Saturday, December 30, 2006

To Rachel and Nina, et al

'This post is a rambling meandering one, a Valentine, Thank You letter, End of the Old and In With The New Year thing.

Much has transpired this year. Were I to characterize it, I'd say it was one during which I met a lot more people than usual, interesting people. I found people who became my resources, advisors. Some were 'guns for hire'. Brainard, an artist was the one who had the idea of my recruiting 'interns' during the summer. The experience was wonderful. I had me a half dozen graduate men and women strategising, helping with correspondence, completing inventories, writing promotional materials, proof reading, etc. ... they answered my ad in cyberspace. It was wonderful while it lasted.

Early on in my becoming a blogger I found Nina Aoki's site (Lazy geisha) and I do believe we are become friends. I include here a comment she sent me to a post I've this morning removed from my blogsite.

I think it's useful to question the genus of one's art and expression, it can often help us to understand what drives us, because very often, we're searching for an answer and it's simply the question which drives us (a quote Jeff often uses and has taught me as well, but it's quite accurate). Tho, while there is a usefulness in this, might I suggest to simply allow yourself the pleasure of the expression and not become too consumed with the definitions, or even the question itself. Allow your work the room to breathe and stand on its own. I think you will find that your greatest joy lies there along that path and has been there waiting for you all along. While art is very often about pain, true human pain and torment, art can also be about beauty and bliss. One does not have to be a tortured soul to create art, tho, very often that is the case isn't it? xoxo, nina"

Try as I had to write to her my response, I was unable to. I could not spit it out, say that my art was and is of a man who is 'tortured'. It is indeed the persona I've been -for too many years.

Rachel lives in Estonia. far off from New York City. She answered my inquiry for information and assistance. She has become my advocate, my editor and a valued new friend. We tried revising my web site. She in Estonia and I in New York City. It didn't go very well. I needed a new web-master, one to replace Alicia in California, who was no longer freelancing and the new one, Peter Orengo was suggested to me, literally, was referred to him from someone on the internet, got him to visit my studio and see what I was about. We are even now in the process of designing a more interactive, updated site. The showcase I built for my book art has been sitting untouched for more than a year due to 'changed circumstances' ones over which Alicia (the gal who built what you now see) had no control.


This was too was a year of my brushes with mortality (blood clots), of going totally blind. I lost the sight of one eye years back after cataract surgery. The retina of my one good eye was detaching, and re-attaching it was a very close call, performed just in the nick of time. So this year I averted both death and blindness through the good services of my doctor, Joyce Fogel and some wonderful people who were her colleagues. It has been a year that began with my dancing on narrow ledges, a veritable Humptey Dumptey about to fall, one near calamity after another.

What stands out on this, my 78th year, was my not feeling the loner I had been for most of my life. There are friends, new and old on hand. -Wisely and well my wife Annette did her work so well, knew just how be there without making my dependency and my utter helplessness a cause for my resenting her. My daughter (pride and joy, novelist, her recently supplied me with all sorts means and ways of enduring those dark hours and days of recuperating from eye surgery:she brought a cornucopia of books on tapes and music on CDs.

I've been a loner for many years! And this is one I've found myself far from feeling or being 'alone'.

Friends in the here and now, No family to speak of) who are not in cyberspace are: Bruce, his wife Karen in New Hampshire, (old colleagues having taught art on Long Island once upon a time). In Manhattan, there's Guy Kettelhack (poet, with whom I've collaborated) He and David Schechter, my neighbor are gay men, introduced me to the actual world of being gay. There's Jon McCormick, (my shrink, the best luck my having found him.) and Richard Wandell (he's an archivist at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Center. Has a large collection of my book art)..., Catherine Johnson-Roehr (archivist at the Kinsey in Bloomington, Indiana.) Werner and Eva (old friends), Bob and Patricia (new friends) on Long Island, Mirjam, a former student I taught a very long time ago in Central Islip High, now lives in Dallas Texas ...

I've found myself this year rededicated and especially renewed.

I love working, love learning, ... love knowing there is yet so much still to do.

Finding new gladness & joy!
Happy New Year


Blogger Karen said...

Well said. You have a lot of classy art, here. They're all really interesting to look at. Great Job, Happy New Year.

January 2, 2007 at 1:46 AM  
Blogger Norman said...

Hello Karen,

may I say you've a very good eye! :-)

....Pair of eyes. after having visited your blog site. Your photographs (at the top of of this morning's page): are the epitome of a very female female sensibility. Alluring! You bring viewers INTO the picture field. And do it incredibly well.

What there are of your drawings suggest to me a talent in that direction too. In time, (and it does take time) you'll evolve your own motifs and unique calligraphy.

I look forward to visiting with you again.
Hope you will do the same.


January 2, 2007 at 6:46 AM  
Blogger Guy said...

thought I was leaving a comment before when it turned out I was emailing you (have to get the knack of this thing) - what I wanted to tell you was how marvelous I found the brilliant blue (etc.) series of triangles in your blog, Norman (geometry, via you, IS art) - to click on it and get it in its full journal glory is terrific. Your journals are where you are most unbridled, and where your art sings without cease. Hope we can see lots more pages therefrom.

with love -


January 5, 2007 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Norman said...

Hi Guy,

The colors do sing. Different here than on the paper page. Thanks for looking in.


January 5, 2007 at 5:59 PM  

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