A: Here is my professional bio.
I am an American contemporary artist and author who divides my time between residences in New York City and Alexandria, VA. I am best known for my pastel-on-sandpaper paintings, my eBook, “From Pilot to Painter,” and this blog, which now has over 70,000 subscribers!
Friends say that I have led an extraordinary, inspiring life. I learned to fly at the age of 25 and became a commercial pilot and Boeing-727 flight engineer before joining the Navy. As a Naval officer I spent many years working at the Pentagon and retired as a Commander.
On 9/11 my husband, Dr. Bryan C. Jack, was tragically killed on the plane that hit the Pentagon.
I use my large collection of Mexican and Guatemalan folk art – masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys – to create one-of-a-kind pastel-on-sandpaper paintings that combine reality and fantasy and depict personal narratives. In 2017 I traveled to Bolivia where I became inspired to paint Bolivian Carnival masks.
My pastel paintings are bold, vibrant, and extremely unusual. Perhaps my business card says it all: “Revolutionizing Pastel as Fine Art!”
I exhibit nationally and internationally and have won many accolades during my 30+ years as a professional artist. For additional info, please see the links in the sidebar.
Comments are welcome!
Posted in An Artist's Life
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* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Life for an artist, any artist, was difficult. There were few rewards other than the most important, which was satisfying one’s need to create. But in the art world of galleries, collections, and museums that the avant-garde artists in New York would inherit in the late 1940s, the difficulties experienced by the men who painted and sculpted would be nothing compared to those of the women. Society might mock the men’s work and disparage them for being “bums,” but at least they were awarded the dignity of ridicule. Women had to fight with every fiber of their being not to be completely ignored. In a treatise on men and women in America published at the start of the war, author Pearl S. Buck wrote,
The talented woman… must have, besides their talent, an unusual energy which drives them… to exercise their own powers. Like talented men, they are single-minded creatures, and they can’t sink into idleness nor fritter away life and time, nor endure discontent. They possess that rarest gift, integrity of purpose… Such women sacrifice, without knowing they do, what many other women hold dear – amusement, society, play of one kind or another – to choose solitude and profound thinking and feeling, and at last final expression.
“To what end?” another woman might ask. To the end, perhaps… of art – art which has lifted us out of mental and spiritual savagery.”
Mary Gabriel in Ninth Street Women
Comments are welcome!
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A: I am starting a new preliminary sketch for my next pastel painting. This will be number nine in the “Bolivianos” series!
In 2018 I made six new pastel paintings, which is more than usual. The last time I created six in one year was 1996!
Comments are welcome!