Marsha Bhagwansingh Offers Classes And Individual Instruction In Calligraphy, Lifelike Drawing, Portraiture, Painting, Composition, Mandala Art, And The Art Of Coffee Painting

Caribbean born award winning artist, Marsha Bhagwansingh, known as “Marsha B”, offers classes in Palm Beach County.  While her influences include the Italian Renaissance, the breadth of her talent includes Calligraphy, Lifelike Drawing, Mandala Art, Portraiture, Painting, Composition and Color, and the art of Coffee Painting!  Are you intrigued?  Marsha continues to explore new mediums, and offer classes at Easel Art Supply in Lake Park, FL and at Lot23 in Northwood Village.  She is also available for individual and group lessons.  The Rickie Report shares the details and some sneak peeks.  (We were going to say “perks” because we are so excited about painting with coffee)!

 

 

 

 

M a r s h a         B h a g w a n s i n g h  

Art       Classes

 

 

 

 

 

Influenced at an early age by the Italian Renaissance, Marsha began her formal art training in San Fernando, Trinidad where she gained experience with graphite, charcoal and chalks, and subjects such as the human face and figure. In 1992, at the age of 18 began her career in tutoring calligraphy, which she continues today. In 1995, she furthered her art education at Miami Dade College in Florida where she was introduced to sculpting and painting.

 

 

 

 

 

Marsha began teaching calligraphy at the age of sixteen.

She opened classes for adults in drawing and painting in 1999

 

 

 

Marsha’s   Programs  Include:

Calligraphy

Lifelike Drawing

Portrait Drawing

Painting

Composition and Color

The Art of Coffee Painting

 Mandala Art

 

 

 

“Wave” by Marsha Bhagwansingh, Oil on Canvas

 

Within recent years, Marsha has explored various new materials with which to create her art, including coffee!  She offers classes in the art of coffee painting in Northwood and Lake Park.  She also is influenced by the exploration of the more spiritual side of life and the therapeutic aspects of art. She enjoys painting mandalas for relaxation and healing, sharing this artform in her mandala making classes. Marsha enjoys exploring new mediums and manners of expression, believing that self-expression, imagination, and the will to push beyond the norm are necessary for artistic growth.

 

 

 

“Mandala Peacock” by Marsha Bhagwansingh,  Oil on Canvas

 

Upcoming programs:

 

Mandala Art:  Mandalas help activate our own healing abilities for physical and spiritual balance and opens the gateway to our inner potential. They can be used as spiritually transforming and meditative tools. When creating and viewing a mandala, the left side of the brain (responsible for reasoning and problem solving) rests, creating a shift into a relaxed state of inner clam.

 

 

“Coffee Flower” by Marsha Bhagwansingh, Coffee on Watercolor Paper

 

 

 

The Art of Coffee Painting:  Centuries ago, when coffee started to be widely used in Europe, artists who had been influenced by the Chinese tradition of painting with tea, began to experiment with coffee as a painting medium. Today, coffee art expressions are created out of something seemingly ordinary, while presenting the delicacy of watercolors with a soothing muted palette and an unmistakable aroma with which to create art.

 

 

Calligraphy by Marsha Bhagwansingh

 

Calligraphy:  The ancient art of Calligraphy is still alive today and has drawn many to its skillful letterform expression of written communication. Calligraphers give writing a visual life with which to impress upon the reader, a more meaningful and eloquent message.

 

 

 

“Bo” by by Marsha Bhagwansingh, Graphite on Paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing classes:

 

Ongoing classes in drawing and painting are held at Easel Art Supply Center

810 Park Avenue   Lake Park on Saturdays from 10:30 am – 1:30 pm

 

Individual attention

All levels welcome      

To register and for more info, call Marsha at 561-507-4527

Marsha also offers private classes in drawing, painting and calligraphy.

See website or call for more information.

 

 

 

Website: www.littlefirestudios.info

Phone: 561-507-4527

Facebook: littlefirestudiosandartgallery

 

 

 

 

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

Retrospective Exhibition Of James Joseph DeMartis’ Artwork In East Hampton, NY With Public Reception May 19th

The public is invited to a Retrospective Exhibition to view and purchase artwork by James Joseph DeMartis, at  Ashawagh Hall in  East Hampton, New York.  A free, Public Reception takes place on Saturday, May 19th in the evening.  DeMartis’ art is in numerous private collections in Europe and the United States.  Internationally exhibited and awarded, his paintings have a mystic quality that brings the viewer closer and sustains an artful conversation.  The Exhibit is available from May 18 through May 20th.  The Rickie Report shares the details and some sneak peeks.

 

 

 

Please join us in a celebration of the work of

James Joseph DeMartis

A retrospective exhibition of paintings from 1946 to 1996, assembled by his children Bruno, Barbara and James

May 18th – 20th, 2018

RECEPTION Saturday, May 19 · 6 to 9 pm

 

 

Ashawagh Hall

780 Springs Fireplace Road     East Hampton, New York 11937

For additional information: info@jamesdemartis.com or 631.553.9479

“Untitled” by James J. DeMartis

 

Retrospective Exhibition at Ashawagh Hall located in East Hampton, New York 11937, will showcase the artwork of James Joseph DeMartis.  Curated by his children, Bruno, Barbara,and James, this is a rare treat for the public to view and purchase an internationally collected artist’s abstract expressionist work.  James J. DeMartis was born in New York City in 1926.  He attended The Art Center, Museum of Modern Art (NYC), the California School of Fine Arts (Santa Monica CA), and the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy.  

 

 

 

 

 

“Fantasy Landscape” by James J. DeMartis

 

 

Post WWII, DeMartis explored a plethora of styles and media, as he exhibited and lived in Italy, Switzerland, New York City, Bar Harbor and Bangor  (ME), Japan, Mexico and the Middle East.  An American painter who travelled the world, DeMartis brings us symbolic images which await our own interpretations.

“Sun Over Water With a Red Border” by James J. DeMartis

 

 

 

His oil paintings on canvas and paper, according to Ms. Crealy Pollack on behalf of the Eggers Partnership  of Architects and Planners in NYC, “reflect the sure hand of a painter schooled in Florence, Italy, but associated with the New York and Maine School of American Artists. There is a mystical quality about his work which is strongly influences by the history of calligraphy, both ancient and contemporary”.

” Zen Mountain” by James J. DeMartis

 

 

 

His unique style impressed talented and recognized artists of his time.  His sometimes hazy treatment gives a timeless aspect to the scenes he interpreted.  He often finishes with a ribbon of color that acts as a “frame” for the framed painting itself.  DeMartis died in 1996, leaving us a legacy of incredible artwork whose aggregation of styles and mediums continue to show signs of life.

 

 

“Island Shacks, Penobscot Bay” by James J. DeMartis

 

For information about the art exhibit contact Barbara Bucci at (772) 530-0378, or babsbucci@gmail.com.
For more information about James J. DeMartis, see https://en.wikipedia.org./wiki/James Joseph DeMartis or, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/firenze54/

 

 

 

 

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

 

Call For “Small Works Of Art” Juried Exhibit At Art On Park Gallery

Art On Park Gallery, home of Artists of Palm Beach County, shares a new Call for Small Works Of Art.  This juried exhibit includes cash prizes as well as a Free Opening Reception for the public to meet the artists on Friday, November 18th. Join everyone for the AfterParty at the Brewhouse Gallery down the street.  Lake Park is becoming an ARTS DESTINATION!!  The Rickie Report shares the details. This event is open to members and non-members!

 

 

 

 

APBCnewlogo

 

Art On Park Gallery

800 Park Avenue   Lake Park, FL 33403

 

 

apbccall-to-small-works-2016-exhibit

 

 

FOR EXHIBITION AND APPLICATION:

 

www.artistsofpalmbeachcounty.org/eventdetail.php?278

 

 

For more information about ongoing Classes, Workshops and other events at Art on Park please visit:

www.artistsofpalmbeachcounty.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

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

Janet Gold’s SOLO Exhibit “Cages and Collages” Features Vintage Collage and Mixed Media Assemblage

Janet Gold’s SOLO Exhibit, ”Cages and Collages” at Art Gallery 21 opens Friday night February 13th with a pre-Valentines celebration from 7pm to 9pm.  Working with collage for its limitless possibilities, Janet created and curated a cohesive show of her recent work.  She has worked in South Florida for over thirty years, in addition to a thirty-five year teaching career. Janet’s artwork has been shown nationally and internationally in museums, galleries, Hollywood movies, and behind people’s couches. Calling herself a “book killer” intrigues the viewer, but we see her as an “up-cycler” and “recycler” with artistic vision. The Rickie Report is pleased to share a sneak peek and invite the public to this free event!  There will be an Encore Art Social on Friday, February 27th.

 

 

ConstanceArtGallery21WomansClubofWiltonManerslogotype

 

Invites The Public to a Free Art Event

“Cages & Collages” by Janet Gold

Opening Reception:

Friday, February 13th   7 – 9 pm

Encore Art Social:

Friday, February 27th  7 – 9 pm

Meet the Artist!  See the Art!

Exhibit runs through March 6th

600 NE 21st Court      Wilton Manors, FL 33305

954.661.4740

 

JanetGoldpostcard1

 

 

Janet Gold is an artist who has been working in South Florida for over thirty years, in addition to a thirty-five year teaching career. Her artwork has been shown nationally and internationally in museums, galleries, Hollywood movies and behind people’s couches”.

 

"Anatomy of a Collage" by Janet Gold

“Anatomy of a Collage” by Janet Gold

 

Janet Gold tells The Rickie Report, ” This is Confessions of a Bookkiller… For this exhibit, I have created and curated a cohesive show of my recent work. I work with collage for its limitless possibilities. I search for vintage papers combing old bookstores, antique stores, flea markets, and the inimitable and irreplaceable EBay for my materials. I work with old books, book covers, and papers combining them with string, text, calligraphy, thread, paper, paper dolls, fabrics, vitreous and detritus and an occasional rusty bottle cap and/or found object. Things bought and things found. The collages are then assemblages of paper history built with old books as their base, ledgers from the 1800’s, mixed with text and wallpaper from the 1930’s, and fabric from men’s silk shirts from the 1980’s”.

 

 

"Mixed Message" by Janet Gold

“Mixed Message” by Janet Gold

 

“The birdcages are the newest path in my evolution from 2-D to 3-D work. They are spontaneous, creative, and decidedly quirky. The birdcages show up at my studio, and then there is a period of pure unadulterated creativity, from beginning to end. Collecting paper, cutting, sewing, weights and counterweights, design, placement, and balancing, all orchestrated into a final product, which is always a surprise, even to me. Come see the show. Come see all of the old books and birdcages that have been rescued”.

 

 

"Enigma" by Janet Gold

“Enigma” by Janet Gold

 

Janet’s accomplishments are widespread. She received an MFA from Miami International University of Art and Design in addition to an M.Ed from Florida Atlantic University. A Signature member of the National Collage Society and honored Faculty of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, her work has been widely exhibited. New Times has referred to Janet as “Best Visual Artist and Best Art Event”. 

 

 

"Rothko Series Green" by Janet Gold

“Rothko Series Green” by Janet Gold

 

 

Janet’s art affiliations include: 2+3 Artist Organization; National Association of Woman Artists/NYC/FL; Women in the Visual Arts; National Collage Association/signature member and American Creativity Association.

 

 

"Childsplay" by Janet Gold

“Childsplay” by Janet Gold

 

Janet’s artistry has been seen in many publications, including:  Inside Llewyn Davis/ Film; Best of Florida Artists; Best of Photography; Miami Magazine; Broward County Cultural Quarterly, Rag Magazine,  2013/14 National Collage Society Calendar, Florida League of Cities, 2009 New Times/Best Visual Artist/ Best Art Event, 2008 Cultural Quarterly/Fellowship profile, 2006 Best of Florida/Fairchild Books, 2004 Miami Magazine/Front cover, Contemporary Color, Theory and Use/Steve Bleischer, 2003 College Art Association Bulletin/Front cover, College Art Association/Article Illustration, 2002 Best of Photography Annual, 2001 ‘Cooking Disabled Dinner Party’/One Act Play, 1999 Cultural Quarterly/Fellowship profile and 1980-1990 Rag Magazine/writer,photographer.

 

"Landscape of My Mind" by Janet Gold

“Landscape of My Mind” by Janet Gold

 

Her artwork is also in many private and corporate collections, including: Time Inc, Lauryn Hill, Chevron USA, Elaine Baker, Bloomingdales, Radisson Hotel, Wolf Kahn, David Schluss, Jackson Browne, Francie Bishop Good, Boca Museum of Art, Lauryn Hill, Bruce Helander and the Coral Springs Museum.

 

 

"Animal Attraction" by Janet Gold

“Animal Attraction” by Janet Gold

 

For more information about Janet’s artwork please contact:  janetegold@aol.com

(H) 954-753-4608 (C) 954-465-3033

or visit: www.janetgold.com

 

 

 

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

Janet Gold
10253 Vestal Court
Coral Springs, FL 33071
(954) 753-4608
(954) 975-5609 Fax

Anita Lovitt Art Classes: Illumination, Gouache, Florals, Essential Watercolor Techniques and Drawing

This summer, painter, designer and public artist Anita Lovitt  has a busy schedule! She will offer some new classes at new places, some just for a few weeks.  Don’t miss these opportunities to study with such a talented and versatile artist! Each venue has different supplies, prices, and duration of classes.  Private lessons are also available.  Anita is a popular teacher who makes learning watercolor fun and easy, while challenging you to constantly stretch your abilities! Bring your friends and learn as a group!  The Rickie Report shares the details of her classes at The Society for the Four Arts.

 

 

 

Classes With Anita Lovitt

 

Anita Lovitt

Anita Lovitt

 

Anita Lovitt graduated from Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts) with top honors and a degree in illustration. She studied design and painting with legendary teachers including Milton Glaser, Charles Reid, and Mel Stabin. Her award-winning illustrations, paintings and designs have appeared in children’s books, greeting cards and designs for the home and gift industry. Anita has taught drawing and painting for many years, and is also a talented digital artist.
Anita is a gifted teacher with a keen understanding of how language and image work together. In 2006, Anita worked with a team of “Project Hope” counselors to produce a series of illustrative quilts documenting the impacts of Hurricane Wilma. She also created the large “Dancing Pineapples” mural which graces the entrance to Pineapple Grove in downtown Delray Beach, as well as numerous private and public commissions.

SOCIETY FOR THE FOUR ARTS

2   4 Arts Plaza           Palm Beach, FL  
561-655-7227
"Illuminated 'S'" by Anita Lovitt

“Illuminated ‘S'” by Anita Lovitt

Introduction to Illumination with Anita Lovitt
10 AM-12 PM, Tuesdays, 6 weeks, July 8, 15, 22, 29; August 5, 12 
The Fitz Eugene Dixon Education Building
$150  Materials included

Illuminations are small, highly detailed paintings that accompany text or calligraphy. They often have a sacred component and are very powerful despite their small size. In this course you will learn to create illuminated letters and words using modern materials such as watercolor and gouache paint, pen and ink or small magic markers, and colored pencils. The effect of gold leaf will be simulated with gold paint markers.  Elements and principles of lettering will be explained to help students achieve a pleasing result. You can work in a traditional style or something more modern.

 

 

"Apples with Core" Gouache/Opaque by Anita Lovitt

“Apples with Core” Gouache/Opaque by Anita Lovitt

Painting with Gouache with Anita Lovitt
2:00-400 PM  Tuesdays, 6 weeks, July 8, 15, 22, 29; August 5, 12 
The Fitz Eugene Dixon Education Building
$150  Materials included

What is gouache (pronounced gwash)? It is a form of brilliant, opaque watercolor that is favored by artists for detailed work such as greeting cards and book illustrations, as well as fabric and wallpaper designs. It handles like watercolor and may be thinned, lifted off or painted over, and is also easy to correct. It is highly suitable for quick outdoor sketching or art journaling. If you enjoy watercolor, this class will further expand your painting horizons. Through a series of structured exercises and demonstrations you will learn how to make the most of this versatile medium. Each student will receive encouraging personal attention to develop a powerful, small painting. (Note: Please also see Introduction to Illumination, which is a series of classes including gouache painting to complement this workshop.)

 
"Modern Illuminated Gouache" by Anita Lovitt

Modern Illuminated Gouache” by Anita Lovitt

Due to limited space, reservations are required for all Campus on the Lake workshops and classes. For more information please call (561) 805-8562 or email campus@fourarts.org.

"Larkspur" by Anita Lovitt

“Larkspur” by Anita Lovitt

"Apple" by Anita Lovitt

“Apple” by Anita Lovitt

 
"Four Lighthouses" by Anita Lovitt

“Four Lighthouses” by Anita Lovitt

           
 
"Alstromer" by Anita Lovitt

“Alstromer” by Anita Lovitt

Call contact numbers for more information or call Anita directly. 561 706 3653.  You can see her work at her website  anitalovitt.com  or email: info@anitalovitt.com

 

 

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

Norman Berman Shares His Life and His heART

The Rickie Report staff first met Norman and and his late wife, Ethel, at a reception for the Artists of Palm Beach County.  We were fascinated by his artwork and had numerous questions about his technique, which he was happy to share.  Recently, we had the opportunity to interview Norman for this Feature Story.  What struck us was not only the depth of his knowledge but the humble manner in which he shared his life experiences.  We are honored to share his story with you and look forward to seeing you at the opening of his SOLO Exhibit at the Armory Art Center in November!

 

 

 

Norman Berman:

 

Awe and Reverence

 

November 2- 30, 2013

 

Reception:

Friday, November 1, 2013 | 6-8pm

Armory Art Center

 

 1700 Parker Avenue

West Palm Beach, FL 33401

561.832.1776

 Exhibit continues through month of November

All exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Monday – Friday 9 AM – 4:30 PM  and Saturday – 9 AM – 2 PM

 

NormanBerman1

 

 

 

 

Local artist, Norm Berman presents a survey of recent works. Berman’s subject matter ranges from Judaic themes to abstract works.   

This exhibit is dedicated to the memory of Norman’ s late wife, Ethel Berman who passed away on July 28, 2013.   She was Norman’s strength, staunchest supporter and “instant critic.”

 

 

 

Norman Berman has been creating art work professionally for over 50 years.  He tells us, “For me, creating artwork is a challenge.  As I look at a work surface, I begin my conversation with it.  The surface says to me ,’Create something, I dare you!’  Therefore, my adventure begins!”  

 

As one  listens to Norman Berman share some of his life-stories, you must pay attention to details.  Looking at his artwork, that should be no surprise.  It is these tidbits that makes the whole.

 

"The Interdicted Land"

“The Interdicted Land”

 

TRR:  What were your early artistic influences?

NB:

 

I came from a minimally educated family.  My mother drew a great teacup and saucer, because she learned how to draw an oval and a round shape in school. The only artwork on our walls at home was my Bar Mitzvah picture.  My first introduction to art was at age four, when I accompanied my father, a shipping clerk in a mens’ wear company, to work.  The women in the office gave me a piece of paper, a red pencil, a black pencil and plopped me in a chair with the instructions to ‘draw something’.  I drew the American flag to keep myself occupied.  Over the years, I started to copy and draw comic book characters (Disney, Terry and the Pirates, Dick Tracy). My father would take these drawings and hang them in his workplace and change them around – it was my first public gallery!

 

 

As the United States entered WWII, I was fascinated by US military aircraft, so I wrote to all of the aircraft companies for pictures.  They would send me these gorgeous lithographic prints!  My favorite was the P38, a double fuselage  plane and very impressive to look at.  Around the same time, there was a kid in our neighborhood who was already in high school and must have been an art major. I would show him my airplane drawings and he showed me how to create perspective images: not linear perspective images going to a vanishing point, but looking down at buildings as if you were in an airplane.

 

 

When I was 10 years old, I broke my elbow.  It was probably the beginning of my escapades with brittle bone disease, but we didn’t know about that until much much later. While at Beth El Hospital ( now Maimonides), I used to draw the nurses in profile, with their little hats.  In elementary school, my art was always hanging in the halls.

 

"Brothers Three"

“Brothers Three”

 As a Junior High School student, one of my teachers recommended that I attend the High School of Music & Art. We happened to live close to the neighborhood high school, Abraham Lincoln High School.  To go to Music and Art, would mean a long commute via subway, which my parents weren’t happy about.  As a result, I ended up in a local high school that by chance, had  a fabulous art department! That’s where I got my real strength in training, in my approach to art.  In 10th grade, Herbert W. Yates taught me graphic design, different mediums as well as the importance of art history.

 

I started saving articles from “Life Magazine” that related to art and artists.  My father would pick up a copy at the newsstand every Saturday. I finally convinced him that it would be more convenient and less expensive to get a subscription!   After reading the entire magazine, I categorized the pictures into my own filing system in red envelopes.  My mother, who was also a voracious reader, would buy other magazines like ‘McCalls’ and ‘Ladies Home Journal’.  Those magazines happen to have some of the top-notched illustrators of our time.

 

 

"Chai Designs: Tallis 17, Heavenly Reverence"

“Chai Designs: Tallis 17, Heavenly Reverence”

TRR:  Norman shares his “beshert” (Yiddish for “meant to be”) moment.  He takes us back to 1950.  

 

Leon Friend was the Chairman of the Art Department and I was sitting in his Graphic Arts class – last row, second seat.  Leon says,’ DO YOU KNOW WHO SAT IN YOUR SEAT? ‘  I said, ‘No.’  Friend said, ‘Alex Steinweiss’.  This was like mentioning God!    Alex Steinweiss was in one of the early graduating classes at Lincoln.  After graduating from Parsons School of Design, he worked for Columbia Records. Steinweiss convinced his employers to change their marketing strategy to sell their long playing records.  Instead of wrapping the records in brown paper, they should create a book with the record inside.  Each book would have artwork on its cover.  Alex Steinweiss was responsible for the entire industry of record albums cover designs!

 

During my senior year, I prepared a portfolio and sent it out to various groups, including the School Art League.  It is now May, 1952.  Mr. Friend comes into class and asks who we think should be the happiest person in the room today.  And then he says, ‘Norman, it’s you!  You just won the scholarship to Parsons School of Design! ‘ I’m thinking that I’m following in the steps of Alex Steinweiss!

 

In those days, we didn’t have cell phones.  You couldn’t even go down to the office to call your mother!    When I finally got home and shared my good news, my mother thought it was very nice.  Then we waited until my father came home to tell him.  I had already been accepted to tuition-free Brooklyn College.    What to do…  My father, a practical man, didn’t want Norman to accept the scholarship.  (What if it wasn’t renewed after a year – they couldn’t afford tuition; what about the cost of supplies; they also wanted to send his brother to college in just more three years).

 

"Beyond Nightfall"

“Beyond Nightfall”

Norman had to go back to school and tell Mr. Friend the news. This dedicated teacher stayed until 7 pm the next evening to meet with Norman’s father in an attempt to convince him, even offering an extra $100. from the “Art Squad” to help defray costs. The answer was the same.  A product of the Depression, Norman’s father understood the need to be pragmatic. Norman would go to college, become a teacher and get a job.

 

That summer I didn’t have a job. I walked from Brighton Beach, where we lived and roamed the streets of Manhattan Beach.  It was an upper class community with street names in alphabetical order.  I would look at all of the nice houses, telling myself that I was going to Brooklyn College.  I psyched myself up about meeting new people and having new experiences.

 

TRR:  Norman graduated from Brooklyn College and went back to his alma mater, Abraham Lincoln High School to student teach.

 

"Sabbath Bride"

“Sabbath Bride”

 

In May, 1956, I am being supervised by my teacher from Brooklyn College.  I’m teaching an art class that I’ve been working with since February.  Everything is going well – the timing is perfect, the results are terrific. The bell rings and everyone leaves, but this one 15 year old perky blond student walks up the aisle to speak with me.  I’m expecting this great question about the art lesson and she says to me,’ Mr. Berman, do you  use Old Spice aftershave lotion?’   Yes, I do! (Her name was Susan Slater).

 

Susan Slater ended up dating my brother.  She had an aunt who lived in East New York in a two-family building that was owned by Ethel’s sister. She thought it would be nice to fix up Norman with Ethel…  In September , 1960, she set up Norman on a blind date with Ethel.  The rest is history!  As Norman points out, if he had gone to Parsons, he would not have ended up student teaching and being introduced to his “beshert”, Ethel.  Our first date was on Ethel’s birthday. We were married for 52 years.

 

 

"Blue Totem"

“Blue Totem”

After graduation with my BA and Ma from Brooklyn College, I taught Junior High and moved on to High School.  I concentrated on teaching painting as part of the curriculum, along with art history and color theory. From my own experiences, I encouraged my students to learn and research their subjects.  Research is an essential part of any good piece of artwork!   My favorite part of the curriculum was teaching painting.  I was privileged to have a number of students from the “Art Talent Classes”.  These were students who took art classes five days a week and showed promise.  I continued teaching and eventually became a supervisor (Assistant Principal) .  I taught in a few different schools and  in 1983 was awarded the ‘Art Educator Award’ from the New York City Art Teacher’s Association/UFT in recognition of my outstanding service and commitment to art education.  I also held the rank of Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art at Queensborough College where I taught painting, drawing, two-dimensional design, advertising design and art history.  I finally retired in January, 1991.

 

"Our Father, Our King: Aveenu Malkainu"

“Our Father, Our King: Aveenu Malkainu”

 

TRR:  Tell us more about your own artwork.  On your website, you differentiate between two different types of art.  One is the “Prayer Shawl Series” and then “the rest”.

NB:

 

Somewhere, there is a interrelationship.  Some of my larger paintings incorporate Hebrew words from Jewish prayers.  The ‘Lecha Dodi’ piece that is on the Armory Art Center invitation, is from the prayer service which welcomes the Sabbath.  It refers to the oncoming Sabbath as a bride.  In my living room, is a powerful piece of bright yellow hues titled ‘Aveenu Malkeinu’ (Our Father, Our King”, which comes from the High Holy Day liturgy.   I created the ‘Prayer Shawl (‘Tallis’) Series’, one for each year’s Jewish New Year’s card for my family.

 

"Miinyan"

“Minyan”

During my studies at Brooklyn College, three or four faculty members really influenced me: Jimmy Ernst (son of Max), Carl Robert Holty ( a disciple of Mondrian), and Harry Holtzman.  Stylistically, Jimmy showed me how calligraphy and linear work can influence a piece of artwork; how to allow just enough, without overpowering the piece.  Holty taught me to take Mondrian’s rectangles and squares and change their edges from white to various tints and shades of color, allowing work to “float” in one plane over the other.  He helped me capture my creative imagination through color relationships.  Holty subscribed to Hans Hoffman’s theory of “Push and Pull”.  Holtzman, who never taught studio, explained the theory of modern art, abstract theory and how to analyze what the creative process was all about.  He was one of the people who managed to help Mondrian get into this country.  The faculty of Brooklyn College in the 50’s and 60’s were influential artists, bringing new ideas and changes to the art world. They were the top names in the Abstract Expressionist Movement.   Having Mark Rothko as a teacher, certainly influenced me.  I subscribe to the Abstract Art Movement’s credo “The act of painting is more important than the product.  As Mark Rothko says, “My paintings are made to engulf you.”

 

"Lake of The Snow Moon"

“Lake of The Snow Moon”

At the same time as I was teaching, I was also creating and showing my own work.  I believe strongly that to be able to teach art, you must be involved in the creative process yourself!  You have to live through the agony of that blank canvas and the ecstasy of a finished piece of art.   

 

TRR:  Does your art tell a story?

NB:

 

Good question!    Usually, my art does not tell a story.   It suggests to the observer a set of images. My piece, ‘Lake of Snow Moon’ is unusual in that aspect, for me.  I normally don’t create narrative pieces of work like that.  When we lived in Queens, it was very different for people like my neighbor, Murray Tinkleman, who had to produce a spot drawing for ‘Field & Stream’ of a sailfish.  As an illustrator, he had to complete a considerable amount of research.  What does a kid from Brooklyn know about a sailfish?  Murray became Chairman of the Illustration Department at Parsons School of Design and then went on to Syracuse University.  The toughest part of being an abstract painter is when people ask me , ‘well, what is that supposed to be?’  If my response is that I cannot tell them and they have to determine for themselves, it sounds dismissive.  I don’t want to be that way.  If the spectator is not willing to engage and think and wonder ‘what does that look like?’, I cannot establish that for them.

 

I like the subtlety of color relationships and that shows in a majority of my work.  Even after graduation from Brooklyn College, I would go to Carl Holty’s  studio and show him my work and talk about these theories.  Then I started to show my work in galleries in Greenwich Village, eventually moving to galleries uptown.

 

 

"Tekiyah"

“Tekiyah”

TRR:  What is your favorite part of being an artist?

NB:

 

When the piece is ready to sign!   I have exhibited widely in the New York metropolitan area and my work appears in numerous private collections across the country.  The Queensborough Community College Gallery has my work in its permanent collection.  My work has been displayed in libraries around Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York as well as the Polish Consulate in Manhattan, the GE Gallery in Schenectady, NY and the SONY Gallery in New York City.

 

"Slowly Comes The Night"

“Slowly Comes The Night”

 

TRR:  What  tips would you give beginning artists?

NB:

 

Don’t be afraid to do what you want to do!  Your images will grow and your style will change.  That is OK.  For me, selling my work is a secondary thought.  I love what I do.  But, at the same time, don’t be afraid to market yourself.  I know this is difficult because one is fearful thinking about it.  Most artists aren’t trained to sell their work.

 

 

"Eclipse 2009"

“Eclipse 2009”

TRR:  Can you take us through the process of a painting?

NB:

 

When we relocated to Florida, I moved away from working with oils.  Fundamentally, I now use watercolor.  I start out with a blank sheet of paper.  I add floating colors next.  After that, I bring in wide calligraphic lines, getting thinner and thinner to create an intricate ‘lace-like’ network. The final effort is to come up with a title.  When I reread two of my favorite books, “My Name is Asher Lev” and “The Gift of Asher Lev”  by Chaim Potok, while I was not as prolific as Asher Lev, I had many of the same experiences as he did, growing up in Brooklyn.

 

I rarely work from sketches or small studies.  I put up a piece of illustration board, watercolor paper or canvas ( when I worked in oils). I don’t buy this notion that art is for self-enjoyment. Art is a challenge to let your mind and brain create images through your hand that I find pleasing, interesting and challenging.  The one thing  about the 1950’s and 1960’s about theories in art  in colleges was that the act of painting was more important than the product.  If you finish the product and you like it, sign and you’re done.  Fine.   If you finish a product that you don’t like, it is also fine to rip it up and throw it away.   In fact, in Mark Rothko’s class, he would have you create a piece of art, then tear it up and reconstruct it!

 

 

 

"Scylla and Charybdis"

“Scylla and Charybdis”

 

I have never created collage with my artwork.  When I am finished with a painting, I sign it and that’s it!  That’s not a “beshert” moment.  It is an “Aha” moment.   When you look at your piece and know that it is enough, you are done.    If you’re not sure, stop painting and turn the piece facing the wall.  Turn it around and look at it in another 6 weeks.  Look at it with fresh eyes.  My best best and most instant critic was Ethel…

 

TRR:  Norman is a visionary.  With all the hullaballoo about recycling and using “found objects” to make art in our current times, Norman and colleague Andrew Pinto co-wrote  “Art from Clutter” in 1976.  Why then?

NB:

 

We did all of the work ourselves.  We wrote it, made the objects and even took the photographs!   Robert Rauschenberg was beginning to explore these things, in the  early Pop Art Movement.  He used non-traditional materials and objects in innovative combinations. I  see it as an extension of the Abstract Expressionism Movement, expanding into another direction.  The book was to be the first in a series of using “found objects” to make collage, frottage ( rubbings) and assemblage.  We went to great lengths to get permission to use historic images and information as part of the book’s literature.  (Museum of Primitive Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, MOMA).  It was exciting when we took our kids to Washington, DC to the Library of Congress and found it in the card catalogue!  The owner of the publishing company unfortunately passed away and the company dissolved, so no further books were written in the series.

 

"Neilah"

“Neilah”

 

 

TRR:  How do you recharge your creativity?

BN:

 

I love photography.  If I am not doing that, I try to spend time at my easel every day.  I tend to like working on only one piece at a time.  I like the continuity from day to day, as my layers build up.

 

"Job"

“Job”

TRR:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

NB:

 

I do have a physical limitation, which prevents me from working on large canvases, which I used to do in oils and in acrylics. I was diagnosed with ‘brittle bone disease’ (osteogenesis imperfecta). Because of my disability, I limit myself to working on full sheet or a double elephant size Arches’ Bright White 300 lb. Cold Press paper or 140 lb. Arches Bright White paper.  In reading a research paper about OI, it stated that those with the disease tend to be very optimistic people, with strong motivations.  We get up.  We do.  We are positive.  I hope more people find out about the OI Foundation.wwwOIF.org   My granddaughter, Mira, uses art as an outlet because she cannot run around like other kids, due to this brittle bone issue.

 

Norman at his Easel

Norman at his easel

 

In 2012, Norman served as Coordinator for the Artists of Palm Beach County’s exhibit at the Armory Art Center.  He had no idea how complex this administrative job would become.  He comments, “Being an educator gives you a multiplicity of skills”.  Two Armory Art Center Faculty members judged the show. I met Talya Lerman and established a relationship with the Armory Art Center.

 

Norman has dedicated this exhibit to his late wife and life-partner, Ethel.  He will show 20-25 pieces at the Armory Art Center.  “Awe and Reverence”  will show some of his abstract paintings as well a images of the journey through his Jewish heritage.  The “Awe” bridges the gap between some of the abstractions and the reverential images of Berman’s heritage.

 

 

 

For more information about this exhibit, please visit   www.armoryart.org  or contact Norman Berman : www.normanberman.com

 

 

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