It's the time of year to be especially thankful, and as I look around my house, I appreciate the works of art by artist friends who have gifted me with their work or traded it to me in exchange for a piece of mine. Seeing their creations every day brightens my world, and inspires me in my own studio.
This painting is by Deborah Bohnert, one of my favorite artists, who lives and works in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She creates assemblages and installations of unexpected materials and brilliant colors. But her work isn't just about making a wild visual statement; there is a tender respect for humanity underlying each piece. I have hung her painting in my bedroom; it is clearly visible once you reach the top of the stairs. I love the vibrant red peeking out from the fading purple, and I want to make sure it can't be missed!
This work is by Lynda Ray, who currently resides and works in Richmond, Virginia. Lynda creates mostly with encaustic, but this particular piece was from an exhibit she was in at the Akin Gallery in Boston in 1991. It is made from strips of wood joined in an exquisite pattern and colored a deep alizarin. It is a quiet, contemplative piece, so I have tucked it into a sunny but private corner of my bedroom. I think of it like a Russian icon, meant to be meditated upon in peaceful moments of pause.
This painting is a glowing beach landscape by Wendy Soneson, a master watercolorist. We have been close friends for many years, having met each other as students at Lesley University back in 1993. Wendy told me, when she gave me this piece as a Christmas gift, that the figures on the beach reminded her of us, on one of our many long contemplative walks together. It is placed in my yellow-striped upstairs bathroom.
Here is our mantlepiece in the living room, the focal point of the first floor, which holds works by Lasse Antonsen and Robert Collins. Lasse is a professor and the gallery curator at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where I met him when I was a graduate student there in the mid-90s. He is also an artist, and his witty and thought-provoking assemblages often contain historical references and actual artifacts framed in curio cabinets or, as in this piece, deep shadow boxes.
The square painting on the right is by Robert Collins. Bob and I have been teaching together at the Danforth Museum School in Framingham for many years. He is a most devoted instructor, and a warm and generous colleague. Even though he teaches 3 classes a day, 6 days a week (!), he still manages to create with diligence in his studio.
I consider myself most fortunate to know these wonderful people and talented artists, and I am pleased to share my home with their creations.