The weeping willow dances in the breeze, and so do I.
But the willow has a different choreographer, though sometimes I give it a try, try to choreograph the trees with my brush or pen,
and they dance according to my whim.
And sometimes the trees choreograph me,
not from just their outside appearance, from their in.
For when I paint on wood, I let the grain below
my brush tell it where to go.
In 1966 we moved to Milwaukee from New York City, and I fell in love with the people, the lake, the trees, and the circus parade. After years of drawing shoppers in Macy’s and Gimbels or the throngs that rush and weave along Manhattan sidewalks, here I was painting, often on wood, all those things that made Milwaukee special to me.
Forty-odd years ago (well, all years are rather odd, for life is!) I didn’t notice that those intriguing trees had to be cut down and sliced up in order for me to paint on them. Nor did it occur to me that the animals on the circus grounds and in the parade were prisoners, wrested away from their habitat, caged or chained, and put on display for gawking humans.
I continued to paint on wood, but more and more used the flow of the grain and position of the knots to determine the forms, become the clouds or waves or sun in my lakescapes, to direct the energy of my dancers. As time passed, I became a writer, and when I drew, with pen and paper, I often included my thoughts, usually about the environment, about what humans are doing to the earth. And those word drawings would sometimes become poems that I performed, often as a member of the Earth Poets and Musicians. So my artwork and my writing fed off each other just as what we do to Earth changes the planet, and those changes in turn have an impact on us, and on all the other creatures and on the plants.
For Gallery night on Friday, January 20th, at Rosenblatt Gallery, our featured artists will be Joe Boblick, Steve Hopkins, Davey Noble, and Elizabeth White, I’ll hang more of my wood paintings, and Adolph’s sculptures and some of Eli’s paintings will as always be on view. Eli will also have a exhibit of his paintings in Cuvee, on the 3rd floor.
More complete details: Friday, January 20, 6:30 PM -10 PM
ROSENBLATT GALLERY, 181 N Broadway, 2nd floor, Opening Reception for: Joe Boblick, Steve Hopkins, Davey Noble, and Elizabeth White. And for Suzanne Rosenblatt’s paintings on wood. Also on view, ever-changing collection of sculptures by Adolph Rosenblatt
CUVEE, 181 N Broadway, 3rd floor, paintings by Eli Rosenblatt