Artist Essays

In the Beginning (Nonbiblical Version)

By Ed Haddaway In many ways my lifetime has been spent in what was our backyard. Far from being chained like our first collie, Lassie (in the1950s there was no other possible dog anyone, anywhere, could have), I have roamed freely for these past 68 years. In fact,...

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Writing into the Gap

Writing into the Gap

How to get a grip when a work of art leaves you almost speechless By Millicent Young It happened again. Within seconds: scalp tingling, forearms in goose bumps, the held breath released and then tears. I am in a gallery seeing Ursula von Rydingsvard’s work on a...

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Painting with Big Mama

Painting with Big Mama

By Phillis Ideal I still see Big Mama leaning over her garden to pick a zinnia to put in her still life. Her old pink slip hung diagonally, a foot below her hiked-up stained dress, half-covered by her paint smock, which matched her white faux-fur bedroom slippers,...

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My Mother, My Self

My Mother, My Self

Lessons and inspiration from an artist mom By Patricia Moss-Vreeland In all my years of training as an artist, both at the University of the Arts and Tyler School of Art, I can recall many gifted and inspiring teachers, but none gave me quite so solid a sense of...

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Reflecting on Vermeer

Reflecting on Vermeer

For years I’ve looked at different works by countless artists. I’ve looked at different objects from all different periods of time—ancient, Renaissance, modern, post-war, contemporary, along with the efforts of teachers, friends, and…

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Not-So-Still Life with Children

Not-So-Still Life with Children

Without my four sons, I would be a different artist. They were born one right after the other—the oldest was four when the fourth was born—simplifying as many complications as were created. I dearly wanted a family, and knew…

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On the Shoulders of Giants

On the Shoulders of Giants

I feel somewhat this way about being a painter after having first been an art historian. Sometimes it is a deterrent to contemplate the achievements of others, but sometimes their work serves as inspiration. Though I’ve had…

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