To thine own self be true! Hallowed words.
Am I chasing validation or am I truly creating?
Am I pleasing you or am I pleasing my inner soul…my creative vision?
“Do you like it?” A phrase I must never utter or think. I will never be free to create living in that mindset.
My newest paintings are abstract. Not what I usually paint. The comments can be harsh. “What does that mean?” “I like your other work better “.
But I can’t worry about what others think. After all I am an artist!
I have been blessed to live in a very special area of the Bronx. It’s two years of an amazing community that grows around me every day. I lost my home in 2014 and lost my job. I was broke with no idea how I would find an apartment in NYC. But here I am living in a fairy land Riverdale. An artist dream on the Hudson River.
I am exploring Riverdale history. I found a pond called Indian Pond on Indian Road. Filled with large turtles. The history of this pond is in the 19th century it actually was an Indian Settlement granted to them by the government. The Indian group used to perform shows on the pond for the people who had homes there. A big crowd would attend and watch as Hiawatha was performed. Other acting groups would perform shows as well. The Indian Settlement was moved further up North in the early 20th century. No surprise there.
Here’s Indian Pond today.
The Hudson River is alive with art. I attended the opening reception of The Glyndor Gallery show Nature Pops.
“A half-century after the emergence of Pop art as a revolutionary response to new norms of consumerism, Nature Pops!, Wave Hill’s summer 2016 exhibition, brings together work by artists who calibrate this movement in contemporary terms. Continuing to re-evaluate popular culture, particularly the increasing mediation of our experience by technology, artists question whether we can still have an authentic experience―even in the natural world. Interpreting nature and the environment through a populist lens, Nature Pops! includes recent work that is especially relevant in an age of digital overload and environmental crisis. Presenting the show at Wave Hill, a stunning garden and cultural center located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, adds particular depth and dimension to the discussion.
Nature Pops! affirms the fascination that the aesthetics of pop culture—the culture of everyday—still has for artists, but offers nuanced perspectives, sometimes subversive, sometimes playful. Cartoons and comics were accessible media that Pop artists elevated to fine-art status in the 1960s and ’70s. ”
There is a tremendous amount of talent in the Bronx and the Hudson Valley. If you have not been to Wave Hill you are missing a world of nature and art. It is a hidden gem in the Bronx. My friend, Jamie Passevento, a fellow artist friend and I attended the opening of the above exhibition. It was exciting and colorful. It was a fun show expressing nature in the form of the Pop Art movement. Here’s the art and artists who participated in the show.
EMILIO PEREZ – his unique prints inspired by outer space.
KIRA NAM GREENE – amazing paintings in watercolor, gouache, and colored pencils. Kira weaves incredible patterns with food in Pop Art tradition ala Warhol.
AMY PRYOR – Amy uses collage, sculpture and painting to explore commerce and culture.
JOANNE CARSON – extremely colorful paintings of flora and landscapes.
GABRIEL DE GUZMAN – Curator
My mission to engage people in creativity is finally happening! My painting classes at the Riverdale Senior Center have now begun their 3rd session!! This post is to show the incredible art from people who never painted before.
And a new student who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s has joined. Robert is a professional artist who studied at the Art Students League. He has a studio upstate New York. However, since his mental decline he has not done art for a long time. I told him the first day that he is still an artist and he can create just like Monet when his eyesight went bad.
My painting classes are not about skill. I do not teach technique. There is a very spiritual connection to art and one student, Margery, has exceptional talent.
So here’s to Riverdale’s emerging artists. And please do not refer to them as seniors dabbling in art. Their work is fearless and vibrant. Totally alive and ageless!
The following are by Robert who has Alzheimer’s:
STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO
People think art is not for them. It is only for talented artists. Art is mysterious. It’s messy and too much trouble. The bottom line is art has become a unnecessary part of life. And we have separated people into creatives and non-creatives.
I’m determined to address this myth and encourage people to engage in art as a way to create a balanced mind. It can be visual art, music, dancing, singing or writing. Creativity and imagination can improve the quality of life.
Stop listening to the news and start doing ART!!!
I have created a very inspirational painting class in the Bronx.
Yesterday I was in a pity pot about how awful my life is. I’ll never be successful with my creative business and I will end up living in poverty. AND I DON’T HAVE A VALENTINE!! HYSTERICAL!!!
I had to meet my ex-husband in the city in -15 degree weather. I hopped onto the 1 train and continued to cry under my two wool scarves. Then I peered up from my hide-out and noticed a young couple across the way happy to be together on Valentines Day. THIS CHANGED MY BRAIN!! I ACTUALLY THOUGHT IT WAS A WONDERFUL PICTURE!! I ASKED IF I COULD TAKE THEIR PICTURE FOR MY BLOG.
I FORGOT ALL MY PROBLEMS AND NOW KNOW THAT PEOPLE ARE SO MUCH A PART OF MY LIFE AND ART.
What are you doing to inspire others? When I’m in self absorbed fear I’m in trouble
My Mind is a bad neighborhood is yours? Well get the hell out of Dodge NOW!!!
I realize that when I’m looking to be inspired what I really need is to inspire someone else. So I spent yesterday being of service to my latest fearless artist Beth Gallager. Beth doesn’t worry about being perfect – she is so happy being in her art zone. Doing art has enhanced her life. Her eyes are focused on seeing the world. She is out of the cave and alive! By the way she jumped in and never said those pitiful words “I can’t do art I can’t draw a straight line”
Who have you inspired lately? An artist is responsible to encourage their communities to stop living in fear and start to enjoy their very special creative selves!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS HERE’S BETH’S CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS TREE! DONE ON HER IPAD WITH ART SET PRO.
The No. 1 train screeched to a halt and the doors opened. I watched as 20 third graders ran into the car scrambling for seats with loud excited voices. There goes my peaceful ride I thought. Kids are squeezed into me wiggling around how can I deal with this chaos!!
Then an amazing thing occurred. They were silent!! I looked around and each one was fixated on a book reading. I took in this scene of tranquility on a train speeding to the Bronx. My mind took in each young face and the beauty of their love of reading. My artist eye said this is a life painting that should be shared.
WE LOVE THE KIDS OF THE BRONX!! THEY ARE OUR FUTURE. LIFE IS A PAINTING!