I am honored to have my painting “Pay Attention Here – Orange Hibiscus” on the cover of the Fall 2020 Newsletter of NAWA, The National Association of Artists. I was juried as a full member into this prestigious historic organization in November of 2018.
NAWA was founded on January 31, 1889 to offer women a greater opportunity as professional artists in a male-dominated art world. From the onset, the annual exhibitions of the women’s Art Club were a great success, attracting the participation of women artists such as Mary Cassatt, Suzanne Valadon, Rosa Bonheur and Cecelia Beaux. As the organization grew, its membership included prominent artists like Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Anna Hyatt Huntington.
Many members have taken their rightful place among the recognized artists of their time. Louise Nevelson, Nell Blaine, Alice Neel, Marisol, Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, Janet Fish, Audrey Flack and Faith Ringgold. It is a great honor for me to be afforded such an inspiring brush with history and talent.
This is the statement I wrote for the NAWA publication.
For years, I have created floral and garden paintings as the subject of my art. During the last number of years, I’ve focused ever more closely on the centers of flowers as they speak to me more deeply of the reason for their existence. And ours as well.
As a passionate gardener, I am inspired by the gardens I designed and tend surrounding my own studio in Northport. These flowers represent to me a microcosm of the universe. The outsize scale of these individual flower portraits demands attention. They ask questions beyond the canvas.
What is the purpose for such magnificence in nature? What is the reason for such color, such form, such diversity? What is their relationship to the communities in which they belong, their relationships with other plants and species that sustain them, invade them and nourish them? What of their lifecycle of birth, growth, senescence and rebirth? As humans, what can we learn from their seemingly simple existence?
Initially, we see with our eyes. We name the subject, identify it and classify it. But, we also have a duality of vision which allows us to contemplate with an inner vision. This art invites both the external and internal views.
The dual naming of each painting reflects the complex meaning of the work and is an enticement to think more deeply about the subject. This painting, Pay Attention Here – Orange Hibiscus, is at first a call for contemplation of purpose and secondarily, the common name of the flower which enables a more familiar entry into the conversation.