HVAL Added 19 New Members in 2020
There were few positive things to point to, this past year, but the 19 new artists joining HVAL was definitely one of them. The League’s total membership is now 71, and this is the first year that our membership grew after several consecutive years of declining. What is even more surprising is that some of these new members come from as far away as Ohio, Virginia and France… yes, France! Here’s a warm welcome to our newest members with the hope that we get a chance to meet you all in the not so distant future. Our 2020 members:
Holly Aragi, Sheffield, MA, Lori Bradley, N. Adams, MA, Joan Burkhard, Stockbridge, MA,
Kurt Canoe, Pittsfield, MA ,Jon Caplan, New York, NY, Mary Claire Coster, Ashland, VA,
Emily Fuller, Amenia, NY, Serena Granberry, Salisbury, CT, Jo-Anne Irwin of Lenox, MA, Christine Molitor Johnson, Amesbury, MA, Terre Lefferts, Salisbury, CT, Mélissa Losano, Aoste, France, Roger McKee, Lakeville, CT, Patricia Most, Pittsfield, MA, Susan Paavola, Richmond, VA, Michael Pereira, Columbus, OH, Claudia Ricci, Great Barrington, MA, Don Sexton, Goshen, CT, Daniel Wright, Sharon, CT, Diane Zibell, Prospect, CT
Volunteers Still Needed!
We still have vacancies to be filled. If interested in volunteering and keeping our League healthy, contact Tina Chandler at email@example.com
Keith Emerling Has a New Book Published
“The Fine Art of Flowers, Flower Portraits, Oil and Watercolor” is Keith Emerling’s beautifully printed, full color, hardcover, collection of 53 fine art, oil and watercolor flower paintings, along with a smattering of poems. It is 113 pages and is 9.8” x 8” in landscape orientation. The book represents a peek into the past six years of Keith’s oil and watercolor paintings, focusing on the beauty and uniqueness of the flowers that have graced his studio. The book stunningly reproduces images of the original artwork and the paintings are interspersed with a handful of themed writings and poems. Keith says, “The beauty found in nature is a valuable commodity in a world with so much uncertainty and that flowers are dazzling beacons that illuminate nature’s zeal. They are a sign of anew beginning and in a time with so much turmoil, are an upwelling of hope that joyfully liberates the soul.”The book is available in the Blurb online bookstore at www. blurb.com/b/10392375-the-fineart-of-flowers
To find out more, go to www.keithemerlingfineart.com/books
Pat Hogan Recognized Again!
No, it’s not like someone spotting Garbo walking in Manhattan, Pat’s work has been recognized (again), this year, by the judges for the 2nd installment of the juried exhibition “Art of the Hills–Narrative” at the Berkshire Museum. You might still catch the show as it runs through January 10, or you can see it online at https://berkshiremuseum.org/portfolio-item/art-of-the-hills-narrative
A solo show will follow at the museum for Pat as well as the others recognized in this show.
Funny, He Doesn’t Look Jewish…Roselle Chartock’s New Book on Elvis Presly
Painter, Author, Rennaissance Woman, Roselle Chartock had her new book published in November,and, who would have thought that anyone but Roselle could find this new twist on Elvis Presly. In her new book, The Jewish World of Elvis Presley, Roselle reveals a little-known side of this rock ‘n roll icon, in particular, Presley’s deep affinity to Jews as well as evidence of his own Jewish heritage. Chartock notes that, “At first glance these two words, Elvis and Jews, may not seem to go together,” referring to Elvis’ background growing up in a poor fundamentalist Christian family in the Deep South, an area sometimes known for its anti-Semitism. Yet, despite this background, Chartock notes, Elvis Presley developed many personal relationships with the Jews he befriended in Memphis– including merchants and members of his inner circle, the Memphis Mafia – and those he met in the music and movie industries. In this vivid description of Elvis Presley’s Jewish world, that also reflects his humanitarian and philosophical interests, Roselle introduces voices and stories that few Elvis fans and the general public have heard befor
You can buy the book on www. amazon.com. Once on the site, just type “Jewish World of Elvis Presly” in the search bar.
30 Minutes to Paint in Venice
About a month ago, I received this link to a video, from Jerry Fresia, the painter I have been studying the Impressionist’s Method at his workshops in Florida and online.He lives in Bellagio, Italy, on Lake Como, but had to go to Venice with his wife for a few days. It had been raining, but the sun finally appeared late one afternoon and Jerry decided to go for it and dragged out his easel and paints. There was only 30 minutes before sunset and and it became too dark to paint.
Take a look at this video of him painting, it’s pretty amazing! (Copy & paste the URL into your browser and take out any spaces).
Collection of movies about artists
Susan Bachelder has started a collection of movies related to artists and artist’s lives that will be the core of a lending library for those who would like to borrow them on a short term basis for viewing. Among those available are films about Artemisia, in French with English subtitles and a definite R rating; Jackson Pollack; Georgia O’Keeffe; Freda; and two chestnuts – one aboutVan Gogh with Kirk Douglas, and the other about Michaelangelo with Charlton Heston (especially timely with the Michaelangelo Drawing exhibition now at the Met). These will be shown on the last Sunday of the month at the Bushnell-Sage Library in Sheffield. See the Monthly Program Page for film notices.
Last year’s “Italian Painting Holiday IV”
The artists all returned and gave rave reviews to Italian Painting Holiday IV, that was held in Vittorio Veneto, Italy the first week of September! Just when you think it can’t get any better…it does! This year we took a day tour to Padua to see Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel, possibly the most moving masterpiece outside of the Sistine Chapel. Afterwards we lunched in Dolo, by the Brenta Canal, and boarded the Burchiello for our cruise along the Brenta that ended at Piazza St. Marco in Venice. Along the way, we stopped for an exclusive, engrossing tour of Palladio’s “Malcontenta” Palazzo. All week long we ate fabulous cucina di casa, drank Prosecco, wine and homemade Limoncello, and yes, we even got in quite a bit of painting while enjoying the comraderie of
the group. Alma, our hostess, says she is willing to continue hosting us for as long as we’re willing to come.
Members Exhibiting Their Work
has a one-man show at the Five Points Gallery in Torrington, CT from July 8 – 18
has a show of nine paintings at the Berkshire Food Coop, on Bridge St., Great Barrington, to the end of July. The Coop is open seven days a week, from nine to seven.
has an upcoming show at Lauren Clark Fine Art from August 13th to 29th to coincide with his upcoming book Plated Dishes The Fine Art of Food?
“How I’ve Been Spending Time During Social Distancing” Department
“My Quarantine” by Keith Emerling
I’d like to think I’m unique but my quarantine might be very much like yours. The movies maybe different, the books and meals too. Like you, I am sustained by my art and the online interactions with friends and loved ones. I feel I’m doing pretty well.
I’m not an essential service or on the frontlines like many others but I am doing my part, staying put, in
my own home and not making any unnecessary trips. I’m being productive and creative but not in the service of productivity itself.
I now own movies I never thought I would, the primary core of 10 Star Wars feature films, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and probably many others to come. I’m reading monographs of important artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Chuck Close to name a few.
I’m eating well and cooking daily, after all, being a former private chef has its perks. I’m planning long term food storage and keeping a tight watch on my perishables. I’ve invested in winter squashes and brussels sprouts as well as dried sausages, cheese and of course my beloved soda stream. …. And yes, I have toilet paper too.
My art, watercolor and oil painting, is on a steady course with pieces being completed almost daily. Again, I’m not pushing for productivity just a steady flow. I’ve bought tulips to inspire me, sometimes I paint them and sometimes they are just beautiful and they make me happy.
Zoom and Facebook are my best friends and with them I see my real best friends. The virtual world is now my world or at least an important part of it. I’m doing art classes and art groups through them, watching concerts and finding out about all kinds of resources that have popped up in the wake of this world wide event.
My taxes are done and interestingly enough my house was already clean before all this happened. The outside of my car could use a wash but the inside is pristine. I’m up to date on almost all my paperwork and luckily, I got a lot of other things done beforehand. I did not get a haircut however, so I will be part of the growing numbers in the shaggy lot club.
What I haven’t done, is let the news of the world dampen my spirit. This sanctuary, called home, is my realm and I’m grateful for it. I still keep informed, as much as I feel I need to but I do not let it get me down.
The best is in all of us and we are seeing people rally in amazing ways. This is a major world shift and one that will be with us for a time to come. The most important thing I feel I can do for myself is try to live as uninterrupted a life as possible, doing as many of the things I love as I can.
has been enjoying a family visit at her house on Martha’s Vineyard, which she is able to decorate with her paintings. below is a local image plus a collage, in the works, made with found objects from the beach. The collage may never actually be finished.
Art-Making in the Age of the Pandemic by Arthur Hillman
As the news emerged in March concerning the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to sequester in our homes, the thought of how I and other artists would be able to continue to complete creative work became a real issue for consideration. As a photographer who creates images of spaces and locations, that would now be unavailable, a thought occurred to me. Even though I now work exclusively with color digital photo imagery, I have a collection of many decades of black-and-white film negatives sitting in my office.
I began to look through these many negatives and realized that I had never printed the vast majority of these images. It also dawned on me that even the ones I worked on previously could be entirely revisited if I were to convert them into digital files. The renowned photographer Ansel Adams once mentioned that once he passed away, he would like his negatives to be available for other artists, particularly student artists, to be able to reinterpret them anew. Adams was also a pianist, and he compared his negatives to a musical score to be deciphered and “performed” by other artists. With this spirit in mind, I began to scan hundreds of negatives and began work on ones that stood out as good possibilities for future work.
The images included in this article are an example of this exploration and date from the late 1980s and the 90s.
As of today, I still have a very large number of negatives to sort through, evaluate, scan and process. The use of the digital darkroom, using Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and other digital software, mimics many of the technical modifications I could achieve in the chemical darkroom, but there are also other approaches that open up fresh and different creative horizons. The end result is that I’ve been working on “new” photographs each day and enjoying the idea of melding past visual experiences with brand new ones.
“Calligraphy Relaxes Me” by Susan Bachelder
The other day I listened to Natan Sharansky’s advice for handling isolation. For those who might not know of him, he spent 9 years in Soviet jails, nearly 5 of them in solitary. His resilience came about by remembering he did not know when this would end, so to create things to do that were things he wanted to accomplish, like learn a language.
So, after probably 40 years in a closet, I have taken out my board again. While painting is still in
the mix, this was always relaxing for me, and since anxiety is part of the new normal, it seemed time. The dining room table, no longer hosting dinner parties, is now home to my calligraphy set-ups and I work to spend a part of the day there practicing technique.
As an upright board was how I was taught, I still work pretty much vertical with a dip pen. I have found that the Noodlers inks: water based, good in my fountain pens, inexpensive, made in the USA, and a variety of colors, work really well for starting up on the board. (www.noodlersinks.com) They also have a delightful variety of fountain pens for those who want to get away from “disposable” plastic pens as an environmental concern. A fountain pen is great fun for letter writing, or post cards – a form of communication I have embraced these days. Nothing like opening the post and finding a short note from a friend in a personal hand with a handpainted image. I use a watercolor pad post card for them. For more serious calligraphy pens, nibs, and materials or books, I recommend John Neal Bookseller (www.johnnealbooks.com).
Learning to write again, or helping others in the family to shape up their lines and circles; sending off post cards to relatives and friends you cannot see now, or sitting with a book looking for just the right quote to share helps to keep us all mindful of each other beyond the electronic web of communication that does not leave such a loving and thoughtful residue behind.
Bob Goldstein started writing Limericks back in 1947 as a hobby.
Now with the pandemic he’s picked up on his old hobby, writing them between working on humorous paintings, and watching TV. He has written over 100 of them, most a little too risque to publish, but here’s one along with two of his paintings that weren’t banned in Boston.
When I paint, I envy the Masters
Their talent is really quite clear
It is quite a sight
When they get it just right
I think I need a cold beer
Susan Bachelder: Getting Through the Holidays
As it became clear this fall that I would be spending more time at home, and with not much family in the area, outreach became a bigpart of how I chose to structure my time as we approached the holiday season. With the scheduled visit this Spring of the St.John’s Bible to Trinity EpiscopalChurch in Lenox sliding all over the calendar, keeping my “hand”up for a reason beyond teaching a class there became the order of the day.
So I started two additional projects. We have a wonderful kindergarten down the block at the South Egremont Village School. I wrote each child’s name on a sheet of paper and then they colored in around them; we laminated them, attached a ribbon, and they gave them as a holiday gift. Our teacher, Sarah Cooke, was very happy with the project and we all had fun doing our part.
I have also started to make bookmarks to tuck in with gifts and cards. I am generally not a craft person, but the history of the hand and practicing my eye hand brain haptic – I am told – keeps the memory sharp and the spirits up. And, since there will be no grand holiday dinner parties this year, the dining room table became the de facto studio. I hope that everyone also had a wonder filled and beautiful holiday.
Teresa Bellizzi has passed away.
It is with the deepest sorrow and sadness that we need to report that Teresa Bellizzi, HVAL’s longest and oldest member has passed away on March 1
We have little details except that her death was unexpected and sudden.
Teresa, I believe, was 98 years young, and just a few weeks ago she attended an HVAL Zoom board meeting, of which she was a long serving member.
The photo above was taken at a 2013 HVAL Fresco Painting Workshop, held at the Bushnell-Sage Library, in Sheffield. Teresa was 90 at the time and I remember her choosing a complicated Raphael image as reference for her fresco. It came out beautifully, but Teresa was totally unhappy because she didn’t have time to finish it. That was Teresa!
The funeral arrangements are being handled by the Birches-Roy Funeral Home and you can find out more on their website: http://birchesroyfuneralservices.com/.
If you wish to give a donation in Teresa’s memory, HVAL would be honored to accept to accept your gift.
There is an obituary on the Birches-Roy web site at http://birchesroyfuneralservices.com/event/obituary-of-teresa-j-bellizzi and, starting 3/13, on the Berkshire Edge at https://theberkshireedge.com/teresa-j-bellizzi-98-of-sheffield/.
Virginia Drury 1916 – 2005
Virginia Drury was a long-time member of HVAL going back to when it was the Sheffield Art League. A prolific and fine sculptor, who first took it up when she was in her 50’s. As Virginia told it, she was confined to a bed in the hospital, when her husband brought her a lump of clay to keep her busy.
Hans Heuberger, remembers her well. “Her house in Sheffield was full of her work, most notably a large one of her son. She was such a positive and friendly person who would never miss an opportunity to do something good. I remember when organizing the summer shows and having the judges in, she would bring a lunch for everybody.”
She originally trained as nurse in Philadelphia, where she met and married her husband Roger Drury while working at a Quaker Civilian Public Service camp during World War II. Afterthe war, the couple moved to a dairy farm on Barnum Street, believing it to be an ideal environmen tin which to raise a family.
She had a deep interest in the Sheffield Land Trust and made an inaugural gift of land to the Nature Conservancy in the early 1980’s that led to the creation of what was later named the Roger and Virginia Drury Nature Preserve, the first in South Berkshire.
To find out more about the preserve click on the link below.
Rosemary Daly, 1943 – 2020
On September 4, of this past year, Rosemary Daly passed away after a brief illness at the Berkshire Medical Center.
Except for her college years, Rosemary spent her entire life in the Berkshires, where she taught history in the public schools up until her retirement in 2000.
Roselle Chartock shares this memory: “Many years ago when I was professor of education at MCLA and observing student teachers around the county, I met Rosemary Daly. She was a history teacher (as I had been) at Taconic High School, and she was supervising one of my student teachers. She already had a reputation as one of the best teachers there.
“Our connection was instant! We shared the same progressive philosophy of education, and her
dedication to excellence and to her students was obvious.
“Several years later, I saw a painting with her name on it at one of our HVAL shows and smiled when I realized we had still another thing in common. We eventually got to meet again around art-related events. I will miss her warm smile, but will remember -– as do the students who loved her – that she was one of the best.”
Rosemary was a long-time member and good friend of HVAL. She was a fine painter, both in watercolors and oils and was a regular participant in the HVAL shows for several decades. She even requested that Memorial Contributions be made in her name to HVAL All of us who knew her will miss her contagious smile.