currently living in Harlem, NY. My journey as an artist began at age ten at the Art Students’ League in New York City in a watercolor class led my Mrs. Ethel Katz. I used my portfolio of paintings I created there as my entrance application to Music and Art High School. Unfortunately, as I approached college-age, I was discouraged by “well intentioned” adults in my life from pursuing art as a vocation. I eventually lost interest in painting and chose other career options, however, there was always a gnawing question in the back of my mind “why aren’t you painting?” Along the way, several people pushed and prodded me to get back to painting, but I only went as far as dibbling and dabbling as a hobbyist.
Three things reignited my passion to paint after a thirty plus year hiatus. To re-immerse myself in painting, I took a course at Parson’s School of Design and I was encouraged by one of my instructors to “get serious” about my art. Second, during a meditation course called “Finding Your Purpose,” I had a vision of a Native American woman who told me that my purpose was to “bring beauty to the earth.” Third, I entered my first abstract painting of Copper Metal into a 2015 Montclair, NJ exhibit just for the experience. To my surprise – it was purchased! I took this as a clue from the Universe that I should keep going and I quickly got back on track.
…After I finished up commissions I had on my list, I was basically just painting… One day I pulled up a random photo online, decided just to paint a random dog, and I noticed this dog is a shelter dog, and it was a light bulb that went off where I said, “You know what, why don’t you, during Covid, when I’m home, why don’t I reach out to some local shelters and paint some of the long-time dogs and see if I can post them on social media, get them noticed and hopefully find them homes….
…In the early days of quarantine, Sandy embarked on a quest to make virtual drumming lessons a reality. He loves his tried-and true-method of playing with his students using the two drum sets in his studio but found that adjusting the sound and synchronization over zoom was too great of a challenge. Instead, he provides a demonstration and discussion, then asks the student to play. Sandy tweaks the speaker and microphone settings so both he and the student are satisfied with the sound. …
…“The results from the video classes are in some ways better than in person classes. (Simultaneous demonstration and working time) pushes the students to try new things and to work faster,” says Jan. “I will continue to use this method of instruction in my classes when we can meet again in person. While nothing replaces actual in person classes – and I want to resume them as soon as possible – this has been a saving grace, not just for me but for of my students as well. Some of them were alone and feeling overwhelmed. It gave us all a sense of purpose and belonging. And I am so excited with the results!” …
Long Island Portfolio magazine publishers Alex M. Wolff and John Joseph Dowling, Jr. are thrilled to be able to support and showcase such great artists and their art in our first issue, Fall 2020. Enjoy the art and stories of Steven Calapai, Billy Mira, Maya Frank, Jeffrey Steele, EDward Steven Katz, Mike Gomes, Tony DeCaprio, Lenny Stucker, and our cover artist Robyn Bellospirito.
Long Island Portfolio magazine is on a mission to help artists of every kind promote themselves and their work from Montauk to Manhattan. We create great content to build and amplify artists social media presence. Nominate your favorite artist to be a Featured Artist and help improve their recognition and reach in our region.
In this issue we have painters, photographers, a jazz musician, country and rock singer song writer, and even stories around food, fashion, cars, cosplay and fantasy, with to poets!
…Barbara studied under the late Kitty Klich for one year and then for a year with Bonnita Budysz, a world-wide artist. Barbara’s work has an impressionist aire to it. She has had her paintings accepted into juried shows in NE Wisconsin. She has been part of several group exhibits with the Water’s Edge Artists and the Green Bay Arts Unlimited groups. Last year her work was in a co- exhibit with another artist; she had her first solo exhibit in August & September of 2020 at the Steele Street Trading Co. & … …through wooded areas. Not everyone lives where there is access to natural beauty, so I like to share with others through my artwork. I believe that when I help others, they will in turn help me directly or indirectly. So I give back in these ways. …
As a self-taught emerging artist, my work in oils is reflective of architecture, flora, landscape and street scenes that I’ve photographed in my travels, especially during a trip to Ireland, however the beauty of Long Island offers unsurpassed opportunities to create. The serenity of the East End, whether it’s on one of the undulating sea shores or in a bright lavender field, brings me to the canvas. Butterflies and birds take …
Robyn: Yes. My favorite shoot with you was in the woods because we did four different photo shoots in one. I felt free to be whatever it was I was feeling in the moment. I brought several costume changes that were easy where I could just throw something on over what I was wearing and it totally transformed it. Not only was I free to express myself through movement ’cause I do dance and art modeling and I’ll work that into it.
One of the greatest things I can receive as an artist is freedom to express myself. It’s always easy to work with you because you’re always open to my ideas and I could just emote. When I saw the photographs afterward, I looked at what you saw and you captured the angles, the moments when it felt very intense and expressive for me, and you captured these beautifully. Sometimes you would give minimal guidance, like what we got from the fairy shot that turned that into such magic.
I didn’t know what you were seeing and when I saw the finished work …
you did Photoshop to it, the green one where I’m reaching out… I could not have done that work on my own. I can be on my end and do my part, but I that collaboration is necessary in order for me to gain something much greater than myself that I couldn’t have done on my own.
Alex: If you look at the different photos that we’ve got, they’re very, very different they don’t even look like they’re from the same shoot or same session. It’s almost like you changed costume then the whole world changed around you. You used the term transformation before and it was just an amazing thing for me to capture. Then there are limitations when you’re in nature about what’s there, so there has to be in my eyes a capture process and for me, the capture starts with capturing who you are at peak moments of emotion and then trying to enhance that to tell the story. So the collaboration is ongoing and it continues from the time we decided we’re going to do a shoot.
AW: And I’m seeing something over there on the chair (referring to Maya’s paint pallet)
MF: Yeah, it is my, one of my tools. So I mix and match my paints and millions of brushes that I have – I draw, I paint, with anything that I see next to me. So, that could be an art piece as well –
AW: Yes, I was thinking that we’d photograph it and use that as part of the article.
MF: They actually have that in the city. They have like a big, I forgot what it’s called, they have a collection of… from the different artists –
AW: The palettes –
MF: The palettes from different artists, from, centuries, and they’re selling them as art pieces.
AW: I think they are. You want to hear a funny story, I went to Jackson Pollock’s house, are you familiar with Jackson Pollock? He does, he’s passed away quite a few years, but he did drip and splatter paintings. He lays canvas on the floor, and would spread his paint, and move it all over the place, and a lot of his paint would miss the canvas. So around the edges of the canvas, you’d have all this paint splatter. I made artwork by photographing his paint splatter.
MF: Oh, well that’s, that’s very interesting.
AW: It was awesome to see. What pieces are you working on now?
MF: Well, this I just finished. And I’m working on the piece ‘Medusa’ for past three years’ I believe. I wanted to bring character to it and thoughts. It’s still in my head.
AW: And I’ve noticed you have lots of black and white pieces as well as the color pieces.