|Posted by Artist@donnagrossman.com on January 4, 2019 at 10:25 PM||comments (15)|
Cowboy Country part one
If you ask people what the first words that come to mind when describing Florida most would say beaches, amusement parks and sunshine. They would be right. We have tourists, seniors, a famous mouse and margaritas galore.
But there is an old country Florida with it’s own big sky, backroads, cattle ranches and farmland.
An hour east of my west coast home and I am there.
Phil and I drive into the old cow town of Arcadia. So much of Florida is new. We pass miles of new communities living the sunshine state dream but somewhere along the road the housing developments and construction sites slowly vanish and give way to land and sky. Convertibles give way to pick up trucks. Fast Food gives way to Dairy Farms. We see horses, cattle and rolling landscape for miles.
Arcadia could be in Texas or Oklahoma, or even Colorado if you added mountains. In its prime it boasted an opera house which still stands today. Its stage holds a museum of sorts, the rest of its rooms hold countless antiques and oddities. Most of the other stores are antique stores too, the only reminder of their past lies at your feet where the mosaic tile floor spells out the name of the establishment it once was. You stroll past the old brick railroad depot that once brought travelers here to the seat of county government.
This town is haunted. You can feel it the peeling paint and old brick.It whispers..".paint me". I’ll be visiting again, on my own. Soon.
|Posted by Artist@donnagrossman.com on December 9, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (1)|
It is quiet here. You can hear the birds land on the water, the rustle of the grasses on a windy day.The evening song is the song of tree frogs or the wail of coyotes. No traffic hum, no siren wail.
Skies here are big. Storms yield to rainbows. sunsets are subtle and soft or bold and bright. The eagles, storks and ospreys float on the wind currents in a crystal sky.
You taste the salt on your tongue here or travel inland and smell the sweet grasses of the Florida plains.
It is an open canvas I am ready to paint.
|Posted by Artist@donnagrossman.com on August 19, 2015 at 8:10 PM||comments (8)|
Jeff Foster is this amazing photographer that does very fine work for Gallery North. I always enjoy his photos of my friends and fellow artists. The photo below was taken by a retired engineer Jack Romano. He now has the time to pursue the art of photography and he was kind to send me this photo.
|Posted by Artist@donnagrossman.com on March 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM||comments (1)|
My first self portrait.
This has been an unusually cold and unfriendly winter. There has been more aches and pains, more sadness, more gray days and gray hair.
Painting has kept me going through the cold and ice and family heartache.
I received an email a few weeks ago about a self portrait show and I decided to try my hand at one. My inspiration was this old door that I have had for a couple of years. Doors represent change to me, promise and opportunity.
I have entitled this painting “When one door closes…”.
I have always found another door does open. I have decided to let the viewer imagine what my hand contains. The possibilities are endless.
|Posted by Artist@donnagrossman.com on October 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
For quite some time now a young man by the name of Mike Kelly visits our home twice yearly and takes care of our lovely piano. He is kind and soft spoken and good naturedly puts up with our three cats that he is highly allergic to. Thank goodness for antihistamines.
I enjoy his visits. For about an hour you hear the soft pinging of each key as he tunes them, then with a grand flourish Mike lets his fingers fly across the keyboard in an explosion of glorious sound. For a few minutes our home is filled with incredible melody and I am thoroughly delighted.
Last January Mike sat at the piano and the winter sun caught his profile and I knew I had to paint his picture. There was Rembrandt and Vermeer in those sunbeams! I’ve been working on the painting on and off throughout the year. This past month Mike came to tune the piano and I showed him my progress.
I think he liked it and we talked about the different paintings I had displayed on the wall and he commented on “The Fiddler”. I explained that my art teacher, Kevin McEvoy played the fiddle for us sometimes in the studio and like Mike, I had captured him on camera so I could paint him on canvas.
Mike’s face lit up. You see, Mike’s father is an acclaimed fiddle player by the name of Pete Kelly. He was Kevin’s teacher and Kevin wrote an essay of his time with Pete. Kevin also painted a beautiful painting of a fiddle and a piece of music that Mr. Kelly hand copied for young Kevin to practice. One day Mike’s wife found the blog about her father in law online. She contacted Kevin and was able to obtain a copy of the essay and painting for Pete’s birthday.
I am almost finished with the painting now and I smile to myself thinking about happy connections in life. It seems that the Kellys were meant both for music and canvas and that teacher and student meant to paint them.
For Kevin’s blog and painting:
|Posted by Artist@donnagrossman.com on September 28, 2014 at 7:05 PM||comments (2)|
Wow, I haven't put finger to keyboard in months, for blogging that is.Lots of life and paint got in the way.
Life Happens.Highs, lows, laughter, tears, beginnings and endings.Painting is good, painting saves me.
This is how painting and I began.
I was a gardener. I toiled in my gardens and many fine gardens along the south shore of Long Island. I probably would still be doing this today if my back hadn't decided otherwise.
One door closes.
It was four summers ago that I met Jason Arkles. A friend and I took a summer ride and chanced upon him at Gallery North.In the shaded yard of the gallery under an awning Jason was quietly working on a sculpture of a mermaid. He brightened when he saw us and greeted us warmly, He spent the next hour talking about his craft and his studio in Italy. He showed us his work, his drawings, models and tools. His passion and joy was inspiring.He invited us to return in the fall to an outdoor art show and see the mermaid completed. There he said I would meet a friend of his who had studied in Florence and was an extremely gifted painter.I had expressed to Jason my interest in oil painting and he said that this artist would be great to study with.
I met my friend and teacher Kevin McEvoy that October and in January 2011 walked up a flight of stairs in a breezy old building in Riverhead.
Another door opens.
Almost four years later, I am exhibiting at the same fair that I met Kevin. The mermaid sits on the porch of the gallery and I think of Jason. I am pretty sure I will think of him the rest of my days.
People are wandering in and out of my tent. They watch me paint.They are pointing at my work, smiling, talking, asking questions. Some ask me to tell them the story behind the painting, others create their own. I am blessed. I am blessed. I am blessed.
A few of them visited my tent at my first show. They want to learn to draw and paint. I am not ready to teach so I give them Kevin's information and assure them they will be in very good hands, I am not ready to teach but I am ready to point the way, to open a door and start them on a journey.
Me and Jason, dropping pebbles in a pond.
|Posted by Artist@donnagrossman.com on February 25, 2014 at 7:50 PM||comments (2)|
My husband and I share our home with three cats. Each of them has their own little lives, likes and dislikes, preferences and peeves. They are as different in temperament as they are in looks.
Our dowager countess is a maine coon named Rocky.
Her name does not fit her. My husband has nicknamed her “Esmeralda” and that fits because she is still wildly beautiful and quite exotic. She is rickety and rusty at fourteen years. She does not suffer fools gladly and considers the “boys’ quite foolish. Her vocal cords were injured during a surgery so her voice is raspy and harsh like an aging film star that smokes too much. Like Greta Garbo, “she wants to be alone”.
Except for the days when I climb the stairs to my studio.
On those day R comes into the room and waits impatiently while I put a drop cloth on the chair. Sometimes she climbs up by herself, most days she mews until I sit and coax her to my lap. She is painfully arthritic and a bag of bones. Her luxurious ruff is gone and she wheezes as she purrs.
After a while I get up and gently place her back on her chair. She sits there, listens to the music playing, watches me work.
We are both content, my companion and I.
I am working on a painting of a lovely greyhound. He has a beautiful brindle coat and a grey muzzle that belies his age. He is not well and I worry for him. I have studied him for so many weeks now. There is such beauty in him.
I say a prayer that my brushwork captures his spirit as much as it possibly can. I look at my cat and smile and will comply with her demands to be coaxed and pet as long as she wishes. She is my muse, after all, my companion.
|Posted by Artist@donnagrossman.com on February 22, 2014 at 3:10 PM||comments (2)|
My mother was a gardener. She had a flower garden and loved to tend them.
When she died my dad put the house up for sale. He was reluctant to give me any plants for fear the new owners would notice. There was one I begged for, a flowering quince. He agreed to divide some of its roots and we set to digging. After thirty minutes and some mild expletives the shrub yielded up one shaft with several roots. I planted that stick in the ground.
It bloomed at Christmas.
The quince bush is now over twenty years old. It is a monstrous thing with thorns that my husband has done battle with throughout the years. It blooms in spring. It’s salmon petals are garish , almost vulgar in their color. They are deliriously, unabashedly alive.
Each February I find the pruners and walk out to the quince. I am weary of winter and impatient for spring. I harvest several branches. The blooms can be forced and in a week’s time the flower that opens is not salmon but the palest shell pink. It is the blush you see on a child’s face. It is a gift from the earth and my parents. It is spring in winter, it is hope.
|Posted by Artist@donnagrossman.com on February 18, 2014 at 1:30 PM||comments (1)|
It has not been a kind winter. The snow once beautiful is now simply annoying. We in suburbia are tired of scraping windshields, shoveling driveways, waiting for late trains and dealing with bored kids that have had one too many snow days.
I am lucky. My son is grown. I work from home. There is plenty of provisions in the pantry for husband and pets.
But I still grumble, I complain on all types of social media and plan the demise of the groundhog.
I am a whiner and a baby.
The woman who works at this farm is not. She raises sheep and pigs and chickens. She is frostbitten and fatigued. She works from dawn to dusk. When the work day is done she goes home to her son and is the best mom a boy could ever have.
And she wouldn’t have it any other way.