, revolutionary. Extraordinary. I remember how I felt that day the news broke that she had died, a most extraordinary death which kind of mimicked her art. A sadness came over me like I never felt before…. I just knew I lost a ‘sister’ (a soul mate I had never met), but I knew she was someone who was creating exceptional work and something was wrong with this story how she died. Injustice. When I created the images in Mahwah, she was always in the background—because I was creating ‘landscape art’ mostly with eggs and sewers, nests and holes, but then I decided to do a riff on her style. For those who might not know her work,

Matuschka, Karen’s Circles, Mixed media on canvas. 70 x 32”, 2000

I believe a painting already tells a story and generally needs no explanation. —Matuschka they may think I came up with this idea of tracing my body in the ground. But I didn’t. I just wanted to show a ‘life’ after death sort of trip after witnessing so many animals and birds dying on that property. It wasn’t exactly a grave I was trying to recreate, but more like ‘death is not final in nature, any angel knows that.’ Show me “constraint and discipline”. M: In my new works, which I feel are most controlled, I now work on a flat yet adjustable, large table. The work is ‘more precision orientated than when I was working on canvasses hung on the wall. I actually prefer to work on the floor but due to a back injury—maneuvering around a canvass on the ground is more difficult than sitting in a chair— whereby the canvass is positioned at any angle I select—on an oversized adjustable drawing table. Currently I work on multiple canvasses in oil and then combine and connect the canvasses together. Instead of asking you: What do these colors mean to you that is used in your work, I would like to ask you: Can you explain who is Orange? Continued on next page...

Matuschka with Parrot, Photograph by Mark Chin, 2021



Matuschka, The Pink Pussy Explosion (Mixed-media on Paper) 22 x 14” (From 1974 during Matuschka’s student years at SVA)

Photographic Image from 2001, I Love Myself More than I love Myself

Photo copy over-lay. 2 & ¼ Negative film

Matuschka, Black Sewer Tunnel, (Ink and charcoal on paper) 22 x 14”, (From 1974 during Matuschka’s student years at SVA)


Matuschka, E-4 Triptych, Oil on canvas 24 x 84”, 2022

Matuschka, NM Hanger, Oil on canvas 24 x 30”, 2022

Who is White? Who is Pink, who are these characters in your art ? M: Seeing familiar objects or patterns in otherwise random or unrelated objects or patterns is called pareidolia. It’s a form of apophenia, which is a more general term for the human tendency to seek patterns in random information. Everyone experiences it from time to time. People looking at my work often see faces, heads or figures in the paintings. But this is never intentional. I have pareidolia, you have pareidolia. And in some cases you may have an acute case, as I do of Apophenia. And so, I never thought of ‘characters’ emerging out of my work, or emulating people or ‘things’ as representational. If I take your question metaphorically, I’d say: Orange is for Donald Duck and Dennis the Menace. White is for Snow White & the 7 dwarfs or egrets and snowy white owls Pink is for the music performer named “Pink.”

(obviously) And the pink rubber ball I played with as a youngster which is seen in one of the sewer series I created in 1974—an assignment from Jennifer Bartlett. Why explain anything to anyone about art? Shouldn’t it be all experiential? M: I have never written an artistic statement… And doubt I ever will, or even could. Many artists can explain their creations. I suppose when they do, they run the risk of putting themselves and their works into little boxes with various fashionable or intellectual labels. The definition of what art is supposed to be—or meant to you— is really up to you. Painting is a form of freedom for me: I guess it’s a way of meditating. I don’t have any thoughts or worries when I paint. In that sense, I have no idea what I was thinking when I created any of these pieces, and “what” — if “anything” — these paintings mean. Often the challenge of explaining one’s art becomes too analytical. I believe a painting already tells a story and generally needs no ex-

planation: strong images stand on their own and can and will provide multiple meanings for different people. Rarely does a work provoke no feeling at all. There will always be some sort of reaction/feeling or thought will be generated by the person observing ‘it’. Therefore, I cannot really ask anyone to see my work through any perspective other than their own. For me, art is a form of magic: there’s no logic whatsoever behind it. While the viewer may be interested in the process of how I came about inventing my visual language, it has taken me decades to look back and connect the dots. But that doesn’t mean I figured anything out— or have an explanation now. What I do know and am happy to share are my preferences, my influences, mentors, experience and education which directed me in many ways that shaped my work. I bet if you were in the jungle, you would still need to create art. Yes? M: Art is my weapon against insanity and mediocrity. Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2022 • 17


Matuschka, Pink (p-3), Oil on canvas, 24 x 36”, 2022

Creating is the only time I really feel well, this time in my life, at this particular juncture in history, I can actually feel orgasmic, as the endorphins kick in and I paint spontaneously. That’s when I become high on ‘accidental opium.’’ These are the time times I can just riff and rip like a jazz musician. So to answer the question more completely, I suppose we could take a look at my past when I was a kid, way before art school, when I began my rural landscapes installations in the woods by the Hackensack River in a little town called River Edge. These fantasy ‘worlds’, which I created out of rocks, twigs leaves, etc. would be revisited later, when I was about 20 and a student of one of the greatest teachers I ever had, Jennifer Bartlet. Her assignments were extraordinary and her lessons in the application of paint, —tedious—- but important for anyone using the medium. 18 • JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND

How did you work your way from photography to painting? M: It was really the opposite way around, though my beginnings in photography took place while I was a private art student, in NJ, and Lenox, MA. being tutored by a variety of well-established professional and commercial artists and often modeling for them. I was actually a ‘professional’ nude model by the time I was 16 and posed for many artists in NJ and the Berkshires, and later, in NYC. In the 70s photography was expensive and inaccessible to me. I always painted and drew. In the 70s I was creating works on largish canvasses and had no way to store them. Painting supplies and large canvasses not only took up space, but were also expensive to create. Since I had been working with some of the top artists of the day, I came up with this idea of photographing myself, or directing the shots I was in. By the 80s photography was

coming into its own right, became cheaper, and certainly easier to store and manage. So, although I am known as a photographer/model, my main gig has been, and always will be painting. Do you believe art made should be accidentfree? M: Well that’s an interesting question, about accidents, intentions, and recognizing an accident when it happens and using it as an opportunity to create original artwork— sort of like a ‘gift from the gods’. Recognizing an opportunity, is what I call it. Seeing the possibilities in what one might mistake for just a bunch of gobbly-gook. Again, art is magic. One makes something out of nothing. Not everyone can do this. Where the ‘nothing’ comes from, is entirely up to the individual’s imagination and his or her projections. In answering this question, I think my back

Matuschka, (Paintings from left to right) Mark & Maurice began in 2007 and completed in 2020. The two paintings to the right: My Brain at Night #1 & #2 Image shot by Austin Ventola in 2021

ground in studying art from the time I was 16 — which meant not only taking private and public classes, but spending all my spare time at Museums, working for mature artists (cleaning their paintbrushes) and taking art books out from the library, or working as an artists’ model for let’s say, people like Julia Grande, Jan de Ruth, (Tyringham galleries), Don Snyder, Gerard Malanga, Benno Freidman, etc. et al, I got to see their process and somehow all of these mentors helped me with my own process unconsciously. What does The Noisy Paintbrush mean? M: It’s a bit like saying, my clarinet is louder than yours! But I think Jane Johnson, a retired English summed it up best with some really cool insights, when she wrote: My initial reaction to your title was: oxymoron, although not in the way that “silent

scream” or “jumbo shrimp” are examples. In those cases, the opposition of definitions of the two words reinforces the meaning and precludes each other. A “scream” cannot be “silent”. In your case, I would say it first depends on the meaning of paintbrush. Are you using the “paintbrush” to substitute for painting? If so, then perhaps metonymy works; the paintbrush represents the fact that you create art. And, of course, a paintbrush should be “silent,” so then oxymoron works. What we have here is an oxymoronic metonymy!!! Maybe what you have done is combine two techniques to create a unique use of language. And then there’s the question of the paintbrush as the mode of communication. Are you talking about the paintbrush as a way to communicate? I’m speaking of this: the paintbrush does the painting!

Matuschka’s work will be included in a group exhibition opening June 1st, 2022 in NYC. This group exhibition includes twelve diverse artists— working in photography, painting, collage, cartoons, and sculpture, who have kept their artistic practice alive in New York City over multiple decades and understand the meaning of resilience. “RESILIENCE (Then & Now)” Group Exhibition Curated by Bethany Jacobson. Gallery Onetwentyeight 128 Rivington Street, NYC June 1 -14, 2022 Opening June 1, 6-9 pm Z



Photography of Artist by Edward Acker

Diving deep from his heart and soul to candidly reveal his struggle with depression and bipolar, Alex explains with transparency how it has dramatically controlled and shaped how he perceives the world. It is his personal battle and he powers through it delving into the creative world of writing and painting, taking advantage of the “above normal” place that puts him in his highly self-named and highly creative “Mozart place.” He writes humorous and sometimes self-effacing anecdotes about life experiences that have shaped him to become a creative and continually self-evolving artist. —Barbara Alicia Karlowich, Gallery Manager, Glendale Brook Studio Alex Kamaroff: In the past four summer seasons, I sold over eighty paintings at my art gallery, Glendale Brook Studio, in Lenox, Massachusetts. No one was more surprised than me, but hold on, it gets crazier because I only started painting eight years ago. But that’s not the craziest part--I am. No, I mean it. I’m crazy. I’ve suffered from bipolar disorder all my life. Bipolar is a mood disorder, with two parts to it. I can become manic, which means I am off the wall, irritable, irrational, and mean. Or, I can go down into the depths of hell. A depression with an actual physical pain in the gut that defies description. It’s not being too excited or too sad. It means turning into something else that I am not. It’s Jekyll and Hyde, but I get two Hyde’s. And yet without it, I don’t know if I ever would have been an artist at all. You want to know about depression? I wish they wouldn’t call it that, because it is nothing like when normal people get depressed. It rarely hits me, but when it does, I shut down completely. I’m para20 • JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND

lyzed. I can’t paint, think or even follow a plot on Law and Order. And the pain is unimaginable. All I can do is sit and stare at a wall or the hills of the Berkshire mountains. You want to know about mania? It’s awful. It turns me into a monster that bears no resemblance to me. Mr. Hyde, the monster in me, comes out once every ten years or so and wreaks havoc upon my family and the world. I go from being hyper to a state of fragmentation where I live in a world of ugly delusion and grandeur. I become someone you would never want to know. This is a state of fullblown mania. In that state, I am oblivious to what I am doing. I irrationally think it makes perfect sense to fly to Miami for the day to sit by a pool. But there is one other place, just above normal, that anyone would kill to have. It’s a very slight version of hypomania that delivers the good qualities but not the bad ones. There is no clinical name for it, so we named it ourselves. My wife calls it the “Mozart place” because we believe that Mozart may have been in that place his whole life. It’s an

incredible place to be. When I’m in it, I feel smarter, more creative, more energetic and feel like I’m on top of the world. This is the place to be for creativity. It’s what got me into Columbia University, and it’s what helped me to discover bestsellers in my wife’s literary agency slush pile. It’s also what helped me to become a published author myself, when I wrote 21 novels back in the day. It was in this heightened mood that I evolved as an artist. I was unstoppable. I am self-taught, self-propelled and paint in my basement studio of my house in Middlefield. Eventually the only place hyper mania would land me, is heavily medicated in a psychiatric institution and that’s where I’m embarrassed the most. I was in and out of Payne Whitney Hospital in New York City all my life whenever I’d get hyper manic. The going joke there, is that they named a room after me. I have to tell you a crazy story about me just to give you an idea of just how nuts my life has been. In the fall of 1972, I self-diagnosed being a manic

Alex Kamaroff

Top left to right: In Spirit, 36 x 36” Twilight, 36, x 36” Mountain View, 36 x 36”

Bottom left to right: Oeuf, 24 x 36” Peaceful Journey, 20 x 24” Wakeful Journey, 24 x 24” Photo courtesy of Glendale Brook Studio

depressive after reading articles in the New York Times about a Dr. Fieve of the New York State Psychiatric Institute on 168th in New York City. He was experimenting with a new treatment for depression called Lithium. I wanted in as a patient to be treated by Dr. Fieve. My disorder was out of control. I remember packing a bag full of clothes, taking the train into New York City and walking into that cold brown brick building. I ended up in the middle of a long hallway. With a shrug, I took a left and looked for an open office to inquire where to sign myself in. I swear to you, this is the God’s honest truth. There was a sign above an office door that read Recreational Therapy Department. Inside was a young athletically built man named Fred Jaretsky. Before I could open my mouth, he asked me point blank… “Are you here for the volunteer recreational therapist’s job?” I didn’t even flinch when I answered...”Yes!” At that moment, I went from being a patient, to being a volunteer therapist in a psychiatric hospital. So much for lithium.

This is a good example of how my life has constantly turned on a dime. The only other thing I’d like to tell you, is that my life really began March 8, 1974 at 24 years of age when I was in New York City. I was homeless, broke, had a change or two of clothing in a knapsack and at times slept on a heated outdoor grating. Oh, one little important wrinkle; I was hypo manic. By the end of that month I got a job at Paragon Sporting Goods, in the fishing department at $100 a week. I slept there until I had enough money to rent an apartment. Yeah, it’s sounds crazy, but I simply hid in one of a number of tents set up for promotion and waited for everyone to leave. I ate more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than I ever ate before or will eat again. Here’s another thing that happened. I caught my manager stealing, and on top of that... now get this... at times my fellow employees were letting me stay overnight at their apartments where they brazenly showed me all the camping equipment they had stolen and how they did it. Rather than go into details of how they were stealing thousands of

dollars from the store, I’ll jump to the ending. I went into the store owner’s office and asked to be the manager of the camping department. I promised I would stop employee theft with a simple system of hiring a security guard to inspect all outgoing bags and check the contents against the receipt. I went from making $100 a week to over $700 a week. Back in 1974, that would be over $2,000 a week today. First thing I did was rent an apartment on 93rd Street and York Avenue. My only furniture was a sleeping bag and an alarm clock. I bought a tenspeed bike for transportation thus saving on subway costs. Unfortunately, I had trouble with my employees who resented me being their boss after I had been their equal. They rebelled and refused to do what I told them to do. They got lazy and gave it the least amount of effort in their job. In no time, the camping department was in bedlam. I feared I’d lose my position. What to do? What to do? Simple! I called my mentor Uncle Buddy. Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2022 • 21


Alex Kamaroff, Sticks and Stones, 30 x 40”

Alex Kamaroff, The Original Mysterion, 36 x 36”

He was a millionaire and brilliant at solving problems like mine. Here was his simple advice. “Place a help wanted ad in the Village Voice, and hire people who would bless you for giving them a chance that no other employer would do. Every time you hire someone... fire anyone who was the worst insubordinate employee in the place.” I ended up hiring the dirty dozen as I called them. They were the worst qualified to do anything with their lives. Talk about a motley crew. For starters, I hired a paroled ex-convict. Each week I had to call his parole officer just to check in that he was doing okay and behaving himself. And he did great. So did all the others that I hired. Heck, one guy, Andy, a marijuana addict actually became my best friend and room-mate. Uncle Buddy had another simple piece of advice. “Always start any command using a soft voice with the word PLEASE. And always compliment good work. If the work is not up to par, be patient and show them what they should do. Better still, ask another employee to show them. Then always say thank you.” His final word of advice took me time to understand. “A good manager does nothging.” As my savings account grew, my patience started to wane. I didn’t want to be in a retail store for the rest of my life. A year later, I fired myself to collect unemployment insurance...I won’t go into that story…and ended up at Columbia University where I met my wife, Irene. Without my wife, 22 • JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND

I’d be nothing. We’ve been together 44 years and have two lovely children. Now I will tell you all that there is to tell how I became one of the greatest hard edge abstract painters in the world. Okay, so maybe I’m not one of the greatest, but you have to admit I sure sold a lot of paintings for a beginner. What really slays me is that I can’t paint to save my life if I don’t first put tape down on a canvas. What I mean is, I couldn’t draw a stick figure let alone a cow or a person. I once tried to paint a tree and it looked more like a monster in a grade D horror movie. So how did it all start for me? How did I become an artist? Let’s just say I became an instant artist purely by accident. Eight years ago, I was throwing out old cans of paint and stiff brushes from my basement. I was carrying a two-by-two foot piece of plywood as well. I cannot recall the why of it all. I remember being outside on the lawn when it dawned on me to try my luck at doing a Jackson Pollock imitation. All I remember is opening up a can of green and then a can of light blue paint. Laying the plywood down I dipped a brush into the green paint letting it drip for a moment before tossing it into the air. It took on a strange pattern for a split second before dropping onto the plywood board. Is that how Pollock did it? I gave it another try this time using a thicker stiff brush. The paint took on a power all its own before once more landing across the other drip. I was mes-

merized. So began my painting career. I did thirty Pollocks, throwing out most of them, selling two, and keeping two that I consider my personal masterpieces. By the way, I kept that original plywood board. For a full year after that, I became an expert at imitating Pollock. My buying spree at Home Depot was insane. They mixed all the colors for me as if I was painting a room in a house. The salesman used to laugh when I’d show up. Needless to say, my basement was a mess. But little by little I managed to paint a few keepers. The rest I threw out at our local garbage dump. Of the three I kept, FIREFLIES, sold last year. You can see it on my website Yet, I needed to evolve. I was getting bored of this style. I got some tape and started to see what would happen if I dripped and then removed the tape. Voila! In an instant, a hard edge artist was born from the depth of happenstance. Hypo manic and driven, I began to teach myself the techniques of laying down tape on a canvas and painting inside the edges. My first job was to give up Home Depot for true artist’s paint. A visit to Miller’s Art Store cured me forever. That first year I built an artist table and got everything else I needed. Most important of all, I discovered the world of acrylic. Don’t ask me how. All I knew was I needed heavy acrylic to lay down like paste. I learned that the paint didn’t bleed under the tape. I squeezed small

Alex Kamaroff, Journey Song, 36 x 48”

amounts right onto the brush never making a mess. My friends were amazed at my floors which were now carpeted over my Pollock mess. I was creating a painting each week. But they were not that good. I threw out most of those paintings. I was just a beginner in those first years. But I was driven. Little by little I grew in every way. I sold my first three paintings to Koto Japanese restaurant in Pittsfield for $50 each. You can see them up on the walls. Over the years I became an expert. Artists have come into my gallery asking me to teach them how to perform the craft. And I gladly show them. I have a little secret when it comes to the perfect hard edge circle. I use self-leveling clear gel inside the edge of that tape. I wipe away the excess with a paper towel which prevents the paint from bleeding under the tape. With the smaller circles, it’s become more difficult to use tape. I then go to a one-eighth inch tape until finally I’m simply using a round cookie mold to press down and paint inside of the circle. I must tell you the following: I became a thief. No, I didn’t steal from art stores. I stole styles from the greatest artists of the twentieth century. I became an expert thief. I was an art history major at Columbia University. Four decades later, it came in handy. And I’d like to add a little wrinkle here. Remember all those novels I wrote back in the eighties? It taught me a very important lesson when it came to pacing. Without it, I couldn’t be

Barbara Alicia, gallery manager and Alex in the gallery

an artist. I can look at one of my paintings and if I notice it needs to be balanced or perhaps it isn’t moving correctly, I see it instantly. Pacing is the most important thing in any form of entertainment, from telling a joke, acting, a symphony performance to anything in art, pacing is a must.

But most everyone who leaves my gallery says the same thing. “I love your colors!” As to the people who recognize my style from a great artist and accuse me of stealing, I say this. “Ahhhh, but if you can’t afford to buy a Kandinsky, consider a Kamaroff!”

But back to my thievery. I began stealing motifs like crazy. Sometimes I’d incorporate two or three different styles of great artists into my paintings and add a little something of my own. In the summer, I paint on a table in front of a large window in my gallery in Lenox where people can see me. I was on the cover of five New England journals which I display proudly. I love when people are looking around my gallery and come over to me and call me a thief. “That’s Kandinsky, and that one over there is Miro, and that’s Mondrian, and that’s Glarner, and that’s Nagy, and that’s Bolotowsky,” and so on and so forth. And I say, “thank you.” It’s a great compliment.

And that’s all I have to say about that. -Alex Kamaroff

Cover: Photo by Edward Acker Pollack’s Dream, Early Work, 2013, 24 x 36” Photographs of art courtesy of Glendale Brook Studio Glendale Brook Studio, 27 Church Street Lenox, Massachusetts, 413-551-7475 Z




GHETTA HIRSCH As many of you know, I think in French a lot, as it is my first language. French uses gender to define the world around us. The definite articles "Le" and "La" are placed in front of the word to define its gender. “Le” is masculine, “La” is feminine. My beloved garden is providing me with plenty of opportunities to use gendered articles: la tulipe, la jonquille, la violette, la marguerite, la pensée, l’azalée, la rose, etc… However, I am not here to give you a French Language lesson, but to explain why, in my mind and heart, a tulip is a female being. In this time of assault on our female life choices, I have looked at “la tulipe” as a symbol of strength and perserverance for women and mothers. Tulips can thrive in all weather and still stand tall. Tulips can survive in all kinds of soil. Tulips flower for a long time and stand strong among other flowers. In fact, despite the visiting deer nibbling each night on their leaves or stem, they persevere and keep growing. Our feminity has been injured many times, our decision-making and pride have been stamped down repeatedly. Even our individuality has been undervalued. But like the tulip, we will stand strong hold our heads tall, without giving up. My oil painting today is a rapid brushwork, decisive and strong, showing the power of many “sisters“ holding each other in this new challenge. We will survive! Yesterday I had a visit in my newly remodeled studio and was able to pull out paintings much more easily for viewing. Now we can move around as a group, line up the paintings for inspection against the wall and revel in the light coming from the skylight. I can paint on three different easels at the same time as the space allows this luxury and I am encouraging you to tour my Home Studio. I am planning Open Studio at my place on September 17 and 25 but send me a line and I will accommodate your visit anytime you come to Williamstown. Another good news: two of my paintings exhibited at The Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, VT have been sold. Check my website for news and information. Text or call if you wish 413-597-1716. 24 • JUNE THE ARTFUL MIND

Since opening in 2005, Berkshire Digital has done fine art printing for artists and photographers. Giclée prints can be made in many different sizes from 5”x7” to 42”x 80” on a variety of archival paper choices. Berkshire Digital was featured in PDN magazine in an article about fine art printing. See the entire article on the website. Berkshire Digital does accurate hi-res photo-reproductions of paintings and illustrations that can be used for Giclée prints, books, magazines, brochures, cards and websites. “Fred Collins couldn’t have been more professional or more enjoyable to work with. He did a beautiful job in photographing paintings carefully, efficiently, and so accurately. It’s such a great feeling to know I have these beautiful, useful files on hand anytime I need them. I wish I’d called Fred years ago.” - Ann Getsinger We also offer restoration and repair of damaged or faded photographs. A complete overview of services offered, along with pricing, can be seen on the web at The owner, Fred Collins, has been a commercial and fine art photographer for over 30 years having had studios in Boston, Stamford and the Berkshires. He offers over 25 years of experience with Photoshop, enabling retouching, restoration and enhancement to prints and digital files. The studio is located in Mt. Washington, but drop-off and pick-up is available through Frames On Wheels, 84 Railroad Street in Great Barrington, MA (413) 528-0997 and Gilded Moon Framing, 17 John Street in Millerton, NY (518) 789-3428. Berkshire Digital - 413 644-9663,

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VIRGINIA BRADLEY CORALLIUM 11 The new Corallium Series is a celebration of the rejuvenated coral reefs in the Playa Santa Bay, in southwest Puerto Rico, where my winter studio is located. Fifteen years ago, the reefs were almost completely dead due to pollution from raw sewage and boat traffic. In 2011 the Obama administration undertook a federal project to build a pumping station and a 5-mile sewer line from Ensenada to Playa Santa. Today the coral reefs are thriving. I swim and snorkel in them several times a day while I am in residence at my winter studio and am in awe of their beauty and miraculous nature every time. Coral reefs are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth. Coral reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, including about 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard corals and hundreds of other species. Scientists estimate that there may be millions of undiscovered species of organisms living in and around reefs. This biodiversity is considered key to finding new medicines for the 21st century. Coral reef structures also buffer shorelines against 97 percent of the energy from waves, storms, and floods, helping to prevent loss of life, property damage, and erosion. When reefs are damaged or destroyed, the absence of this natural barrier can increase the damage to coastal communities from normal wave action and violent storms. The coral reefs protected Playa Santa during Hurricane Maria and there was minimal damage to the village. The Corallium series continues my exploration of alchemy utilizing oil paint and seawater on archival transparent film. The 95-degree Caribbean sun acts as catalyst to the ingredients and which then creates unusual surfaces reminiscent of coral. The images are composed of many thin layers of poured paint which are then edited by adding and subtracting into the surfaces. Visitors are welcome to visit my Great Barrington studio in person or virtually. Virginia Bradley -,, cell 302-540-3565.


ANDREA JOYCE FELDMAN Sometimes buying tickets ahead was too big of a commitment. Instead, on impulse, we packed dinner in the cooler, grabbed chairs and got to Jacob Pillow’s outdoor stage early enough to claim good spots. To us, that meant in the back as there was an incline so you can see over the heads of the people sitting on logs. And to the right of the stage so you weren’t blinded by the setting sun. We liked watching the people arrive and looked for someone we knew. Gentle breezes cooled us from the heat of the summer day. The music seemed to come from the woods surrounding us. We sat back in our beach chairs and marveled at the show. Visit: 413-655-7766


SHARON GUY INSPIRED BY NATURE My purpose as an artist is to connect with the healing power of the natural world and to encourage others to do the same. Nature is alive and infused with spirit. I constantly seek to reconnect with this spirit of nature through creating art. While I quietly observe and study land, water, and skies, the ordinary world around me is transformed by light and shadow into the sublime. I enjoy using an intuitive process while I play with the boundary between representation and abstraction. My work is in private collections in the United States and Canada. Visit: / 941-321-1218


MARK MELLINGER WORTHLESS I’m not famous and my artwork should not be considered an investment. Furthermore, due to its eclectic variation in style it’s not appealing to galleries. Fortunately for me I don’t depend on art sales for a living. My practice of psychoanalysis provides adequately. I have no interest in developing a consistent style, in fact, actively avoid it. It’s endlessly engaging to explore different methods, materials and ideas. I’m pleased to join Picasso and Gerhard Richter in this rejection of consistency. 100 North Street, Pittsfield, #322, markmel- / 914-260-7413

Ellen Kaiden Painter of Metaphors Watercolor Artist

Lenox 2022 Art Walk June 11 & 12 LENOX, MASS

Webpage- 941-685-9900 Ellen Kaiden, Strength, Watercolor, 40 x 30 inches (From The Ukrainian Series)


Ashley Norwood Cooper, Swarm 1 (2022), Oil on panel, 24 x 18 inches Image courtesy the Artist and Susan Eley Fine Art

HONEY-DRUDGERS Art by Ashley Norwood Cooper Text by Liz Lorenz At Susan Eley Fine Art this summer, a swarm of bees will float in the windows of our Hudson gallery. A series of mixed-media sculptures, the “Bees” will sway and dance for the pleasure of passersby as we open our doors to Warren Street visitors. Their textured black and yellow bodies, their web-like wings and their sinewy antennae are composed of found objects, then coated in pigmented wax, a technique known as encaustic. The creator—or perhaps the Queen—of this sculptural swarm is Ashley Norwood Cooper. The artist is known for her renderings of figures in outdoor settings, specifically the poignant moments of interaction between humans and their surrounding natural worlds. She is a painter and, newly, a sculptor who currently lives and works in Cooperstown, NY. The exhibition Earthen Energies, Ancient Roots is on view at Susan Eley Fine Art, Hudson from June 23 to July 31, 2022. This two-person show features recent work by Ashley Norwood Cooper and Jacqueline Shatz and emphasizes three-dimensional sculpture—whether posed on pedestals and shelves, mounted on walls and columns, or suspended from above. The artists are grounded in nature, for their subjects and their materials. They produce ceramics, multi-media sculptures and oil paintings that reflect their immediate and imagined environments—as well as capture the lyrical movements of the humans and animals residing within. Thematically, Norwood Cooper and Shatz confront fragility and anxiety; then joy and rejuvenation. The artists often conjure ancient mythologies in their visual motifs and contextual references. This quality endows their artworks—rendered in wax and in clay—with a visceral, sometimes primordial, energy. Ashley Norwood Cooper’s new encaustic sculptures depict roughly-hewn bees. 26 •JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND

*** Suspended by twine in SEFA’s front windows, they are positioned at various heights to mimic the insects’ actual motion and frenetic flight patterns. Her “Bees” are imperfect, even disheveled, creatures. To the artist, they are “menopausal ballerinas whose physical appearance contrasts the Queen Bee’s beauty, fertility and social status.” Coated in colored beeswax, these sculptures embody an interconnectedness—a symbiotic use of material based on its initial source from the hive. Often considered frightening attackers, bees are actually pollinators that are essential for renewing plant and animal (thus human) life— another poetic tension. At SEFA, Norwood Cooper will also exhibit figurative paintings layered with thick, colorful swaths of oil paint. The canvases draw from her recent “Blackberry” series and her new “Bees” series, both of which depict human encounters with insects and flowers. The debut of Norwood Cooper’s “Bees” series also marks SEFA Hudson’s first time working with the artist. Thus, I was pleased to dive into her practice in advance of the exhibition through the following interview. Additionally, the artist’s primary reference points for these latest works are two texts: Virgil’s Georgics and Sylvia Plath’s “Bee Poems.” The excerpts below help illustrate the nuanced layers within her thought process and intentions: the symbolism of the Queen versus the hive; the social structures, interactions and values that emerge within the colony; the significance of the swarm; the cycles of aging and death, fertility and rebirth. Thus, I continue by sharing these excerpted passages here for readers to refer back to, as foundations of my own understanding of what grounds Norwood Cooper’s practice.

Georgics, Book IV by Virgil

Stings by Sylvia Plath

This law of life, too, by the bees obeyed, Will move thy wonder, that nor sex with sex Yoke they in marriage, nor yield their limbs to love, Nor know the pangs of labour, but alone From leaves and honied herbs, the mothers, each, Gather their offspring in their mouths, alone Supply new kings and pigmy commonwealth, And their old court and waxen realm repair.

Thinking ‘Sweetness, sweetness.’ Brood cells gray as the fossils of shells Terrify me, they seem so old. What am I buying, wormy mahogany? Is there any queen at all in it?

The victor's ponderous arm has turned to flight. Such fiery passions and such fierce assaults A little sprinkled dust controls and quells… But when the swarms fly aimlessly abroad, Disport themselves in heaven and spurn their cells, Leaving the hive unwarmed, from such vain play Must you refrain their volatile desires, Nor hard the task: tear off the monarchs' wings; While these prove loiterers, none beside will dare Mount heaven, or pluck the standards from the camp. Let gardens with the breath of saffron flowers Allure them… …things of wondrous birth, Footless at first, anon with feet and wings, Swarm there and buzz, a marvel to behold; And more and more the fleeting breeze they take, Till, like a shower that pours from summer-clouds, Forth burst they, or like shafts from quivering string When Parthia's flying hosts provoke the fray. Say what was he, what God, that fashioned forth This art for us, O Muses? of man's skill Whence came the new adventure?1

If there is, she is old, Her wings torn shawls, her long body Rubbed of its plush– Poor and bare and unqueenly and even shameful. I stand in a column Of winged, unmiraculous women, Honey-drudgers. I am no drudge Though for years I have eaten dust And dried plates with my dense hair. … It is almost over. I am in control. Here is my honey-machine, It will work without thinking, Opening, in spring, like an industrious virgin … They thought death was worth it, but I Have a self to recover, a queen. Is she dead, is she sleeping? Where has she been, With her lion-red body, her wings of glass?

Ashley Norwood Cooper, Beekeeper with Swarm (2021), Oil on panel, 24 x 18 inches Image courtesy the Artist and Susan Eley Fine Art

Now she is flying More terrible than she ever was, red Scar in the sky, red comet Over the engine that killed her– The mausoleum, the wax house. 2

*** Liz Lorenz: We are so excited for your show in Hudson, especially to have these new works on view during the summer months. Perhaps the imagery of bees and flowers in your paintings and sculptures may even attract some real bees into the Gallery when our doors are open…! Ashley Norwood Cooper: Yes, I could see that happening! Bees are often attracted to other beings and objects by their color. Also, my studio smells like melted beeswax, so I am sure that the sculptures will retain that scent to a degree. I imagine this would be a recognizable and attractive quality for the insects themselves. LL: You are primarily recognized as a painter. Are the “Bees” your first foray into sculpture? Could you outline your process? I see a layering and building in the wax sculptures that seems to reflect the style of your paintings. ANC: Yes, this is my first time really getting into sculpture. The “Bees” are made of found objects, balled together—masks actually, used surgical masks that I have saved from the pandemic and did not want to simply throw away. Then, I clump on layers of plasters so that everything sticks together and the bee’s bodies take shape. I have a hot plate in my studio, and for the encaustic process, I need pigmented wax. The colored wax is effectively paint. When dry, it can be buffed into this nice sheen that is characteristic of encaustics. Finally, they are hung from twine, which I see as part of the sculpture; it’s another natural material that adds to the overall rough quality of the bees and, of course, allows them to move within the environment where they are hung. LL: I feel like you know each bee so intimately, through the individualized

way that you shape and paint them. Then, there is something so beautiful about using beeswax to create bees—a kind of poetic or cyclical gesture that we also see within nature itself. ANC: Totally. The encaustic medium is also a reference to how I paint, specifically how I enjoy the qualities of oil. In my canvases, there is a similar way of dripping and oozing that appears in the sculptures. I can find unexpected things in the paint. I can scrape the paint back, then clump on more. I can achieve all the same manipulations here that I do with oil paint on my canvases. Often I say that I paint because I am drawn to messiness. I revel in inconsistencies and can’t make myself fix them or cover them up. Paint is ancient technology, a long discredited medium, but I take a brush to whatever vexes me. I am a middle-class mom, raising a family in a world I cannot understand or sooth. Paint is the form that accommodates my mess. LL: I would love to talk about your initial interest in insects and how your work relates to the two texts that you recommended: Virgil’s Georgics and Sylvia Plath’s “Bee Poems.” Do you see the beehive as a sort of microcosm of human interactions and relationships? ANC: Yes, I do. I was a Classics major and Latin teacher, so Virgil’s text is of particular interest to me. As Virgil outlines in his “how-to” guide for beekeeping, the Queen reigns but is then ousted when she is not able to reproduce. During her fertile years, all of the other bees in the colony work for her. Then, when there is a change of regime, if you will, they swarm. There is a power structure, then an upset. For Virgil, who was writing in Ancient Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2022 • 27

Ashley Norwood Cooper, Black Squirrel (2020), Oil on panel, 12 x 16 inches Courtesy the Artist and Zinc Contemporary

Ashley Norwood Cooper, Grackle (2018), Oil on panel, 14 x 14 inches Courtesy the Artist and First Street Gallery

Rome, this was also a metaphor for the civil wars during his lifetime. Next, the beekeeper needs to go and wrangle the swarm and lure it back to reunite the hive. This effort is the only way to restore the colony—to effectively “rebirth” the hive and continue its flourishing in the future. Bees have very complex social interactions, like we humans. LL: While thinking about your work, I keep arriving at the term “poetic dualities.” ANC: Of course. Initially, there is the fact that bees are feared because they sting. Yet, they are also pollinators whose actions are necessary to further plant life, thus all natural life on earth. While feared by some, we need them to exist. Then, I see an interconnected nature within the actual hive, which is echoed within its own visual structure (the honeycomb), and I find this to be another poetic circumstance. Most psychologically and personally—it’s the role of the Queen and the transitions within her life as she ages that captivate me. LL: The idea of the Queen is what brings you to Sylvia Plath’s poetry, correct? ANC: Yes, Plath would have read Virigil’s writings about beekeeping. Both authors begin with a seemingly simple factor in the natural world, and then make them highly metaphorical. In fact, Plath’s father was a beekeeper. Her series “Bee Poems” was published in the 1960’s—just before she ended her life—and they are some of her final creations. Poems like “Stings,” “Wintering,” and “The Swarm” are meditations on her own impending death and her role as a housewife and mother. They are much more intimate than Virgil’s writing and take on a distinctly female sensibility. LL: How did her thoughts influence the conception of your bee sculptures and paintings? ANC: There is a heaviness to the sculptures. They are struggling and soaring—falling and flying—at the same time. They are weighty and bedraggled, but still aloft. I kind of identify with them actually—the dying Queen Bee. I am this old lady bee now perhap. Plath calls them “honeydrudgers,” and I love this expression. I call my sculptures “menopausal ballerinas.” There is a choreography to them too, as they float with negative spaces between their shapes; that will be fun to play with while installing at SEFA. LL: Let’s also discuss your paintings. Do you consider them the same “series” as the bee sculptures? There is certainly a shared imagery with nature and 28 • JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND

insects. Yet, there are also studies of people within natural environments. Who are the figures in the paintings—are they specific people, or imagined “everyman” type of beings? ANC: At SEFA, likely there will be some of the “Blackberry” series and the “Bees” series. They are not scientific studies of nature, in terms of the flora and fauna, nor are the human figures within portraits of specific individuals. They are meant to be accessible to many people who approach each work with their own unique background and experiences. Also, my paintings have followed the sense of my own life, from having kids and being a mother to my current journey into a different period. My previous painting series “The Edge of the Woods” best encapsulates what I strive to communicate in my canvases. They depict humans interacting with animals, butterflies and more—essentially the wild, the spaces beyond our control and immediate comprehension. Basically, our minds sometimes go to this irrational place— this scary psychological place that we all end up at at some point. It is a dangerous place—being at “the edge.” It is where snakes and scary things that bite live, but it is also where fear and struggle can transform into creativity. I am interested in these tensions and these liminal spaces. Creativity does not come from comfort. I want my paintings to embody these fraught mental and emotional spaces—the roots of artistic production. Then, relating this back to my current “Bees” canvases—their “swarming” is that same psychological unknown and chaos that can produce creative revelations. LL: I’m so curious—have you ever done any beekeeping yourself? Outside with the smoker and wearing the protective suit, etcetera? ANC: I have so many friends in the countryside near Cooperstown and in the Catskills that raise bees. It’s fun to see them on their little farms raising chickens and everything, and when they come visit, we always get the best honey. But I don’t do that; I joke with my friends that I can’t grow my own food. Especially if I’m going to make my paintings, it’s too much. I just had a painting show in Berlin at Galerie Thomas Fuchs, and now I am preparing for an upcoming exhibition at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY that I am really excited about. So my practice and my family certainly keep me busy enough! LL: And of course, the cliche but important question about your artistic inspirations—if you would like to share any of the artists that have significantly influenced your work. ANC: For my painting practice, I would say that Joan Brown has been

influential, especially her mid-career turn to autobiographical and spiritual themes. She really goes back to “the goddess” figure both aesthetically and conceptually. Her works recognize that “the goddess” can also be disheveled. So for my “Bees” series, the dying queen is also “the crone.” She is still a goddess, even though her advanced age makes many perceive her differently now—yet, she is truly a wise old woman to be celebrated. Another notable inspiration for my painting is Alice Neel. Her application of pigment is intuitive and expressionistic, and her subject matter is treated with a psychological attention and intimacy that continually impresses me. LL: I would love to speak further about the relationship between you and Jacqueline Shatz, who will exhibit with you at SEFA Hudson. To add some context about Shatz for our readers here: Shatz will present a number of recent earthenware artworks. Her ceramics, which she considers both paintings and sculptures, are intimately-scaled and will hang in lively configurations throughout SEFA’s space. Her works primarily depict human and humanoid forms that seemingly dance, twist and contort. Grouped together, the biomorphic shapes are leaning, reaching, bending, floating—as if engaged in an exuberant waltz. Often rendered in neutral tones, Shatz’s minimalistic figures evoke the earliest human creations: sculptures of women and fertility goddesses. The artist fully embraces the allure and energy of such ancient mythologies and symbologies. Ashley, you recommended that SEFA consider Shatz’s work as a potential pairing with your own for an exhibition, which has now materialized! Could you tell me more about the connections you see between your two practices? ANC: In Jackie’s sculptures, I see the female goddess emerge from the earth—echoed in the ceramic medium, of course. She conjures the creative woman goddess that has existed since the beginning of human history. Her works often allude to a cultic, motherly figure that is the source of creation and of beauty. They are “lived-in” female bodies. This is important to my work too because I believe in the power of female creativity as essential. Basically, the model for what a god is and what an artist is has traditionally been seen as a male figure. Yet for me, and I think for Jackie too, we embrace creation as female-centric. But a “man” just happened to get put in charge throughout most of human history. However, our work helps us reclaim this agency.

Ashley Norwood Cooper, “Bees” Series (2022), Found objects, plaster, encaustic, twine, Dimensions Variable Image Courtesy the Artist and Susan Eley Fine Art

LL: Are there any final thoughts that you would like to leave us with? ANC: Two final thoughts. Our bees are our pollinators, and we are losing them! This cannot be accepted, and the ecological undertones are also important implications within my practice. Lastly, there is a quote by Samuel Beckett that has always been dear to me: “To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.” I think that my “Bees” are a manifestation of this sentiment—embracing the mess and the breakthrough. Information Earthen Energies, Ancient Roots Ashley Norwood Cooper & Jacqueline Shatz Exhibition On View: June 23—July 31, 2022 Opening Reception: Saturday, June 25th, 6-8PM Susan Eley Fine Art 433 Warren Street Hudson, NY, 12534 Ashley Norwood Cooper lives and works in Cooperstown, NY. She holds her MFA from Indiana University and currently teaches in the art department at SUNY Oneonta. Ashley Norwood Cooper has exhibited her paintings in solo and group shows around the US. Exhibition venues include Zinc Contemporary, Seattle, WA; Art Garage, Cooperstown, NY; The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Bennington Museum of Art, Bennington, VT; SUNY Oneonta, NY; Santa Clara University, CA; First Street Gallery, New York, NY; Susan Eley Fine Art, Hudson, NY; and Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY (upcoming). Her work has been featured in “New American Paintings: Northeast Edition,” the podcast “I Like Your Work,” Art Spiel, and Arcade Project Zine at Columbia University, among other publications.

Ashley Norwood Cooper, Beekeeper with Swarm (2022), Oil on panel, 24 x 18 inches Image Courtesy the Artist and Susan Eley Fine Art

Liz Lorenz is a curator and writer based in Upstate New York. She graduated from New York University in 2015 with a BA in Art History and French. In 2020, Lorenz received an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, NY. Currently, Lorenz is the Assistant Director of Susan Eley Fine Art, Hudson and has worked at the Gallery since its establishment in June 2020. THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2022 • 29



Artists’ work easily accessable to Everyone. All art is available for purchase.


Grandma's House, 2020, Acrylic and Collage 20" x 30"

Sentinel, 2021, Acrylic and Collage, 24" x 20"

Chinese News 2, 2019, Acrylic and Collage, 4" x 12"

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Abstract Spring Pond 1

Nature’s Tapestry

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“It’s up to you to decide who my ladies are and what they are thinking. They only came to me with the first stroke of a brush and a little paint. I don’t know their stories or where they hale from. I only know that they now exist, and some will love them, and some will not. Such is the life of a woman.” -Mary Ann Yarmosky


In memory: Chick Corea at Tanglewood, 11 x 17, pen and ink wash

Lydia Harrell evoking Billie Holiday, 11 x 8 1/2”

George Russell, Jr. and Winston Maccow, Pittsfield CityJazz Festival Lydia Harrell singing Black Butterfly, 11 x 8 1/2”

Sketchbook illustrations from live music concerts in the Berkshires, 2022 Carolyn Newberger: 617-877-5672





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#1947 Water under the bridge, 2022, 16" x 20" oil on canvas panel

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Marguerite Bride, Whose A Good Boy, Watercolor on Canvas

MARGUERITE BRIDE CYCLE THERAPY | WATERCOLOR ON THE MOVE Written by Bob Edwards “I always wanted a horse,” says watercolorist Marguerite Bride. “Growing up, I begged and begged and begged, but…. well that wasn’t going to happen.” Instead, when she was about nine years old, she got a navy blue Columbia bike, naming it “Fury,” after her favorite Saturday morning TV show. “I spent many years pretending it was my trusty steed,” Bride recalls. Her sister Paula had a red Columbia bicycle which she named “Rex”. “Paula was more into books than horses, so most of my adventures on my iron horseback in the rural town of Johnston, Rhode Island were just mine and Fury’s. Her loss.” As she grew up, Fury eventually turned into “Rusty”, and its stable became the garage, as she discovered boys, makeup, cars, dating, marriage, kids etc. “I kind of forgot about my obsession with horses.” And there was a younger sister too, but “Chris was too young at the time of my obsession to share any interest… she was still into stuffed animals and tricycles.” Life moved on. And now, fast-forward 50+ years. “The only paint that I’m riding is on a watercolor brush.” So, how did this obsession with four hooves boomerang back to two wheelers? It took a pandemic. 38 •JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND

Photographs Courtesy of the Artist

“We were all confined for long periods of time, often wondering how to occupy ourselves without going crazy. I had been teaching small art classes in my studio and had to cancel not only all my classes but gallery shows and exhibits.” In fact, like most other participants in the creative economy, there were virtually no activities outside the safe havens of her home in Pittsfield. “While I had no idea the pandemic would last so long, I felt that I did need a focus. But first, I had to find it.” Bride knew it would be painting but felt that it needed more structure. “I dabbled in pet portraits, alphabet paintings for babies’ rooms, took many online art courses to expand my knowledge, tried some new mediums and new types of painting. After a few false starts it hit me: while I certainly do still love horses, I also love bicycles. And, how uplifting it would be to create a body of work with bicycles as the theme.” It was almost like therapy. In fact, strike “almost”. The result of that therapy is hanging on the walls of the gallery at Hotel on North in Pittsfield, through July. “Cycle Therapy” features 24 of her watercolor tributes to human-powered twowheelers, ranging from incidental presence to the focal point of each respective work. She didn’t come up the title for the exhibit until

finishing about 20 paintings. After trying out a few, “Cycle Therapy” seemed to stick, since “I was actually using this project as my own home-grown psychotherapy during these crazy and often scary times. It was both a creative distraction and it made me feel good. It is kind of amazing how getting lost in the creative process can blot out the other horrors taking place, if just for a little while.” Many of the scenes might be familiar to Berkshirites. Some are favorite places in the far reaches of New England; many are local Berkshire scenes; and a few are from her travels in Ireland, where bicycles are an essential –if not existential—part of life. Some settings are totally fictitious. ABOUT THE EXHIBIT To those who are familiar with Bride’s work, it should come as no surprise that are plenty of buildings in this show. This aspect of the work wasn’t totally her idea. “I had been encouraged to paint some of the buildings in Great Barrington. It’s one of the coolest towns in the Berkshires, and it didn’t take any convincing. As I was doing some sketches, I thought, why not add in a few bikes? Then, I thought I would do that with many other favorite places, in

Marguerite Bride, Shelter From The Storm Watercolor on Paper

the Berkshires and afar. Places like Baldwin’s in West Stockbridge, Main Street in Dingle, and a couple of my favorite haunts in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine.” To the artist, bicycles add life, action, “They imply a story.” The story may come before or after the painting, she says. “Occasionally something happens to me once a painting passes a certain point of completion: it seems to take on a life of its own. Actually, not occasionally, that happens pretty frequently. I imagine the painting is talking to me, telling me the story behind the paint, a sort of ‘reverse illustration.’” Don’t look that term up in your thesaurus or art reference guide, she just made it up, explaining, “it best describes what happens. Weird, eh? Artists do have bizarre imaginations.” The term may come from her career in software, where “reverse engineering” describes a process where an engineer takes apart an existing product to figure out what went into it. Bride also wanted to depict some local “homey scenes.” For example, “Playing Hooky” shows a beautiful golden retriever waiting patiently by the door for his buddies to buy worms and shiners before biking off to the nearest fishing hole. “Did they cut school to go fishing?” And, she muses, “what’s the first thing we might say to a pitbull guarding his master’s bike? ‘Who’s a Good Boy?’ of course. But do not touch that bike!” As if promenading among the pictures at an exhibition, Bride continues her narrative. “Ever ride your fat wheel bike in the snow? That’s what a couple of adventurous souls did …. and maybe they stopped at the diner to warm up and catch some grub. Or just as likely, call to get a ride home?” She also included paintings that might imply a scary story. Two years ago, while on an autumn

photo shoot, she was caught off-guard when the derecho barreled through Richmond. It was well into the pandemic, and most excursions outside the home were hours-long explorations in an automobile. She vividly remembers that particular day: October 7, 2020. “There were skies like I had never seen before. Imagine a youngster seeing that sky trying to beat the storm. That’s what is behind ‘Hurrying Home.’ It was quite frightening; my blackest paint couldn’t capture the awesome and ugly beauty of mother nature’s fury.” She adds, “I too was relieved to make it home that day.” Another work of that scary ilk is “Shelter from the Storm”, about which she asks, “What do you think is happening there? Maybe a vampire lives in that old, run-down old structure.” She painted that one around Halloween, with the memory of the derecho still fresh in her mind, and “wanted to instill a little creepiness into the scene”. Farther from home, Bride recalls that bicycles were everywhere in Ireland. Two of the four Irish paintings in the show are portraits: just a couple of bikes leaning against walls. “It’s all about the bike.” These works were painted on canvas, with liberal use of gesso to imply a stucco wall, a striking affect. “O’Briens” features an older Irish couple, the wife seeing her husband off as he leaves “on his trusty steed [remember the first paragraphs of this article] to gather some spuds and other items for the larder. And maybe a Guinness at the local watering hole on the way home? Will he be in trouble for getting home late?” She invites viewers to participate in reverse illustration. Those interested in Berkshires history may recall the story of the giant Elm tree that resided on Park Square, marking the center of Pittsfield. When it was finally taken down in 1864, it was determined to be 341 years old. My painting, “Big

Elm on Park Square,” tries to capture “a day long past when that big elm still was the centerpiece of Pittsfield. I have painted Park Square many times but this one was from an earlier period of time.” She I did a bit of research on how the area looked then, what bicycles and clothing were in vogue. “Much may be incorrect, but I hope at least it captures the flavor.” By now, you may get her point. “Each painting has its own story to tell; it is up to the viewer to write that narrative.” The show “Cycle Therapy” will hang in the lobby of the Hotel on North, 297 North Street in Pittsfield. It opens on Friday June 3 and will run through July 2022. A preview of the paintings that are on exhibit can be seen on her website at WATERCOLOR ON CANVAS? Viewers will find a varied array of styles as well as colors. On some of the paintings, the feel is much looser than others. “It wasn’t really intentional. I decided to create this body of work using two different watercolor surfaces…paper and canvas”. Using watercolor paints on paper vs canvas can be likened to the same person playing tennis and racquetball, she offers. “While there are many similarities— a racquet, ball, arm, running around and scoring points— there are many differences as well: with racquetball you are hitting and bouncing off walls, maybe even hitting your opponent with the ball, action is much tighter and faster than with tennis; the racquet is shorter, the strategy is different, and you use different muscles.” She pauses a moment, then adds, “Maybe a better comparison would be riding a bike vs a horse.” Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2022 • 39

Marguerite Bride, Baldwins, Watercolor

“Watercolor painting on canvas is a totally different kind of animal. Oh there are the similarities. I did use the same paints, brushes, water, even tried some of the same techniques. But the way paint behaves on each of the surfaces varies so much the end result can look very different.” Because Bride has been painting on paper for so long, she thought it would be a fun challenge to tackle a number of the pieces on canvas. “I had only done this with one other project in the past, the “Jazz Visions” show, and thought it was time to try it again. Not many watercolor artists paint on canvas, and the background on this artifact is a story of its own for this artist, who has always been one to try new things. Several years ago, when a canvas-making company started advertising their new product for watercolor on canvas, Bride decided to give it a try. “I loved painting in oils on canvas in school and thought this might be like that just without the caustic smells. It was not.” And she hated it at first. “When painting on paper you eventually learn to accept that the water is the boss and you make the necessary adjustments. On canvas, both the water and canvas are co-bosses and they often quarreled. It was frustrating and messy at first, with many ugly attempts, however the really great thing about canvas is that the paint can be 100% removed, wet or dry…until it is “sealed”, but that is the final step.” Confessing to the frugality that, of necessity, befalls most artists, Bride says she has always “tried to save a buck wherever possible. So, I decided to prepare my own canvases. That was a good exercise to do, but a dismal failure and I quickly decided the factory prepped canvases were the way to go.” The stretched canvases she uses are made by Fredrix. Before painting they recommend that the artist thoroughly wet then dry the canvas to remove 40 • JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND

any sizing. “I have painted with and without doing so, and I actually like the sizing…. it allows me to get in more detail,” says the artist who is known as a detail kind of painter. “Once dry, you sketch on it and paint as you would normally. Only the paint doesn’t behave the same way as it does on paper. It moves around differently and doesn’t bleed as much. Nothing gets absorbed as it does on paper, so the colors are more brilliant.” While this may be seen as a good thing, the artist must remember that, and take the color differences into account, she explains. “It is difficult to do fine details, so one has to be happy with a ‘looser’ look. Canvas also takes longer to dry, and a hair dryer is helpful. “A few years back I wrote up a little tutorial and put it on my website (still there, search on “Watercolor on Canvas”), and sometimes we actually try to tackle canvas in my classes… but it is not for the faint of heart”. Once the painting is finished, it must be sprayed with a matte varnish (at least three coats) to make it permanent…. then the painting can be hung without glass as the paints are there forever, just like an oil or an acrylic painting. But until you spray with varnish, don’t even sneeze near your painting. THE ARTIST’S LIFE Her mother and father were both creative and inventive people. As a child, Bride loved anything that had to do with drawing. She spent countless hours drawing paper dolls with her mother. “She could draw beautifully, and so could my dad. He had a grasp of perspective that I don’t have even today.” In fact, after a long career in business, her father took up painting at age 90. “He spent many pleasurable hours at his easel until he died at age 94. I did not draw with him. He taught me about tools and how to build things,” an interest that may explain the artist’s fascination with –and success in

painting— old buildings. For a while, Bride thought she might like to attend the Rhode Island School of Design. She grew up in Rhode Island, but that dream faded in high school when she decided to become a nurse. Fast forward 20 years or so as an RN. Three children, all likely heading to college, were in the picture. And, boredom hit, at least on the career front. “I returned to college and majored in computer science. It was during the years following stint #2 in college, and working as a software engineer, that I started to circle back into art.” Her youngest child, going off to college as an art major, left with life-changing advice: “Mom, you need a hobby.” That triggered the realization that really wanted to reawaken that side of her brain. “At the time, I was thinking it would just be hobby painting. I missed it.” Thus, in 1988, her third career was launched. She began her formal art education by taking many courses at the Worcester Art Museum, and took private lessons with an artist-teacher nearby. Since she was still employed as a software engineer, these lessons were all at night or weekends. “I entered a competition in 1992 sponsored by a state employment agency called ‘Our Own Time’, and my piece was selected to be on display in the Boston Transportation Building. That was a big vote of confidence and was very encouraging”. Not too long after, she and her husband decided to move from Worcester County to the Berkshires. “Goodbye high tech, hello low tech,” she quips. She enrolled in the Visual Arts program at Berkshire Community College, and over the next few years took every art class they had to offer. “I loved every minute of it. I felt I finally found what I was looking for.” Bride reflects on that journey. “Just taking the courses didn’t mean I was any good though. It was hard work and many years before I felt comfortable

Marguerite Bride, Barrington House, Watercolor on paper

enough to share my paintings with anyone other than family. Plus, I was all over the map——I loved oils but did not like the mess and smells, I really loved printmaking and considered purchasing my own press, but eventually watercolors won out and became my first love.” Painting didn’t come easy, as any budding watercolorist may attest. “After gaining some confidence — and honestly, that took lots of time, practice, experimentation with technique, products, papers. I was reluctant to attend workshops. I worried I would inadvertently copy the style of others and I wanted to create my own.” The learning process including subscribing to art magazines and book clubs and joining regional art leagues. “I didn’t realize in the early days that your style finds you, you don’t create it. It takes time, practice, and patience. You must develop an intimate knowledge of your paints, really understand color, know what each your brushes can do, and how the different papers behave and then voila, one day you realize that there is something about your body of work that might have a cohesiveness, a connectedness. A ‘style.’” At least, that is how it happened with her. “I often wondered what I would do if I didn’t like the style that found me. Go back to nursing, I guess.” Once going “public” with her paintings in about 1999, Bride discovered that she loved painting structures, and that eventually became a thriving house portrait business. “The seed was probably planted when I was about 10, building things with my dad. I am still at it in a way”. It started with painting her family members’ homes. Eventually the word got out, and she started getting commissions. “There is something joyous about painting a house portrait. It is a happy thing to be doing, for both the artist and the client. Let’s face it, if you didn’t love your home and remember the happy

times, why would you want it memorialized in a painting?” This is another time when “reverse illustration” happens. “I’m usually told some stories about the home and families, but once I’m painting, new ones just seem to grow. The painting takes on the home’s personality. Some of the customization can really make it personal…long-gone pets sometimes make a reappearance, old trucks and other vehicles, little kids hiding behind curtains, homes painted in all seasons. The evening snowy portraits are always a joy. For a long time, Bride never thought this would be any more than what her college-bound daughter had suggested: a fun hobby that would relieve the stress of a high-impact job in high-tech. But she received a lot of encouragement and direction along the way, and calls out some highlights of the experiences that have guided her art career: Competing for and wining a multiple-piece commission to paint landmark scenes in the Shrewsbury Massachusetts area for a credit union. That was in 1998. These original eight paintings still hang in the headquarters of the Central One Federal Credit Union, and from time to time, members contact her for cards and prints. In 2011, “Christmas on Park Square, 1912” was selected to be the official holiday globe for Pittsfield’s 250th Anniversary. It was also chosen to be the official gift from the mayor of Pittsfield to the mayor of Pittsfield’s sister city, Ballina, in Ireland. In 2009, my painting of “The Master’s Hands” was signed by Dave Brubeck, whose hands were memorialized in the work. I still get chills remembering standing next to him as he did so, matching his hands to the painting. It was auctioned as a fund raiser for the Colonial Theatre. Poignantly, it was Dave Brubeck’s final performance in the Berkshires. In 2012, I was named the official creator of the

annual Pittsfield Parade posters, and still serve in that capacity. “North Street at Christmas” was selected to be on the rounding board of the Berkshire Carousel. While I covered plenty of coursework in school, nothing could compare to the wonderful and intuitive lessons with Pat Hogan, watercolor painter extraordinaire, as my guide. I remember well in my early watercolor days, I brought in a pretty ugly painting for Pat to critique. She studied it and did not criticize, but pointed out a very small good spot, and said “I wish I did that”. I can still remember the piece and that very little “good” spot. Wow. Over the years I have had many teachers and bosses who thought negative reinforcement was the way to manage. Pat’s five little words were so positive and encouraging. I hope her lessons have made me a better teacher too. She never did get that horse, but her sister did. Bride was about 21 at the time; her sister Chris was 14. “By then, a horse was the last thing on my mind.” She was planning a wedding, about to become not just a bride but an actual Bride (“my husband has heard all the jokes about the family name”). But with the perspective a hindsight, she may have figured out what happened. “My parents had moved to the country, horse country, and probably figured out the best way to keep a teenage daughter out of mischief was to get her a horse.” In addition to the 41 bicycles in her exhibit in the gallery at Hotel on North, viewers will find people (there are 54, and if you are local you may recognize some), and seven dogs. And, for good measure: one horse. Bob Edwards is freelance writer of the arts in the Berkshires and beyond. Z THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2022 • 41



SUSAN ELEY FINE ART EARTHEN ENERGIES ANCIENT ROOTS Susan Eley Fine Art, Hudson presents Earthen Energies, Ancient Roots: a two-person exhibition featuring new work by Ashley Norwood Cooper and Jacqueline Shatz, on view June 23—July 31, 2022. Both artists will be present for an opening reception on Saturday, June 25 from 6-8PM. Norwood Cooper and Shatz are grounded in nature for both their subjects and their materials. They produce ceramics, multi-media sculptures and oil paintings that reflect their surrounding environments and capture the lyrical movements of humans and animals residing within. Thematically, they confront fragility and anxiety, joy and rejuvenation. The artists often conjure ancient energies and mythologies in their visual motifs and contextual references. Earthen Energies, Ancient Roots will highlight sculpture, dynamically arranged in SEFA’s unique architecture: Norwood Cooper’s wax bees suspended in the windows and Schatz’s lyrical biomorphic figures as ceramics hung on the walls. Both artists are based in New York state, and this exhibition marks their first presentation with SEFA. Susan Eley Fine Art - 433 Warren Street, Hudson, NY, 12534; Thursday—Monday, 11AM-5PM;


MARGUERITE BRIDE MARY ANN YARMOSKY When I first started painting, I was asked why I usually painted women. This simple question helped me to clarify. Why did I feel the need to paint at all and why did my subjects most often involve women? I have been blessed both professionally and personally to know many incredible women. Some have climbed the corporate ranks through hard work and tenacity, some have struggled as single parents barely making ends meet. Some have lost parents, spouses and even children and somehow, they keep moving forward with grace and dignity. The stories vary, but the inspiration remains. My paintings represent my curiosity about what makes each of us tick. What gives us the courage to move forward with faith and determination and yes, with love and compassion. It’s up to you to decide who my ladies are and what they are thinking. They only came to me with the first stroke of a brush and a little paint. I don’t know their stories or where they hale from. I only know that they now exist, and some will love them, and some will not. Such is the life of a woman. I have always had an artist’s heart and insights. I studied fashion design in Boston, worked for the Boston Opera Company designing costumes and later for Sardella of Newport in Newport, Rhode Island, where we designed and made clothes for Newport’s elite, outfits that were photographed for Vogue and National Geographic and were worn to events held at the cliff walk mansions and beyond. My artistic ability then was confined to fashion sketches, imagining how fabric could be transformed into something beautiful and intriguing and then sewing what I visualized into something wearable. Designing outfits and seeing them worn was a heady experience, dealing with the women for whom those outfits were designed and their spouses, was often a challenge since egos prevailed. MaryAnn Yarmosky - 413-441-6963 ,,

SPRING-SUMMER SCHEDULE “Cycle Therapy”, solo exhibit of 24 of Marguerite Bride’s original “bicycle-focused” watercolors on paper and canvas opens June 3 and runs until July 31 at Hotel on North, 297 North Street, Pittsfield. The artist has been preparing these paintings for 2 years and provides an array of scenes from bike portraits to scenery which has some bicycles, to paintings that tell a story. Here is where you can find my paintings for the next few months: “The Shop Around the Corner” is the newly refurbished shop in the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge. They carry some of Bride’s originals, matted reproductions and cards. Opening Memorial Day weekend. “The Art of …” is a fine art and craft gallery located at 12 Housatonic St in Lenox. Bride’s original framed watercolors will be on exhibit until June 9, after that Bride’s small unframed originals, reproductions, and cards will continue to be on display throughout the season. Miraval Resorts – 18 original seascape watercolors. While this gallery is open only to guests staying at the resort, non-guests can view/purchase them. Go to Bride’s website and search on “Miraval”. This exhibit is ongoing through the fall. Hancock Shaker Village – the gift shop there carries Bride’s HSV oriented paintings, reproductions and cards. A large collection of small baby animal original watercolors too. “Jazz Visions” – original watercolors of jazz people, events, venues on paper and canvas, at 51 Park Restaurant & Tavern in Lee. Preview at margebride-paintings/jazz-visions. And don’t forget… “any time is a great time to commission a house portrait or favorite scene you would like captured in a watercolor. Paintings (or even a personalized gift certificate, then I work directly with the recipient) make a cherished and personal gift for weddings, retirement, new home, old home, anniversaries…..any occasion is special. Commission work is always welcome.” 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

ALEXANDRA ROSENMAN Alexandra (Alya) Rozenman was born in 1971 in Moscow, USSR. She was classically trained at the Soviet Academy of Arts for two years and later studied with dissident artists, well-known today, from Moscow’s underground movement. While still a teenager, she became part of Moscow’s alternative scene of the 1980s. After immigrating to the US, she spent the early 1990s in New York, becoming a part of what later became the International Art Alliance on the Lower East Side and earning her BFA from SUNY in 1993. She later relocated to Boston, earning an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts in 1998, and studying with Gerry Bergstein and Robert Ferrandini. Her paintings and drawings blend the styles and symbols of folk art, Russian Underground Conceptualism, illustration, and Jewish art. She was the recipient of the MacDowell Foundation Fellowship in 2006. Rozenman exhibits nationally and internationally, is a member of Fountain Street Gallery in Boston. Her next two-person show there will be held this October. This summer, Rozenman will be participating in the shows in Brickbottom Gallery in Somerville, MA, and in the show, Flora and Fawna in Lichtundfire Gallery in New York curated by Priska Juschka. Rozenman teaches in her art school in Somerville, called Art School 99, where paint and ideas mix well. Alexandra (Alya) Rozenman - Http://,




ELLEN KAIDEN I often hear “Oh, flowers”….sometimes in a naive and condescending way. I choose to paint flowers because they are a perfect vehicle for me to convey my emotions and tell a story. While I was trained in all mediums of painting, I chose watercolor because of its uncontrollable vitreous nature. I love being able to capture movement in water and am able to get extraordinary depth and color saturation. I work in a technique called “wet on wet” in a style that I call “Idealized Realism”. Katharine Bernhardt, from CAS in Chicago said “Ellen Kaiden is to watercolor what Chihuly is to blown glass.” My favorite subjects are flowers, sunflowers and roses especially, oh well, maybe poppies too. I love the architecture, geometry, and innate sensuality of my chosen subjects. To me, watercolor is vastly underestimated as a medium because of its unforgiving nature. I could probably make twice as much money painting in oils or acrylics but for the last 30 years I have painted exclusively with watercolors. Flowers, like sunflowers and roses, I believe can show every emotion possible. In my painting “Strength “the bloom is defiant, proud and strong. The rose, because of its spiral geometry, is the perfect metaphor for the world. At the beginning of the war in Ukraine I was painting “The Perfect Rose”.

As I progressed in the work, seeing what was happening in the Ukrainian war, my sadness grew. My painting “Weeping World” reflects a world spinning out of control leaving a shadow on us all. What followed was black and white, simple, elegant and powerful. The National flower of Ukraine is the common sunflower, “Got Your Back” is painted in the Ukrainian colors of yellow and blue and gives the viewer a tender protective feeling while being quite strong and forthcoming. I don’t just paint pretty flowers. My paintings are metaphors. I hope they touch you the way they were intended to. For the last two pandemic years, and the death of a husband, painting is truly my meditation. If you want to learn more about me as an artist please go to my website or visit my studio in Lee, MA. I will be present at the Lenox Art Walk on June 11 and 12 and hope to meet you there. In her work the “final flower”, Patti Smith the Rocker, wrote about Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos…. “He came in time, to embrace the flower as the embodiment of all the contradictions reveling within. Their sleekness. Humble Narcissus. Passionate Zen” Ellen Kaiden - /



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 -

“It is important to express oneself... provided the feelings are real and are taken from you own experience.” - Berthe Morisot



BOBBY MILLER 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.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC MUSICA LATINA This sizzling performance will take place live at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington on Sunday, June 12, at 4 PM. With stops in Buenos Aires’s tango ballrooms, Havana dance clubs, the court of Queen Isabella of Spain, salons of Barcelona, and theaters of Mexico City, Close Encounters With Music’s “Musica Latina” program bounces across the Atlantic from Spain to the Americas, uniting continents in one cultural ecumene. Born in Andalucia, Spain, Manuel de Falla spent his final years in Cordoba, Argentina, although the Franco government decided to bring his remains back to his birthplace of Cadiz. His biography exemplifies the path of the music and lives of many of the composers scheduled for this performance and the close connections of aesthetics, idiom and musical language among all. “It’s a kaleidoscope of sizzling Latin American and Spanish folklore and rhythm, with original choreography by the magnificent Cuban dancer Irene Rodriguez punctuating and adorning some of the music” says CEWM artistic director Yehuda Hanani. Works performed include Manuel de Falla’s Fire Dance and Suite Populaire Espagnole, Ernesto Lecuona’s (he was the Gershwin of the Latin American world) Andalucia and Malaguena, Pablo de Sarasate’s Zapateado and Carmen Fantasie, Granados’ Los Requeibros from Goyescas, and Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion piano trio. Cuban composer Jorge Martin’s Recuerda, a soulful and gripping work, will receive its first Berkshire performance. There will also be an authentic flamenco dance and guitar interlude. The stellar guest artists joining cellist Yehuda Hanani, in addition to Irene Rodriguez are pianist Max Levinson, violinist Giora Schmidt, and flamenco guitarist Cristian Puig. A limited number of Patron Package tickets are available for seats at the Mahaiwe concert and a festive dinner afterward. The cost is $175. n Close Encounters With Music - Post Office Box 34, Great Barrington, MA 01230. CEWM: 800-843-0778; Web:; Email:

the art of

mary ann yarmosky


“Sweet Spring” Watercolor 14 x 10”

May 12 to June 19, 2022 GALLERY NORTHEAST


12 BROAD STREET, KINDERHOOK, NEW YORK • 519. 697. 9984 •


Visit and enjoy—


Spanish lessons on-line! Learn the fundamentals and conversational Spanish the fun way! All levels.

Via: Zoom, Skype, Messanger or Whatsapp video call. Experienced Mexican Teacher. References available. 15 dollars per hour. ——————Contact Esteban for information on how you can begin! THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2022 • 45



FRONT ST. GALLERY Pastels, oils, acrylics and watercolors…abstract and representational…..landscapes, still lifes and portraits….a unique variety of painting technique and styles….you will be transported to another world and see things in a way you never have before…. join us and experience something different. Painting classes continue on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1:30pm at the studio and Thursday mornings out in the field. These classes are open to all...come to one or come again if it works for you. All levels and materials welcome. Private critiques available. Classes at Front Street are for those wishing to learn, those who just want to be involved in the pure enjoyment of art, and/or those who have some experience under their belt. Front Street, Housatonic, MA. Gallery open by appointment or chance anytime. 413-528-9546 at home or 413-429-7141 (cell)

PAINTINGS: SPIRIT/NATURE The exhibit, Paintings: Spirit/Nature by Jane Hudson, will take place at the Milne Library in Williamstown July 1 – July 31, 2022. The opening will take place on Friday, July 8, from 3-5pm Jane Hudson is showing works from a series begun in the dead of winter. These ‘orb’ images speak to various states of mind, cosmic influence and radiant energy. As the winter has led beyond the darkness of space, the source of all our inspiration, and turns to another ratio of light to dark, and the emergence of sunlight, growth and the fruitful hope of spring on the earth. Hudson’s materials range from gouache and flash on Arches paper to acrylic on canvas. She is exploring the ways in which the gestures of abstraction and the illusion of physicality can coexist within the same frame. How the power of the natural world operates as a ground upon which we develop a sense for a world beyond the touch of our senses. Jane Hudson -; @antiquergirl on Instagram,,

GREETINGS FRIENDS OF ELIXIR! As I write (in May), the tulips & daffodils along with many many beautiful wild flowers are bringing color to this grey day. I am enjoying the lingering spring and slow emergence of each & every plant. Summer will come soon enough and these damp cool days feel perfect at this time. Especially with a steaming cup of tea and a homemade scone :) The nettle and ramps are plentiful as are many other fine edible & medicinal wild allies. How miraculously these grow just in the season we need them! It has been a year since I closed the Elixir location and although I am still exploring directions for myself I wanted to let you know what exactly I am now offering. Through each of these areas I can support and guide you to a deeper experience of life in connection to nature(which connects you to yourself!) Nutritional/Lifestyle Cnsultations with plant based food & herbal recommendations. The Elixir 21 Day Restorative Cleanse and other cleanse options. Private Cooking including individual meals & planning, small dinner parties… Tea Parties for birthdays and other celebrations. Birthday Cakes made with natural sweeteners and gluten free if need be. Cooking Classes for individuals and small groups, covering macrobiotics, vegan, Ayurvedic and medicinal cooking from other traditions Herbal Classes covering growing, identifying, harvesting, and internal & external preparations for wellness & pleasure. Gardening Design and Installation including English Cottage gardens, edibles landscapes, herb gardens and seasonal potted ornamentals. I will be posting a calendar of offerings on my website by the time this is published. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon and sharing my love & joy of nature, healing & living fully in the present! Many Blessings!! / instagram: elixirtearoom / facebook: elixir

Let the artists know you have read about them in


Andrea Joyce Feldman 46 • JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND





Mary Davidson has been painting on a regular basis for the last 16 years. Davidson’s paintings are a two-dimensional decorative visualization of line, color, design, shape, patterns, and stamping. As you begin to study the paintings, you will find the foreground and background tend to merge, with overlaid patterns. “I love the intense complexity and ambiguity of space and dimension.”. The effect can be startling: the longer you look at the piece, the more you see. With style more design than literal, she hopes to convey lightheartedness, playfulness and whimsey. “One of my favorite art teachers along the way used to say, ‘It is only a piece of paper and/or canvas. NO RULES’. Painting is a way to express my creativity. I always work in a series, which keeps me focused. I work with acrylic paint because it is so forgiving.” Davidson’s New Hat series consist of 70 paintings. “I start with a basic drawing, building with color and shape, coming to life with gesture and flow. As the title suggests, the hats are important, and the millinery designs emerge. There is much joy in their creation and my passion for playful designs is reinforced by their bright colors, linear rhythms and patterns leading our eyes around and through the painting. My newest series is even more abstract, with an even stronger emphasis on design. I do like to use stamping, along with painting, because I love the result. When I finish with a painting, I adhere the canvas with mat gel to gator board, creating a nice tight surface. My paintings are always framed.” Currently showing at: SPECTRUM Annual Contemporary Art Show Carriage Barn Arts Center, Waverly Park 681 South Ave. New Canaan, CT. 06840 Mary Davidson - PO Box 697, South Egremont, Massachusetts; 413-528-6945 / 413-7172332;,,

MATT CHINIAN PROSAIC REALISM I am a prosaic realist. That means I paint what I see and depict places and objects without sentiment or romance. My subjects are taken from daily life, things I see in passing, things I’m drawn to; they are mundane and often overlooked. I unlock patterns and relationships and do not judge. I practice ruthless honesty, and let the paint be paint. Visit:

Summer is here! Music, art, theater, the outdoors, we have much to be thankful. So let us celebrate summer and the joy art brings while doing all we can to promote safety, peace and opportunity to others in our troubled world. Carolyn Newberger-,

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. —Henry David Thoreau


Something For Over The Couch Part 11

“Ruth” I couldn’t take credit for the bath mat woman’s torso I created as a commission for my barber, Savi. My art teacher was so disgusted by the thing that I assumed it would look stupidly pornographic, but with her help and an art history book, we ended up with a thing that was beautiful in a way that was impossible to explain. We used an outline from a Greek sculpture for the shape. The lines were just the left and right contour of the shape, nothing else, but there was a very slight curve of the breast, “which breaks through the line of the form,” my teacher explained, and it gave it a strange realness. Savi pretended he liked it and was happy to pay me the ten dollars for it, but he was obviously disappointed in the result, I suppose because there was absolutely nothing sexy about it, even though it was obviously the shape of a naked woman, as he had asked for. It's obvious that there is nothing sexy about Greek sculpture. It’s somehow too perfect and too elevated for any sordid reaction. As I left, the old barber again mentioned how he went to my grandfather's house once a month to cut his hair, a remark I had heard so many times before that suddenly I felt sorry for him, and I saw in my mind’s eye the window of his shop with a For Rent sign in the window, the culmination of his fifty years in the business. Savi’s barber shop was located at 222 Genesee Street, and after leaving I crossed the street because I wanted to visit the new modern art museum that had opened recently. In the museum there was a Jackson Pollock, and a painting by Rothko that I wanted to look at again. But I ran into Ruth, whom I've mentioned before, my friend who discovered her mother hung in the kitchen broom closet, and who suffered from bouts of illness that kept her in the hospital part-time. She was in a good mood however, so as always we headed for some spot to sit and talk. We had been friends for a year and we had an unspoken agreement: whatever appointments or commitments either of us had would be suspended and forgotten if we happened to run into each other, except for possibly an abscessed tooth, which might have been an exception. This was partly because her phone had been disconnected, and so we never had what might be called a date. “Have you been in the museum?” I asked. “Yes.” “Did you look at the painting there by Rothko? It's big, and it’s just two big color shapes, one on top of the other." 48 • JUNE 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND

“I know, I saw it. Do you know what the title of it is?” “No.” "The title of his painting is, 'This painting has been painted to guarantee voting rights to all previously enslaved people.’ ” “Ruth, that is not the title,” was my reaction to her remark. Ruth loved to make absurdist remarks, and then search her mind for proof, justifications and arguments to back up these absurdities. She did this with a straight face, and often would become angry and argumentative if you disagreed with her. Like me, she respected no one and nobody, but her lack of respect would push the limits of acceptable behavior into hatred, and get her into difficulties. I did not want to argue with her about art however, so I asked her, “Why did U.F.A. expel you?” U.F.A. was our high school, where I was a sophomore and she was a freshman. “Because of this,” she replied. With that she reached into her canvas satchel, and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper, on which was written, 'Help me before I hurt myself.' At the bottom was her signature, printed in very large, childish lettering. At first I did not say anything. I turned the paper over and saw clearly that all the words could be read clearly on the back side, and some letters tore through the paper. It was a paper of desperation. “You didn’t write this,” I said. “How do you know I didn't?” I took her canvas bag, opened it and took out her journal. Ruth kept a journal, it was the fourth in a series, and I was granted the right to read it whenever I wanted. I opened it at random and put my finger on a line of her ball point pen script. “See?" I said. “Your writing alway looks like a series of balloon shapes, and I always print my signature, but you never do." “You're very observant, and it's true I didn’t write it, but there were dozens of these pieces of paper all over the school. And one was put under the door of the vice principal's office." “Then what?” “In the middle of geometry there was a call, and I was sent down to the vice principal’s office. I just assumed it was because of what had happened in social studies the day before, because Mrs. Pease said that everyone had the right to vote, but for some it might take three generations for them to be ready. So I raised my hand and I said, 'If somebody stole your car and the police told you you could have it back but it might take three generations, would you be happy with that?’ "Then Raymond said, 'Go back to the insane asylum, Fatso.' So I turned to him and enunciated, 'You go home and crawl up inside your mom.' But I used a word Mrs. Pease considered an obscenity, so she said, 'No obscenities in this class room.' “ 'Obscenity! It’s not an obscenity. You have one. Is yours an obscenity? Mine isn’t.' That’s what I said, but right away I apologized because the old bag, I was afraid she was going to have a stroke and it would be my fault, so I apologized profusely and begged her not to be offended. She accepted my apology, and so I asked for permission to sharpen a pencil, and she gave me permission. "So I went to the pencil sharpener but I couldn’t get it to sharpen. It was jammed. I took the cover off and the shavings were solid, so I had to dig it out. Then it would grind but I couldn't get any point on my pencil. So, I took the cover off again and, sure enough, there was crayon in the thing, jammed up in the teeth. I managed to fish out the bits of crayon and then, after

about ten minutes, I finally got a good point on my pencil. "When I returned to my seat, Mrs. Pease was just giving out the assignment and the bell was ringing. Everyone got up to leave, and in the commotion I accidentally drove my pencil into Raymond’s arm. It went in so far that it just stuck there. My God, you should have seen the expression on his face when he realized there was a pencil sticking out of his arm. His amazement was so comical, every time I think of it I start laughing." “Is that why they expelled you?” “No, that happened the next day.” “You'll get into serious trouble now. They'll commit you for this.” “Shut up and listen. In the morning I was called down to the vice principal’s office, and unlike every other time, he called me in at once. He seemed very worried and began to question me about how I was feeling, and if I was upset about anything. That was all so strange, because never before did anyone show any concern for my wellbeing. It was always: expulsion is next, we'll get you committed. When I insisted that I was fine, it was obvious he did not believe me. Then, out of his desk he produces the note, proof positive that I am seriously sick in the head. I asked him who wrote the note, and he pointed to my name at the bottom. Well yes, that's my name all right but I didn’t write it. "Nevertheless, he would not believe me, and then the school nurse and another man came in so I could see it was a set-up. It would be their signatures and involuntary commitment. The door of the office was still not closed. "Then I had a stroke of genius. I put my hand on my head like I was coming down with a migraine, I stood up and staggered around a little like I was going to faint. I muttered some pathetic words and backed up toward the door, and then, the way I lit out and shinned for the road in the dark there ain’t nobody can tell." “Is that Tom Sawyer?” “No, Huckleberry, the night they dug up the corpse.” “I’m going to read it after I’m finished with The Stranger, but really, you can’t just stab people, even if…” “I did him a favor. It was an affectionate stab, because I meant him no harm. If I was really angry I wouldn’t have gone for the arm. Besides, when he gets old, he'll tell people about it, and it will be his favorite story from high school.” “Then what happened?” “I didn’t dare go home, but I walked close enough to see a police car parked at the bowling alley. I didn’t think they would be looking for me, but to be safe I went to my grandma's house. I cut through the yards and went in the back door. She was talking to a policeman at the door, and when she heard me she waved me away with her hand. She was saying, 'I haven’t seen her in weeks, but the girl will keep getting in trouble unless they punish those boys who persecute her down there.’ She takes my side, but my dad and his girlfriend would be glad to turn me in.” “So now what?’ “Let’s read Lord of the Flies,” she suggested. —RICHARD BRITELL PARTS 1 THROUGH 10, AT SPAZIFINEART.COM (SHORT STORIES)


Time Flies D Get Pictures 413-446-8348

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