I graduated from Middlebury College in 1961, a biology major. I trained as a children’s librarian in Boston and was a reference librarian at Northfield Mount Hermon School for 26 years.
Teaching myself to become an artist, both psychologically and visually, was my salvation.
I never knew I had an artistic tradition until an artist friend said to me, “You draw like the German expressionists.” I had never heard of them. In my early thirties I was but a doodler, unfocused and uncommitted. I thought real art was about the ideal beauty of the Greeks, the colorful worlds of the French impressionists, and of course, Picasso and VanGogh. They all seemed wondrous but alien to my nascent intentions.
“Find work by Kirchner, Kokoschka, Beckmann,” my friend urged, “you will find your tradition.”
Suddenly I had the possibility of a context. Mentors. Challengers. Artists possessed by the human dilemma and making strong statements about how they felt about our struggles to survive in a treacherous world.
I already knew what I wanted to draw. It is best stated by Rilke; “...a head can become a pretext for certain deeply personal confessions...just as a landscape...a distinctive face, with its hidden depths and hidden intimacies and its alternating disclosures and concealments, is certainly not more confining a space that an ocean mood or a forest motif.”