Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Service of Hidden Talent & Passion—Just Look Around You!

Monday, December 24th, 2018


I’m in awe of the talents and interests of people I know that stretch well beyond their day jobs. Here’s a preliminary list:

Elizabeth, a former newspaper reporter and office administrator whose dance card is currently filled with countless charitable projects is also a master bridge player.

Martha, who owns a Boston art gallery, speaks Italian, Greek, Portuguese, French and Japanese. She is also a news junkie.


Homer, a retired international banker, has been a skilled genealogist for 40+ years with several books under his belt. He has also become a talented and inspired cook.

Barbara, a retired physical therapist, is an accomplished baker and an expert at all things stitch-related from cross and tailoring to a range of crafts.

Nancie, one of her industry’s crack publicists, is the first to know about and attend blockbuster exhibitions, cultural, sports and fun events in NYC and around the globe.

Marketing and communications specialist Erica is a culture vulture. You’ll see her weekly in theaters and at concerts, ballets, movie houses and exhibitions.

Daniel is an administrator, pet caretaker and actor.

Photo: Joshua M. Cintrón

Edward, auto body shop owner, is active in local politics, an avid Facebook poster and remodeler of distressed properties.

David, the principal of his PR agency, is a jazz aficionado.

Josh, an IT-expert, has many passions in addition to his day job. He is also a photographer, [photo above], and amateur radio operator whose fascination covers  trains, especially subways.

Can you add to this list of remarkable people? How do they find time to work while nurturing their other talents and interests?


Service of Crafts Worthy of the Name

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Modern American Table by William Robbins,

Modern American Table by William Robbins,

Craft show aficionados know what to expect when they visit a great one—fashion, jewelry, textiles, woodcraft, glass and ceramics for starters. What they don’t know is how the artisans and artists they meet will translate their visions, skill and creativity into their specialties. These surprises make a visit—and purchases–worthwhile.

“Woman, Head on Knee,” by Bob Clyatt, Raku-fired stoneware.

“Woman, Head on Knee,” by Bob Clyatt, Raku-fired stoneware.

It’s time for my client’s American Fine Craft Show Brooklyn, November 22-23, the weekend before Thanksgiving. For the second year the show, in a borough increasingly recognized for its artistic talent, is at Brooklyn Museum.

Spoiler alert: I have illustrated this post with some of those surprises.

The Brooklyn Museum show inspired a museum series—the Art of American Craft–that provides the appropriate showcase for the master crafts my clients, Joanna and Richard Rothbard, select for their shows. Next year they’re adding two additional events, one with the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford Conn. in April and the other at the Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, NJ, in October.

Beth Farber, Elizabeth Farber Designs,

Beth Farber, Elizabeth Farber Designs,

Museum series and craft show co-founder/director Richard Rothbard asks: “How many museum visitors make the connection that what they see in exhibitions found its origins in the work of artisanal craftsmen like the ones in our shows–designers of ceramics, jewelry, furniture, glass and fashion?” Coincidentally, concurrent with the craft show, Brooklyn Museum is running an exhibition “Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond,” featuring 35 artists who live or work in the borough, on view through January 4, 2015.

If you visit the craft show, your fee will cover general admission to the museum and its exhibitions which is a lovely gift. 

Do you own/hold precious a handmade fashion, table accessory, cabinet, table, sculpture or handmade decorative object that you’ve bought or that someone’s given you? To what museum exhibitions do you gravitate: Fine art, posters, drawings, fashion, decorative arts, jewelry, sculpture or what?


Andrea Geer, Andrea Geer designs,

Andrea Geer, Andrea Geer designs,

Service of Art II

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Valerie Bunnell’s "Queen Bee"

Valerie Bunnell’s "Queen Bee"

Nothing stops art and/or the creative process. That’s the theme Richard Rothbard of American Art Marketing chose for the intro to the program for the trilogy of events he founded and will direct at the Javits Center this weekend: The Contemporary Art Fair NYC, American Art Show NYC and a new section, Art Off the Main, October 19-21. I help promote these events.

Jane Herzenberg Designs

Jane Herzenberg Designs

Rothbard has thought about art for 30+ years, through enthusiastic economies and limping ones. Before he wrote the intro, Rothbard observed that even a tight economy doesn’t stop artists–whether those associated with the arts and crafts he represents or actors, writers, musicians and others. I add, some have given or risked their lives for art. Like liquid in a leaky container, the work of artists seeps out no matter what.  

Menorah by metal sculptor Gary Rosenthal

Menorah by metal sculptor Gary Rosenthal

Rothbard wrote in the intro: “You enter your home, apartment or office and rejoice in seeing a painting, sculpture or photograph that you will hand down to your children and friends. In dressing for work or for a special event, a handcrafted piece of jewelry or fashion accessory will make you look and feel exceptional.” His former comment reminds me that people who buy and care for art and crafts help preserve them. I’m a perfect example of the latter point. I might be wearing the same old suit but add a fabulous, creative necklace or pin and it gets all the attention.

Mark Symczak’s “Myna with Orchid”

Mark Symczak’s “Myna with Orchid”

Some of the unexpected things you’ll see among the exhibits of furniture, ceramics, glass, jewelry, textile and fashion, painting, sculpture and photography–200 juried exhibitors in all–include a wooden shoehorn similar to one that the Emperor of Japan owns [by Hiroyki Hashino]; reconfirgured antique handbags [Joy Horvath–Gioia handbags], photographs that move [Debora Lill, Still Art in Motion–check out the video on her website] and so much more!

If you come make sure you say “hi” to me!

Do you agree that artists, however you define them, can’t be stopped from creating and performing? 

"Panther Chameleon Pin/Pendant" by Amy Roper Lyons

"Panther Chameleon Pin/Pendant" by Amy Roper Lyons

Service of Preparing for Creativity

Monday, November 14th, 2011


I was inspired for today’s post by what a weaver and fashion designer, Marsha Fleisher, Loominus Woodstock, wrote about how her ideas for color, pattern and design come to her. “When I am quiet, empty and in stillness, the process of creativity comes of itself. For me, this emptiness includes the absence of chaos, the slate needs to be clean, chores done, bills paid, dishes washed, lists cleared, calls returned. I am usually rewarded with a concept, color, texture, and interplay of designs, jacket detail, and a vision…magic.”

craftshow2011mfleisherlpasticheFleisher [her “Pastiche” coat is at right] is one of 200 artists and artisans who will exhibit their work at joint shows, American Craft Show NYC and Contemporary Art Fair NYC at the Javits Center, November 18-20. The craft/art show producers, Joanna and Richard Rothbard of American Art Marketing, are my clients.

artfairmicheldelgado2Another exhibitor, artist Michel Delgado writes: “I am in a powerful new place in my career as an artist.  The beginning of a painting had never been a comfortable place for me.  All the emotional and mental preparation would make me stiff.” Notes the Key West painter who was born in Senegal, “Now, I have nothing to hold back and have found a new journey altogether; trusting in whatever will occur.” His painting, “Unbroken Spirit,” [left]  is enamel on wood.

artfair2011mazzoniemeraldcatAlso a participant, Margaret Azzoni is exhibiting paintings of homes, interiors and dreams that she captures in watercolors, pencil and ink on canvas or paper. One of her mixed media works is “Emerald Cat,” right. Azzoni studied architecture at Princeton where she received a Masters degree. She says that the fluidity of painting provides “a relief from the rigid lines of the architectural drawings.”

artfair2011gutierrez_alejandro_-st“Not being constrained by the type of film in the camera, I’m able to work the settings to get the sensor to capture the light the way I want to,” says Roosevelt Island-based photographer Alejandro Gutierrez addressing the digital photography he plans to exhibit [such as “St. Maarten” at left]. “The instant feedback is very important; the equipment is portable, flexible and I’m not limited to one kind of camera. I don’t set up/style a photo but use the scene and existing light, street signs-I allow the pieces to happen.”

artfair2011yukouenoPart of the Contemporary Art Fair NYC, Yuko Ueno says “I was attracted to the beauty of butterfly wings and developed my own way of making them [at right]. Each butterfly piece has unique design, color and patterns from my imagination. Inspirations came from my dance background and passion for music.” She explains her Butterfly Project: “My goal was to deliver a message through my work that beautiful little creatures exist on this earth and to call attention to the fact that when trees and greens disappear, little lives disappear too.”

craftshow2011willcox_kimberly_lrArtisan Kimberly Wilcox wasn’t prepared for a fire that destroyed her studio in 2010 and changed the way she works and thinks. “Journey Home,” painted on reclaimed wood with acrylic, watercolor and pastel [left], is part of her “Gift of Receiving” series. “Artists are givers and it’s easy to be a giver,” she said. “After the fire, I became a receiver,” hence the series. She didn’t have brushes when she started this piece as they, too were lost: She painted with her fingers.

joycebluebeachquiltsmall2Joyce Malin [she’s not an exhibitor] quilts for relaxation. She says “Designing and assembling the pieces and sewing them are escapes from the bad news on TV.” She noted that if she waited until all the chores were off her plate at work and at home she’d never design a quilt. She collects fabrics as others might accumulate stamps or coins. She carefully sorts, identifies and stores the swatches according to topic and color. She’s also an avid photographer and incorporates photographs on fabric into her newest work.


Remember Norton, the “Honeymooners” TV character played by Art Carney? Before he would write his name or a few words on a piece of paper, he would wave his hands around, flex his fingers to prepare himself, all the time driving the Jackie Gleason character, Ralph Kramden, crazy.

Before you write a proposal, a paper or an article, paint a picture, frame a photograph, establish a budget, launch a do-it-yourself project, draft a speech, how do you prepare? Do you work in silence, in the morning, midday or at night? What do you do to jolt creativity or your thoughts when nothing is happening?


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