Photograph by Scott Baxter
I am a life long artist. I grew up as an artist. My father was a musician and had an orchestra and then later he specialized in sound systems. I realized very early that I caught musical sound in a different way than most people. I saw color and shape and pattern where others heard sound! Music has always been an enormous inspiration for me. Like a map into the limitless possibilities for me creatively.
I began actual art training at six years old in an extension of Boston College’s summer program in Lenox, Massachusetts. I knew by the instructors standing around me that I was unusual in my “seeing”. My work was shown in the Lenox Library and the Berkshire Art Museum. In my teens, I won many art awards. At sixteen, Norman Rockwell and I had a “sit down” in his studio in Stockbridge, Ma. He called New York and had me meet various people and then suggested I study at the Art Student’s league of New York, which I did. I studied under Fogarty, Kidd, and Dagmar. Since that youthful beginning, I have studied with many great painters in the school of Bongart, Fechin, and Zorn…always with an eye on Sargent and Cassatt.
As a classically trained portrait artist and working within realism, when I heard a fellow artist friend of mine, Susan Fishman, classically trained pianist, play Scarlatti, I knew that had been my basis of thought all along. I was not aware of Scarlatti before this certain night but when I heard, I knew. This sound “matched me”.
Also, there was a theoretical physicist in Alamos, NM. reported in the New York Times, who said that he sees the repeat patterns of the stars, in molecules and atoms and plays them on his violin! He sees the repeat patterns as I do…on a face, in music. I see shapes and form and textures with my ears! “Soul – seeing” is a good description. Feelings and visual aspects come together and lead the procession. When I read about him, I knew I was HOME! There is a common thread of rhythm and pattern from lines of a person’s face, to sound, to painting. There is a totality and infinite quality of Life that we all participate in, that recognition is such a pleasure for me to realize in my work.
So, I began to move away from realism and paint, open to less about the “eye sense” and more about inward hearing. What I hear, and what I feel, still maintaining the protocol of years of painting study. I began to see the deconstruction of realism as it unfolds into abstract contemporary painting. It has the same legs, just a different portrayal and a solid one. This is what has brought me to contemporary abstract painting. My collectors tell me my work speaks to them in a way they cannot put into words, only that they feel it.