When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
by Wallace Stevens.
Channeling the “Edge of Many Circles”; that is the manner with which I approach my art; the many circles of style and inspiration and technique. Indeed, the many circles of landscapes and faces and moments; some touching together with wondrous synergy; some so far apart as to create undeniable contrast and productive opposition.
I was an Economics major at University in New York some years ago. I also studied art at the same university. Most days I would walk from the austere Business and Economics Building to the rambling and chaotic Arts Building, or vice versa. A seemingly enigmatic transition, but for me it provided a balance in both directions, a balance that served me well for my entire working life.
My profession was/is in the Land Surveying, Mapping and Engineering fields. I was fortunate to have worked on the design efforts of several of the most significant infrastructure projects in the New York City metro arena. The work was intense and to uncompromising standards. Through these years I maintained a life balance thru my art; putting paint to canvas, exploring different styles and techniques that would become my signature. The energy and excitement of working at the highest level in NYC did indeed permeate my paintings with manic, rapid, aggressive motion and colors. It was the only way I knew.
During our early years my family and I also by chance happened to vacation in Portugal which set in motion an ongoing love affair with the country and its people. Year after year we returned to Portugal for holidays, deeply cementing our connection thereof. When we came to the happy cross roads of an early retirement we sold most everything in the USA and came to live in Portugal with 2 suitcases each and an incredible feeling of lightness. These last 6 years or so here in Monte Estoril and now Ericeria have provided me with the luxury of time to explore and refine the many stylistic approaches that I had set in motion over the years. My art reflects the admittedly most unusual path from then until now, and at the moment it all feels quite comfortable.
Ewa Shafik; Oslo, Norway
Allan F. Schmid; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Patricia Howard: NY, NY, USA
Vivien Hawkins, South African - March 2020
Paula De Lacerda Tavares; Sintra, Portugal