Thursday, December 24, 2015

Cotswold England- Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The Cotswolds is one of the most 'quintessentially English' and 
unspoiled regions of England where you cannot help but fall 
in love with the uniqueness of it.

The unique region officially covers an area of 790 square miles in the 
upper part of the southwest region of England and is the country's 
largest officially designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.'

Popular with both the English themselves and international visitors from 
all over the world, the area is well known for gentle hillsides (‘wolds’), 
outstanding countryside with river valleys, water meadows and 
beechwoods, sleepy ancient limestone villages, historic market towns 
and for being so ‘typically English’ where time has stood still 
for over 300 years.

I created 4 one of a kind works on paper, capturing the hills, colors 
and essence of this beautiful place.

Rolling hills and farm fields typical in the Cotswolds landscape

Cotswold Natural Beauty 1

Cotswold Natural Beauty 2

Cotswold Natural Beauty 3

Cotswold Natural Beauty 4


Monday, November 2, 2015

From Travel to Art: The Process from Otavalo to Series

How do I interpret the landscapes, people, events of my travel into the art I create when I come home? I take many photographs. I think about the things that had impact on my eyes, my senses. I wait a while to see what stays in my mind's eye. I remember the colors and textures that stand out in my memory.

So the roundness and colors of the fruits and vegetables at the market place

become the colors and textures I use in the art.

The rich volcanic soil that makes this area such perfect farmland

morphs into my interpretation of the patchwork views of farms seen from the Andes' heights.

The indigenous people from Otavalo are famous for weaving textiles, usually made of wool that is sometimes as black as a raven.

The colors and textures of the textiles, the landscape and all my memories become part of the art.

There are 4 more in this series. Visit to see those and other series inspired by travel.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Linda Dubin Garfield, 10 years of Art and Caring @ Philly Fringe Festival

For the past 10 years on her birthday, Linda Dubin Garfield has a party and asks her guests to make collages on a theme. Months later, at the Book Trader, as a part of the Philly Fringe Festival, Linda exhibits these, as well as her own art, and invites the public to participate. Proceeds from sales go to charity. This year's theme is "Family," and the recipient is Family Support Services.

Thanks to John Thornton for making this YouTube video!
For more information and images, go to my website

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Otavalo Art Series- Mixed Media

Travel to the Ecuadorean Andes in the Otavalo area provided much inspiration for artwork. The colorful clothing and textiles, the lush Andes, farmland patterns, abundant flowers, deep rich soil... all contributed to a vast visual vocabulary transposed into these 8 mixed media pieces.

Otavalo 1- Journey of Discovery

Otavalo 2- Heightened Moments

Otavalo 3- Where To Find Me

Otavalo 4- Traces Within

Otavalo 5- Everything Is Possible

Otavalo 6- Wisdom of the Land

Otavalo 7- Landscape Of Possibility

Otavalo 8-Joyful Intersections

Friday, September 11, 2015

Otavalo, Ecuador: Texture, Textiles and Tradition

--> The indigenous Otavaleños  (people from Otavalo) are famous for weaving textiles, usually made of wool (that is sometimes as black as a raven), which are sold at the famous Saturday market. Although the largest market is on Saturday, there is a very wide range of wares available throughout the week in the Plaza de los Ponchos, and the many local shops. The shops sell textiles such as handmade blankets, tablecloths, and much more.

During the market's peak, almost one third of the town becomes full of stalls selling textiles, tagua nut jewelry, musical instruments, dream catchers, leather goods, fake shrunken heads, indigenous costumes, hand-painted platters and trays, purses, clothing, spices, raw foods and spools of wool.

Otavalo was an area made up principally of farming communities due to the rich volcanic soils in this area, but with the growth of tourism, the town has begun to focus more on the making of handicrafts which have made the Saturday market a popular stop with visitors to Ecuador. Tourism has become the town's main industry. Further, Otavaleño have had notable success selling their goods abroad.

Staying in a hacienda while visiting Ecuador has become a “must do” for any trip to the Ecuadorian Andes. Experience historical farm houses that date back to the 16th century that have been renovated and changed into first class hotels, lodges and inns.

Haciendas in most cases were founded by Spanish settlers who received large gifts of land from the Spanish and then later Ecuadorian government and managed expansive farms using the local indigenous population as laborers. Most haciendas nowadays are reduced to a small area of land around the historical house after centuries of land reforms and selling of land parcels to neighboring farmers. But many of the remaining houses maintain their original architecture, gardens, towering trees and old world ambiance.

Hacienda Cusin is a luxurious country inn amidst eternally blooming gardens and nearly 400 years of colonial history. Located near Otavalo in a spectacular natural setting at the foot of the dormant Imbaburra volcano, activities like horseback riding, mountain biking, and high tea on the balcony are not to be missed.

Dating from the 1600s, Hacienda Zuleta lies at 9,600 feet above sea level in the spectacular Andean mountain range of Ecuador, 2 hours North of Quito. This eco-resort, nature sanctuary and working farm is the home of former Ecuadorian president, Galo Plaza and maintains an authenticity rarely found in modern accommodations. Guests of Hacienda Zuleta have access to our full horse barn and horseback riding trails, prime bird watching areas, mountain bikes, Andean Condor sanctuary, endangered Spectacle bear habitat area, organic gardens, working dairy farm, cheese factory and museum, hiking trails, local community culture and artisans and much more.

I will be posting the art I made based on travel to this wonderful place! I have been working on the series for months and am almost finished and ready to show the 8 pieces! Here are some photos from our trip which inspired my work.

Andes Near Otavalo at Hacienda Zuleta

Farms near Hacienda Zuleta

Beautiful Andes

The Andes are all around

Marketplace at Otavalo

Colorful Vegetables For Sale

Colorful Beans and Rice

Textiles Made by Locals

Potatoes in Many Hues and Shapes

Monday, August 3, 2015

Stonehenge Revisited

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England about 2 miles west of Amesbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred butial mounds.

Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Radiocarbon dating in 2008 suggested that the first stones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, while another theory suggests that bluestones may have been raised at the site as early as 3000 BC.

The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. The site and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 in a co-listing with Avenury Henge. Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage while the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.

Archaeological evidence found by the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2009 found burial remains.

I first visited Stonehenge in 1965 when you could walk among the stones right up to it. It is now fenced in since some of the stones got loose from so many people walking on he ground around it.

It is still a moving and impressive experience filled with mystery.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Jolly Old England

What a fun place to visit! London is a grand city, multicultural, sprawling, lots to do! Our city tour with a private driver took us to the tourist highlights- changing of guard at Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, Marble Arch, Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, as well as through many neighborhoods- Westminster, town of London, Camdentown, Russell Square

We really got a feel for the city and knew where we wanted to go back to visit more deeply. Our first stop was The British Museum  near Russell Square. Highlights include the Rosetta Stone, Egyptian artifacts,  the Elgin Marbles from the Parthanon, Lewis Chess Set,

Ocus Treasure
Elgin Marbles

Lewis Chess Set

Monday, July 20, 2015

New Technology/ Old Haunts

Is this where I write on my iPhone? Trying out the new technology before I leave for England next week!

My grandson and I will be in London for 6 nights, in Bath for two nights and the Cotswolds for three nights. We are both Downton Abbey fans so that's our first stop after arriving in London for a full day city tour. We plan to visit some places I went on my first trip to Europe in 1965! Susan Weisgrau Lear, my travel mate on that grand tour, and I just had lunch together to celebrate our 50th anniversary of that trip! Yaakov and I plan to visit Stonehenge, Oxford and Strafford-on-Avon which I saw all those years ago as well as many new places to be decided as we drive in the countryside.

I am looking forward to fun times with my grandson, enjoying all that England has to offer!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Love of Travel

I often wonder how my love of travel was developed. When I was younger than 8, I remember having a map of the United States on the wall near the foot of my bed and I memorized the capitals. I kept a record of which states I had visited- New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania... waiting to go further north, south or west.

I saved money from my first job and left for the grand tour of Europe. In the summer of 1965, Sue Lear Weisgrau and I spent 8 weeks and $5 a day seeing the highlights of major cities. We used a Europass on trains, stayed in pensions and had a fabulous time. We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of that trip this summer.

Single, I took a trip every summer- Mexico, London, Scotland. When we got married and had small children and big tuition bills, our travel stopped.  We did save to take our children to Israel several times. Luckily, Norman loves travel as much as I do and, once he retired and then I did, we have been to all 7 continents, South America four times, Asian several times... always ready for the next journey.

Next up is a new twist... travel with my grandson to England. We are both Downton Abbey fans so that excursion was a must. Yaakov has an aunt and uncle outside London where we will stay for half the trip. The other half will be around Bath and the Cotswolds, with stops to Stonehenge, Oxford, Strafford on Avon, places I visited 50 years ago. Time for another visit, wouldn't you say?

We travel to feel ourselves fully in the world, to see the world in new ways, immersed in the experience of discovery. I am so happy to be sharing that discovery with my grandson.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lankenau Hospital Dedication, March 12, 2015

The Shabbat Suite at Lankenau Hospital was dedicated in memory of Dr David E. Epstein z"l on Thursday, March 12, 2015. Phillip Robinson, president of the Lankenau Medical Center, spoke as well as Dr. Stephen Gollomp who dedicated the prayer room in memory of his parents, especially his mother. Cheryl Epstein, widow of David Epstein, also spoke as did Rabbi Abraham A. Levene, Rabbi Emeritus of Lower Merion Synagogue.

The art works selected for Room 1 are my colorful works on paper inspired by travel. This project was conceived by Rabbitzen Choni Levene. I am proud to be included in this wonderful project for our community.

Phillip Robinson introduces Stephen Gollomp

Phillip Gollomp speaking

Rabbi A Levene speaking

Rabbi Levene, Ted Kosloff, Phyllis Kosloff, Choni Levene, Cheryl Epstein

Two of my mixed media prints in room 1

More of my art (mixed media prints) in Room 1

Grace Miller from Jerusalem, Israel, and one of my works on paper

Two of my mixed media prints in Room 1

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Alaska- Inspiring Awe + ART

It is no wonder I called this series "Believe Your Eyes," since the visual beauty of Alaskan vistas is astounding. Here are some photographs of some beautiful scenes along our way:

And here are some more of my interpretations:

Golden Wilderness- monotype

Silver Spring in the Forest- monotype

Silvered Trees- monotype

Golden Forest- monotype

Believe Your Eyes- mixed media

Monday, February 23, 2015

Believe Your Eyes- Alaskan Inspired Art

Last summer we went to Alaska and I was overwhelmed with the natural beauty there. A trip to Alaska amid all the natural beauty made it hard to believe my eyes when I saw the incredible natural resources. Over 75% of the land is preserved wilderness! They have wooded wilderness, mountains, lakes, glaciers, abundant flowers in summer- everything to make your visit a stunning visual experience. I captured some of the color and beauty from that trip into this series.

There are 15 images in this collection.

Believe Your Eyes- mixed media

Believe Your Eyes 2- mixed media

Endless Wonder 1- mixed media

Endless Wonder 2- mixed media

Golden Forest- monotype