When I moved to the Hudson Valley in 2019, after 54 years in New York City, I knew it would be a monumental change. I arrived in New York when I was 23 and burning with desire to be a painter. Now, at 77, I was leaving the city of my dreams, with some regret, to make a life in the country.
As a young artist, transitioning from painting to installation sculpture, I was inspired by the dark, gritty subways, bridges, and tunnels linking the city to the larger world. I loved staying up late, working into the wee hours in my studio in The City That Never Sleeps. Now, in my studio—a former woodworker’s shop—I was looking across a green lawn at my new house as night quietly fell. I wondered what kind of artist I was going to be now. I got out my watercolors and began to paint my house as I saw it from the studio. In the late summer and early fall of 2019, I completed more than thirty of these sketches. It didn’t take long for me to move the house from the center of the painting off to the side, so that the focus was on the trees, the sky, the stretch of lawn. As the days grew shorter and I continued working, I allowed myself to begin to imagine more of the night sky, while keeping a sliver of the house in view.
It felt natural to move from watercolors, then to photography and diorama boxes in the spring of 2020. I had made dioramas before as works in themselves but also as studies for possible installations. As I made six new dioramas, I began to find my way, integrating the artist I had been with the artist I would become.