Our friend Michael Wolov took his first trip to Cuba in 2009 and walked around Old Havana on his own with camera in hand on day one. He saw an interesting looking woman in traditional dress standing in the street and asked if he might take her picture. She said yes, of course, and he imagined that it hadn’t been the first time she had been asked. He snapped his shot, gave her some pesos to thank her and went on his way.
Fast forward to the summer of 2021: We took a trip up north to visit family and friends last August, when travel was once again a possibility, however briefly. Our trip ended with a weekend in the Catskills with dear friends of 45 years, Judith and Michael Wolov, who have a charming lake house that they enjoy on weekends away from NYC. When we walked into the guest bedroom, I couldn’t help but notice a framed photograph on the wall of that Cuban woman smoking a cigar. I ask you, what are the odds of my finishing Retro, a painting of a woman smoking a pipe, just weeks earlier and then seeing an arresting image of a woman smoking a cigar? I knew right away that I would be painting her, so I took a picture of the photograph. I finally found time to work on La Cubana last month, after cropping her beautiful dress and intending to hang her in a diptych with Retro called Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. They’ll be on display in the BallenIsles 2022 Art Show from January 10th to the 20th. How serendipitous…
Lucky to have the chance to be included in the fourth Revolving Art Show this season at BallenIsles Country Club, I entered Rabbi Rich, the portrait I painted of my husband from a color photo taken of him the evening he officiated at the wedding of our son and daughter-in-law, and Argentine Tango, a celebration of the dancers I love to paint. The exhibit is up for viewing from February 3rd to March 9th.
Today my husband and I celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. The two kids (19 and 25 years old) who married that August night have two extraordinary married children and four amazing granddaughters to remind us how blessed we are.
I’m always flattered when someone thinks that I did this portrait of my handsome prince, but it was painted by Debra Freeman Highberger, a wonderful artist and the woman who let me draw for eight months in her painting class before she handed me my first canvas and gave me the gift of art.
It must have been about six years ago, when my daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters (at the time) were in Boston for a visit, and we found ourselves at the New England Aquarium. I only had my phone with me, but I took some pictures, mostly of the smaller exhibits, filled with creatures who wouldn’t have survived in the big tank–colorful, smaller fish and creepily beautiful jellyfish. The only jellyfish I was familiar with were the jellyfish of my childhood at Rockaway Beach or Jones Beach–round, transparent, seemingly slimy things, meant to be avoided. But days later, flipping through my photos, I couldn’t help but be attracted to the colors, shapes and, particularly, the transparency of these denizens of the deep.