The Artful Mind Artzine September | October 2021

Page 1

THE SOURCE AND SOUL FOR PROMOTING THE ARTS SINCE 1994

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021

THE ARTFUL MIND

PHOTOGRAPHER BRUCE PANOCK


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

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

Playa Santa 22 — Virginia Bradley

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



ARTS CALENDAR Davis | Orton | Gallery | Photography, Mixed Media and photobooks 114 Warren St Hudson, NY 617-645-1616 info@DavisOrtonGallery.com Hours: 11am - 5:30pm Saturday and Sunday and by appointment Alternative Visions of the Natural World David Drake works on paper/mixed media Dawn Watson photography & artist books Portfolio Showcase Connie Lowell & Lev L Spiro Sept 4 to October 3, 2021 Reception September 11, 5:30-8 during 2nd Saturday Hudson Gallery Crawl In March near Catskill, acrylic and pastels on Bristol by David Drake

ART 510 WARREN STREET GALLERY 510 WARREN ST, HUDSON NY • 518-822-0510 Sept 3 - Sept 29: Peggy Reeves: “Good Chemistry” BERKSHIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN 5 EAST STOCKBRIDGE LEE RD, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-3926 INFO@BERKSHIREBOTANICAL.ORG Sept 19-Oct 31: Portraits of American Trees : Tom Zetterstrom Zetterstrom has gathered images of innumerable species from a wide range of topographies and ecosystems. As forests ecosystems decline, he continues to search for the most memorable trees. CARRIE HADDAD GALLERY 622 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY • 518-828-1915 Sept 29-Nov 21: FALL EXHIBIT: Dai Ban, Ginny Fox, Carl Grauer, Jospeh Maresca CLARK ART INSTITUE 225 SOUTH ST, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA • 413-458-2303 |HTTP://WWW.CLARKART.EDU/ Aug 30 - Oct 31: Claude & Francois - Xavier Lalanne: Nature Transformed FERRIN CONTEMPORARY 1315 MASS MOCA WAY NORTH ADAMS, MA • 413-346-4004 https://ferrincontemporary.com/ June 24-Sept. 25: Melting Point FRONT STREET GALLERY 129 FRONT ST, HOUSATONIC, MA • 413-274-6607 FRONTSTREETALLERY@AOL.COM Featuring watercolor and oils by artist Kate Knapp, Landscapes and still lifes

HUDSON HALL 327 WARREN ST, HUDSON,NY WWW.HUDSONHALL.ORG Sept 4-Oct 17: Four Instance, Four Hudsonbased artists JANET PUMPHREY GALLERY FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY 17 HOUSATONIC ST, LENOX, MA • 413-637-2777 / JANETPUMPHREY.COM A photographic gallery showcasing the work of photographer Janet Pumphrey andother artists. LAUREN CLARK GALLERY 684 MAIN ST, GT. BARRINGTON, MA • 413-528-0432 LAUREN@LAURENCLARKFINEART.COM Regionally and internationally recognized artists of fine art and contemporary craft in all media. Also, custom framing PAMELA SALISBURY GALLERY 362 1/2 WARREN ST, HUDSON NY • 518-828-5907 Sept 4-Oct 3: Harry Roseman: The Fine Art of Getting Lost; Christine Teneglia: one side yellow one side blue; Jill Moser, Nude Pallette; Kim Uchiyama, Interludes. SCHANTZ GALLERIES CONTEMPORARY GLASS ART 3 ELM ST, STOCKBRIDGE, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-3044 / SCHANTZGALLERIES.COM OPEN BY APPOINTMENT Exhibiting works by 60 artists SCULPTURENOW THE MOUNT 2 PLUNKETT ST, LENOX, MA • 413-358-3884 / SCULPTURENOW.ORG Juried exhibition of 30 contemporary, large-scale, outdoor sculptures by regional and internationally recognized artists. Thru Oct 13

2 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

SOHN FINE ART 69 CHURCH ST, LENOX, MA • 413-551-7353 / SOHNFINEART.COM July 30 - Oct 11: We May As well Dance: Valda Bailey; Oct 15-Jan 2022: Jeff Robb: Solo Exhibition SPENCERTOWN ACADEMY 790 ROUTE 203, PO BOX 80, SPENCERTOWN, NY • 518-392-3693 info@spencertownacademy.org Aug 14-Sept 19: Still Life: Flowers, Fruits & Foods in Repose ST. FRANCIS GALLERY 1370 PLEASANT ST. ROUTE 102, SOUTH LEE, MA Ongoing exhibit.

EVENTS SECOND SATURDAY HUDSON GALLERY CRAWL WARREN ST. HUDSON. NY October 9: The gallerists, retail shops, and restaurants of Hudson, have joined together to launch an ongoing, citywide gallery crawl. Outside of the shops, visitors will find pop-up galleries, markets, buskers, concerts, food trucks, and community activated art programing.

TALKS AND LECTURES BERNAY FINE ART 296 MAIN ST. GT BARRINGTON, MA BERNAYFINEART.COM September 18 4pm: Forty Years in Forty Minutes – David Ricci’s Life in Photography Join artist David Ricci as he takes you on a whirlwind tour of his four-decade career as a fine art photographer. He will be presenting large prints that are included in his upcoming monograph “EDGE”.


SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021

ARGAZZI ART 22 Millerton Road (RTE 44) Lakeville, CT 06039 info@argazziart.com 860 435-8222 Victor Mirabelli: Without Boundaries August 28- October 17 Simply White, Oil on canvas, 36 x 36”

SHAKER MILL BOOKS 3 DEPOT ST. WEST STOCKBRIDGE, MA SHAKERMILLBOOKS.COM September 25 7pm: David Ricci & Shaun O’Boyle: Two Photographers / Two Paths to Photo Book Publication: Join Berkshire photographers David Ricci and Shaun O’Boyle for a discussion of their unique journeys that led to publication of their photography books. They will discuss the subjects of their books, the publishing methods they chose, and the processes they followed. ROSELLE CHARTOCK: THE JEWISH WORLD OF ELVIS PRESLEY BUSHNELL-SAGE LIBRARY 48 MAIN ST, SHEFFIELD, MA Sept 25, 2pm: In The Jewish World of Elvis Presley, Roselle Kline Chartock reveals a little-known side of this rock ‘n’ roll icon, in particular, Presley’s deep affinity to Jews as well as his own Jewish heritage.

THEATER BARRINGTON STAGE COMPANY 30 UNION, PITTSFIELD, MA • 413-236-8888 BARRINGTONSTAGECO.ORG Sept 23 - Cot 16: A Crossing SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY 70 KEMBLE ST, LENOX, MA • 413-637-3353 SHAKESPEARE.ORG Sept: Measure for Measure; Sept 10-Oct 3: Hang NEW MARLBOROUGH MEETING HOUSE 154 HARTSVILLE-NEW MARLBOROUGH RD, NEW MARLBOROUGH, MA • 413-229-2785 WWW.NEWMARLBOROUGH.ORG September 11, 4:30pm Joan Ackermann’s Ice Glen:A Staged Reading with Star Performers of Shakespeare and Co. In this touching period comedy, Sarah, an earthy, fiery poet, dwells in idyllic obscurity in a crumbling Berkshire “cottage,” with a band of unlikely cohorts, including a blunt Irish cook, a lovesick butler, and a young widow.

MUSIC CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC CEWMUSIC@AOL.COM • 800-843-0778 TURNPARK ART SPACE 2 MOSCOW ROAD, WEST STOCKBRIDGE Sept 18, 5pm: Prism Quartet: The PRISM Quartet's (saxophones) popular program, Hit Parade, features a cross-section of traditional and contemporary music. New works reflect the enormous range of cultural and aesthetic influences. HELSINKI HUDSON 405 COLUMBIA ST, HUDSON, NY INFO@HELSINKIHUDSON.COM • 518-828-4800 Helsinki Open Mic, every Tues 7-11 Sept 18, 9pm: Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys MASS MOCA 1040 MASS MOCA WAY, NORTH ADAMS, MA / • 413-662-2111 / MASSMOCA.ORG Sept 24-26: FreshGrass Festival 2021 NEW MARLBOROUGH VILLAGE ASSOCIATION 154 HARTSVILLE-NEW MARLBOROUGH RD, NEW MARLBOROUGH, MA • 413-229-2785 NEW MARLBOROUGH.ORG Sept 25, 4:30: Magician Carl Seiger: “Clearly Invisible... Magic Up Close” An interactive performance combining illusion, jazz, and storytelling THE FOUNDRY 2 HARRIS ST, WEST STOCKBRIDGE, MA Sept 19, 7pm: Jason Anick Acoustic Trio Fiddle, guitar, and bass—it's a combination as old as the hills.

MUSEUMS CHESTERWOOD CHESTERWOOD.ORG 4 WILLIAMSVILLE RD, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-3578

CLARK ART INSTITUTE 225 SOUTH ST, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA • 413-458-2303 / CLARKART.EDU Groundwork, thru Oct. 17, outdoor exhibit; Erin Shirreff, Remainders, thru Jan 2, 2022; Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway, thru Sept 19. OLANA STATE HISTORIC SITE 5720 RTE 9, HUDSON NY • 519-828-0135 HTTP://WWW.OLANA.ORGAUG 30-OCT 31: CROSS Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church and our Contemporary Moment: "Cross Pollination: Heade, Cole, Church and our Contemporary Moment" is a national collaborative exhibition exploring the theme of cross pollination in art and the environment from the 19th century to today, presented jointly at the Thomas Cole Site in Catskill and Frederic Church’s Olana in Hudson in New York’s Hudson River Skywalk Region. MASS MOCA 1040 MASS MOCA WAY, NORTH ADAMS, MA • 413-662-2111 / MASSMOCA.ORG James Turrell, Nicholas Mosse and William Burke, Lapsed Quaker Ware, thru Oct 22; NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM 9 RTE 183, STOCKBRIDGE, MA / NRM.ORG • 413-298-4100 Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration, June 12-Oct 31 (online) Visit website for details on guide lines for visits to the museum

Send your calendar listing to artfulmind@yahoo.com

visit: issuu.com ART Gallery for Artful Minds FB group Deadline is the 5th of the month prior to production

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 3


Tom Zetterstrom

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021

The sumac bushes are quiet beautiful this time of year ARTS CALENDAR ...2 VIRTUAL GALLERY TAKE A LOOK!...10 TOM ZETTERSTROM PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL COBB

...20

THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF BRUCE PANOCK INTERVIEW BY H CANDEE

...26

THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF CLAUDIO DANAPOLI INTERVIEW BY H. CANDEE ...34 Zetterstrom’s vintage silver gelatin photographs are in the collections of 43 museums nationally. Visit: tomzetterstrom.com to view portfolios, museum and private collections, exhibition history and reviews. Portraits of American Trees exhibition, the Berkshire Botanical Garden Leonhardt Galleries, Stockbridge, Massachusetts Opening September 17 through October 31, 2021

Three Gallery Talks: September 19, 1 pm, Oct 10, 11 am, Oct 24, 11 am. Four Environmental Lectures under the title Whose Woods These Are. Learn more at: berkshirebotanical.org/events/portraits-american-trees

DAVID RICCI

PHOTOGRAPHY |

NEW BOOK EDGE INTERVIEW BY H. CANDEE ...40

RICHARD BRITELL | FICTION SOMETHING FOR OVER THE COUCH

CHAPTER 4

...48

COVER: Bruce Panock, Photographer “Abstract Trees in the Forest” Photograph by Bobby Miller

Publisher Harryet Candee Copy Editor

Marguerite Bride

Third Eye Jeff Bynack Advertising and Graphic Design

Harryet Candee

Contributing Writers Richard Britell Michael Cobb Photographers Edward Acker Tasja Keetman ADVERTISING RATES 413 - 645 - 4114 artfulmind@yahoo.com issuu.com | Instagram FB Open Group: ARTFUL GALLERY for artful minds Box 985

The Artful Mind Great Barrington, MA 01230

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

4 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND


Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary | Lenox, Massachusetts presents

Two Perspectives on the Natural World: Paintings by

Ghetta Hirsch and Carolyn Newberger

September Forest 2019 | Watercolor, 5 1/2 x 16 inches

Pike’s Pond | 2019 Oil on Canvas 18 x 24 inches

September 18 - October 31, 2021 Opening Reception: September 25, 4 -7pm Located in the barn at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, Massachusetts THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 5


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

Julia Grey

6 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER THE ARTFUL MIND


EXCLUSIVE AND LUXURIOUS EYEWEAR

AT:

529 Warren Street, Hudson, NY | 212. 227. 2400 | ArtseeHudson.com THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 7


MARY DAVIDSON

Stamped Abstract Series #23 Acrylic 40 x 32 inches

wwwdavidsondesigncompany.net Studio appointments: Call 1-413-528-6945 Keith and Mary original artwork for sale Studio/gallery, South Egremont, MA

8 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND


Carolyn Newberger DRAWING from LIFE: THE NUDE as MIRROR and MUSE Galatea Fine Arts, Boston, MA October 1 - 31, 2021 First Friday Reception: October 1, 6 - 8pm

460B Harrison Ave., #B-6 Boston, MA 617-542-1500 www.galateafineart.com

cnewberger@me.com www.carolynnewberger.com 617-877-5672

Woman with Red Hair 2019 watercolor and charcoal 22 x 15 inches

Mark Mellinger Paintings - Collage - Construction

Apparitions Acrylic and Collage on Canvas 60 x 48” 2017-2021

100 North St Pittsfield #322

914. 260. 7413

markmellinger680@gmail.com THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 9


VIRTUAL ART GALLERY FINE ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY CLAUDIA d’ ALESSANDRO CAROLYN NEWBERGER MARK MELLINGER BRUCE PANOCK

Take a look! For art sales please contact the artist directly. To show your art on a gallery wall: email: artfulmind@yahoo.com Visit our popular group on FaceBook: ART GALLERY for Artful Minds

10 •SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND


CLAUDIA d’ALESSANDRO

Filtered September Road

Filtered Suspended Dew in Web

FIltered Fall Berry Pond

Sea and Sky

Filtered Fall Golden Tree REfelction

Filtered Cows on Sunset Hillside

"Green to Gold: Transition" September marks Nature's transition from green to gold, setting the stage for autumn's climax of color. All works are 24x36 inches, on Canvas and cost $299.

https://www.dalessandrophotography.com 413.717-1534 THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 11


Study in Red, Watercolor, 22 x 15” $2400.

Man Asleep, Watercolor, 11 x 15”

12 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

$1200.


CAROLYN NEWBERGER

Blue Nude, Watercolor and Charcoal, 24 x 18 $1400.

CONTACT:  www.carolynnewberger.com cnewberger@me.com 617-877-5672 Commissions Upon Request Leap of Faith, Watercolor and Charcoal, 24 x 18” $1400.

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 13


American Sunset Collage 40 x 30" 2021 $1100.

Subterranean Pyroclasm Acrylic on Canvas, 60 x 48" 2020 $4500.

14 •SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND


MARK MELLINGER

Quarks Acrylic on canvas 2017 40 x 30" $1100.

Chukchi Sea Collage 12 x 18" 2021 $280.

CONTACT:

914-260-7413 markmellinger680@gmail.com THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 15


Life, Death, Flight

Doorway

For this body of work, everything starts with the search for shapes and patterns in the landscape. When I get back to the computer I then mask out what doesn’t add to the subject. This could take days of effort. When the shapes and patterns have revealed themselves, Then I begin thinking about the background, the colors and the textures. It all evolves….or fails magnificently. —Bruce Panock 16 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND


BRUCE PANOCK

Abstract Rock Formation

Flight Freedom Hope

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.

CONTACT: www.panockphotography.com bruce@panockphotography.com 917-287-8589 THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 17


BERRY POND II, WATERCOLOR

MARGUERITE BRIDE WATERCOLORS MAPLE AND CHERRY 1994 CT. (VERSION 3)

PORTRAITS OF AMERICAN TREES THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF TOM ZETTERSTROM Fine arts photographer Tom Zetterstrom, will exhibit 36 vintage gelatin silver photographs from his Portraits of American Trees portfolio at the Berkshire Botanical Garden, Leonhardt Galleries, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, September 17-October 31, 2021. Zetterstrom’s photographs are represented in the collections of 44 museums nationally, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and in the Library of Congress, as well as numerous corporate and private collections. “Zetterstrom’s portraits of trees partake in a tradition whose roots lie deep in nineteenth-century photography and painting,” wrote Charles S. Moffett, former director of the Phillips Collection. “(His) images reflect moods and ideas that are at least indirectly related to British and American Romantic traditions. He has both built a bridge to the past and created a body of work that fully reflects a particular late-twentieth century sensibility.” “With his sculptural intelligence and his understanding of light, Zetterstrom does something rare among photographers of Trees: he gives them consciousness. He seems to have caught them at the moment they noticed the camera”, wrote former NYTimes art critic, Michael Brenson. In a series of talks entitled Whose Woods These Are, Zetterstrom will describe projects that have effected positive change to protect native plants and trees in natural and in community forests. In addition he will give 3 gallery talks about the art and horticulture of black and white tree photography. For more gallery information visit: www.berkshirebotanical.org/events/portraitsamerican-trees To see the tree collection, please visit: http://tomzetterstrom.com

Autumn in the Berkshires is bringing a boatload of art activities. Marguerite Bride will be exhibiting new works at a brand-new gallery opening in Lenox in mid-September. The Art Of is a small fine art and craft gallery in downtown Lenox, sharing a roof with The Olde Heritage Tavern at 12 Housatonic St. Their mission is to showcase the talent of Berkshire County artists and artisans and they expect to open on September 12. Pittsfield’s Second Annual DRIVE.WALK.BIKE Art Show on display throughout the city’s neighborhoods will happen on Saturday, September 25 from 2-6 pm. This event is part of the newly created ArtWeek Berkshires - a collaboration of the five Cultural Districts in Berkshire County: Downtown GB, Lenox, North Adams, Pittsfield and Williamstown. Bride will be teaming up with artist Scott Taylor on Whittier Ave. Be sure to grab a map of the locations of the existing artists. See the Drive.Walk.Bike facebook page for more details. Raindate is Sunday, Sept 26, 2-6pm. Bride has an exhibit of 19 Berkshire-focused paintings at Miraval Resort. While this is not open to the public, to see what is on exhibit there, visit Bride’s website and search on “Miraval”. If interested in purchasing a painting, pieces can be taken out by the artist to be seen at her studio, so be in touch to set up an appointment. It is hard to imagine the holiday season right now, but if you are interested in a very special gift for a loved one, parents, yourself, anyone… ..you can be the family hero. Paintings are always a cherished and personal gift. Commissions are always happily encouraged but they do take a little time to plan and execute. So be in touch! Marguerite Bride – Home Studio at 46 Glory Drive, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by appointment only. Call 413-841-1659 or 413-442-7718; margebride-paintings.com; margebride@aol.com; Facebook: Marguerite Bride Watercolors

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

Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colours flowers, so does art colour life. ― John Lubbock 18 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND


FILTERED WILD GEESE

CLAUDIA d’ALESSANDRO September marks the beginning of the end of summer. The deep greens that have matured and surrounded us now begin to transition to yellows, as if the sun that seems to splash across us at an ever more acute angle were leaving behind it a wash of gold. Those who have seen green gold (the metal) may particularly appreciate September’s light. As is the case for so many ‘beginnings of endings,’ September builds toward a climax of color and abundance. Harvests begin in earnest: the rich colors of apples, squashes and late green vegetables forming the palette of Nature’s bounty while turning fields and hillsides into glorious still lifes. In September, still glowingly vibrant, Nature prepares for her final, climactic end of the growing season, the blaze of fiery glory that will come and then fade into the deep greys of late October. The test flights of migratory geese, the deepening sunsets, and the rich transitions of weather as our hot-blooded world cools a bit are all reminders of what will soon come. Still, for a little while we can bask in the green gold of September as we prepare. As each season has a lesson which applies to the human condition, September allows us to reflect on summer’s bounty, reminding us to be grateful for the days of plenty, and for the gifts that Nature gives us in every season. Nature’s images remind me of the magnificent beauty that surrounds us - the mighty power of the natural world which we inhabit. Air, earth and water serve as my canvas. I hope that you will share my appreciation of September’s “Green to Gold: Transition.’ “Claudia’s photography touches our souls with deep joy!” ~ CHR “She sees with her eyes and feels with her heart.” ~ DKAH For more information on purchasing these, or other prints— Please email me: cdalessandro26@gmail.com, Visit me: https://www.dalessandrophotography.com, or follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cdalessandrophotography/ and on Instagram as: dalessandronatura. Don’t forget to mention The Artful Mind for Preferred Customer pricing! Cheers to all for a safe, healthy and inspiring summer’s end and autumn’s beginnings!

BRUCE PANOCK WATER AND REEDS 16X24”

DAVID RICCI Several years ago, I worked on a long-term project photographing amusement parks, boardwalks, and outdoor sports facilities when few people were present. These venues call out for crowds, so when nearly deserted they often have an eerie, surreal feel which I found intriguing. In many important ways, the lack of people in the scene also impacted the way I composed the photographs. Graphic elements that would have been obscured by the crowds emerged from the scenes and I became acutely aware of the ground and sky as visual elements. Over nearly a decade I gradually included more physical space in the viewfinder, carefully positioning the camera on my tripod to architect the images. As the project evolved, the level of visual complexity gradually increased to the point where I was orchestrating a plethora of compositional elements and nearly overloading the frame. The compositions have a geometric underpinning and a complex structure that emphasizes repeating visual motifs, rhythms, and patterns. Since that time, I have used a similar approach to produce several more bodies of work photographing a broad range of subject matter and exploring several themes. Fifty images from these projects will be included in my upcoming monograph “EDGE” to be published this year by Fall Line Press in Atlanta. The book can be pre-ordered on Kickstarter.com from September 8 to October 8. For Kickstarter supporters only - we will be offering great prices for book orders with an 8x10 print, larger collector prints, and a folio of prints in a very small edition. After the end of the Kickstarter campaign the book can be ordered at the regular retail price at Shaker Mill Books in West Stockbridge and at falllinepress.com. Join me on September 18 at 4 PM for my talk “40 years in 40 minutes” at Bernay Fine Art in Gt. Barrington where I will be showing several large prints from EDGE and discussing my path to publication. Pieces from my current project, Hunter/Gatherer, are on exhibit as part of Bernay’s “Be Still” exhibition along with fabulous drawings and paintings by gallery artists. Fellow Berkshire photographer and Guggenheim fellow Shaun O’Boyle and I will be giving presentations on our two very different books at Shaker Mill Books in West Stockbridge on September 25 at 7 PM. David Ricci - davidricci.net. Work can be seen and purchased at Bernay Fine Art 296 Main St., Great Barrington, MA, bernayfineart.com, and at Iris Gallery of Fine Art, irisgalleryfineart.com.

LAUREL HILL ASSOCIATION ARTISTS ON NATURE VIRTUAL GALLERY

Laurel Hill Association proudly presents photographer Bruce Panock’ s work in a virtual exhibit at the Artists on Nature. Bruce Panock lives in the Berkshires and began his exploration with photography over 20 years ago through various courses and a great deal of self-study. As evidenced by his photographs, he developed a strong connection to the landscape and our relationship to it. Abstract, Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist artists also have a particular influence on his work. This is the first virtual gallery presentation presented by the Laurel Hill Association. This online forum on artists who are informed by nature has been created to bring greater awareness of the power of nature as a source of inspiration as well as the importance of protecting our natural resources. This forum is meant to educate and create a greater connection to our community. The exhibit launches on July 25 and will end on September 20, 2021. Laurel Hill Association - PO Box 24, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. 413-298-2888; www.laurelhillassociation.org; info@laurelhillassociation.org.

When I am finishing a picture, I hold some God-made object up to it – a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand – as a final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there’s a clash between the two, it’s bad art. —Marc Chagall

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 19


PHOTO BY LISA VOLLMER

TOM ZETTERSTROM PHOTOGRAPHY by Mike Cobb Photograph of Tom by Lisa Vollmer Tom Zetterstrom is a fine arts photographer from Canaan, Connecticut. His work has been acquired by 43 museums nationally including the Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, the Library of Congress and numerous private collections. Zetterstrom’s life as an artist and environmentalist has roots as deep as the trees he photographs. He grew up in Canaan helping his family manage their wooded property. His parents were immigrants from Sweden, his father a forester. Cutting, pruning, and caring for trees instilled a deep appreciation for nature from an early age.

“My fascination and concern for trees emerged while working with my arborist father during the period of extensive loss of the American elm due to the local invasion of Dutch elm disease in the 1960’s,” Zetterstrom says. After graduating from Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Zetterstrom earned a BA in sculpture from Colorado College and pursued graduate studies in photography at Pratt Institute in the late 1960’s. As alternative service to going to Vietnam, he taught photography in the inner city of Washington DC from 1968-1970. The emergence of Earth Day and the environmental movement were inspirational, but it was the pro-

20 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

posal to expand Route 44 and Route 7 into four lane super highways cutting across Western New England and through his family’s property that kickstarted his activism and helped spur his photographic technique. Determined to protect his family’s land and realizing the potential impact of highway encroachment on the Litchfield and Berkshire hills, Zetterstrom set out with his camera to document the impact of over-reliance on automobiles. Armed with slideshows showing the threat to local landscapes, Zetterstrom lectured from Connecticut to Vermont in concert with numerous environmental organizations and played a key


Tom Zetterstrom Four Maples 1977 Version 2

Tom Zetterstrom Coast Oak CA, 1991

role in helping halt the highway project. Coincidentally, he also developed a novel style of shooting from behind the wheel. Subsequently, using longer shutter speeds and black and white film, he produced images abstracted by kinetic energy, with an almost ominous feel which he named the Moving Point of View. Zetterstrom declared, “These are not blurry photographs, but combine a sweep of cinematic motion balanced against a resolve to stillness.” “Elm Street, 1978” exemplified this emerging style. Zetterstrom’s windshield frames an open road lined with elms silhouetted against a rainy

sky. Here, the viewer experiences the beauty of trees animated with motion as an interaction of humanity and nature, a theme central to Zetterstrom’s work. In a similar fashion, “Four Maples 1977” typifies the Moving Point of View. An almost ghostly landscape is seen through the passenger’s window. It is both an abstraction and a documentation of the beauty and balance of nature that is increasingly rare to find. “These vintage photographs printed 30-50 years ago have a distinctive appeal from a collectors point of view,” he commented. In contrast to Moving Point of View, Zetter-

strom’s other major portfolio, Portraits of American Trees, focuses on memorable trees standing still before the camera and rendered as portraits. “It all started while I was living in my cabin in the 70’s, observing the forests around me. I had begun to extract my vision out of the chaos and order of nature. Trial and error and observation oftrees became my art instructor. That was a very personal evolution of the artistic vision that emerged,” he says. Zetterstrom’s photographs show extraordinary trees distinguished by stillness and with a focus on their balance and beauty in functioning ecosystems. Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 21


TOM ZETTERSTROM

Tom Zetterstrom Elm Street, 1978

Tom Zetterstrom Main Woods, 1983

Tom Zetterstrom Black Spruce 1992 Wyoming

In this portfolio, Zetterstrom tends to print in lighter, warm tones and often uses the atmosphere of fog or snow to achieve subtle effect as seen in “Coast Oak, 1991, California.” “My treatment of black and white sometimes achieves the softness of a graphite drawing but in other prints matches the rich blacks and intense details of an Ansel Adams. Black and white, by its nature, flirts with abstraction as it

deselects the distraction of color. It can also be used to amplify the architectural and structural components of trees,” he says. “Baldwin Hill Elm, 2002” in Egremont, is vignetted to lend a timeless quality. As the state tree of Massachusetts, elms were once dominant in the northeast until the arrival of Dutch elm disease. Tom’s photographs of American Elm in 4 Seasons were acquired by the Library of Con-

22 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

gress and the Boston Public Library. Those photographs helped inspire the formation of Elm Watch by Zetterstrom and Tim Abbott of The Nature Conservancy in 1999. Together they launched an effort to protect specimen elms throughout the tri-state region. For his photographic work and as a tree preservationist, Zetterstrom later received the 2011 National Arbor Day Foundation’s Public


Tom Zetterstrom Ridge 1984 West Virginia

Tom Zetterstrom American Elm

Tom Zetterstrom Yellow Willow 1992 Oregon

Awareness of Trees Award. “We protected about 100 Elms and planted about 200 disease resistant elms. Historically, New Englanders embraced the elm with great symbolism all the way back to the American Revolution. It was known as the ‘Liberty Tree’ and was even grander than the English elm,” he states. From September 17-October 31, Zetterstrom will exhibit selections from his Portraits of American Trees portfolio at the Berkshire Botanical Garden, Leonhardt Galleries, with an opening reception Friday, September 17, 5-7 pm. He will also offer Gallery Talks on the art

of tree photography, including horticultural and habitat information, on three Sundays: September 18, 1:00 PM and on October 10 and 24 at 11:00AM. “Toward the end of the show, on October 30th, I’m going to be giving an Elm lecture on disease resistant cultivars followed by an outdoor workshop with Kieran Yaple pruning the Berkshire Botanical Garden Elm that was planted with the help of Elm Watch in 2003. So, once again, we are connecting art to environmentalism and public education about trees,” he says. For more information on Zetterstrom’s

Whose Woods These Are talks during the run of the show, please visit--https://www.berkshirebotanical.org/events/portraits-american-trees While climate change, invasive plants and pests and numerous other insults threaten forest health, Zetterstrom’s photographs both capture their beauty and increase awareness of their vital importance. For more information see: http://tomzetterstrom.com -Mike Cobb

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 23


GOLGOTHA. ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 20 X 20" 2021

A STUDY IN SILENCE WATERCOLOR AND CHARCOAL

CAROLYN NEWBERGER

MARK MELLINGER ABSURDIST ARTIST STATEMENT My work explores the interconnectedness of Bauhausian sensibilities and Trobriand Island chants. With influences as diverse as Noble Sissle and Shemp Howard, new insights are created from both mundane and transcendant dialogues. Ever since I was a child I have been disturbed by the essential ephemarality of space/time. What starts out as circumlocutory vision soon becomes corrupted into a hegemony of greed, leaving only a sense of ennui and little chance of a new paradigm. As spatial miasmas become transformed through emergent Unabhängigkeitserklärungen, the viewer is left with a catafalque for the prognostication of our future. www.markmellingerart.com markmellinger680@gmail.com

Carolyn Newberger is an award-winning artist and writer whose love of the figure is a natural extension of a career in psychology. Her concern for people and their challenges informs her art, whether it be in the studio with a model or in the concert hall capturing a musician or dancer in performance. Her drawings express the essence of her subjects, with their rhythm, flow, character and intensity. Carolyn Newberger - www.carolynnewberger.com

FRONT ST. GALLERY

MARSH MARIGOLDS, 14 X 11” KATE KNAPP

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

Front Street, Housatonic, MA 24 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021

THE ARTFUL MIND

JOINT OPEN STUDIO Virginia Bradley, Lynn Wadsworth, Chris Malcomson and William Casper are participating in Art Week Berkshires with an Open Studio, Gallery Talk, and Artists Reception on Saturday, September 25 from 12pm-6pm at Virginia’s studio on 234 Long Pond Rd, Great Barrington Massachusetts (following Covid guidelines). Guest Artist Lynn Wadsworth (www.lynnwadsworth.com) is from St. Paul, Minnesota and will present a Gallery Talk at 4 pm discussing the collages, artist book and ceramic sculptures she is exhibiting. Lynn recently received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Fellowship to produce the book “Salvages” a book about her collage work. A thread of surrealism wends through all of Lynn’s practice. Lynn draws from several magazines that were big during her childhood: McCall’s, Better Home and Gardens for their aspirational domesticity while considering Look and Life for their penetrating photography. Virginia Bradley (www.virginiabradley.com) is an abstract painter who explores the alchemical and physical processes of painting as she transforms materials into paintings. Virginia will be presenting new work from her Catena Series. Virginia had been contemplating how the pace of life had changed during the Covid Pandemic. At moments time seemed to stand still and other times it seemed to race by. She came upon the word Catena, which means related moments or an inter-locking chain. The word Catena spoke to her about her search to find meaning and beauty through the painting process. Chris Malcomson (www.chrismalcomson.com) is both an abstract oil painter and watercolorist. Chris’s latest paintings bring together all that he has learned through a lifetime searching for meaning. He has been influenced by poets such as Rumi, Mary Oliver and Kabir as well as Transpersonal and Jungian psychology. Chris’s painting now takes three forms. He always carries a small notebook, which he uses to “catch the Muse”. Lastly are larger abstracts on canvas which go up to about five-foot square. For many of these utilize a fixed form, which allows him to concentration on color. William Casper (www.williamcaspersculptures.com) is a figurative sculptor whose goal is to capture movement, emotion and intimacy through textured surfaces and torso angles. He has recently been inspired by the strength, balance, and contemplation of yoga poses: no ornamentation, only coiled energy while maintaining meditative stillness.


TERREL BROUSSARD FOOD AS MEDICINE HAT SERIES #36 ACRYLIC

MARY DAVIDSON 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.” In addition to an Associate Degree in Fashion Design from Newbury College in Boston, Davidson has taken many classes in drawing and painting, and participated in many art workshops. “I feel as though I have developed my own unique style at this point. I am a member of three local art clubs, along with two other clubs not so close to home.” Davidson’s biggest accomplishment was to become a juried member of the National Association of Women Artists, NAWA, New York, NY. She has also been juried into many art shows in New England, since 2007 and in some of the shows has won awards. Mary Davidson - PO Box 697, South Egremont, Massachusetts; 413-528-6945, Cell 1-413717-2332; mdavidsongio@aol.com, marydavidson83155@gmail.com, www.davidsondesigncompany.net.

In June and July, I talked about herbal remedies, how they play a part in our lives, and where we might find them. This month I would like to touch on the way humans play a part in nature…the interconnectedness or relationship between ourselves and that which feeds us. I created my original bodywork practice, Whole Being Therapy, in 1997 out of the recognition that we are intrinsically linked to our planet. It was a massage practice that used yoga and herbs in combination with mindful eating practices as well as cleansing routines. Along with the body/mind connection, I believe that our interconnectedness with the planet is just as strong in my practice today as it was in 1997. This link to everything around us means that we can affect it just as it can affect us. The earth’s effect on us is pretty obvious, however, our effect on it is a contentious point these days. Some seem to believe that we can put endless amounts of waste into and around the planet without concern. The way I see it, there’s a reason that we put our septic systems as far away from our water well as possible…because we can contaminate the groundwater, in effect, contaminating our bodies. This is a simplistic, but everyday example of cause and effect.

For every action, there is a reaction. Accumulation is a gradual process, whether it be planetary or microscopic. Just as we can gradually reach capacity in home septic systems, landfills, and atmospheric conditions, the human body can do the same. Our lymphatic system is responsible for maintaining fluid levels, absorbing fats, and eliminating wastes, among other things. If we apply the idea of accumulation to the daily nourishment of our bodies, it is easy to see how unconscious food decisions can lead to dis-ease in the body. The human body is resilient, as is the planet. If given a chance, the body can reset itself. Cells are constantly being regenerated. The “trick” is that in order to grow a healthy cell, we must continuously feed it proper nutrition. Proper nutrition consists of uncontaminated and unprocessed foods, grown in healthy soils and fed uncontaminated water and sunlight. A tall order to fill in this day and age. Another key point is that while we feed the body properly, we are halting the contamination of it. This allows a cleansing process to happen simultaneously, as long as the digestive and lymphatic systems are working properly. The beauty of our interconnectedness with nature that surrounds us, is that we are mirrors of one another. As we have the ability to cleanse and heal, so can the planet. Our concern should be about time. The planet can filter out its pollutants, similar to our body’s ability. The questions are: Can we as humans wait that long for the Earth’s cleansing and resetting process? And will we be one of the pollutants it filters out? Be well and heal thyself! Terrel Broussard - Ayurvedic Practitioner, Herbalist, Bodyworker; 413-329-5440

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 25


THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF

BRUCE PANOCK INTERVIEW BY HARRYET CANDEE

Bruce, being a fine art photographer, you work closely with the natural elements: Earth, Air, Water, fire and Space. What of these elements have you found to be challenging, easy, difficult to work with? I’m not sure that there is an easiest or hardest element. My work is about photographing what I refer to as the “intimate landscape;” small spaces, as I wander in Nature. When I get back to the computer, I isolate those elements that first attracted me by masking out certain elements of the scene in the photograph. Often the message becomes clearer as I’m working on the image. It’s rare that I begin an image with the thought that I want to convey. The process is one of evolution, both of the content and the thought of the image.

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHS BY BOBBY MILLER

I should note that at times certain features that have been previously masked out of the image are added back in later stages. Sometimes these masked-out features add back texture or movement or some other intangible that enhances the image-thought. These steps are acts of subtraction, then addition, then modification in some fashion, or just deletion altogether. It’s the image itself which helps me decide as it evolves.

to accomplish these edits using paint, or the other applications available to painters and to photographers who work using alternative processes. Photoshop enables me to accomplish quite a bit. My limitations are more about my knowledge and background. I have no formal art training, so self-study has been an important component. Yet, for all the self-study, there is still something missing which formal art training, I’m sure, would add to my foundation.

I know how much you love working with the camera, but have you ever found it has it’s limitations? I am able to accomplish quite a bit in camera. But the work that I make requires a good deal of modification. I am not able, for health reasons,

You have mentioned that it takes many prints to get to a perfect print. Can you explain what that means? There is something about the physical print which the screen just can’t compete with in the presentation of a work of art. The image is made

26 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND


Panock

Abstract Trees in the Forest

in the camera whether via film or digitally. When the image is brought into the computer for modification (unless, of course the photographer works in the analogue world), the image is processed according to the artist’s vision. Then what? Will the presentation of the image be limited to the cellphone screen, the iPad, or the computer screen? Each viewing device which shares the image is limited by technology and color fidelity. Are vibrant colors shown the way they were made in processing? Are blacks as deep? Will shadows retain detail? And so much more. In short, not every screen shares the image the same way. When the photographer prints, new possibilities are available. Colors can be as vibrant as they are seen in our mind, the blacks as deep and detailed as they were made in processing, the same with the brightest colors and whites. By selecting from the various papers and surfaces (metals, glass, plastics) which are available, the

Panock Birch Tree

artist opens up the possibility of sharing the work as was intended, as the artist saw it in their mind’s eye as the work was created. Each paper has its own characteristics. Each paper brings out the last piece of the image. Subtleness, Gloss. Texture. The richness of the colors. I test various papers to find that paper to find that paper which I hope will best show what I’m trying to share. Can you describe the way in which you find your work beneficial to your life? Do you keep a journal? I journal every day. I write whatever is going through my mind at the time. Some of these thoughts find their way into my work. They can be the beginnings of an image, or the resolution to a problem I have as I am developing the work. In much the same way as my written journal, my art serves as a visual journal. It allows me to put voice to my thoughts and the issues which oc-

cupy those thoughts. The subjects of the work cover things that are quite personal, politics, the issues of the day, almost anything which has meaning to me. With some images I am able to offload some of the tension. With other images, in the discussion that I have as the work evolves, the tension might build. These days the isolation necessitated by the Covid pandemic is the source for much of the work. There is so much to be explored when addressing isolation and what it means, both within and outside of the Covid space. It’s odd, I never intended that the art would act as a companion journal to the written journal. What substantiates the borders of a selling artist and a creating artist? Certainly, we all want to sell our work, but I Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 27


BRUCE PANOCK

Panock What We’ve Done

make the images to meet my own needs. My goal in making my art is to address issues that are bothering me, that I need to resolve or at least come to terms with. If I can, I want to create a connection with the viewer so that they might be able to find their own meaning and message in the image. This does not always result in work that might be shared on a living room wall. I have accepted this limitation. It is the connection that is important.

Panock Alone But Not Alone

Reading books when at a young age helps to develop visualization skills beneficial to artists. Thoughts? I have always been a reader. I am very much a visual learner. As I make each photograph, I am always learning. Then as I bring the image into the computer and begin to process the work, I am always thinking about what I see evolving on the screen. I’m always asking myself “why?” Why am I taking the direction that I am? For what purpose? My daily workflow includes time for study which includes reading on subjects about art or related to art making. For me this involves trying to understand why I’m on the path that I’m on and what am I trying to express. There is a continuing learning process. I don’t think

28 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

that this ever ends. What are your artistic goals? My work, if successful, is intended to create a connection with the viewer regarding things that are important to me. To share a bit of me. To understand that we must be respectful of this world which we inhabit. To think about how our actions impact others. To understand that we are merely custodians of this world for future generations. In what ways have you honed your photography skills? Constant study of the work of the other artists, regardless of which discipline they practice and their level of skill. Using my cameras and lenses in any way that crosses my mind, mistakes notwithstanding, and experimenting in Photoshop (my editing tool of choice). I learn from repetition and I build on my mistakes, which are really just building blocks. Is there a photograph that you have taken that has a particular significance for you? I have strong feelings about this image (What We’ve Done). It was made entirely from images of places in the Berkshires. The pond is


Panock Impressionist Wall

Panock Basket

the marsh near the Stockbridge Bowl. The frame is from a photograph made at Mass MOCA. The image is pretty heavily edited to show what will happen to this beautiful place where we live, and the rest of the planet, if we don’t begin to take care of it. Maybe our efforts might even be too late. These are some of the issues which weigh on me and what I want to express in my art. How would you judge a landscape or a stilllife before capturing it on camera? My goal is to try and find shapes, patterns and textures. I’m not terribly good at broad vistas. I find that I achieve my best when I isolate on features, such as vines, branches, and other features

of nature (the intimate landscape). Essentially, I am collecting subjects that can be used in later images. When I am out wandering with my camera, I think about how to best capture the details of the subject, its lines and flow. Have I captured the colors of the subject properly? Do I want a subject that is frozen in time, or do I want a sense of movement in the frame? How will I share that sense of movement? As with every other photographer, I think about which tools and camera settings will work best. As best I can, I try to accomplish as much as possible in the camera, before I get to Photoshop. Each tool has a different purpose. A long lens

(i.e., a 500mm lens) will flatten the foreground and the background, providing a certain appearance to the image. A 17mm lens (wide angle lens) will show the far-off points (i.e., mountain ranges) very distant. Each tool allows us to make choices. Have you found the tech age, digital world to be demanding from an artist’s point of view? Two part answer. First, the tech age has enabled me to participate in something that I’ve begun to learn and love. In particular Photoshop has opened doors for me that would have otherwise been closed. Seven years ago, Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 29


BRUCE PANOCK

Panock The Feeling of Alone

Panock Red Leaf

I had a lung transplant. Of the limitations that I live with, no irritants or chemicals are permitted to be inhaled. I have one lung that works, so inhaling any irritant is not allowed. Enter Photoshop. No chemicals, no dust. Just a computer and my imagination. Though I would love to try some techniques to layer other materials onto my work, I can accomplish most of what I want in Photoshop. I accept the limitations. Second, the technology and the internet has opened up so much in the way of museums and video presentations, that anyone can learn almost anything they want. When I was sick, before my surgery, I was quite house bound. Couldn’t walk steps for quite a while, so iPad and the internet to the rescue. I studied schools of art that I never studied. Amazing how much quality content can be found on YouTube at no cost. To this day I spend time on YouTube, Face-

book and Instagram looking at the work of other artists. Always something to learn. How are you making your photographs available to the public? Hard question. I have entered numerous juried competitions, and have been fortunate enough to be juried into a few competitions with some very talented artists. There are more rejections than acceptances, thus the need for the thick skin. I don’t take it personally. There are many very talented artists submitting, not every image can get selected, and not every judge will view my work the same way. But the more people who judge my work, I think the better my longterm possibilities. Also, after each competition, I look at the accepted works and those not accepted, and try to understand where my work didn’t quite measure up. Everything is a learning

30 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

experience. Instagram is an important tool. I’ve been invited to participate in some events that I would have otherwise never been invited. For example, I was recently invited to show my work on the Laurel Hill Association website. They have originated a new page, Artists on Nature, and my work is in their inaugural show. This would have never happened had my work not been seen on Instagram. Tell us about The Waters of March Project. This came about because of a reconnection with a friend from high school who I hadn’t seen in 50 years. He saw my work on Instagram and invited me to join with a group of other artists to create a joint project. Antonio Carlos Jobim (The Girl from Ipanima) wrote the music and lyrics for The Waters of March. Each of the participat-


Panock Searching Wondering

Panock A Heavy Burden

ing artists selected phrases from the song and created works that expressed the phrases that they had selected. This was extremely challenging, as I had never worked in this manner. I made lots of attempts, every one of these attempts a failure until I decided to think in terms of collage and montage. During this time I had begun looking into symbolism and how it might fit into the work I was making. This project was a big step forward from the realist style of work that I made before my surgery to the current style of my work which looks more deeply inward. I enjoy viewing your photographs in The Home Project. How did this project start and evolve into a substantial body of work? The Home Project, that body of work grew out of the period of time when I was sick, before my lung transplant surgery. There was a period, a bit more than a year, when I couldn’t do much. I was quite tethered (my oxygen concentrator) to two rooms in our home. Bedroom to kitchen and

back. That was my world (other than TV and the internet). After the surgery, when I realized that I had a future, I began seeing with different eyes. I first began photographing my rooms, then looking back on what it was like when I was sick. This “looking back” was beginning of collage work where I combined images of me limited by illness with images of a healthy me post-surgery. Then I started looking at the same space that I had occupied previously, but with a touch of the abstract, working with depth of field, texture and color. Something had changed. I shifted quite a bit from the straight, realistic approach that I had taken before I was sick, to more of how I saw with an inner intangible. I’m a big fan of the abstract expressionists, in particular Mark Rothko. While I was sick, I looked at all forms of visual art. I was particularly drawn to the Abstract Expressionists, and the Surrealists, both photographers and painters. I seem to be drawn to these genres. I guess the conclusion to this question is that

the current work is tied to the Home portfolio, it’s a series of steps, building on each other. Tell us about the Encaustic Influence Project. How do you work with nature and encaustics? I am influenced by many styles of art and art making. Including texture as part of the art is an important component of my work. Seeing how the application of wax to a surface and its impact on color and dimension, changing the energy of a piece fascinates me. Every work is unique as a result. I would love to be able to employ that technique, but I’m limited, as previously discussed. So, as I work on an image in Photoshop, I try and “see” how an encaustic layer might add a third dimension to the work. With Photoshop this can come close, not really replicate, but provide a sense of the impact this technique can have on an image. Color. Let me begin by saying that I struggle to get color right. Much of my work stays within a very definite color. The color field work of Mark Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 31


BRUCE PANOCK

Panock A lonesome Road

Rothko and Clifford Still have a heavy influence. I work with color wheels, looking at how colors match up or conflict. I try to keep things simple for fear of a glaring mistake. What shift took place with your photography after leaving the city and moving to the country regarding your photography work? A definite shift from street photography to landscape work. When we lived in NYC I was working, so there wasn’t nearly enough time to get out and photograph the way that I work now. Influences, more availability of museums showing more styles of art, but this was really just building my foundations and appreciation for what “could be.” 10 years ago the image libraries weren’t as available on the internet as they are now. I took a number of evening classes at the International Center of Photography, from the very basic, to classes which pushed hard at what I thought photography might be for me. Seeing the work of so many other students and how

they approached their work was a powerful influence. How was life for you while living in the city? In many respects life was easier. You walk out the front door of the building and found whatever you needed. However, the job demanded long hours, so that’s where I spent most of my time. I must add, that I really like a big back yard and the woods just across the street. How did you discover the Berkshires? My wife was a camper up here many years ago. She knew about Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow. After a few long weekends at the Applegate Inn, we started looking for a house. We bought with the view of retiring here. Turned out to be a great decision. Lots of nice people in a beautiful part of the world. What has been some outside artistic in-

32 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

fluences you have brought closer to you? Outside influences. So many. Photographers, of course, but also painters and sculptors. Eastern art forms, in particular Japanese and Chinese brush painting. European schools and American Schools, photographic as well as painting. I’m all over the place when it comes styles, and I borrow from each. I have a few teachers who’ve exposed me to photographers of all styles, cultures and approaches. But at the same time, these photographers exposed me to painters and how they used light when there was no such thing as electricity. My personal library has a growing collection of work of artists that have attracted my interest. There’s just so much to learn, to absorb. Fortunately, I have the time to learn and experiment. If I was to ask you to go take a shot at something, spontaneously, what would you shoot? Interesting challenge. I’m not the most spontaneous person you will meet. Probably why I


Panock Isolation Body and Soul

Panock Dead Tree Portrait

wasn’t much good at street photography when we lived in NYC. I am not fast. I ponder. I will stare at a scene for a while before I even reach for my camera. When I first read this question, my brain began thinking about subjects and what I might share with you. What pointers would you give to someone interested in learning how to use a camera? Turn off all of the automatic settings. Make mistakes. Use each dial, button and knob until you know what they will do, why and when each setting is appropriate for the image you want to make. Make mistakes, but learn to think about how you want to see something. Use the automatic settings only after you realize what they will do for you. BUT, even buying a plain point and shoot camera which has nothing but a shutter button

can be a wonderful experience. Here’s an exercise that I was given in a class long time back. Make a circle 6 feet in diameter. Only photograph objects in that circle. Make 36 frames (was back when I learned on a film cameras). Object…learn to observe what is around you. Don’t just “spray and pray.” Think about the work. Bruce, what do you consider essential in your life? What is essential, obviously my wife. But otherwise not much has changed for me. When I was sick, I was stuck indoors for about 18 months, almost 2 years if I include the hospital stay. Once the surgery was over, the medications created many restrictions that I’ve lived with for the 7 years since the surgery, and will continue for some time.

What’s essential, physical contact, a hand shake, a hug, joining with friends over a nice meal indoors with no mask or distancing. Taking a car ride with a friend without being concerned about confined spaces and distancing. Books. Just simple things. The definition of what is essential changes when you experience long term confinement.

Thank you! https://www.panockphotography.com

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 33


Buffalo Yellowstone

THE PHOTOGRAPHY of

Claudio DaNapoli Interview by Harryet Candee I feel your enthusiasm of the world through your photographic images, Claudio, and I wanted to ask you, of all the ways to communicate life and its history, what was the main reason you were steered into photographing our world? Art has always been in my blood: My mother is a painter, my father is an art collector and my grandfather was a noted goldsmith. I was destined to do something in the world of art. As a child, both my parents worked, consequently, starting at a young age I was permitted to wander my home city of Naples, Italy alone. Because I am a nerd through and through, I didn’t get into trouble on the streets but instead was drawn to the beauty of the city’s

churches and museums. My afternoons and weekends were filled with awe as I strolled amidst works of the great masters. Frustratingly, I did not have the ability to paint or sculpt or even draw a stick figure. Therefore, when I discovered photography, I was enamored with the idea of being able to “creatively express myself” since the pencil had declared war on me. From that time on, life moved quite quickly, and I moved right along with it. When I was unexpectedly offered the opportunity to spend 6months learning English in the United States I could not refuse. Over 30 years later, I continue to thrive in my adopted country. Over the decades in the USA, I have found jobs, changed jobs; found homes, changed

34 •AUGUST INTO SEPTEMBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

homes; found a wife --kept her. In hindsight, I note that my attraction to images has followed me everywhere. I have self-studied, and still am, in graphic design, worked as a web designer and created videos that would market other people’s efforts. For some unknown reason, however, I never considered making a living out of images or art. It was, after all, merely a hobby. Then I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis! Suddenly aware that my life could degenerate without notice, I sought to ensure that every moment until that time was spent pursing what what I loved. If I didn’t jump now, it may be too late in the future. Hand-in-hand, my wife and I launched ourselves into the unknown. We sold our home and everything in it to travel full-


Claudio DaNapoli 110,000

time and rediscover happiness. For me, that also meant working with images. The power of images lies in their ability to evoke a limitless range of reactions: shock, compassion, wonderment, disgust, or even terror. I seek to tap into these wide-ranging sentiments and spur discussions about the fantastic world that I am discovering in my travels. You have exposed the good, the bad, and the ugly, let’s say. You hide nothing and expose us to your findings. We feel disturbed and joyous with you. Thank you for giving us your birds eye view. Has this work made you more of a people person since you are facing your public with your art? Do you still prefer to be hidden behind the camera? I am referring to your statement about being an introvert. I have always been and always expect to be an introvert. That is part of my Authentic Self. My most honest Self is shared through my art. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I also have a very strong Performance Self. When I am in a position to speak directly with people about my work, it is almost as if I become this other person in order to enable myself to speak freely and appear comfortable. However, truth be told, after a protracted period of intense human interaction, I do require an interval of hibernation. During this time, I recharge my proverbial bat-

teries by working on meaningful and generally minimalist projects; muted colors, simple shapes and uncomplicated lines. I am very interested in the photograph you took that is now showing at the Wit Gallery in Lenox, MA. It is the one of the shoes on a wired inset cabinet. Can you unravel the beauty, mystery and tragic history behind this work? What makes it extra special to you? 110,000. That is the title of this piece, and I am delighted you connected with it as this capture is one of my favorites. With this image, there are two things you should know: 1) I have a strong sense of justice and the idea oppressor vs. oppressed. Consequently, as I learned about the atrocities carried out by the Nazi’s, those horrific images stayed with me into adulthood and 2) I have always felt uncomfortable being herded; cramming myself into a morning commuter subway car in NYC shoulder-to-shoulder with teaming masses of humanity or even jostling for position within a crowd for fans headed into sports arena for a soccer match. These two personal traits accompanied me as we reached Alcatraz State Penitentiary. There we were led off a boat, up a ramp and filed into a tight line that wound through the prisoner processing area and around gang showers that were

required of every new arrival. These shoes were off to the side in the portion of the processing area where new prisoners exchanged their street clothes for the prison attire they were forced to wear. Goosebumps covered my arms as my imagination went into overdrive. I was suddenly transported to Auschwitz: the showers, the abandoned shoes, the systematic herding of people, the sheer hopelessness mixed with terror my fellow humans must have felt. I visualized the fresh-off-the-boat prisoners walking silently though the ordeal of assimilating to their new home. I heard the sounds of their shoes echoing against the tile floor. I was reminded of the sounds I heard in some of the WWII film footage. The feeling was deep and compelling. Stepping out of the ticket line, I captured what I could of the moment. Upon reviewing the image later that evening, I was dissatisfied. My emotions were so much stronger that what was portrayed in the photograph. The frustration reminded me of what my father kept telling me about Italian artist Lucio Fontana and how in frustration he would slice his canvases because he felt too constrained by them. I also needed my work to go beyond the 2-D. I settled upon the inclusion of a QR code with this image: in reading the code with a smartphone, the viewer I bring the viewer to a very powerful recording Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 35


CLAUDIO DANAPOLI

Claudio DaNapoli Turning Blue

of Hitler speaking in harsh tones; in the background the noise of a marching battalion; and then, ever so gently, the sound of a chorus, a multitude of people peacefully united in prayer raise into a triumphant Hebrew song takes over the recording. The oppressed are victorious, the light triumphs over darkness, and for a moment there is a sense of justice enveloping the viewer/hearer.

went our separate ways. While I always shoot in color, there are times when I choose a black and white rendering of the subject because I want to convey the essence of the subject, the subject’s purity in a way. In black and white, textures pop more dramatically, lines have greater definition and shapes are highlighted and yet exposing the subject alluring simplicity.

I adore “ Are you Ready for you Close-up” that I spotted on your website. How did you go about getting so close to the buffalo, or was it a micro lens at work? How did you go about deciding it was good in black and white? Or is it also in color? A happy accident, as Bob Ross would say. I was laying prone, in order to capture a sunset image of a buffalo herd framed by two birch trees. The herd was quite far away so I did not feel in any danger. Suddenly, in a firm but calm stage whisper, my wife instructed me, “Very slowly, look to your left.” As I carefully shifted my gaze, I found that this giant had silently wandered next to me. I didn’t move and neither did he. Deciding that I couldn’t pass up this opportunity, I raised my camera and risked scaring him off. He held his ground. I stayed frozen until his grazing was satisfied. Then we both

Of all the places you have travelled to, tell us about the most intriguing, and why. Ever capture a haunting? I always search for spots off the beaten path. Maybe it is my childish desire to find a long-forgotten treasure or maybe it is merely my human drive toward exploring the unknown. As you can imagine, the results of these wanderings are anything but certain. One day, we had taken a canoe out along a locally popular river, with many twisting and confusing tributaries. We paddled up several, each time awed by the beauty we saw, and ever careful to note our trail so we could return to the proper portion of the main river. Eventually, we came across 3-4 empty beer cans floating in the water near the riverbank. It was the first garbage we had noticed all day, so it immediately took our attention. With a bit of investigation,

36 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

we determined that this refuse had floated down one particular offshoot of the river. Of course, this meant we felt compelled to travel along this river branch in search of the source of this litter. Sadly, we found it. At the source was a hanging rope from which people could swing over the surface of the water and drop themselves into a sufficiently deep spot. Judging from the refuse that peppered the swimming hole, this was a popular spot. I got out of the canoe, into the water and started documenting this tragedy. My fury mounted and I literally could not stop myself from taking pictures of what I was seeing. By the time we started home, neither I nor Susan had noticed the sun had begun going down. We had 12 miles to paddle with only the light of one iPhone to guide us. Our landmarks were no longer clearly visible. We set out. I can’t quite describe the sounds of a tropical forest at night. The birds. The fish. The other unidentified animals. And in the dark anything you don’t recognize sounds dangerous and ominous somehow. It was certainly an adrenaline rush the likes of which I had never experienced before. Despite our habit of “gentle trespassing” into abandoned buildings, deserted home or desolate industrial sites, this was perhaps one of the most intriguing, mysterious and even spooky locations because we were keenly aware that we


Claudio DaNapoli Mammoth Springs, Yellowstone

were out of our depth, so to speak. And no, unfortunately we have not captured a haunting… yet… Catch that thang! You got it. The water shots are so “moving” to me. Atop Mammoth Hot Springs must have been one of your fun adventures? My wife and I like to say that end any day we can say, “Well at least we didn’t die today.” Is a good day; meaning, the day was full of adventure, and we were left with an awesome story to share. Yellowstone National Park was full of those moments, for us. After visiting Mammoth Hot Springs, we were 100% captivated by the boiling, acid water that spewed from cracks in the earth’s crust, as well as the travertine formations they created. We craved more. With a bit of research, we decided that the Imperial Geyser would fit the bill. It was a lesser-known hot spring about a 7-miles from the trailhead, which was comfortably within our limits. Until it wasn’t. I don’t mean to point fingers; but, on this particular day, my wife was in charge of planning our route. Not being known for her mathematical prowess, she apparently made an error when adding the sections of the hike. Once we got to where we thought was about 1 mile from the

end, we realized we still had about 8 miles remaining. Low on daylight and even lower on water, we silently trudged on. Blistered, sweaty and thirsty beyond description, we did make it back to our cabin. The luxury of fresh running water was never so appreciated. From all the elements, (earth, wind, fire, water, air…etc) what element do you jive with the most, and why? While I do gravitate to all of nature’s elements, I would have to say that most of all, I am an earth guy. Why? I love adventure and the unexpected. I see a mountain, a hill, even a simple mound and am immediately I am drawn to climb it in search of what may lay beyond it. If I find myself in the flat, bone-dry desert, I am pulled to the horizon toward what may await me there. In a lush topical forest, I am constantly peering into the dense vegetation, because “you never know.” I feel all of the mother earth’s features speak to the adventurous soul of human kind: the idea of going beyond the known, the idea of not settling for what is, the idea of discovering new horizons and to fulfill our thirst for the unknown. Was there a shot you had to fight to get? Tell

us about that. ( capturing certain people and things can be very challenging, yes?) Shots can be difficult for different reasons. One of my most challenging shots involved a vision I had about illustrating the dangers of using too much plastic – The project rested on a simple idea: the apocalypse has come and all that remain was one young woman and only items made of plastic. To create what was in my mind, my wife and I built the survivor’s hut out of recycled single-use plastic bags. To bind this structure, we learned how to fabricate “plarn” or yarn made of single use plastic bags that we collected in empty lots about town. We fashioned her clothing out of discarded plastic tarp found along the roadside. Her necklace was a combination of plarn and the flip-tops from used aluminum cans. This creation took us approximately 2-months of head-down, 8-10 hour per day work. Then we set out into the desert in search of a suitable photoshoot location. Of course, we needed some place uninhabited, but not so isolated that our model might be uncomfortable working with strangers. When we stumbled upon a large animal skeleton bleaching in the intense sun, we knew we had found the perfect spot. Then, on the day of the shoot, an unexpected wind whooshed across the sands, Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 37


CLAUDIO DANAPOLI

Claudio DaNapoli Dancing Iin the Moonlight... Two difficult shots!

Cloud Factor...Another difficult shot by Claudio

taking our “home” with it. But, most importantly, we did get the photo! A second challenging shot was something I titled Cloud Factory. In this instance, we were driving back from a day of wandering Death Valley. En route, we noticed smokestacks from a factory in an otherwise scenic area of the mountains. We wondered what this image would look like when the smokestacks were actually functioning. Not knowing the factory’s schedule, we drove back to that same location over the course of several days and different times during those days. After we got a sense of when the smokestacks were operation we sought

to determine when there might be clouds in the sky to complete my vision. With 210 days of full sunshine per year, the statistics were not with us. Finally, we saw the clouds coming in, jumped in our car and took off for our now familiar spot. The photo was worth the wait. I also really like, Welcome to the Jungle. It has a design element going on. Can you give credit to your graphic design background for this? I have always been drawn to visual beauty. Before I was even aware that graphic design was a discipline, I would tinker with shapes and colors

38 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

simply to understand what I found most attractive or most eye-catching. This was, you could say, a hobby of mine. I have not pursued formal education in graphic design nor in any form of art, but I have studied many of the greats on my own. My main artistic influences have been the Social Realism and Expressionism movements of the 1930s and their proponents such as Lewis Hine and Bruno Caruso; as well as environmental and performance artists such as Agnes Denes and Ana Mendieta. However, I also borrow inspiration from the likes of Caravaggio, Fontana, Munch and Grant Wood.


Claudio DaNapoli’s landscape photograph

I do try to bear all of this in mind as I approach my camera work. When I compose an image, not only do I look at the obvious --getting a clear shot of the subject; however, I also consider what shapes or lines or even other media might invite the viewer deeper into the image. What do you and your partner enjoy together that is artistically productive? The realities of covid combined with a nomadic existence, I would say that my wife Susan and I do most things together. We enjoy the intense graphic experience of video games and seeing how much can be done to enhance an image, taking online courses in art history to gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for art’s evolution and just playing I Spy to train ourselves in noticing finer details. Tell us about the work you have at The Wit Gallery? I am honored that Lynda Strauch, of The Wit Gallery has chosen to display my work. In a world of “don’t rock the boat” and “don’t make waves” I find her willingness to share pieces that may be construed as controversial to be both courageous and bold. The works currently being shown by The Wit Gallery come primarily from my Eco collection. Through this work, I seek to bring As a photographer, I seek to capture reality. In this day and age, pollution is a part of our reality. We don’t have to like it, but we can’t ignore its existence. Accordingly, as I travel and take photographs of magnificent sites, it is incumbent upon me to record the truth of the larger setting. Do not misunderstand. In no way does the

inclusion of these foreign objects in my work mean that I condone the contamination of our land, water or air. It actually signifies a profound struggle: my simultaneous acceptance and rejection of the current state. Perhaps because I am not an environmental fanatic, I am able to come to terms with plastic being a permanent part of my world. I can acknowledge the value of a disposable society. In stark contrast stands my deep-seated rejection of the thoughtless, needless pollution of our home. I am repeatedly disgusted by seeing nature violated. I believe this conflict I feel is present in my photographs. Other pieces at The Wit Gallery are part of my Conversations series. The foundation of my art rests on two ideas: one - Hedonistic suppressive dissonance, which is the innate coping mechanism through which we willfully bury disturbing realities; and two - The human condition can only be advanced through the exchange of ideas. Consequently, I bait the viewer into having meaningful conversations by combining the aesthetic of an image with the power of its accompanying narrative, thereby combatting our innate need for comfort while progressing the conversation. It is my intention to present uncomfortable realities and force the observers to explore the ethical, moral, and pragmatic ramifications of their beliefs and subsequent conclusions. At that very moment, whether they opt to embrace a new point of view or remain of their original opinion, my mandate has been fulfilled.

auto-biographical work illustrating the wounds that parents cause their children, and the scars with which children are then forced to deal as adults. I envision a naked male curled in a fetal position while being pummeled by negative words emanating from his nearby parental figures. The words will cut and burn his skin causing it to scar. Truth be told, whether intentional or accidental, the pain caused by hurtful words is real. In a larger sense, I am also exploring different ways that I can include more senses in my photography. My goal is to expand photography into a mixed media form of art through the addition of 3-dimensional pieces that invite viewers to literally feel the piece and its message. Including music or sound-on-demand allows folks to experience my work on a more profound level, as music always brings a very emotional response from people. Or what if certain portion of the image can come to life also as a 3D object? That is why I am also learning about Augmented Reality as yet another technique to expand the sensory message of a photo.

Thank you! claudiodanapoli.com The Wit Gallery is located at 27 Church Street in Lenox, MA

What is next for you on your photographic journey? The newest project on which I am working is an THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 39


Circular Motion

DAVID RICCI PHOTOGRAPHY

|

NEW BOOK: EDGE

Interview by Harryet Candee Congratulations on your upcoming book, EDGE. When we last spoke, two years ago, the tentative title for your book was Edge of Chaos. Why did you change the title? Thanks, Harryet. When we last spoke, I had just completed work on a prototype, or what is often referred to as a “book dummy” that included photographs spanning nearly four decades of my career as a fine art photographer. I collaborated with Larry Chernicoff of WindHorse Design to develop the dummy which I then used to pitch my book idea to publishers. The title “Edge of Chaos” came from the field of complexity science, the discipline that investigates what occurs when large numbers of individual elements are added to a system and coalesce. As more components are added, at a point bordering on chaos, something new materializes that is not just complicated but rather an entirely new entity that is both greater than the sum of its parts and essentially different from them. That magical region is called the “edge of chaos”. That concept

became a metaphor for my photography because I try to capture an unexpected elegance that emerges from visually dense scenes. Over several years’ time my compositions became extremely complex, bordering on chaos. It took a few years, but I am thrilled to have signed a contract with Fall Line Press in Atlanta, Georgia to publish my monograph later this year. While we are still making use of the “edge of chaos” metaphor, the publisher suggested the single word “edge” for the title – simple and concise while still capturing the essence of the book. After much contemplation I agreed with him. I understand Tim Davis, professor of photography at Bard College will be including an essay. This is an important addition in promoting your book and you as a photographer. What does he write that supports and promotes your intense 40 years plus of photography work?

40 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

Tim is highly regarded in the photography world because he is a fabulous photographer and writer. Both of those talents are on display in his recent book “I’m Looking Through You” which was just published by Aperture. It’s hard to summarize his essay for EDGE in a few sentences, but the title alone hints at Tim’s unusual writing style: “The Photographs of a Spoonleaf Sundew”. My first response when I read that was “huh?”. I’ve been called a lot of things over the years but never a Spoonleaf Sundew! Then I realized the title will certainly pique the reader’s curiosity whether he/she knows what a Sundew is or not. Tim makes great use of metaphor throughout the piece, the main one comparing this carnivorous plant (akin to a Venus Flytrap, but much more inviting in appearance and name) to the book. The author suggests that EDGE lures the viewer in with its “nectar of visual complexity” and as the book progresses, like the Sundew, it engulfs the reader and doesn’t let go.


David Ricci

Besides the title, what else has changed between the book dummy you developed a few years ago and the final design with Fall Line Press? Has the structure and content of the book changed? We essentially started from scratch to develop EDGE – it’s a completely new design. Many of the images from the dummy are included, but we have added several pieces and removed others. I had written an introduction for the dummy to provide some context for the photographs, but always envisioned replacing that with an essay by a real writer, which we now have with Tim Davis. Several of the photographs will be spread across two pages and be up to 16 inches wide. We will be using Swiss binding which allows the open book to lie perfectly flat - a great feature for those 2-page spreads. We are also planning to include two four-page gatefolds - when unfolded those photographs will be 32 inches wide. What is the drive, obsession, momentum all about that you own that draws you to such complex compositions? Well, I am not quite sure. Throughout my adult life I have developed a deep appreciation for the many forms of visual, literary, and performing arts. While I like to think that I have fairly broad, eclectic taste, for some reason I am particularly drawn to pieces that live at the two ends

5 Trimpers Rides

of a simplicity/complexity spectrum. Works on the one hand whose power dwells in their simplicity but require contemplation to absorb their meaning - and, at the other end of the spectrum, pieces that are multi-layered and dense. Think Japanese haikus and James Joyce; Erik Satie and Ornette Coleman, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jackson Pollock; Maya Lin’s Vietnam war memorial and Frank Gehry buildings. Early in my career I made minimalist, geometric photographs of architectural subjects. Around that same period, I spent a good deal of time visiting museums to view exhibitions of photography and other visual arts. After a while it occurred to me that many of the paintings by Krasner, Pollock, the De Koonings, and other twentieth century artists held my interest a lot longer than many of the photographs. This got me to thinking about photography in a different way. I did not want to become a painter, nor was I interested in making photographs that “look like paintings” but I did intentionally set out to make photographs that, like the paintings that captivated me, hold the viewer’s interest, reveal themselves over time, and reward repeated viewings. So, I started including more physical space in my viewfinder and making use of visual motifs – repeating colors, lines, and shapes throughout my field of view. As my work evolved, a point was reached where I was or-

chestrating a plethora of elements and nearly overloading the frame – a sort of compositional edge of chaos. Unlike a pretty painting, a lovely landscape, your work captures and unnerves viewers into worlds that almost reflect the ways the world has given way to COVID. Are you surprised at the world’s turmoil and see a mirror image with your work? How do you relate to this? Is there a connection? True - with a few exceptions, my subject matter would not be described as “pretty” or “lovely.” In fact, most of it can be characterized as commonplace or banal, but that is sort of the point of the work – to find the photographic possibilities buried in the ordinary: a heap of scrap metal, fishing gear on a pier or boat, a cluster of vines. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that I don’t necessarily always know or understand my entire motivation for creating something new, nor do I know how the work will be received and interpreted by others. We all have our own unique histories and paths in life which impacts our response when we encounter a creative work whether that be a photograph, painting, dance, novel, concert, or play. Even our mood, as well as the time and place in which we encounter the work can influence the impact of Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 41


DAVID RICCI

David Ricci Lawnmowe

the piece and the meaning we glean from it. I guess this is a roundabout way of saying that, of course I did not anticipate how chaotic our world would become, but, yes, my push to the edge of compositional cohesion does seem to align with the turmoil that surrounds us. Creating a life’s work in a book is very time consuming and a serious dedication from start to finish. Can you clue us in to some of the process involved in doing such a project? Yes, it absolutely takes an enormous amount of time and dedication. I can give you a quick overview of one process for creating a photography book which is a bit different from producing a novel, memoir, or other non-fiction work. Developing a photobook requires a wide range of expertise. My prototype required a huge effort to conceptualize, plan, edit, sequence, design, and package it. The designer and I went through many iterations. That process was repeated, starting from scratch, when I started working with Fall Line Press. Publisher Bill Boling, senior editor and former National Geographic photographer Peter Essick, and I worked together over several months to edit and sequence the photographs. At times it was a bit of a struggle to see some of my favorites not make the cut, but in the end, I

found it invaluable to have Bill and Peter, with their broad experience and keen insights, to lead the way. It was a collaborative process and a huge learning experience for me. EDGE did not really feel like a book until French designer Margaux Fraisse joined the team. She provided us with a couple of options for the overall design, layouts, fonts, image sizes and placement. We all suggested some tweaks, some were incorporated into the design, but in the end, it was Margaux who wrapped the photographs and text into a cohesive, exquisite book. So, we currently have a completely designed book in PDF format. The next step is to prepare the digital files and transfer them to SYL L’ART GRAFIC in Barcelona, Spain who will make the separations, print on archival paper with varnish, bind the books and ship them to the publisher. SYL has been printing finely crafted art books for over half a century – they do exquisite work! How can people learn more about your photography and the process for developing EDGE? Thanks for asking! I will be giving a talk at Bernay Fine Art in Great Barrington on Saturday, September 18 at 4 PM. I will be showing several

42 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

large prints and describe my path to publication in more detail than we’ve had time for here. The following Saturday I will be giving a shorter presentation that will be more focus on the book since I will be sharing the time with my friend, Berkshire photographer and Guggenheim fellow, Shaun O’Boyle. Shaun will be presenting his large format book “Portraits of Place in Antarctica” based on multiple visits to Antarctica with the National Science Foundation. Shaun and I will be at Shaker Mill Books in West Stockbridge at 7 PM on September 25th. Seating at Shaker Mill Books is limited to 40 people. Both events are free and open to the public. If someone is interested in making a photography book, what’s your advice? The first thing I suggest is to write out a description of the book. What is the book about? Is it just a collection of your “greatest hits” or is there an overriding concept or theme? Make small prints of every image you think might possibly be in the book, attach them to walls and/or lay them out on tables. Then spend some time with them, returning time and again to try different groupings and sequences and to help solidify the concept. I think this is a crucial step in the process. Trying to determine groupings and sequences on a monitor has its limitations,


David Ricci Wonderland

whereas with prints it’s easy to move them around, look at various combinations, and get a sense of the entire flow. It’s helpful to develop at least a basic book dummy, either using physical materials or software like Adobe InDesign. You really need to research publishers online to determine what they are looking for and then focus on the ones most likely to be interested in your book idea. Write a clear, concise proposal, carefully check the submission requirements for your target publishers, and follow those guidelines. Print-on-demand services such as Blurb can be used to make a few hard copies that you can put into a publisher’s hands. Making a book featuring color photographs is expensive. These days, most publishers of fine art photography books require the photographer to raise funds prior to publication to help cover the costs of production. How is that being handled for EDGE? The photography book publishing industry has changed dramatically over the last two decades. Due to a crowded, competitive market and high production costs for color photography, very few publishers are willing to take on the entire financial risk of developing, designing, and publishing a photobook – the main exceptions being photographers with national or international rep-

utations or subject matter that has a large builtin audience (neither of which apply to me or my work). So, most publishers require some funding to be in place prior to printing. Even major players like Aperture have used crowdfunding as far back as 2013 to raise funds for some of their publications. Fall Line Press is dedicated to publishing a few exquisite fine art photography books each year, most of them in small print runs - usually 500 books. One of the great things about this company is that, rather than asking photographers to go off on their own to raise the funds, as many publishers do, Fall Line works with the photographers to reach a funding goal. We will be running a campaign on Kickstarter.com which will give us a feel for the level of interest in the book and to secure part of the funding for production. Where and when will EDGE be available to purchase? The Kickstarter campaign is scheduled to run from September 8th to October 8th. We will be offering several rewards – items people receive in exchange for their pledge. At the time of this interview we are still finalizing the details, but we will be offering great opportunities for collectors and enthusiasts to acquire prints at an af-

fordable price. The main reward of course is a copy of the book – simply asking people to commit to purchasing one or more copies a few months before receiving them. All books ordered on Kickstarter will be signed and shipped to the buyer. We will also be offering an optional add-on – an 8x10 print of an image from EDGE for a small additional cost. Other rewards include a 24-page booklet of photographs, larger collector prints, and an elegant portfolio of photographs hand-printed on archival paper, signed, in a limited edition of 5 or 6 - all at great prices and only available during the 30-day Kickstarter campaign. After the campaign the book can be purchased at Shaker Mill Books in West Stockbridge and online at falllinepress.com. What has it been like working with the people at Fall Line Press? I feel very fortunate to be working with Fall Line Press to publish my book. It has been a great working relationship. The pandemic really set the publisher back on their timeline for publishing their other books which understandably pushed my publication date out. But I was happy that we took our time on image selection and design to make it all come together. Continued on next page...

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 43


DAVID RICCI

David Ricci Vincent

And behind all these photographs, humans who we do not see cause this destruction, geometry, construction, while nature takes over and does the healing. Would this be a valid interpretation? Correct me if I am wrong. That’s a very interesting and insightful observation – even more so since you have not seen the image sequencing in EDGE. In the prototype, Edge of Chaos, I did not end with the nature photographs, but now we are. I guess you are a bit clairvoyant! What does the cover look like? Designer Margaux Fraisse presented the team with several designs and there were aspects of all of them that I loved. Eventually we all gravitated to one layout that really grabbed us. Of course, we don’t yet have the actual copies in our hands, but Margaux made a great mock-up of the cover which accompanies this interview. The photograph will be debossed into the weave cloth hardcover and the cover text will be made using foil stamping. I think Margaux’s design is fabulous and I’d like to believe that you can judge this book by its cover. And for those you have to say thank you to for supporting this project, who is on that list?

The entire group at Fall Line Press made this happen for me and I will be forever grateful for that. Although the actual book development took place over the last couple of years, since EDGE harkens back to the early days of my career, my list of supporters is quite long but unfortunately, we only have time in this interview to mention a few. One person who comes to mind is Will Stapp who I met in the late ‘90s when I showed him a portfolio of prints at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York where he was the photography curator. Will spent a great deal of time looking at and studying each print I showed him. He was incredibly generous with his time and strongly encouraged me to continue in the direction I was headed. Davis Pratt, who was the curator of photography at the Fogg Museum at Harvard exhibited my early work in the print room at the museum. Two other curators come to mind - Marion Grant who curated my solo exhibition at The Berkshire Museum, and Lisa Weber Greenberg, whom I first met when she included me in a group exhibition at the DeCordova Museum and later curated my solo show at the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, MA. Special thanks to gallerists who have exhibited and sold my work, in particular Tony Decaneas at Panopticon Gallery in Boston, Alison Collins and Fred Collins who showed my work

44 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

in solo and group exhibitions for many years at Iris Gallery locations in Great Barrington, Boston, and Aspen and continue to represent me online, Paula Bernay and Lou Friedman who currently exhibit my work at Bernay Fine Art in Great Barrington. Michael Reichmann, Luminous Landscape and LensWork Magazine for awarding me the Publication Skills Grant which provided the seed money and initial impetus for developing the book dummy. Larry Chernicoff for his creative ideas and collaboration on developing the initial book design that caught the attention of Fall Line Press. The biggest shout out goes to my family and friends, too many to name, who have been incredibly supportive of my work over the years. All of you who have purchased prints, opened your homes to me as I wandered the country making photographs, and provided support in many other ways – a multitude of thanks. You know who you are. My beautiful wife Lori Warner for her undying support of me and my work, for accepting the role of in-house photo editor, and for being my biggest fan. Publishing a book is like a gift you give to people, though does not take the place of buying the actual photography. Do you find


David Ricci Secret Village

that it might help to sell your work more so now that the book will be accessible to buy? Well, I think “gift” is the perfect word. My primary motivation for making the book is to put the work into the world at an affordable price and expand my audience. It probably sounds cliché but developing this book has truly been a labor of love. It is a gift in the sense that the motivation is certainly not financial. These books are very expensive to make, and we will be selling them at a very reasonable price - there isn’t much of a margin built in. Framed photographs hung on a wall has always been the way I have presented my work and continue to do so. But a photography book provides a decidedly different experience. It’s a different medium all together. You hold the book in your hands, it has a physicality to it, you can work through the sequence, compare images, return to some, read the text, and so on. On another day the book can be revisited. Being much more affordable than my large-scale prints, and easily distributed, EDGE will certainly expand my audience. When you see a copy of the book, you must feel your life had a great purpose and you have accomplished a great deal. For you, what would you say you have accomplished by creating EDGE?

what was happening in my life when I made, say, the photograph titled “Wonderland”? But two of the more meaningful milestones in my life are the day I met my wife Lori and the day my twin daughters were born. It’s difficult for me to imagine a life without making art, but even more unimaginable to contemplate life without the people I cherish. All significant vital facts to be added here: contact info, book info. Etc

The cover David Ricci

Since this is my first book and it’s being published nearly 45 years after taking my first photograph, it is particularly gratifying to see the work come together in such a beautifully designed publication. I do hope that in some small way my photographs give people joy, inspire them, or stir them to see the world a little differently than they did before and that indeed is part of my purpose in life. But I believe the greater purpose for all of us is measured in other ways the close relationships we nurture with family and friends, our impact on the planet, and the things we do to better the lives of others, particularly children. My favorite photographs function as mile markers along the continuous thread of my life –reminders of how old I was, where I was, and

EDGE Photographs by David Ricci Essay by Tim Davis 8x12.25” Cloth, hard-bound, Swiss binding with gatefolds Book Design: Margaux Fraisse Photo Editors: David Ricci, William Boling, and Peter Essick Copy Editor: Megan Sexton Publisher: Fall Line Press First Edition Available on Kickstarter.com Thank you, David!

THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 45


KATHI RILEY ELIXIR Hello Friends of Elixir! As the summer sun begins to wane and the seasons begin to change, many people can begin to feel a sense of melancholia. While I am writing this, we are in the season that Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to as “Late Summer” and this gives us a chance to slowly get used to the changes that are upon us. This is my favorite season perhaps because I was born during this time, and perhaps because I love the wild foraging that is abundant now with Black Trumpet, Chicken of the Forest, and Oyster mushrooms everywhere, fields of waving Goldenrod, branches heavy with Elderberries, Hawthorne Berries, and Rose Hips just waiting to be harvested, dried and made into teas and tinctures. Part of the reason we feel saddened during this time is because the family gatherings are coming to an end, many are heading back to work or school after some weeks of “freedom” from a schedule, the nights are getting cooler, and yes, the days of slowly decreasing sunlight all have their effect on us. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season has an element, a color, an organ, a tissue, a taste, and an emotion associated with it. This is a guide to help us stay aware of possible imbalances in our system and ways to strengthen ourselves as we move through the transitions between seasons. By the time this publication comes out, we will be in Autumn, element: metal, color: white,

organ: lung/large intestine, tissue: skin, taste: pungent, and emotion: sorrow. There are daily practices as well as delicious medicinal foods and teas to bring us into balance and strengthen us for this season, and in preparation for the next. Brisk walking to get fresh air into the lungs, plenty of fiber in the diet in the form of whole grains and dark leafy greens, to tone the large intestine, with pungent foods such as onion, scallion, radish, & garlic as well as the pungent spices for tea made from turmeric, ginger, & pepper to get the blood circulating through the body and in the digestion, all help in reducing accumulation in the body. This is essential in strengthening our immune system for the colder months ahead. When we add these things to our daily routine and diet, we create physical and emotional balance. Then we have more energy and an overall sense of wellness. What could be better than that for enjoying the beautiful Berkshire Autumn? Let’s all take good care of our health as we head into this winter! Contact us for more information on healing foods, private cooking & well-being consultations. Elixir - organictearoom@gmail.com; www.elixirgb.com. Follow us on Instagram: elixirtearoom; Facebook: elixir

LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPIST Kathi Riley, LMT is a Licensed Massage Therapist who uses the energetic systems in and around the body to heal common aches and pains from the holistic viewpoint, bringing harmony to body, mind and spirit. Energy medicine naturally calms the nervous system, releases tension and activates your healing throughout your body. Some of the common ailments that respond well to this work are bone misalignment, muscle tension and range of motion issues. It is also beneficial for recovering from the stress of big changes such as divorce, life stage transitions or the loss of your loved one. Kathi Riley at Rhythms Massage and Energy Work Lenox Commons, 55 Pittsfield Road, Lenox. Bookings are by appointment only. Call or text 413-822-2292. www.RhythmsMassage.net.

The sound of the sea, the curve of a horizon, wind in leaves, the cry of a bird leave a manifold impression in us. And suddenly, without our wishing it at all, one of these memories spills from us and finds expression in musical language… I want to sing my interior landscape with the simple artlessness of a child. —Claude Debussy

Herbal Remedies Made Locally Found at the Berkshire Coop and Guidos Immuno Umph!

Milk Thistle

Relax & Recover

Great to boost the immune system.

Liver Protector

Anxiety, Insomnia

Lion’s Mane Neuroprotection

And Nerve Growth

Celebrating 22nd Year of Small-Batch Production All Organic Ingredients For More Information - 413-329-5440 46 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

SciaticAway For Pain

& Nerve Inflammation


For Joan of Arc by Bobby Miller

There is a greater reality than this world. There is a greater power than this world. And it revealed itself to A young girl of 17 at a time when the world stood still. Oh, Jeanne I crossed an ocean for you. Oh, Jeanne I crossed a continent for you. I looked and looked for a sign of you. I stood in the room where you were born, Felt the presence of your childhood, what there was of it. I walked in the meadows where the voices first spoke to you, and listened. I heard only your absence. I crisscrossed France, just as you had, In search of you, and your journey, and your destiny. My heart fell captive to you, over and over at the location of your arrest. I climbed each stair of the tower where you were imprisoned. I sat on the stone slab where you slept, where you were raped and chained. I sat with eyes closed and witnessed

the rough hands that ripped your clothing. I heard your prayers of compassion for the men who tortured you. I walked down the stairs to the place of trial where they laughed at you and made a mockery of your gift, I stood at the foot of the flames where they burned you, while you waited silently to enter death and the gates of Heaven.

the chest rise in unison with my own. I saw the eyes open just long enough to show me the blissful joy that was your inheritance. I was the perfect witness. No one could tell me differently. And I saw the statue resume its stone cold reality. But I never resumed mine and even to this day, when I feel weak or lost or lonely or afraid of this brutal world we live in I think back to that cold winter day in France, having given up of ever finding my sweet Jeanne.

I saw their faces when they, in shock, realized that they had martyred a Saint. And nearly five hundred years later your power remains for any who seek it.

And I think on you and I am made stronger. I am helped to endure whatever it is at the moment And I know dreams do come true, and that Truth was your message.

I found you on my journey in a cold damp Cathedral in France where I stood before your marble statue,

Follow your dream to the end no matter what.

that was dressed in your armor, holding the banner that you had carried across France that you never let touch the ground.

And Jeanne, I love you still, And I call out your name to the ethers Jeanne de Arc Jeanne de Arc Jeanne de Arc

And I watched a Holy Lady bow before you and weep for your pain. As her tears fell at your feet I saw with my own eyes the breath of the Divine enter the statue and I watched without blinking

Marilyn Cavallari Offering private cooking nutritional consultations and the 21 day restorative cleanse

BIG BLUE SKY 18 X 24

www.elixirgb.com

Original Oil Paintings marilynmjc@gmail.com 413 458-4087 802 379-0759 website marilyncavallari.com THE ARTFUL MIND SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 • 47


Something For Over The Couch Part 4 “JERKING OFF THE CRABGRASS”

woman, dressed nearly naked for the hot summer afternoon. We are finishing up work for the day. I have been digging out the crabgrass. “By the root. If a little bit remains it regenerates,” she is telling me. But now there is no time left and so, as to the remaining crabgrass she directs me, “Jerk it off, just jerk it off. We’ll take out the roots next week.” My art teacher continued with her monologue. “I told him I would get a lawn boy a week ago, and then I forgot all about it. So, a few days ago I told him a new boy was coming, but I didn’t know anybody to call, so now he thinks you are going to mow the lawn.” Then a door opened in another room, and I reacted to the noise by jerking around in my chair, as if I expected to defend myself against an irate husband. Seeing my alarm, she said, “It’s just my husband's sons going out.” She must have sensed that I was one of those boys who knew nothing of divorce, or second wives or stepchildren, so she felt I needed to be enlightened about a part of her biography. “I married the doctor three years ago and …” but I didn’t want to know about when she married the doctor. I wanted to know how to fix my painting, so in desperation I began to get up, thought better of it, and sat back down again. Finally she stopped speaking and began to look at my painting. She picked it up, placed it on a chair, leaned forward and began to carefully examine it. Then a minute, which seemed to me to be an hour, went by. She looked at me very seriously and asked me this question: “Have you suffered some kind of traumatic experience at some time?” This was just the sort of thing I mentioned earlier about her looking at some crayon drawing by one of the students and asking these personal questions that had nothing to do with anything. There was no justification for asking me such a personal question, so I did not answer her. Finally she said, “Well then, let's go down to the workroom and straighten out your painting.” It turned out that the painting was warped because I did not use actual stretchers, and the corners were held together just with staples, and nails, three in each of the corners. There was nothing to do but to remove the painting from the ‘sticks’ it was attached to and put it on real stretchers, of which there were hundreds on shelves in her basement art studio. She did this herself while I watched, all the while making remarks like, “It's more like a kite structure than a painting.” “All this stuff was down here when we bought the house, so that is why I decided to take up painting,” she said. “And you,” she continued, “when did you start painting?” “Three years ago, just after…” “Just after what?” “Just after my father died,” I said. “So, now you have answered my question.” “Answered what question?” I said, pretending to not understand the conversation. The doctor’s wife then began to methodically pry out all the tacks holding my canvas to its sticks. After that she put together a stretcher of the correct size and began to tack the canvas to it. Then there was the sound of someone coming down the stairs, and the doctor appeared. Hanna continued to work on my painting, and the husband and wife engaged in a conversation about various household concerns, as if I did not exist. There was a problem with the twins taking the car. The doctor apparently had twin boys. The question of who was going to mow the

The substitute art teacher who was going to help me fix my warped painting that Saturday morning was sitting at the table in her kitchen. My being in a teacher’s kitchen on a Saturday morning was so strange that the only thing I was thinking about was how to get the painting fixed and get out of her house in the shortest possible time, but the substitute was in no hurry. “My husband thinks you are the boy to mow the lawn. Did you see how he didn’t notice you had an oil painting?” To this I made no reply. Then she went on saying, “He never notices my paintings either. Sometimes he says, ‘Very nice, very nice.’” To this also I made no reply, but still she continued. “Have you ever noticed how people who don’t believe what they are saying will repeat it twice?” Apparently, the prologue to the repair of the painting was going to be some complaints about her spouse, but I ignored all her comments and started talking about my warped painting. “All I can think is that I pulled the canvas too tight, or the stretchers are too thin. Are there braces you can use, or something you can add to the corners?” “Why don’t you sit down?” she replied. And then she asked me, “Do you mow lawns?” To this question I answered yes. It was a yes driven by an involuntary honesty. I would have preferred to have said no, but that would have been a lie. I was an expert gardener, having acquired the skills years ago, in a child’s life, under the expert eye of eightyyear-old widows, the elderly matriarchs of my mother’s church. I was so expert a gardener that I had observed that the substitute’s lawn and gardens had been carefully tended a few years ago, but were now going to seed, with creepers attacking the un-edged walk, flower beds unprotected by mulch lying naked in the sun and crabgrass too numerous to count. To the untrained eye, crabgrass looks like any other grass, sitting there innocently in the sun, while it drives it's tap root deep into the ground, and prepares its ‘Operation Barbarossa’ for the surrounding innocent tender shoots of grass. The question about mowing lawns caused a scene to flash across the movie screen of my memory. I am thirteen, kneeling in the grass with a weeding tool in my hand. Next to me, knee to knee, almost but not quite touching me, is an eighty-year-old 48 • SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 THE ARTFUL MIND

lawn came up. When the lawn issue came up, the substitute put down the tack hammer she had in her hand, and said very emphatically, “Have the boys do it, and don’t let them take the car till it is finished. They can take turns.” This was apparently a sore point between the two of them, because he got irritated and changed the subject. Then the doctor took a long look at my painting, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Jesus.” After that, having resolved nothing, he went back up the stairs. As he went back up the stairs, Hanna explained that the doctor did not like abstract paintings, and further, she also was not interested in that sort of thing, and all of her own paintings were still lifes, and sometimes a landscape. She felt that abstract paintings and modern art in general were self indulgent and really solipsistic, but the doctor was much more specific, and felt that abstract painting was fine for therapy in an insane asylum, or in a grade school, but for the things to be hanging in museums was a dangerous travesty somebody needed to do something about, and reflected the decline of western civilization. “What does solipsistic mean?” I asked. She proceeded to define the strange word and I can’t say even now that I can explain it. She used my painting as an example saying, “What this thing really means can only be truly known by you, and nobody else, because a solipsism is something that has meaning to just one person. A portrait painting is the opposite, because the painter knows what it is, and the sitter knows what it is, but many abstract paintings are said to be solipsistic.” “Well I guess my whole life is solipsistic then.” As soon as I made this remark I was struck by how true it was, so true that I was suddenly ashamed to have said it to a stranger, and wished I could take it back. But it was too late. My teacher reacted like a fisherman who feels a tug on their line, and yet said nothing and changed the subject. “Now then,” she said, “your painting is finished. Take it to your brother’s house and hang it over his couch, and then, in school, report back to me how it goes.” So she dismissed me with my painting and I went back to my mom’s car, put it in the back seat and drove home. At the dinner table that evening I tried to give my mother some explanation of what the art teacher was like, but in the middle of the conversation the phone rang. My mother answered, and said to me, “It’s for you Dicky. It's a Doctor Wasserman.” I took the phone and immediately recognized Hanna’s husband’s voice. He said to me, “Richard, how much do you want for the painting my wife fixed for you? I want it for over our couch.” ‘“It’s not for sale because it is for my brother.” “Paint him another one for Chriz sake. Are you never going to do any more paintings?” “I want thirty-five dollars for it” “Thirty-five,” he repeated, a little incredulously. Then, in the background, I heard my substitute shout, “No, no, a hundred and thirty-five, two-hundred really.” “Look, two-hundred,” the doctor said, “but you have to come here next Saturday and mow my lawn.” —RICHARD BRITELL PARTS 1 THROUGH 3, AT SPAZIFINEART.COM (SHORT STORIES)


EDWARD ACKER PHOTOGRAPHER

Time Flies D Get Pictures EdwardAckerPhotographer.com 413-446-8348