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The Behind-The-Scenes Story of “The Midwives” Painting By Carla Golembe

Imagine our delight and surprise when reading Hadassah Magazine and seeing a painting that looked familiar!  Rickie Leiter, publisher of The Rickie Report interviews Carla Golembe, to share the behind-the-scenes story of how her painting, “The Midwives” was published.  Carla teaches at Old School Square in Delray Beach and at the Boca Museum School of Art, focusing on nurturing her students to express what they feel.  Her acrylic paintings and limited editions are sold internationally. The Rickie Report shares the story and some sneak peeks of her other works of art here.

 

 

C  A  R  L  A        G  O  L  E  M  B  E  

 

ARTIST   ILLUSTRATOR

 

 

 

“The Midwives” by Carla Golembe

 

Carla Golembe tells The Rickie Report, “We live on an increasingly small planet in dangerous times. The state of our world is impossible to ignore. As humans we straddle the river of our potential with one foot on each bank. Our capacity for love and compassion is equaled by our ability to turn our backs on one another and by the biases and hatreds that people have harbored since the beginning of time”.  

 

She says, “And yet I continue to paint beauty, joy, connection and harmony. My paintings are human and universal, multicultural and cross cultural. My intention is to create a visual haven that encourages viewers to enter my domain, dwell in beauty, rejoice in color and breathe. The figures emanate wonder and mystery. The work is evocative rather than descriptive. My interest as an artist lies in expressing how something feels rather than what it looks like. As my subject matter expands to include both my inner vision and the outer world, I find myself painting about inclusiveness and caring for the earth. I am painting hope. This is my authentic personal expression and my purpose as a painter. The world of my paintings is not “realism” but perhaps it’s “magic realism”. It’s the reality of what makes my life worth living, what makes us human and what I want to bring into the world”.

 

 

“Mantras II” by Carla Golembe

 

 

Carla’s paintings are the product of her dreams and experiences. They speak of hope and love, of mystery and delight. Her work expresses the harmony between individuals, between people and animals, people and nature, within a person’s soul. They are colorful and sensual, reflecting the tropical beauty of her home and travels. “The full spectrum of positive emotion echoes through my work. Although the pieces express an optimistic attitude they are not naïve, rather they come from an understanding that pain and anxiety are part of life but joy is a more desirable place to dwell. Although my compositions are designed and defined sometimes there is no gravity in my visual world. The figures often inhabit ambiguous spaces, places where earth, sky and water flow into one another and where light and darkness merge. They are frequently caught in a moment of being or becoming, for it is in that moment that all dreams are possible”.

 

 

“For All ll” by Carla Golembe

 

 

Color brings life to Carla’s imagery, as she works in acrylic, building layer upon layer of color. With this layering technique she is able to achieve a simple but complex depth. The process is always unfolding, always revealing more. Strong color, shape and composition give impact to the imagery. Her influences come from both traditional Western art and folk art. The result is a blend and balance that is her own unique style.

 

TRR:  Tell us how “The midwives” painting came to be published in Hadassah Magazine

CG:

Back in the early 80’s I was showing my work at Kolbo Fine Judaica in Brookline, MA. I’d been showing there since 1979 and still exhibit paintings there now. In the 80’s I was primarily working in monotype. I had created a piece with a calligraphic border depicting Shifra and Puah, the midwives who saved the male Jewish babies who Pharoah had decreed must be put to death. It was hanging in Kolbo’s window.

 

 

 

 

MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) was having a national conference in Brookline and one of the attendees saw the Midwives piece when she was walking by Kolbo. She contacted me about it, to ask if MANA could make a poster from it, but it had already sold. We came to an agreement; I would create a new piece that MANA could use for the poster, charge them a low fee for usage rights and, in return, once poster sales profit exceeded my fee they’d pay me a small percentage of the sales. I would keep the piece. The arrangement worked well.

 

A number of months later MANA asked me about the original that I’d created for the poster. They wanted to honor a midwife who was 85 or 90 years old and had delivered hundreds of babies in the Arizona Territory before Arizona was a state. They wanted to give her the piece but they didn’t have much money to spend. I felt privileged that they would want to honor her with my artwork and clearly, right thing to do was to donate the piece to give to this woman and that’s what I did. I think that was a good karmic moment. You give and you receive. Sales of the poster (and later the T- shirt) were strong for almost 30 years and every 6 months or a year I’d get a little royalty check as well as notes and emails about how much the poster meant to midwives all over the country.

 

The image had been taken from a slide and eventually the slide was lost and no one could find the image which had deteriorated over time anyway and so, as of a few years ago, there were no more posters or shirts available. But I’d still occasionally get inquiries about it because someone had seen a poster or a t shirt. My response was always to explain that as far as I knew they were not in circulation but that I would be happy to create an original based on that piece although, of course, it would be different. Every piece is an original and I was now working in acrylic rather than monotype.

 

Last summer I was contacted by Steve Calvin of the Minnesota Birth Center about the poster which he had seen while visiting the Breath of Life Birthing Center in Largo, FL. He commissioned a painting based on the poster. It was really enjoyable revisiting the theme over 30 years later in a different medium and a pleasure working with Steve. He was very happy with the painting which graces the walls of the Birth Center. Then, last winter, I was contacted by Hadassah Magazine about the old poster. They were planning to publish an article on midwives in their March issue and had seen the original poster image. Could they have permission to use it to illustrate the article? I explained that there were no images of the original poster (I had no files and the slide was gone) but that I’d created a new piece for the Minnesota Birth Center and I would contact them to see if it was ok for the magazine to use it.

 

The Birth Center was very gracious and said it was fine with them and that’s how the image came to be used in the magazine, though Hadassah chose not to include the border with the calligraphy.  I am selling prints, t shirts, coffee mugs etc with the image of the new painting through Fine Art America. The request made by the Minnesota Birth Center was that I donate a percentage of my profits from sales of the image to the Breath of Life Birthing Center in Largo, FL. I am happy to do so. So the good karma and love from this piece continues.

 

“Dragonfly Days” by Carla Golembe

TRR:  Your background as an illustrator and artist is so full. Please tell us more.

CG:

 

Carla Golembe is an award winning artist, illustrator, author and teacher. Her work is shown at galleries throughout the United States. Collections include Hyatt Corp, Pan Pacific Hotels, Sheppard Pratt Hospital, Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, Worcester Art Museum (Worcester, MA), Academy Art Museum (Easton, MD), Boston Public Library, University College of University of Maryland, Montgomery County MD Art in Public Places and others. She has received artist residencies from the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, GA; Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic and Kalani Honua in Hawaii. As an artist in residence in these places she presented her work to the community by giving talks, demonstrations and exhibitions.  Carla’s paintings are represented by Cove Gallery, Wellfleet, MA, Kolbo Fine Judaica, Brookline, MA, and Gallery Galleon, Vieques, Puerto Rico.

 

 

“The Princess And The Queen” by Carla Golembe

 

 

Carla’s children’s books are numerous and have sold internationally.  Her other illustration work includes greeting cards, fine illustration stock images for Artville/Getty Images and Imagezoo, educational and medical projects for children and magazine work. She has received awards for her children’s books from the New York Times, Parent’s Choice, The American Folklore Society and PMA, the Independent Book Publisher’s Association as well as others.

 

“Submerged” by Carla Golembe

 

 

Carla has taught fine art and illustration courses at Maryland College of Art and Design and the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Lighthouse Center for the Arts. She worked with elementary school children teaching them to write and illustrate picture books and fold books through the Center for Creative Education and the Milagro Center. She presently teaches painting at Old School Square in Delray Beach and the Art School of the Boca Museum of Art . She has been doing presentations and workshops for children, teens and adults in schools, libraries, museums and other community based venues for over 25 years. Carla has been an artist for five Animals on Parade Public Art Projects including Washington DC’s Party Animals and Pandamania, Ocean City Maryland’s OC Beach Birds, Prince George’s County, Maryland’s Birds-I-View and Palm Beach County’s Wild Things.

 

For more information about Carla’s artwork, classes, workshops: 

Please contact carlagolembe@gmail.com

 

 

Carla’s website: www.carlagolembe.com

 

 

 

Here are more links:

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-midwives-carla-golembe.html  Prints available of many sold and unsold paintings through Fine Art America

http://fineartamerica.com/artists/carla+golembe/paintings  All are original acrylics on canvas. Most paintings available for purchase.

Cove Gallery http://www.covegallery.com
Gallery Galleon http://www.gallerygalleon.com/carla_golembe.php#worx
Bess Press http://besspress.com/products/product/1859.html
Image Zoo http://www.imagezoo.com/results.asp?lstfotogs=CGO
Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=carla+golembe

 

 

 

 

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

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

To read previous posts, click TheRickieReport.com and scroll down.