My home and studio is in Jersey City, New Jersey. An old industrial east coast city in the shadow of Oz, other wise known and New York City, I was born ½ a mile from here but moved away when I was a child. Coming back to live and work here has brought forth a lot of memories. There are ghosts here. I see them in the Hopper like lighting on the brownstones and hear them in the screech of the busses pummeling by.
This urban environment played a large part in forming my first impressions as a child and artist. My great gift in life was my older sister, a designer, who dragged me to galleries and museums at an early age. I remember seeing Picasso’s Guernica at MOMA when I was about 10. I cried when confronted with it. Not so much by the horrors it conveyed, but by the harsh beauty of the lines and brushstrokes. I had only seen prints of it and was overwhelmed by the power the actual painting conveyed. I had no doubt I would go on to paint great things like Picasso.
But balance is important and necessary. Even the most wonderful city has a way of closing in on you, so whenever possible, I seek out nature. My place of choice has been midcoast and northern Maine for many years. With camera and sketchpad at hand, long hikes into the dark woods are a balm for the soul. The organic forms in the moss covered decaying trees and ocean tossed boulders on the coastline give my eyes and spirit places to wander. This is my artist happy place. Bringing these organic forms into my work in the studio is bringing a part of Maine home with me and is a great antidote to the harsh geometry of the city streets.
I received my BFA in Printmaking from Pratt Institute in 1974. While I never pulled another print since the day I left there, I have always been able to make a living with my art. Ultimately,the most important thing I learned in art school was problem solving. Money well spent Mom and Dad!