A: It was my longtime assistant, Barbra Drizin’s, idea and more than I’d care to admit, I was resistant. I said, “I am much too busy to write an ebook!” Barbra went on to explain that we could start with material I had already written for my blog, expand on it, add reproductions of my pastel paintings, etc. With her persuasion, I agreed! Barbra made the initial selections and together we added and revised text, organized the material, and worked out countless details. I asked my friend, Ann Landi, to write a foreword and Barbra found an editor to put everything into Amazon’s ebook format.
Now I am extremely pleased that my ebook FROM PILOT TO PAINTER is available not only on Amazon, but also on iTunes. It is based on my blog and is part memoir, including the loss of my husband on 9/11, insights into my creative practice, and intimate reflections on what it’s like to be an artist living in New York City. The ebook includes material not found on the blog, plus 25+ reproductions of my vibrant pastel-on-sandpaper paintings, a Foreword by Ann Landi, the founder of Vasari21.com and longtime critic for ARTnews, and more.
A: I’d have to say that I identify most with surrealism, although my work does not exactly fit into any particular art historical movement. When I was first finding my way as an artist, I read everything I could find about surrealism in art and in literature. This research still res0nates deeply and is a tremendous influence on my studio practice. Elements of surrealism DO fit my work. Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 20s and is best known for its visual artworks and writings. The aim was to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality.” Artists painted unnerving, illogical scenes with photographic precision, created strange creatures from everyday objects and developed painting techniques that allowed the unconscious to express itself.
Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur; however, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact. Leader Andre Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was, above all, a revolutionary movement.
A: I happen to recently have read an inspiring book by Anne Bogart, the theater director. It’s called, “and then you act: making art in an unpredictable world” and she talks about such issues. I’ll quote her wise words below: “Rather than the experience of life as a shard, art can unite and connect the strands of the universe. When you are in touch with art, borders vanish and the world opens up. Art can expand the definition of what it means to be human. So if we agree to hold ourselves to higher standards and make more rigorous demands on ourselves, then we can say in our work, ‘We have asked ourselves these questions and we are trying to answer them, and that effort earns us the right to ask you, the audience, to face these issues, too.’ Art demands action from the midst of the living and makes a space where growth can happen. One day, particularly discouraged about the global environment, I asked my friend the playwright Charles L. Mee, Jr., ‘How are we supposed to function in these difficult times? How can we contribute anything useful in this climate?’ ‘Well,’ he answered, ‘You have a choice of two possible directions. Either you convince yourself that these are terrible times and things will never get better and so you decide to give up, or, you choose to believe that there will be a better time in the future. If that is the case, your job in these dark political and social times is to gather together everything you value and become a transport bridge. Pack up what you cherish and carry it on your back to the future.'”
“… In the United States, we are the targets of mass distraction. We are the objects of constant flattery and manufactured desire. I believe that the only possible resistance to a culture of banality is quality. To me, the world often feels unjust, vicious, and even unbearable. And yet, I know that my development as a person is directly proportional to my capacity for discomfort. I see pain, destructive behavior and blindness of the political sphere. I watch wars declared, social injustices that inhabit the streets of my hometown, and a planet in danger of pollution and genocide. I have to do something. My chosen field of action is the theater.”