Thursday, November 8, 2012


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Reading through Lauren's and Sarah's newsletters,
websites, and blogs has been exciting and reinforces
for me the work that continues, often hidden or not
discovered, during times of empty thoughts and whirl-
ing bits and pieces  
of ideas that one 
cannot quite cap-
ture or tame.


As I continue photographing shadows, I begin to understand my fascination 
of the elusory self-portrait located anywhere the sun is in the sky and 
directing light towards the earth.  What form the shadows will develop in the 
physical world continues to be a mystery - one I am debating, arguing, and 
battling with myself as I bounce around possibilities that make my head ache.

Always camera-shy, the shadows give me an anonymity and the freedom to pose and
be playful.  They allow my body to feel like air or grass or pavement as I watch my
form position on the ground surface.  The ex-dancer can perform for the artist who
manipulates the photo as a choreographer makes the dance.

Another aspect of the shadows that intrigue me is the playful distortion of form
"drawn" by the angle of sun and moment in time - a  duet of science and art. I 
enjoy the interaction and decision-making with, my camera in hand, as I study and 
contemplate the shapes, and angles in space.  Opening a photo on my computer is 
always a surprise when I am allowed a closer look at my image to examine the 
anomalies of surface, tonality, and distortion.   As I work in Photoshop, I 
enter the identical work space that created my paintings, drawings, and mixed-
media works.   I am home.  

"Speaking" of my shadows gives them an identity in my body of work 
that will move them forward to a yet unidentified realm.    
Shadowing "Behind the Scenes" Courtesy of Bill Kleinschmidt


Monday, September 24, 2012

The Cat Needed Water; My Dad Broke his Hip; I'm Down in the Basement!


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The Trip
Flying to Boston was expected to be a busy week, sorting through my mothers belongings,
visiting my Dad in his new memory care unit, and spending time with my sister, brother-
in-law, and nephew.  On my ride from  Logan Airport to Needham,  I was aware that
communicating with my father, who has lost most of his memory to dementia and sorting through the belongings of my mother's life would be poignant experiences. What surprised 
me was the depth of my senses to my surroundings as unexpected events large and small enveloped my immediate world. 

Dad and my sister, Lynn, enjoying great weather

My Dad
My Dad always seems to know me when I greet him with a booming voice and 
familiarity, though he does not necessarily remember my name.  I am a "safe" person
as are my sister, nephew, brother-in-law and our incredible aids who have come to love  
him in his limited world.  He can read about four words now, but he then has to stop be-
cause the effort is too much.  My Dad likes to sing and make funny noises and generally
enjoys life.  The dark side is his inability to perform simple tasks which can frustrate
him terribly and make him lash out or become very stubborn and focused on one action.

Globi drinking out of my water glass and gazing out of the window in my bedroom
The Cat
Globi is my sister's cat and he and I have always had a mutual liking. During the visit, I sensed a different quality of attention coming from him and I was drawn closer to his needs.  Globi is dying of liver disease and desires large quantities of water.  He began to lap at my water glass on my night table, sometimes interrupting my sleep to take his needed drink.  I began to make sure the glass was always full and learned how to tilt it correctly so his delicate tongue could reach a lower water level.  We became collaborators in his quest to drink from the water glass.  It was a moment in time that allowed me to focus on one task of helpfulness and aid.  It felt very rewarding and created a closeness to a creature I had known for many years.  Witnessing the fading of a life is powerful and sad with the inevitable outcome.  As I watched my mother decline and now my father (and yes, Globi),  my impulse was and is to do anything I can to
to relieve any suffering or worry, an unfailing universal reaction. 

The Fall
Saturday morning, as I was preparing to take a walk, my sister received a call that my Dad 
had fallen.  Lynn had an important work meeting and needed to stay home.  I swiftly picked 
up the car keys and drove with great urgency to my Dad's living facility.  When I arrived, the ambulance had just pulled into the drive.  I ran to my Dad's room and found him laying on the floor on his side complaining of pain.  The paramedics quickly went about their work and I 
held onto my Dad's hand until I needed to move out of the way.   I raced to the hospital where 
I literally ran into Paul, one of my Dad's aids.  He had been on his way to visit my Dad when he received a text from my sister about my father's accident.  We were directed to to the ER where a series of doctors and nurses were accessing my Dad's injuries. We were told he might have 
fractured his hip.  Yikes!!  Paul and I stayed with Dad for four hours until the doctor could read his X-rays and deliver a diagnosis.  The surgeon came down to the ER and was acquainted
with my father because Dad had been a volunteer at the hospital.   He, indeed, had a broken hip and needed partial hip replacement surgery.  It was time to call my sister, who had been texting frequently, with the diagnosis.   A few hours later my sister, Paul, and I congregated in my
Dad's new hospital room upstairs.  Lynn worked out a schedule for us to be with my father around the clock.  A dementia patient cannot be alone with medical problems because they do
not understand and have no memory from moment to moment.  My Dad had to be continually told that his hip was broken and he could not move.  At one point, during one of my shifts, Dad became so focused on escaping the confines of the bed, he began yelling at the nurses he could 
see walking by the room.  My father has a rather booming voice that carries extremely well. 
He would not calm down or listen to my attempts to change the subject or "jolly" him out of the singular idea of moving out of bed.  The nurse had to come and sedate him. 

Hospital Wall and TV

During the next few days we all spent hours with my Dad before and after his surgery.  I loved
talking to him and making him smile and laugh.  Though he could not always understand
my conversation he was able to catch the gist of a joke. He was of course hooked up to all
kinds of machines to monitor his health.  At 92, he continues to be feisty and sheer will and sometimes desperation allowed me to  learned how to machinate his various moods and resistance to the nurses and doctors fussing with his body. The role reversal a child must accept with an aging parent becomes natural and necessary.  Despite the circumstances, I found
myself appreciating and feeling a great closeness to my Dad.   

Dad and Nate's noses are alike

One day, when my nephew, Nate, came to visit, I noticed how his nose and his grandad's were of
a similar shape.  I became intrigued and needed to do a visual "side by side".  Poor Nate was annoyed at my continuous picture-taking, trying to find the correct angle.  I could not blame him.  The "seed" of an idea seems to be stronger than the risk of irritating a relative.   

My father is now in a rehab and is "watched-over" every moment by the family or his beloved 
aids.  I continue to monitor his progress from New Mexico. 

My mother's starfish and cousin Edith's water glasses
The Basement
My main task for visiting Needham was to spend time in Lynn's basement organizing and 
choosing items from my mothers belongings.  Lynn's basement is similar to the basement
we had in Valley Stream, LI-rather dark and dankish with a dash of cavern.   There is very 
little natural light and time of day cannot really be established.  I spent days opening boxes 
that rekindled memories of other times.  When I was done, I had six boxes to send home that contained: books; photos and albums of my parents nature photography; my mothers flower arranging material (sea shells, driftwood, interesting dried pods); Cousin Edith's water 
glasses; and various other items.  My basement stint was a "time out of time"experience, stimulating thoughts about how we live our lives with chosen paraphernalia.  Revisiting the 
"stuff" of my parents lives became a study and connection to my time with my parents.  It
was also a brutal and physical proof of the death of a family unit, seeing items out of context that were once familiarly viewed in my parents home, stacked in the basement for the family 
to divide.  For me, the world has "tilted" to an unfamiliar angle of life as I digest the loss of
my mother and essentially the father I once knew as a smart and vibrant man.  

New Flowers for my mother
My Mother's Grave
The most peaceful part of my week was visiting my mother's grave.  Her ashes are buried in
a beautifully spacious cemetery with hills and trees where she and my Dad used to walk.
I lay on the grass and and gazed up at the canopy of the very large tree above me as it "swished" in the wind. I loved the sound.  One day it threw acorns at me and I could hear my mother laughing.  

Lynn and husband, Stephen

Lynn and Stephen
Lynn and Stephen were wonderful hosts who took me out for some fantastic seafood dinners.
Lynn has borne the brunt of my parents illness's and  I really appreciate how she has taken
such good care of them.  

My Dad
Down in the basement I found a picture of my Dad, David Rolnick, that shows his love of life, spirit, and wandering nature. 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Where in the World has my Brain left my Thoughts??

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For the last three weeks, I have been in "Wanderland"- brain on vacation and thoughts
not in "sight" or head.  I found myself having to consciously jump-start my body to take
an action or generate an idea.  Is it the change in seasons, the upcoming trip to Boston to
see my Dad in his new Memory Unit, or maybe I need a thinking break?

Anyway, I found myself with nothing to say.  Aghast!!  Me without a thought or
idea?  I forced myself to take pictures, finish some digital drawings for a competition,
clean out my storage (to allow for more artwork if I can ever locate my brain) , and
talk to my animals. 

I hope to have something to expound upon soon.  I am writing a personal letter to my
brain to wake-up and return to work as I am greatly boring myself and probably my
friends, relatives, and anyone in close proximity.  

I will return to more pertinent, and hopefully more intelligent posting, as I persuade
my interior being to shake-off whatever is blocking up "the works".  I leave my
readers with three wonderful creatures I found at Dana Chodzko's home who exude
my perplexity of the moment. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Art is the Proper Task of Life," Friederich Nietzsche

Home of Artist Rick Phelps

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As I peruse through my thought processes about how I have lived my life after 50+
years, I have realized that every decision I have made was based upon my ability to
make my work and live near an art centerMoving often through the years, my
first priority was having a studio space and living near other artists.  All my
decisions were based on my life as an artist first and foremost.  Nietzsche's quote
really sums up my and other artist's actions stating "art is the proper task of life".
During the last few weeks I had the great pleasure of visiting two artist friends in
their homes and studios who have also lived life through their art.

Artists Rick Phelps and Christy Hengst are not acquainted, but both live their lives
creating work that helps inform how they think, develop ideas, and interact with their
world.  Both Rick and Christy's homes are spaces where art resides and breathes as
part of life. I fully appreciate how both artists have a similar outlook on living a good
life through art that was exhibited by their environments and thought processes.
I received permission to write a bit about each artist for this weeks post. 

Christy's Home with daughter, Eliza, and Puppy

Christy Hengst is a sculptor who works with clay and mixed mediums.  I was fortunate
to be able to take a private "Silkscreening on Clay Workshop" with Christy last week that
was great fun, informative, and exciting.  Her studio in Santa Fe is filled with her art
and tools for working with clay, screening, wax and other mediums.  She has developed
her screening on clay through much trial and error and has become a master of the
Inside Christy's Studio

For the last two years Christy has created a large series of porcelain silkscreened birds
with personal imagery that have traveled to more than 60 sites around the world.
Words, letters, and images adorn each individual bird and no two are alike.  The instal-
lations were set up to allow interaction with people and other creatures.  Christy's web site,, has a video and many images of the birds "roosting" in
parks, harbors, underwater, and along the sea coast, to name a few locations.  The birds on
site are stunning and surprising to the unsuspecting visitor.  I enjoyed seeing the birds up-
close and personal in Chrisity's studio.  The variations of information and writings were
intriguing and kept me investigating each non-feathered friend.

Christy's Birds Gather Outside her Studio

Bill and I were invited to Christy's house to meet her husband, Helmut, a blacksmith,
and children, Eliza and Oliver.  I had a wonderful time exploring the old adobe/frame
home with Christy as my guide.  The house is a labyrinth of rooms ornamented with
Christy's screened tiles and Helmut's blacksmithing skills.  It is a wonderfully
warm and inviting home created with loving care by two artists who have used
their skill and talent to surround themselves with art.

Large Hot Tub with Christy's Design
Bathroom Floor of Christy's Home
Rick Phelps lives in an Earthship home just outside of Santa Fe with his partner, Alex.
His studio, just inside the entry door, is filled with magical creatures that depart from
doll, animal, and shaped forms (that create the inner structures) into winged, stacked or
hybrid beings. His main medium is paper mache which reinforces his belief in recycling
Rick's World
Rick's creatures and ornamental shapes fill the Earthship from top to bottom.  One of
my favorite rooms was the bathroom.  Peeking in the doorway was an incredible
experience as I discovered a large pod shape hanging from the ceiling and all
kinds of greenery in pots giving the space a hot house feel along with the plastic
back wall. Walking through the Earthship gives one a feeling of Marti Gras, ancient
dwelling, and ceremony . At this time, Rick is working hard to finish work for his show
at Cafe Pasqual's Gallery in the Fall.    The link to Rick's web site at Cafe Pasquals is:

Bathroom Space                                   Rick Working in his Studio Area

Rick and Alex are both gardeners and Rick has designed various gardens in Santa Fe.
Surrounding the Earthship is wonderful vegetation and many of Rick's outdoor sculptures.
They also have an indoor greenhouse in the Earthship.  Every corner of Rick and
Alex's house is filled with the surprise of "recycler meets magician".
Outside the Earthship

Indoor Greenhouse and Horse Sculpture Outside
As I ponder the world of art and beyond, I am comforted by the fact that artists
such as Christy and Rick are working from a sense of honesty, heart, and the rigor
of creation. Their lives reflect their art and their art reflects their lives.  Living as
an artist is a necessary life to many of us who must work from our creative minds.
One of my favorite quotes is from Duchamp who said:  "I'm nothing else but an
artist, I'm sure, and delighted to be"

Christy's web site is:
Rick's web site is:
Also: my interview with the Art Book Guy for August is on
And visit new blogger friend, Valerie Story:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Duck, Duck, Duck, Goat - Finding Peace and Art in My World

Garden Duck and Me
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Trying to comprehend the nature of violent acts we humans continue to inflict upon
each other in the 21st century is beyond my understanding and personal nature.
Colorado, the latest tragedy, stands along a list of shootings we have experienced
in recent years in this country. As a supposed leader of the world and civilization,
the US continues to engage in the brutal wars in the Mideast and started two in the
last ten years.  Deluged with the awful events of the weekend from newspapers,
internet and TV, I began to think about how one creates peace and harmony in one's
Garden Duck
I decided to take my camera out with me for my "muck-up" and morning feeding
with the "boys"- a time that gives me much peace and starts the day with the rising
sun, fresh air, and welcoming four legged "folks".  Along the way to my barn I noticed
Garden Duck.  Garden Duck was left by the last inhabitants of my house and
I have enjoyed his plastic presence in my front yard.   So picking up GD, I trudged
to the barn to feed.  The shadows of me and Duck against my barn caught my eye
immediately and I began to snap shots.  Duck was very cooperative.  I had to stop
taking photos to actually feed Ziggy Starman, Finian, Rainbow, Abbakiss, and
Cloud, because they were hungry and looked like they were about to call the "crazy
people" police and report me. We had our usual goat crowding and vieing for a
scratch and recognition before I could return to my camera.  Such a wonderful way
to start a day.  Then I took Garden Duck and reentered the corral.  We posed ourselves
with my manure rake as munching was heard all around the barnyard.  I love the sound
of crunching and munching because it means everyone is well and nourished.

Garden Duck, Me, Rake

Leaving Duck outside the barnyard so very curious goats would not move him around
the pen, I picked up my manure fork to start mucking and began to dance and hum. I
was not "Singing in the Rain", but "Humming in the Sun".  I never know what I will
do in the corral because I am so happy around the animals.

Dance with Manure Fork
My corral is a large U shape starting with the barn area. I pick up my wheel barrow
throw my manure fork inside and "roll".   As I walk and clean up  horse poop from
the hard clay soil, I am followed by my dogs Rooe and Cooper.  My mind wanders to
all areas of my life.  I think about my mother and how much I miss her and sing a
refrain from a song that was written about her in her garden for her memorial by my
sisters dear friends, Ingrid and Michelle of "Dinosaur Rock".  I remember the last
fragmented conversation I had with my Dad who will soon be moved to a facility for
dementia patients. I listen to a songbird singing on the wire above me and give out my
own whistle.  I watch Cooper race the neighbor's dog along the fence and hear Ziggy
crunch on his pellets, eating from a bucket further down the corral.  I think about my
work and studio and the experimentation of new directions I am tackling.  The sun
begins to heat the air and the temperature rises as I continue my work.  Rooe barks at
a passing rabbit and Abbakiss gives some concerned "baas" as he watches me move
down the corral from his pen where he and Cloud are having their breakfast.   The
animals are at peace and feeling content which settles my mind.  

The Goat Tree
I stop by what I call "the goat tree" which is a juniper with bits of green left only on the top.
The goats have chewed the tree as far as they can stand on two hooves.  Ziggy usually
brushes against the tree to scratch an itch.  The dry grey branches make an interesting
sculpture in space.  I continue on picking up Ziggy's food bucket and checking the water
trough towards the end of the corral.  I glance up at magnificent South Mountain to inspect
the weather from the North and enjoy the view as I pass Ziggy and Destiny's (horse
girlfriend) shade tree.  The tree has a flat underline where the two horses have eaten the
leaves as far as they can reach with their arched necks.

South Mountain and Ziggy's Shade Tree
Walking back up the corral, my wheel barrow is heavy and the air is warm.  The dogs
follow me and I am ready to dump the poop in the yard on my back west property.  I
maneuver my wheel barrow through a small side gate and just barely manage to sneak
through before Abbakiss, who likes to "visit" the other yard, barges the gate.  Return-
ing to the corral with an empty barrow gives me great satisfaction each day with a
task well done. The "boys" gather around me and the empty wheel barrow.  Ziggy
is busy with the serious task of eating in the barn. 

Me, Abbakiss and Wheel Barrow
I untangle myself from the goats, give Ziggy a pat, and place the wheel barrow by the
side of the barn where Cloud will soon become the "captain" of the barrow, jumping
inside to command from a position of height.  I exit the gate and place my manure
fork by the barn for the next adventure with "mucking up".  I pick up Garden Duck
and replace him in the garden and go off to eat my breakfast.  All is peaceful at the

Duck back in Garden

See my interview on  Check out posts and blogs.  This is a great site
for art news.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Edgewood Summer Eve

Looking West towards my garden and the Sandia Mountains

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Summer in New Mexico is a magical time that lengthens the days and moves into
golden light during the evening hours.  I had spent this particular Sunday with my
partner, Bill, digging a trench around my studio that flooded with the last monsoon
downfall.  Hot and dirty work, I was relieved to take a shower and have some dinner.
But the light and garden beckoned me outdoors again with my camera to wander my
property and take pictures.

I began snapping pictures of my front garden but soon decided I needed to ex-
periment with other ideas.  My truck caught my eye and I had one of my "Ah Ha"
moments as I looked through my camera pointed at the truck windows and
responded to the imagery of the reflections that captured wonderful dualities of
figure, landscape and truck anomalies.  Next I shot the chrome behind the side mirrors
that also distorted shape and image. Other parts of the truck also created various piece-
meal parts of me and what was behind me.  I was happy.

Truck Fun!

More Truck Fun!

Moving on to the back of my property, I explored the flowers, mint, lilac, and pond.  Tall
mullin, lambs ears, salvia, hollyhock, red hot pokers, and my stone forms begged for attent-
ion from my camera.  Every few weeks Bill and I take a trip over to our friends, Deb and
Chuck to haul more rocks from their property to ours.  They have an abundance of granite
that permeates their land and ends up on ours.  I love arranging each rock shape in the
garden. The rocks tend to disappear as the garden grows in Spring and Summer.

                                           Red Hot Pokers and Pond                                                   
Back Garden and Pond

As I was taking pictures, my goats and horse came over to the fence to beg for a "nibble"
of greens and watch my peculiar activities.  My dogs were also afoot but hard to photo-
graph.  The evening shadows appeared as I meandered over to scratch some heads and
turn my camera to the barn yard. 


Abbakiss and Ziggy Starman

As the sun continued to slip lower in the vast sky, my shadows "accosted" me.  I began
to pose on my house wall.   I felt like I was in an old silent movie show.

My "Movie Show"
It was a lovely evening in Edgewood.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Art Book Guy, Michael K. Corbin, and I Chat


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Michael Corbin, the Art Book Guy, has begun a chat with me about my work. The chat will culminate in an interview that will be featured on the Art Book Guy site.   Michael's site is and features interviews with artists and much more.  Please visit his site. He has written 2 books, The Art of Everyday Joe:  A Collector's Journal and Art for The People:  A Collector's Journal.

MICHAEL: Hello Diane, Your work, especially the most recent mixed media works on your website seem almost allegorical.  I see strong narrative and perhaps some symbols with strong emphasis on female subjects.  What's the story here?

The Teacher, Marina Semynova 1, 2, 3
Hi Michael, thanks so much for taking an interest in my work.   You have asked a wonderful first question with many pertinent facets that pertain to my work.  To preface, I am very interested in the complex qualities of humanity that help create our stories and lives such as hope, compassion, kindness, wonder, passion, honesty, fear, doubt, compulsion, discipline, and perseverance to name a few.  Ideas may come from a moment in time that I glimpse, a personal connection to my own history, a story I need to explore, an idea that "tugs" at me, powerful imagery or specific events.   I never quite know what will "appear" as suitable topic, but my curiosity and intuition take me to many sources.   As our world becomes more technological (which allows us to communicate more often with others but in a less intimate manner) I find myself seeking more humane and complex interactions and explanations.   The "hurriedness" and shorthand of the technological world often deletes nuance, character, and complexity.   Those are the qualities I attempt to include in my work. 

Children in Peril Series

The beginnings of my interest in stories that often emerge as a  "fragmented narrative" state, started with my  "Children In Peril" that was developed within a nine-year period (1997-2006).  The work revolved around the story of Lisa Steinberg, the abused, illegally adopted and murdered child of Joel Steinberg and Hedda Nussbaum.  The story made national news but I was stunned by the front page New York Post image of Lisa smiling at the viewer.  Her face stole my heart and the work began and culminated in three series "The Lisa Series", "The Nightmare Series", and "The Throw-A-Ways".   I was living in Hoboken, NJ at the time.  Opening my thoughts, passions, and empathy to the world in the work began a manner of working that allowed me to act, react, explore stories and investigate my thoughts and feelings about issues and subjects. It was during this period that I began to use symbol, metaphor, and less literal signifiers in context to develop a visual poetry which you have described as allegory to my viewers.

Publicity Photo for The Eglevsky Ballet Company, Me on the right

The story of the new mixed-media works comes from my curiosity and perseverance of images of Russian ballerina, Marina Semynova, after reading an obituary in The New York Times about her death at 102.   My connection to Marina comes from my own history as a dancer in New York.  My fascination with Russia began with my grandfather (who was born in Russia/Poland, depending on which country claimed his village) who told me many times that one of our relatives was a painter/poet in the court of the last Russian Tsar.  I was fascinated with the culture of Russia as a child and later collected a serious collection of books on Russian dance.  I grew up in and around New York City.  Art was always important and my grandmother took me to the museums when I began to walk so I was very affected by art at an early age.  But my love of ballet began at age 8 when I begged for lessons after accompanying a friend to ballet school.  By the time I was 11, my mother had enrolled me in the Andre Eglevsky Ballet School on Long Island.  Andre Eglevsky was a Russian dancer who had starred in The Russe de Monte Carlo in Europe and The New York City Ballet with George Balanchine.  Within 2 years I was in The Andre Eglevsky Ballet Company dancing on stage.  I was also enrolled every summer at The School of American Ballet, The New York City Ballet's feeder school in Manhattan.  Many of my teachers were ex-Russian dancers from the Bolshoi.  Andre used to host the Bolshoi Ballet at his home when they came to America.  It was the era of the Cold War and it was such a privilege to be able to see the Russian dancers in NYC.  My Russian teachers left a large impression on my life because they were so passionate, heartfelt, focused and honest about the art of ballet and teaching.  I left ballet at 16 because my body could not take the physical rigors and turned back to fine art, but my love of dance has never ended.  

Your question about an emphasis of female subjects in my work began with my experiences as a dancer.  The dance world was one of limited arenas that demonstrated the strength and power of women in the arts as both teachers and artists.  I remember sitting at my desk in my room at home on Long Island as a teen, wondering why the history of art included very few great women artists to model and emulate.   My later years as an art student and artist found the world to be very steeped in patriarchal power with little room for female endeavors and spirit.   Therefore my intuitive choice to use the female figure as a symbol of artistry, strength, and learning redirects the balance of my early inquiries and gaps of information about the female as a strong artistic figure.  

Marina Semyonova Teaching in Russia

When I read Marina Semynova's obituary in the NYT's I was intrigued and curious about her life.  I googled her name and found old films of her dancing and teaching on U-Tube, but could not download the film until further inquires to a computer savvy person told me about software (from Iceland of all places) that would allow access.  I bought the software, downloaded all the films I could find into I-Movie.  Watching the films gave me that "tingle" of excitement that precedes the beginning of new work.   What interested me greatly was Marina in her 60's or 70's teaching a solo from "The Black Swan" to a young dancer in a bare dance studio in Russia.  The music, the choreography, the atmosphere of the dance studio felt so familiar and eerie as I was looking "down time" to another era (50's or 60's).   My subject was before me - the aging teacher who had been the dancer and remained the dancer in her frumpy black dress and pumps moving exquisitely through space as she demonstrated various steps and sequences. She had great respect from her student and showed an empathetic willingness to pass on her art to the younger generation.   I watched the film many times as I decided which positions would be dynamic on the page.  Learning how to move the frames from I-Movie to I-Tunes to Quick-time and finally Photoshop for printing was a large learning curve and often I just worked from the computer in my studio on stop-gap.  

I had been working in encaustic for the last 10 years, but found that the medium was not allowing me enough freedom to explore my ideas fully.   I decided to work with acrylic grounds and mediums, which would allow me to build up the surface with pigment, pastel, graphite, marker, and other media.  I chose to use heavy paper, (50"x38") and hang the work like a rug hanging with a rod in the back.  I created pockets sewing heavy 3" ribbon on the top back area of the paper and inserted thin flat metal strips that could hang the pieces.  The task I set up for the work was to place three figures of Marina on each paper that composed a moment of movement.   Color has always been an element of wonder and enchantment for me and as the piece developed, the color became a vivid part of the environment and atmosphere, reflecting light and motion.  As I worked I realized I needed to add the element of pattern to move around and into each piece to integrate space and figure. The patterning became an important element and signifier of the magic of the theater backdrops, lighting, and textural costumes.   I began to spray paint through all types of lace and material to create repeated design.  Pattern also reminded me of the attire of my Russian teachers who each had their own style of dressing for class.   The 3 pieces were worked over a period of almost 2 years.  My final presentation of the work removed the rod as a hanging device and adhered the paper pieces to Plexiglas with a 2-inch area around the drawing as frame. On the back of the clear frame area are glued 2 layers of delicate material that appear to create a soft floating frame.  

Final edging with Plexi-Glass and Material Underlay

I was fascinated and interested that you attached the word allegory to my work.  I had not thought of the pieces in those terms and I feel you have given me an interesting angle to consider as I assess the work.  Researching the word allegory on Wikipedia I found allegory is described as "a device used to present an idea, principle or meaning, which can be presented in literary form, such as a poem or novel, in musical form, such as composition or lyric, or in visual form, such as in painting or drawing ......... As an artistic device, an allegory is a visual symbolic representation."  Marina is the visual symbol for me of a strong, vibrant, artist and teacher who lived a life of art and sharing of art.   How great is that??