I started oil painting in 2020 during the pandemic; I took several on-line lessons from artists that I’m following on Instagram. I’m exploring ways to use my art to make an impact and help people and animals. I’m sending these painting to Arthur’s Acres Animal Sanctuary in hopes they can sell/auction them to raise money for the animals.
Morty was the animal that first got my attention, he’s the big, pink “looker” that lives at Arthur’s Acres Animal Sanctuary with the rest of his curly-tailed friends and Todd Friedman in Parksville, New York. I love pigs and this unique pig pulled me in! Arthur’s Acres rescues and rehabilitates animals in need.
I’ve learned so much about pigs and different pig breeds by watching Todd’s posts. I like to watch the pumpkin parties, strawberry parties and carrot parties etc. that Todd throws for his residents:) Watching these intelligent animals makes me smile and watching Todd and his helpers take care of them warms my heart!
Here is the link to Arthur’s Acres: https://www.facebook.com/arthursacres/ and arthursacresanimalsancturary.org
I’ve used the photos of Pitchfork Warrior, friend of Arthurs Acres for my paintings.
For me the thrill of wool is being able to create an object from fiber, from which one would never have guessed it was made. It’s a bit magical!
“Most recently, I’ve started to create felted-waxed food. The felted-wax process is perfect for many types of food. I continue to challenge myself in this medium concerning texture in search of realism. “
“I started experimenting with different aspects of wool. It bothered me that hooves, a nose or a beak were still slightly fuzzy, even when finely felted. I started waxing areas of my felting that should be smooth. “
This spring Tel Aviv had their annual art fair: Fresh Paint with a main pavilion and satellite galleries all over the city. My exhibit “We’re All in the Same Boat” was exhibited at Kuchinate, African Women’s Refugee Collective, curated by Tamar Lamdan and Carmite Shine of Two Curators.
Kuchinate was founded by Dr. Diddy Mymin Kahn and Sister Aziza Kidane to provide a community of support, employment and guidance for these women. Kuchinate makes beautiful woven, handmade baskets to sell and they are adding more handmade items to their collection. http://www.kuchinate.com
My life-sized boat and ten life-sized dolls greatly impacted the viewers; the scale of the piece helped the audience relate to the refugees and their situation. I also believe that we’re not used to seeing “dolls” sad or suffering or life-sized rather small, delicate and beautiful; large dolls were also a shocking sight which helped convey the plight of refugees. The 2.5 meter long row boat was made from cardboard, wood and duct tape, the refugee dolls were needle felted from wool; the project took 2.5 months to create. The refugees were depicted from many different countries and different periods in time. Many viewers shared their own stories of displacement and hardship, making us realize that all of us are at risk for one reason or another.
The only doll in the boat that I didn’t leave for the audience to decide for themselves the ethnicity or situation of the refugee doll was the young Polish refugee girl. The only real interaction and deep understanding of a personal situation with a refugee I’ve ever had is my mother-in-law, Sida Beck Levitas. Sida was a hidden child during WWII, because of her big blue eyes and very blond hair she passed as a Christian during the Holocaust. Most of the stories we know about her from this time period are from her brother, Arther Beck who was also a hidden child. Sida doesn’t like to talk about this time in her life because it gives her nightmares for weeks. We’ve seen how the refugee situation she endured affected the rest of her life and I’m sure all refugees suffer similar long lasting effects. Sida is 92 and lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The life-sized dolls were needle felted over a wire and wood armature, the larger dolls used a wooden-easel method to help them sit sturdily. The sculptures have glass doll eyes and polymer-clay teeth.
I wanted to represent various situations in the boat, depression, seriousness, fear and even hope. One of the big questions I had was what do the children do during these long, dangerous journeys, do they run about, peer over the sides of the boat or play with other children? I was told by one of the African refugees that the smugglers would yell at anyone talking or making noise. Everyone including the children would be hit with a stick to keep them in line.
I know that many of the refugees around the world are religious, so I made the praying boy at the front of the boat as a sign of hope.