My earliest memory is copying the cartoon animals that my uncle, an artist, drew on a chalkboard in our family’s Bronx apartment in 1953. I was three years old. During the next six decades I have continued to draw, paint, and do printmaking, but these were always a pastime, something I did “in addition to” my other work. Now, being an artist is my passion.
One of my first intentional undertakings was creating a series of portraits of people with disabilities. The process of inviting friends who have visible and hidden disabilities to come and pose in my studio brought together three major currents in my life: my love of the portrait (especially the paintings of Rembrandt, Velázquez, Titian, van Dyck and Schiele); my work in the disability rights movement, in both the United States and Europe; and my lifetime of experiences as a person with a visible disability.
I have continued to create many series of works, including the
paintings and drawings. I have used graphite, charcoal, crayons, watercolors, acrylic paints, and mixed media to produce these pieces.
The process of making art will always present me with so many challenges: carefully observing; intuitively composing; pausing to reflect; and through all of these, remembering to breathe deeply.