My first step towards discovering that my life’s work would be an artistic journey was buying a Jon Gnagy, Learn to Draw set and experiencing a sensation that the charcoal was an extension of my hand, my arm and my body. It was thrilling!
The Original Jon Gnagy, Learn to Draw set
After completing his entire set of drawing lessons, I decided to take painting classes at the local YMCA where I lived at the time in Queens, NY. So, I arranged for a babysitter, signed up for the oil painting class and made my first foray into Jerry’s Artarama art supply store with my supply shopping list in hand. How electrifying to be exposed to so many wonderful and exciting new products, widgets, thingies, colors, brushes, papers and canvas. Oh, the possibilities!
My idea of the garden I wanted to create around my new home when I bought it in 1989, was a place to immerse myself, not a garden to be admired while sitting on the deck. I had no particular plan that I imagined. Instead, I let the woodland speak to me.
This woodland was filled with poison ivy, invasive vines, thorns and many broken branches and limbs when it called to me. Together for over three decades, it and I have worked to create a woodland garden for meditation. This is the journey.
So I’m standing in my studio basking in the golden warmth of just having completed my one month Solo Exhibition which filled three rooms in an historic mansion at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum. I’d worked for years creating new work for this prestigious opportunity. And now the show was over, the work still owned by me was taken down from the walls, packaged protectively and transported to my home studio. I looked around me surrounded by all this new artwork. I remembered the journey of discovery as so many new ideas had begun to seep into my new work over time.
As I stood there looking around me with contentment at these 40 new artworks, a cold wave of concern trickled into my mind. Where would I put all my art? I’m a minimalist by nature. I can’t stand clutter and now every surface in my two room studio is covered with piles of work. Canvases are stacked, leaning against the walls. All the walls in my studio and home are already full. A sense of claustrophobia was rapidly taking hold. The warm glow I’d been feeling turned a cold blue.
Overwintering My Summer Tropical Garden is now posted on my garden blog.
I wrote about how I converted my darkroom into a plant room with sinks, counters and LED lighting.. I show a four month sequence of photos from my plant room to the deck where the plants spend their summer vacation.