Saturday, April 9, 2022

April Time Travel


  My father and mother relax in Southampton, NY, (circa 1971)

After a long hiatus, I decided it was time to say hello and continue writing my blog and bring some readers in to once again engage with this community.  Keeping a low profile for much of the year due in part to the pandemic, I can begin to consider where I have been and what I might do in regard to my artwork and also what others are doing in this field.  This past year includes the shock of war in the Ukraine ( some of my distant relatives are from Odessa ) and my heart goes out to the people caught up in this horror.   My father, Arthur Singer, was a soldier during World War ll, so he had some experience with major battles which I can only imagine myself since I have never been in the Army here or abroad.

     Arthur Singer created artwork to identify birds in the field.  Here is his gouache for a field guide to Birds of Britain and Europe, painted in the late 1960s and this book is still in print!

My father, seen above on a calm day years ago in the Southampton home of Bertel Bruun  ( the author of the book "Birds of Britain and Europe" ) during the 1970s, along with my mom.  My parents were both artists and illustrators.  Arthur Singer illustrated books mainly about animals and birds.  His book about birds in Europe was published by Paul Hamlyn, and the book helps bird watchers identify what they are seeing in the field. 

Speaking about my father, I would say that he was a man of great patience, developing  drawings and finished art to be published in many books as his career took off after Work War ll.  My father  worked at home and I watched the daily routine of an artist putting together  page after page of artwork that was thoroughly researched down to the last details.  While my dad worked on. his projects my mom also was illustrating books and teaching as well and I could watch what they were doing and learn about making a living as an artist and creating  a way of life.

Over thirty years ago when our parents passed away my brother and I inherited a large catalog of original art that my father made over many years.  Just recently we made a donation of original book plates to the Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  One example from our gift to Cornell is the page of birds you see above that my father painted in the late 1960s.

Silhouettes of birds on large walls
at The LAB

In Ithaca, we drove up to Cayuga Heights and over in the Sapsucker Woods is the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.  The birds were singing, the weather was warmer and pretty soon it will be spring.  If you go into The Lab you will see the terrific mural art by Jane Kim and her wall of birds.  This is a large scale artwork which took several months to complete, and to accompany it Jane has published a book about this unique project.

Jane Kim's mural at Cornell's Laboratory of Ornithology

There at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology a room is dedicated to artworks of Louis Agassiz Fuertes and there is a portrait of him at the entrance.  Fuertes was a role model for many who have been drawn to illustrating nature, especially birds.  He was a teacher at Cornell as well as an artist who went around the world for the National Geographic Magazine in the early 20th Century.

Fuertes was a role model for future artists

After we left The LAB we drove over to Hanshaw Road in Cayuga Heights and visited with Ariel at The Corners Gallery.  A few years ago we mounted a show there of contemporary printmakers which was a lot of fun for me as I was the curator.  On view now is a selection of recent paintings by Lin Price and she is doing some very bold work that brings up messages from the history of art - especially modernist abstraction to which she adds a bit of storytelling.  Here, below, is her work called: "Search Party", and she is having fun with some visual cues, some jazzy color and interesting invention.

Lin Price "Search Party"

Lin Price, now at Corners Gallery
903 Hanshaw Road, Ithaca, NY