Karen’s Wave

Karen Israel is an award-winning Connecticut pastel artist whose work is in the collections of The New Britain Museum of American Art (New Britain, CT), the Slater Memorial Museum (Norwich, CT), the CT Academy of Fine Arts (Mystic, CT) and the National Arts Club of NYC, among others.

Karen and I spent a day together recently at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT, wandering through the galleries under the astute tutelage of our mutual friend, who is a docent there. Over lunch, I showed Karen some images of the recent Wave installation at The New Britain Museum.  Something about these images stirred her creative juices, because, this past week, Karen sent me a photo of her gorgeous pastel painting of The Wave, flying gloriously in the sky over the Museum.

Karen Israel

Karen Israel

Karen wrote the following words to express her inspiration for “Matinee,” her Wave painting.

I was intrigued by the movement of the colors and shapes created by the wind and the backdrop of the sky. I loved knowing that this installation was created as a community effort. I attempted to connect the ‘waves’ in my painting through color, line and form to symbolize this community creation. I have called this painting “Matinee” as it is what the public will be thrilled to attend in order to be awed, entertained and inspired.   There is a festive, upbeat feeling as I looked upon the Wave Installation. I hope I have communicated that feeling in my painting.

 "Matinee," Karen Israel, Pastel on Paper, 12" x 18," 2013

“Matinee,” Karen Israel, Pastel on Paper, 12″ x 18,” 2013

Elena and I are so pleased that our public art project, in addition to engaging individuals and communities on the topic of water, has also begun to stimulate new works of art based on its inherent beauty.


Rosie’s Wave

Meet Remarkable Rosie

Elena and I met Rosie Dubnansky on June 2 at the New Britain Museum of Art.  She is a lovely, dark-haired teenager from New Britain, CT who was participating in the Museum’s Family Day Wave-making Program.  In fact, we included a photo of Rosie at the event in our June 5, 2013 blog post entitled, ‘We Are All Connected: Faces of the Wave.”

 Rosie Dubnansky With Her Wave, June 2, 2011 at The New Britain Museum of American Art

Rosie Dubnansky With Her Pieces of The Wave, June 2, 2011 at The New Britain Museum of American Art

As it turns out, Rosie is enrolled in the Youth Drawing 101 class at the Museum and, to our great delight, completed a wonderful black and white pencil drawing of the Museum’s exterior that includes a portion of The Wave installation in full color flying over the outdoor terrace. Katy Matsuzaki, the Museum’s Coordinator of School and Family Programs, had given the class the assignment to create a line drawing of the museum, or as she called it, a ‘museumscape.’ Katy sent a photograph of Rosie’s drawing to me and suggested that we might want to include it along with the very gracious endorsement of The Wave that she wrote for us, but I thought it deserved its own blog post as the very first work of art inspired by The Wave.  I love how the delicate rendering of the leaves and The Wave contrast with the hard, rigid lines of the building and I am impressed with Rosie’s decision to limit the use of color only to The Wave in order to draw the viewer’s eye to that small area of the drawing.

WAVE by Rosie

“Exterior of The New Britain Museum of American Art With The Wave Installation,” Rosie Dubnansky, Pencil and Colored Pencil on Paper, 2013

What we didn’t know about Rosie until Katy sent me her ‘artist’s statement’ for this blog post was that she was born in Russia and that she is completely deaf.  Because she has two cochlear implants, Rosie is able to live both in the world of the hearing and the deaf. In addition to being a senior at Wethersfield High School and the Capital Region Education Council’s (CREC’s) Soundbridge Program, this remarkable young lady is studying jewelry and pottery at Wesleyan Potters in Middletown, CT, loves to create portraits, sketches and watercolor paintings and is hoping to become a professional artist. We think she has a very promising future in the field!