Bill Farran Shares Unique Linocuts: A Combined Love Of History, Geography And His Roots

Bill Farran is showing his unique linocut prints at the Nathan D. Rosen Museum Gallery Biennial Juried Art Exhibit (Opening Reception Feb.11), ArtiGras in Jupiter (Feb. 13- 15) and Chabad House in Manalapan (Feb. 21)  After retiring as a history and culinary arts teacher, Bill Farran became a Florida snowbird.  With the guidance of several art teachers he pursued portraits and outdoor landscapes before he rediscovered his love of block prints. He enjoys working backward and in reverse! Combining his art with his love of history, Bill’s versatility shows as his subjects range from Pop Art to social commentary and his Jewish roots. In addition, Bill is an author and an internationally sought-after speaker.  The Rickie Report shares Bill’s story, his upcoming Exhibits and speaking engagements plus some sneak peeks.  Bill’s abundant knowledge, including more of his artwork as well videos, resources and a vast history lesson can be found on his website.  

 

 

 

The   Linocuts   of   Bill   Farran

 

Meet The Artist:

Nathan D. Rosen Museum Gallery

“Art 2016”  Biennial Juried Art Exhibit

Public Opening Reception:

 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

4:00 – 6:00 PM:

Exhibit runs through Friday, March 18, 2016

Gallery Hours:  Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

 

Levis JCC Sandler Center
21050 95th Avenue S.     Boca Raton, FL 33428
(located off Glades Road at 95th Avenue S., West of the Florida Turnpike)

 

 

 

ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival

 


February 13, 14 & 15, 2016

Saturday 10am to 6pm


Sunday 10am to 6pm


Monday 10am to 5pm


Abacoa Town Center in Jupiter, Florida

Central Boulevard between Main Street Circle and Fredrick Small Circle & University Boulevard

 

 

 

Chabad of South Palm Beach

 

Sunday, February 21

 4-6 PM

 

 

 

Plaza Del Mar  224 S. Ocean Blvd.  

Manalapan, FL 33462

Gallery Show runs February 21st  thru March

 

 

 

BillFarranflowers091_edited

“Flowers”, Linocut by Bill Farran

 

 

It all started in 1968 with the need for a quick gift. Bill Farran made a woodcut, and framed it. After that, he created a woodcut or linocut each Jewish New Year. His two children were announced to the world via woodcuts. As the years passed and postage increased, Jewish New Year Cards became less frequent.

 

 

 

BillFarranscha011

“Klezmer Singer, Elizabeth Schwartz” by Bill Farran

 

 

 

Bill tells The Rickie Report, “Then in 2011 two things happened. First, I made a Jewish New Card and posted it on Youtube for my friends and family. In the past I incorporated the usual images; apples and honey, views of the Jerusalem skyline, Chassids dancing, men holding the torah or blowing the shofer. In 2012, I made a linocut Jewish New Year Card of the Gvozdetz wooden synagogue (Gwoździec, Poland is now Hvfzdets, Ukraine). It must have been fate”.

 

 

 

BillFarrannycard22105_copy

Jewish New Year Linocut by Bill Farran

 

 

Bill met a group of men in Century Village who were members of the woodcarving club. They were a mixed group, liberals and conservatives, religious Jews and non-religious Jews, Americans and Canadians. “I decided to make a Jewish New Years video, as I would carve and print my linocuts with them each Tuesday morning. I never did make the video. As one thing always leads to another, before I knew it I’d created over 20 Wooden Synagogue linocuts, spent untold hours researching and learning about Eastern European history, had entered shows, and began to speak about “Lost Treasures: Wooden Synagogues of Eastern Europe”.

 

 

 

“My wooden synagogue series has become a labor of love. It brings together many aspects of myself. My love of history and geography, my love affair with Jewish genealogy, my love of art, and my love of my wife who helps me research and write”.

 

Bill Farran Novyy Yarychiv linocut

Wooden Synagogue of Novyy Yarychiv, Ukraine by Bill Farran

 

 

TRR: Take us through the process of a linocut:

BF:

 

A linocut is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of linoleum (sometimes mounted on a wooden block) is used for the relief surface. A design is cut into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed. The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller (called a brayer), and then impressed onto paper or fabric. The actual printing can be done by hand or with a press.

 

 

The process begins with finding a photo or drawing of a wooden synagogue. They were all destroyed by the end of World War II, and very few images have survived. We research the history of the towns or shetles, to learn about the synagogue, how the people lived and finally how the Jewish presence came to an end. We often become very emotional, but it is my way of not forgetting the past. Then I transfer the image to a linoleum block and carve. I work backwards, only “what I leave behind” prints. The next stage is to make a print from the block. I have to ink the block and place a sheet of acid free paper over it and burnish the image. All my prints are hand printed. Each print is ever so slightly different and I create limited editions.

 

 

 

 

Bill explains, “My artistic focus and inspiration flow from two sources. First, I love my medium, block printing. The feel of the wood or linoleum under the carving tools transports me to another plain. The process of working backwards and in reverse is an enjoyable challenge. In block printing one has to remove surface, leaving behind the surface that will accept the ink and print. When adding color a second block has to be carved. Hand printing in itself is an art”.

 

 

 

“Second, I love my subject love – the wooden synagogues of Eastern Europe and their importance in Jewish cultural history. Depicting them as linocuts and woodcuts, began with creating a simple Jewish new year’s card has become a journey reinventing my life. Wooden synagogues are gone from Eastern Europe, victims of fire, war, old age and the Holocaust. Through art I try to bring back these wonderful Jewish wooden synagogues, to give us a glimpse of the past”.

 

 

BillFarranVITEBSK 96010

City View of Vitebsk, Belarus by Bill Farran

 

 

TRR:  How did you get started creating your art work?

 BF:

I needed a quick last minute gift for my Mom and decided to make a wood cut. I based it on Vincent Van Gogh’s Postman Joseph Roulin. Everyone said it looked like a rabbi, so I used it as a Jewish New Year Card. After that card I made a woodcut or linocut each Jewish New Year.

 

BilFarranPrienaiLithuania

Prienai,Lithuania by Bill Farran

 

 

TRR:  Tell us about your lectures.

 BF:

 

I use my Art to educate my audience about Jewish history is Eastern Europe from 900 AD to the present. My goal is to impart that Jews were fairly well off until the Partition of Poland, in 1772-1794.

 

Topics:
• Jews in the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania
• The Art of Wooden Synagogues, What motivates the Artist
• The Jews under the rule of the Tsars
• Rise and Fall of the Shtetl
• Yom Ha Shoah
• Kristallnacht

 

 

BillFarranlostsoulsoftheghetto

Lost Souls of the Ghetto by Bill Farran

 

 

TRR: We understand that you have lectured internationally and in the US.

 BF:

 

I love the art and the knowledge that I acquired, and I have a passion to share them with people.My next lecture will be on February 21, 2016 at Chabad of South Palm Beach.

Most recently:

• November, 2015 92nd Street Y, New York, NY “The Jews under the rule of the Tzars”
• August, 2015 Neptune Towers Co-op, Long Beach NY “Rise and Fall of the Shtetl”
• August 2015 92nd Street Y, New York, NY “Rise and Fall of the Shtetl”
• April, 2015 Temple Beth Shalom, Melville NY: “Yom Ha Shoah Commemoration”
• April, 2015 Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center, “Yom Ha Shoah Commemoration”
• March, 2015 Jewish Genealogy Society of Palm Beach; Florida
• September 2014 Temple Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek,Chester, CT “Jews in the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania”
• January 13, 2014 Na’amat Movement Of Working Woman And Volunteers, Valencia Lakes, Boynton Beach, Florida “Jews in the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania”
• August, 2014 International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) 33rd International Conference on Jewish Genealogy; Boston MA “Jews in the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania”
• July, 2014 Tomek Wisniewski’s Studio Of Film, Sound and Photography, Michalowo Poland. “A Day of Jewish Culture. Jews in the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania”.
• November, 2014 Long Beach. NY Public Library “Kristallnacht‎”
• March, 2013 Jewish Genealogical Society of Long Island; NY “Jews in the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania”
• March, 2013 Adolph And Rose Levis JCC, Boca Raton, Florida “Jews in the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania”
• January 2013 Century Village Art Club, Boca Raton, Florida “The Art of the Wooden Synagogue”

 

 

sugar

“Sugar” by Bill Farran

 

 

TRR:  Where have you exhibited your Art?

BF:

ArtiGras is my first professional Exhibition, as I am now a full-time artist.  Previously my work has been seen at:  Huntington Arts Council, “Artie Techie Show”, Huntington NY July, 2015; Huntington Arts Council “Don’t Eat This” Art Show  Huntington NY May, 2015;  Ocean Ridge Coastal Artist Exhibition, Ocean Ridge, FL March 2015;  Temple Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek Gallery, Chester, CT August-October 2014;  Anti-Defamation League of Palm Beach; Florida Artworks: “Justice, Advocacy & Art” November 14, 2013;  The Opera and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Podlasie-European Centre for the Arts, Bialystok, Poland August 19 – September 20. 2014; The Studio of Film, Sound and Photography, Michalowo, Poland July 7, 2014-August 7, 2014;  Arts Arena Gallery, Delray Beach, Florida January 2013 and the Public Library, Long Beach NY October-November 2012.

 

 

 

Bill continues to write for various newsletters, including the most recent “The Towns of Our Ancestors”.  He is available for small groups, synagogues, organizations, museums and special events.

 

 

 

TRR: What sustains your creative energy?

BF:

I’m always learning and discovering new things about both block printing and Jewish history.

 

 

TRR:  What challenges you face as an emerging artist and what would you share with other emerging artists?

BF: 

It’s a challenge to find a balance between creating and marketing.  Keep working and promoting yourself!

 

 

For more information please contact:

www.billfarran.com

www.facebook.com/bill.farran

 516-869-4049

E-mail: billfarran@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

Deb LaFogg Docherty Announces Book Signing Event and Shares Tips for Artists Applying to Juried Shows

Since The Rickie Report first wrote about Deb LaFogg Docherty in September, 2011, she has been busy painting, entering, and winning awards at juried shows around the country.  Deb is just back from being a featured artist at Art Basel’s “Endangered” Exhibit.  In addition, Deb illustrated a children’s book, “Rosie’s Song” and served as a judge for the Friends of Loxahatchee Art Show!  In this article you will find information about Deb’s book-signings, shows, demos and some important tips from an art show judge’s point of view.

 

 

Deb LaFogg Docherty

 

 

deb-and-a-wolf

 

Deb LaFogg Docherty is an artist who believes in sharing her insights with others.  The Rickie Report stresses the importance of networking with other artists and Deb not only does that, she acts as a mentor as well.  

 

"Waiting for Mom"

“Waiting for Mom”

 

Recently she was chosen to judge the Loxahatchee Art Show and we asked her to share her thoughts.   “The Loxahatchee show was the first time I judged a show. It was more difficult then I thought it would be, since normally I’m one of the artists in the show”, she said.

 

"Under Mom's Watchful Eye"

“Under Mom’s Watchful Eye”

 

The Rickie Report asked what Deb observed as she examined each entry.    First, Deb referred to the rules of the application.  “This is what I was looking for:  Was it a place in the Loxahatchee Refuge and if not, could it be found there?  Next, what caught my eye?  What made the painting stand out from the rest?  Then I got down to the technique, lighting, composition and color, the same principles I base my work”.

 

"Palmettos in Warm Light"

“Palmettos in Warm Light”

 

She goes on to explain, “Most of all, I wanted the artists that were selected for prizes to know why they were chosen. So, at the Awards Ceremony I spoke about each winner’s painting.  It’s very difficult to judge a show. It is even harder when talented artists you know submit their work. No matter what you do, you feel like your going to offend someone.  I tried to remain neutral and stick to the criteria I had set for myself before I saw the entries”.

 

 

 

"Captured Gaze"

“Captured Gaze”

Deb’s Important Tips and Things to keep in mind when entering in a show:

 

  • What is the theme of the show?
  • Make sure it’s framed properly
  • Meet the entry deadline and rules to enter

 

“Giving these tips to artists that want to get into competitions and juried shows… that’s tough because no matter what you decide to enter you are not always going to get in. I can attest to that. Always enter your best work because it is a reflection on you. But more importantly never give up!  And yes, I would be willing to jury more shows” Deb reveals.

 

 


Oldschool Proof flyer 2

 

 

“Rosie’s Song” is Now Available!

 

 

"Rosie's Song" Book Cover

“Rosie’s Song” Book Cover

 

“Rosie’s Song” is appropriate for children aged 3-8 years old. “When Rosie the sea star’s roving brothers get caught out in a storm, she fears they are lost forever. Filled with determination and worry, she sets out on her own adventure to find them and almost gets lost herself – before ending back right where she began, in the loving embrace of her family. Rosie’s Song tells a story of family love, wrapped up with a quiet message of ocean conservation and courage. Rosie’s Song is a beautifully illustrated, full-color children’s picture book”.  There are a total of 48 including cover and double truck in Pastels.  Deb LaFogg illustrated the book and Mary Kate Leming is the author.  A second book in the works.

 

Book events:

Family Fun Fest

Join us from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Family Fun Fest  at Delray Beach Center for the Arts at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave.   Meet author Mary Kate Leming of Ocean Ridge and illustrator Deborah LaFogg Docherty of Boynton Beach. This is a free event.

 

 

Sandoway House

 

Parents and children are invited to a story reading and book signing at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21st  at  Sandoway House Nature Center, 142 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach.     The regular $4 museum admission will apply.   Meet the creators of Rosie’s Song following the 10:30 a.m. shark feeding.

 

You can also purchase Rosie’s Song   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0991055608

or contact Deb LaFogg Docherty or Mary Kate Leming.    Total cost with Tax: $20.00

 

 

Deb’s Upcoming Shows and Demos:

 

 

SOLO Show at the Tropical Audubon’s Doc Thompson House    January 6 – Feb 3, 2014   South Miami, FL

Demo:   Briney Breezes Art Society – Jan 7, 2014

Delray Art League Show   January 11-12, 2014  Veterans Park  Delray Beach, FL

Wellington Fine Art Festival – January 25-26,2014 Wellington, FL

 Pigeon Key Art Festival – February 8-9,2014  Marathon, FL

 Demo:  Wellington Art Society – Feb 12, 2014    Wellington Community Center

Artigras – February 15-17, 2014  Jupiter, FL

 Delray Art League Show  – February 22-23   Old School Square  Delray Beach, FL

Sarasota Wildlife Festival – March 1-2, 2014  Sarasota, FL

Delray Art League Show   March 8-9 , 2014    Veterans Park   Delray Beach, FL

Demo:  Palm City Art Society – March 12, 2014

Delray Art League Show  March 22-23, 2014   Old School Square   Delray Beach, FL

Delray Art League Show  March 29-30, 2014   Old School Square   Delray Beach, FL

Delray Art League Show  April 12-13, 2014   Veterans Park   Delray Beach, FL

Delray Affair – April 25-27,2014  Delray Beach, FL

Ding Darling SOLO  Show – January 2015 Naples FL

 

For more information please contact:

 

Deborah LaFogg Docherty, AFC, MC, PSA
Wildlife Artist
Please visit to see or purchase prints of her most recent works:
http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/deb-lafoggdocherty.html

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

Using Copper as His Canvas, Jim McCann Shares Artistry of Nature

The Rickie Report received a phone call from Jim McCann who wondered if we might be interested in seeing his art work.  We sent a reporter and photographer to meet Jim and Donna but had no idea from his description, what a treasure was waiting to be seen! At our urging, Jim applied to ArtiGras as an “Emerging Artist” and he was accepted!  The Rickie Report wants to celebrate Jim’s artistry and knows you will be astonished at what he is making! Stop by his booth at ArtiGras and consider how many places in your home, one of his copper torch and ink paintings belong.

 

5

ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival

February 16-18

Abacoa Town Center,  Jupiter, FL

Saturday & Sunday 10 am – 6 pm

Monday 10 am – 4 pm

A former welding instructor, Jim has developed his own technique to create amazing art pieces on copper.  Having no formal art training, he used to draw Spanish Galleons and comics from “Mad Magazine” as a child.  Now he makes the copper look like the wood of those great ships, using his self-developed chemical and torch techniques.  The combinations of wood grains and patinas are limitless.  And wait until you see the stone effect he’s developed!  What a dramatic back splash in a kitchen his work would make.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jim is drawn to nature and is exacting when he creates a Piper or a Loggerhead.   The prismatic blues and reds jump from the copper as the sunshine changes the colorations.  Jim sometimes hand engraves areas to give even more richness to the patinas.  Right now he uses his own kitchen but is purchasing a pizza oven so he can work in larger sizes.

Loggerhead Turtle for Shower Ceiling

Loggerhead Turtle for Shower Ceiling

Walking around his yard, filled with different species of palm treees, a wild male peacock announced itself and then appeared.  It was easy to see where Jim gets his inspiration for color and detail.   His loggerhead turtle is almost finished and ready to be placed on the ceiling of his shower.  He pointed out his plans for a mermaid sitting on some rocks for over the tub and will eventually decide between one of two different fish designs for over the sink.

JimMcCann

Jim’s workshop is filled with potential projects.  And he keeps a small space for his reference library.  His work is precise and drawn to scale, whether he is working on a bird or a fish.  The rain did not deter from his work, though we would have seen more brilliance of color on a sunnier day.

JimMcCann3

The Rickie Report is honored to continue to advise Jim on the next steps to further his hobby.  To contact Jim, call:  561-313-9296.  For more information about ArtiGras: www.artigras.org

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

Lazaro Ruda, Emerging Artist Shares Underwater Splendors at ArtiGras

ArtiGras  Fine Arts Festival is always a highlight event for art lovers.  The Rickie Report is proud to have mentored a large number of the “Emerging Artists” for the 2013 show!  The Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce produces a top-notch juried show, which is presented with the help of Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.  This is truly a community-wide effort, which involves hundreds of volunteers.  Here is an introduction to one of the “emerging artists”, Lazaro Ruda.

 

 

 

5

ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival

February 16-18

Abacoa Town Center,  Jupiter, FL

Saturday & Sunday 10 am – 6 pm

Monday 10 am – 4 pm

Out of the hundreds of artists who are juried into ArtiGras, the organizers recognize eleven artists who have never been involved in a juried show of this type.  These “Emerging Artists” are taken under the ArtiGras’ wings and nurtured to enable them to participate in future events with a base of understanding and experience.

 

The eleven “Emerging Artists” include:

  • John Cooksey
  • Jim Maddox (Eydylhands Studio)
  • Edward Grates
  • Taylor Loughlin
  • Christopher Thomas (C. Thomas Photography)
  • Lazara Ruda (The Living Sea)
  • Brent Hoosac
  • Shelly Cox (Norma Cockwell)
  • Irene Jalowayski (Smashing Glass)
  • Jim McCann (Copper Canvas)
  • Joan Hendelman (Hendel Jewelry)

 

The Rickie Report urges you to take the time to visit each of their booths, see their work and talk to them about what they do and how they do it!  Remember, when you buy an item from an “emerging artist” you can  say  you knew them before they became famous!

121217-105934-0083
Raised in south Florida, Lazaro Ruda has been around the ocean his entire life. Through the span of over thirty years he has watched his ocean world slowly change due to human impact. With the thought that people only protect what they love, he took up the challenge of learning to photograph underwater in order to bring the ocean’s splendors to the eyes of a worldwide audience. Through his web site, TheLivingSea.com, he shares his love and passion for our ocean planet in the hopes that others will understand, cherish and protect our natural world.
An American Alligator underwater photograph
Laz Ruda’s Artist Statement begins, “Ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau wrote, “People protect what they love.”  These simple words form the foundation of why I photograph the nature of our oceans.  I use my photography and my ocean experiences to bring to light what to many is an alien world.”

His experiences as a scuba diver enhance his understanding and vision of what he wants to share via his camera.  He tells The Rickie Report, “My photography entails decades of experience as a scuba diver.  Before holding an underwater camera in my hand, it is important that I feel completely comfortable in this unique environment for my own safety and, just as important, the well-being of the creatures I photograph”.

Male Seahorse Giving Birth in Wild

Male Seahorse Giving Birth in Wild

Working underwater has its constraints regarding technical equipment.  Laz shares, “Underwater photography does not give me the liberties of using zoom lenses.  I must approach an animal well beyond its comfort zone to capture its image.  Having an intimate knowledge of the creature, it’s environment, and an enormous amount of patience is required.  Some of my photographs have taken hours to capture.  Many have taken years to perfect.”

Queen angelfish in Palm Beach, Florida
When he is asked why he chooses to work underwater, Laz is quite straightforward in sharing his philosophy. “In my decades of exploring the oceans, I have encountered untold damage to this delicate environment caused by our every day actions. I have also seen our oceans improve when ordinary citizens have cared enough to make a difference.  My hope is that my images and stories will help you understand our amazing ocean planet a little better and my passion and admiration for the natural world becomes your own.”
For more information about ArtiGras: www.artigras.org

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291