What We See Everyday Influences how We approach Art and Life

I feel as if I’ve been holding my breath.  Holding my opinion, my thoughts and my voice.  I was in a hospital recently for an appointment and Theo older women, a daughter with her mother in a wheel chair were checking into see a Doctor.  The receptionist was helping them and there seemed to be a dispute about time or something.  The daughters voice elevated and the mothers as well.  They were frustrated.  Then the receptionists voice also raised and it seemed to negate the hostility and (oddly) no one seemed at all insulted, ruffled or Angry, at all.  To me, it was the sound of birds chirping, or the wind in the trees.  It was, not any kind of stress to me.  In fact there were other people next to them that didn’t even flinch or look at them in horror.  It’s the way it is.  Volume is not indicative of anger.  Cursing is not necessarily indicative of anger,  it’s just a way of being, emphatic or being assertive.  Honestly, I  took a deep breath of ease, I’m home.  

Now, I was born in norther Illinois, and moved to norther New York when I was quite young.  My parents, especially my father always said “he (she, we had 4 girls and my mother) raises their voice, looses”  my father felt that if you can’t make a point with facts without raising your voice, the debate was lost.  A person who talks over another to out decibel anyone, is pushy and ignorant.  He did however move us to Long Island.  Maybe a mistake.  Perhaps he didn’t research the debate climate here.  From 13 years old, through college and into the art business world, I have cut my professional teeth here and it has been culture shock, but I did well.  

Moving 13 years ago to Hawaii was comfortable, beautiful and the colors of the ocean and plants were just outrageous and unearthly to me.  It took me a full year before I could even approach a Plein Aire piece.  I have been quite a hyper painter.  I don’t stand or sit quietly,  I put on a stroke and step back and manically push forward.  It’s my process.  Going to life drawing in Honolulu, I accidentally terrified a Buddhist with my hyper attention.  He was always nice to me but kept a distance in class.  I was told years later that my static energy interrupted his calm.  I get it, this is why I’ve really gotten better at meditation and focus.  I can not drink wine while I work.  To distracting.  It’s just me, my subject, the paint or pastels and the canvas.  I also can’t talk while I work well. The Aloha in Hawaii is lovely and actually made me very happy while I was there, but the politeness ( I was raised on Emily Post) was extreme.  In New York, we always say, “ don’t use your blinker to change lanes, cause then they’ll know what your plan is and cut you off”.  In Hawaii, everyone allows you in and gives you the Shaka sign.  What?   So my colors changed in Mexico.  How I painted changed, it’s as if, the extreme nice, made my colors more wild. On Oahu I worked with the Honolulu Art Academy doing demos and the Pastel Artists of Hawaii.  Moving to Kauai, I was on the board of the Garden Island Arts Council and the President of the Kauai Society of Artists.  I enjoy interacting with other artists.  

So Mexico was a bit of both, in Spanish.  My Spanish is mostly shopping Spanish, Mantequilla ( butter), Manzana ( apples) and learning kilos was a mess. Math is not my strong suit. But the people were lovely, the colors were very much like Hawaii, but people were more aggressive.  I did many Day of the Dead series and did several oil paintings with water.  Driving, that’s a very long subject.  Let’s just say, most drivers on the Riviera Maya are first generation  drivers and there’s no drivers education there, so, it’s the Wild West on the highways and in the cities.  

Getting back to NY was via 18 months in downtown St Louis Missouri ( by the arch).  They are very different.  Not as aggressive, very passive and not as ambitious or sharing if they were.  I loved the art scene.  Many talented artists and lots of life drawing groups as well as Plein Aire groups.  I stretched more and worked on many new techniques as well as film and videos.  New York wants help.  As soon as I arrived I was sucked into several groups.  The Long Island Arts Council, the Islip Artis Council and the Islip Art Museum and Art & Soul, a school for children.  The Islip Art Museum asked me to be on their Advisory Board right away.  I do enjoy that as well as the board of directors for the Islip Arts Council.  Now I just need to find time to do the artwork and manage my business.  

How does this relate to artwork? Everything in life relates to the artwork of and artist.  Mood, energy, finances, colors out the window, love, hate, trust and every other emotion. Attached are pieces of artwork that you might feel are by different artists, but no, they are by me in different places.  

Let me know how your environment has influenced your art or the art you purchase?  

Do,you,purchase Art that reminds you of your travels? 


Done in New England in 1998  

Done in NY 1989                    Painted in Kauai 2010


Created for a collection in Playa del Carmen 2012            acrylic pour mixed media created in St Louis, MO 2018

Created in Mexico 2013           Created in St Louis 2017          Created in St Louis 2018