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A BIG Idea.

March 4th, 2018

A BIG Idea.

The story of painting with James Water, to be continued. The link above is for a pastel of a story from the Torah. I want to paint more ideas and abstractions during my present Torah studies. My son knew Rabbi Yehuda Ferris since his years at the Hebrew Academy in San Francisco. There is a long bio needed tyo talk about my son, his life in art and music, and his recent death from a pain killer, an opiod, known as Fentanyl.

updated March 4, 2018

Fiverr, my Badge.

March 4th, 2018

Fiverr, my Badge.

I like the opportunity to meet with many people online at Fiverr and learn from looking at all the gigs, to understand how things work. I have purchased and sold from my gigs. I am going back into digital art at this point, and need to study a few things before I can excel at it. I feel that it would free me to be able to travel and work on the Internet.

An Artists Trek, Biographical Sketch

March 4th, 2018

An Artists Trek, Biographical Sketch

Travel Blog

Suzanne Fellerman Giuriati Cerny

I attended the High School of Music and Art which was housed in a Manhattan "castle" a landmark building on Convent Ave and 135th Street from 1952 to 1956. After some consideration about joining the Art Students League, I was accepted to study fine art and design at the Cooper Union Institute. After graduation I worked briefly in an art related business in New York City. I left New York when I was very young, about 21, having decided that I wanted to see and learn more about America. My first journey in 1960 was through the southwest, visiting the Great Smokies national park, stopping in Birmingham, AL., and somewhere in West Virginia. This travel actually extended south west to Texas where we entered Mexico. It was the beatnik era, and there were no barriers to our being on the road with a backpack.

From Alabama we walked, all night, towards Houston, Texas, and then crossed into Mexico through Brownsville. In Mexico, we took a local bus ride down the East Coast and visited Tuxpam and the city of Veracruz. By 1961, after having returned to New York and worked for a year, we decided to go north to New Hampshire, then on to eastern Canada. I thought I had a good idea to travel and see North America. A friend and I hitchhiked across the trans Canada Highway, which had just been newly constructed. I had already seen the central states, having driven out to Sioux City, Iowa, and taken a raft trip on the Missouri River. My friend and I had arranged a river trip in an army doubled pontoon kayak, on the Missouri. We had to get permission from the Sioux City, Iowa Core of Engineers to make that trip.

We hitchhiked out of New York State north to Canada. We e discovered Ontario, Canada, and then dipped down into an area near Lake Superior, entering Ohio and points west. We arrived in Iowa and made our raft trip on the Missouri for 10 days. We camped, kept a journal with sketching and had to watch out for rattlesnakes.We got off the river in Decatur, Nebraska, just before the Missouri entered the wider Mississippi River.
Getting off the river in Decatur, Nebraska, we bought a car for $50 and went to Kansas City to visit a friend. In Kansas City I discovered a big modern library, and I started reading Journals by Henry David Thoreau, and adventures of mountain climbing in the Himalayas, and finally about the North West Passage expeditions, where Sir John Franklin and his successors searched for a passage to India in the Canadian Arctic.

I worked as a waitress in a steak house for a winter, and then returned to New York for a time where I worked in an ice cream parlor, and then I really wanted to visit a Canadian explorer who had written a book about living in the arctic. I had read a lot of books about explorers and I was all synced up to become one myself. Back in New York, I worked on plans for a trip through Canada. I hoped also to see the northern plains states. I went with a friend, starting north from New York City, through New England, and visited a much celebrated author of the Canadian north, in the U of New Hampshire, Villamor Stefansson. I had discovered his book, Five Years with the Eskimos, written in 1905, while in Kansas City.

In the spring of 1961, we went north into Banff, Alberta and hitchhiked up the Al-Can Highway to Alaska. We road in diffderent cars, and slept during the trip, one night on stacks of burlap bags in a burlap factory. People from Ohio to the northwest were kind enough to pick us up and even stay in their houses overnight. We camped in the open campgrounds sometimes.

The event that led us to living in a log cabin on the bank in clearing in the poplar and pine tree forested hills, was a stroke of real advantage for learning about the sub arctic. There were two cabins, warmed by the big 50 gallon sized wood stoves, in this home owned by two older people.They had been trappers, and niners, and now had to take care of an elderly down in Washington state. We learned from this couple, Jack and Hazel Meloy, to survive in the cold winter months. We learned to hunt moose and dress the animal and keep it frozen in the meat house. We learned to pump drinking water from the river even when the river was iced over. We learned to bake bread and cook for the three sled dogs and ourselves. I studied the banjo that my partner had. brought along with him. We were two winters in these cabins, and traveled 12 miles on the frozen river to visit our nearest neighbors. I had a Fanny Farmer cookbook that my mother had given me, and there I learned to bake pies and cakes. I stayed in the Yukon Territory one more year in another cabin upriver, by myself while my partner went into Whitehorse to find work. We had no communication between us for all the winter months that I stayed alone, this time living mostly on oatmeal.In the beautiful northern summer, and the ensuing fall season, I learned the ways of hunting, river travel, and preserving food from the garden. After 3 years of living in wilderness conditions, I moved into the city of Whitehorse. I taught myself to type in the cabin, and secured a job in the local newspaper office. A competition came in for an artist to design a mural, and the newspaper editor told me, don't paint it, design it to be built out of wood, plywood veneer, in layers. That was the genius idea that surely helped to win this contest. It was on a balcony in the new City Hall, the exterior wall were of local field stones.

In Whitehorse, I continued to paint, and found myself teaching an oil painting class adult night school. I was chosen to build the mural through my design. It took some months to build with the help of a local cabinet maker. I was awarded $5,000 in 1967 for my mural design in the Whitehorse City Hall. The mural, executed in wood sculptural relief, was entitled History of the Klondike. It is still in place, 10 feet tall and 50 feet wide. The center panel was a hand lettered calligraphic statement describing an Oath of the Young Men of Athens to the City of Athens, giving the outpost city of Whitehorse a connection with civilization and law.

In 1957 I came to San Francisco. I obtained a life time teacher credential for adult art through the state of California. My former teacher in 3-dimensional design at Cooper Union, Bob Blackburn, urged me to attain that license and it has been my main employment in adult schools throughout the Bay Area. Oils were my main medium and I began using pastels which are very similar to oils in color and effects. While working as a street portrait artist at Fisherman's Wharf for 3 years, the use of charcoal pencils recreated an interest in pursuing more drawing skills.

In the early 1990's, inherited a beautiful modern home in New Canaan, Connecticut, designed after a work of Mies Van de Rohe, from my Italian born father and his Norwegian wife. I lived in New Canaan for four years. We had three acres of beautiful forested land, that held some really big boulders, typical of New England terrain. I painted some local landscape, and became a member of the esteemed Silver Mine Art Association. I studied oil portraiture with Joann Roy in Norwalk. (If anyone knows the whereabouts of JoAnn Roy, a fabulous portrait painter from the Frank J. Reilly teachings, please contact me). I decided to leave, so worked on selling the house.

My father, Lionello Giuriati, had come to America from Naples, Italy in 1925. He was an artist and painted many beautiful paintings from the impressionist painters, and later from the expressionist era in Europe and America. I was inspired that my step mother had a broad interest in American culture. There were many biographical works and art books in my new home. She furnished her home in contemporary art deco style, and had an original Al Hirschfeld print of Judy Garland.

My father had painted a wide collection of oil paintings for their restaurant in Ohio. The restaurant, called Leonello was well known, and besides the continental cuisine and fine wines, displayed early Picasso's, some French Impressionists as well as interpretations of contemporary artists.

There was an opportunity, I realize now, to be an artist in the art center of the US which was New York City. This was a home left to me for the remainder of my life, and I gave it up. The wanderlust never left me. I couldn't settle down. My father warned me about this. He knew that as a child I had been moved about a lot with my parents. My mother moved us kids from town to town, as my step father who raised us had been discharged from the army, and was pursuing his future, and so we followed me. My birth father cautioned me about taking my first child on a trip, when she was only an infant. He said she would not be able to settle down. Apparently he was so aware of things that affect people all their lives, from childhood, but I didn't obey. I was almost 60 years old and I gave up a home that had no mortage, three acres of woodland, in a wealthy part of Connecticut called New Canaan. I had studied a massage therapy course before I went to Connecticut from San Francisco, and a woman in New Canaan had studied at the same school as I did. She started me with a practice there so I could make a living. I advertised in the New Canaan newspaper, and David Letterman, who lived nearby, called me and I became his therapist for a year.

Leaving this house, I did nothing to purchase another. I continued following my interests, and this time settled in the Arizona desert, a few miles south of Tucson, Arizona. I asked my kids if they would share a multi unit building with me in San Francisco, that I would purchase and each one would have their own home and inherit it after I passed on. But they were not interested either. It seemed none of us had any sense of the coming changes in the economy.

In 1994 I moved to Santa Barbara where I became a member of the Santa Barbara Art Association. There I studied more in the Frank J
Reilly method of painting. I learned to use the Munsell Scale in traditional representative oil painting, from a Manual by Apollo Dorian.

On the California Central Coast, I painted mostly plein air with artists of the O.A.K. Group started by Michael Drury and Ray Strong. I became a sketch artist in a small Jazz Club in Santa Barbara, and started sketching the jazz musicians live, and then did some drawings from historic photos of jazz legends; later making paintings of the players who came from Los Angeles to play at the club. I received a commission from saxophonist Ravi Coltrane to paint a historic family portrait featuring his famous father, John Coltrane, which was given to Alice Coltrane for her 60th birthday. Seven family members were included in the 3x4 foot canvas. My portrait was well received, and I was granted a session with Alice Coltrane as she had me do a few corrections for the various members.

In Santa Barbara I entered a national mural contest, and won the Master Muralist Award which was to be located in Lompoc,
CA. I designed and executed the 500 sq. foot mural there which is a History of a Local Blacksmith Shop.

During this period my son was building a small strawbale dwelling in Tucson, and so In 1999, I moved permanently west to Tucson where I lived and helped to develop this desert land, for 6 years, until the land and building were sold.

I was impressed by the excellent painting happening in the city of Tucson including including my peers at the TPAP art society, and knowing that members of the Cowboy Artists of America also reside in Tucson and populate the Southwest Galleries there. I became a docent at the Tucson Museum of Art and learned about the history of the region and connections with Central and South American art. I belonged to the TPAP plein air artists which increased my interest in the intrinsic value of plein air painting. I took advanced drawing with Paul Tebo in Tucson, in 2003-04 at the Drawing Studio, an organization dedicated solely to traditional and contemporary drawing.

In January, 2005, I moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Regarding my painting mediums, I prefer oils for brush stroke control. I like the odor of the linseed oils, and I like to pre mix my colors. Acrylics were on the market when I was in Cooper Union in 1957 but I have not used them very much except for murals. For murals, I prefer to use acrylics called Nova Color, or if obtainable, Politec Acrylic Paint in jars. I like the ease and complexity of layered computer painting. I like photography as a fine art expression.

At the time of this writing, I am an art instructor for seniors in residence homes. It has been very rewarding and inspiring to see men and women who are upwards of 80 years, who didn't think they could draw to turn out very accomplished and interesting art works.

From 2009 to the present I pursued painting for a gallery in Oakland, CA;, painted expressive images of jazz artists at the 57th Street Gallery and at the Jazz Heritage Center on Fillmore St.

At the present time I am working in oils concerning mythological and legendary literary ideas on large canvases, conceived of and laid out in fundamental Sacred Geometric design. The Golden Mean was used for the initial layout. My son and partner James Water also paints in these canvases.To create a vision of someone else takes a bit of study, and since it had always been my way to copy what I was looking at, this is a good adventure ito the unknown.

Updated March 3, 2018

Jazz Art making, and reminisce

March 4th, 2018

Jazz Art making, and reminisce

Artist Statement concerning my Jazz Art Images
by Suzanne Cerny
March, 2007
(This was originally written for an exhibit at the Tucson Access TV
Station, as well as a short video on jazz art for the show "15

During a recent jazz performance a friend sitting next to me asked why
I draw the musicians during their concert. Her question surprised me.
I thought it was obvious that since I enjoyed jazz music, and liked to
paint people, that the answer would be obvious. I told her that the
act of drawing actually made me feel a part of the music. It is a
variation within the concept of art education for me. I use the
feeling of the moment, the many sounds and changes that I experience
in a jazz performance help me to draw more freely. Therefore I tend to
make better use of the medium and take my art to new levels.
I will divulge more of the feelings that I have about drawing in
general. Drawing for me is a solo experience. I bring it out for
others to see and that is an important part of the artistic
expression. I like connecting with people. I have to admit that I get
a little defensive sometimes. I want people to have to like my art,
and I am gratified when they feel something personal when they look at
it. Now that I am allowing myself to become more visible, I realize
that I need to have something to say that is real for me, and will
therefore be real for others, either on a technical basis, a subject
area, or within the realm of personal expression, but hopefully on all
three of those levels.
When I was young and in college, and was learning about the art world,
it was all about feeling for me. I felt a lot of emotion when I looked
at the masters. I especially liked Matisse for his color and
interpretive design, and I also liked Picasso for his depth of feeling
in his blue and rose periods, when he was drawing people that he
observed. I related very much to natural surroundings, As a little
girl I celebrated the sunrise, the smell of the grasses, the placement
of rocks and soil and plants. It was only natural when I was
introduced to Monet and the Impressionists that I felt deeply when I
saw their interpretations. Explaining feelings, methods, and personal
symbolism is something that all artists have to face.

Artists are sometimes asked: Why do you paint the way you do? Why do
you play the way you do? And we must have answers for people that
satisfy their needs, when they ask it. Their questions are sometimes
instructive or informative if we are open to their inner relationship
as a viewer or buyer or our art..
Talking to musicians about their music is interesting to me. It is
certainly a different dialogue from talking with painters. There is no
mixing of the two. Even when we are thinking of the aspect of feeling,
the feeling we experience when we do the art, we are talking different
languages, mainly because the medium is different.
I talked for a while with Lenny Redhouse, the drummer in the Larry
Redhouse Jazz Trio. He said that when he plays with the group, his
feelings of the moment, his memories of that day, come out in his
playing. The way he put it was: His emotions come out in performance.
He has to know the form of the song, he said, not just rhythm ideas.
He has to react, and be creating something. Another instrument gives
an idea and he runs with it, and builds on it. He said that the bass
player gave him something to work off of, and keeps him from
stagnating. The implication of tones, colors and textures, Lenny said,
meaning the timing and the sound, is what he draws upon. Lenny also
mentioned that the drum is circular, and this is important to him for
choosing this instrument. Lenny said that Elvin Jones is someone who
he can relate to because Elvin is sheer power and emotion. Elvin Jones
was a drummer for John Coltrane.
To return to the subject of drawing jazz musicians live in
performance, I will use an example from artist John Gould, a Canadian
artist, from a book of drawings that I had seen recently called "The
Drawn Image". John Gould was commissioned by Marcel Marceau, the
famous Mime, to draw him in performance. John Gould had his drawings
filmed, and watching the sequence of them brought his drawings to
He sketched bull fights in Spain and then filmed them. On portraits John said:
"Not every face embodies an idea, but, I think a good portrait drawing
can do this´┐Żtransmit an idea. He said, I often draw away from models,
creating faces. Later I discover the face was in my mind for a long
time. It wasn't so much created as uncovered. When I draw from a face
I am looking for something that will ignite an idea. From that point
on I'm not just taking an inventory of features, I'm watching an
unconscious idea confirming itself as I work." J.G.
Well, getting back to sketching musicians in performance, it is very
similar for me. I work in the dark, I make rapid gestural lines,
letting myself go much more than when I am doing a study of a still
person or object in correct lighting conditions, and I am not so much
trying to get an idea from their face or emotion just now, but more
how they hold themselves to get through their performance. One thing I
am very aware of, and something that an astute professor in college
pointed out, was the time factor. The time line to complete a painting
is completely different. I can lay a drawing down and wait until that
musician plays again to continue my work.
Their song has to be accurate and on time all the way through, even in
their rest time! My experience is relaxed but on my own cue. I start
to draw I feel it is the right moment for me, when I have the idea,
and like jazz, it can take a completely different turn at any time. I
am conscious of their starts and stops. Because I have had a lot of
traditional art training, I am aware of keeping my piece consistent
all the way through, particularly if I am planning to make a major
finished piece out of it, and not just a sketch. My thoughts and
feelings arise and subside and I can pause while I decide to
concentrate completely on the music that they are performing. At that
moment I completely forget about drawing at all.
I completed a series of portraits of Jazz musicians in Santa Barbara
during a three year stint in a jazz club as on site artist. It is both
from historic photographs and from the musicians advertising
promotional photos as well as from live sketching as described above.
My idea then was to study the faces and body language of the legendary
musicians, to give me a sort of understanding, anatomy and the
sketches gave me a new way of putting down pastel and charcoal on
Music has always moved me to greater heights. My grandmother played
classical piano, and I took piano lessons at a young age. I somehow
amassed a great record collection of popular music, and I don't
remember actually buying the records. I played them during the long
nights of high school homework, and was an avid radio listener, which
I still am.
I sorely miss not having been in on the ripe young jazz scene when it
was happening in New York City in the 1950's. I was attending the High
School of Music and Art which was in Harlem, and I was just being
introduced to jazz through the music students at my school. I had an
invitation to visit a church and hear gospel from one of the senior
piano students in my school who played organ there, but I didn't go. I
lived in Queens, quite far away.
Now that I am listening to concerts and using the listening time to
make drawings, I have a sense of time and place from my legendary
drawings. I have been fortunate to meet some of the families of the
well known musicians. T.S. Monk, Jr. a drummer with a large traveling
band of his own, and tells wonderful anecdotes of his famous father
during his breaks. Ravi Coltrane played in Santa Barbara also, and I
was able to tell him how I became a jazz fan by listening to his
father's 33 RPM record of A Love Supreme. Ravi liked the sketches I
did of him so much that he commissioned me through the owner of the
club to draw his family from an assortment of photographs that his
sister Michelle Coltrane, a jazz vocalist put together for me. The
portrait of John, their father, was done from a small magazine printed
on newsprint in Japan. Ravi had been looking for a portrait of his
father without holding a horn or leaning on his fist as he often did
when at rest, and it was the only one that Ravi could find like this.
The family was very generous in lending booklets from their record
sets, and when I finished the family portrait, I spent a day with
their mother Alice Coltrane as she had me do a few corrections. The
portrait was a gift to her for her 60th birthday.
I feel most comfortable and able to concentrate on what I want to do
when I am not obliged to be too social. I don't mind being part of the
performance and being observed, because I was a portrait artist in San
Francisco, part of the Art Commission there, where we had regulated
areas to set up on the sidewalk in highly trafficked areas.
But I don't like people talking to me and expecting immediate and
sometimes explanations, while I am obviously focused on the process.
The professional musicians are usually willing to talk with me later
after the show, me being part of the audience. They have different or
indifferent reactions to my drawing activity.
In more than 15 years of doing this, I only had one musician ask me to
stop. We were in a small jazz club, and he had laid out his percussion
instruments, all small brass and wood instruments, on a large red
carpet in the area where they band was playing. He was disturbed by
the scratching of my pencil on the paper.
Musicians are constantly learning from one another in their practice
and when they play together. Painters have to do the same so I take
drawing workshops from time to time. I need to know what is going on
in the contemporary art scene and be informed, even if I choose to
draw to the beat of a different drummer.

Why Art is Important in every civilized country

March 4th, 2018

Most of what is being said about the arts being important in business, since that is our new president D.Trump's major interest, is certainly interesting. The fact that young children can learn to draw a straight line, a circle and a triangle is also important as it trains the hand and eye coordination.

My biggest claim is that there is nothing that a person wears, eats, uses, or sees outside of nature; that wasn't designed initially by some type of artist. It could be fashion design, industrial design, graphic design, package design, website design and so on, because that is the way the world works. If it comes in a package, it needs to be designed. All freight, mailings, USPS, just everything that isn't a stone, a rock, sea shell or tree, is designed by an artist. Who will take up this cry? and bring it to President Trump?

from LinkedIn:
Arts Action:
We are in a position where we have to educate the government in general about the importance of the arts funding, to uphold the culture and civilization that has been built in America since 1492. It would appear that Americus Vespuccio for whom the U.S. was named, is pushed to the background, while everything that America has built and has stood for is crumbling in the hands of Donald Trump. Regarding the government's new head, D. Trump, now the 45th president of the U.S.A., there is a need for each one of us to write and tell our experience, what aspect of the art culture in America has meaning for us. We need to educate this government.

To illustrate, the civilizations that the president is decrying as terrorists, are already being destroyed by the descendants of the people who created the ancient structures, according to prior beliefs and knowledge. Those were the stepping stones of the history of the human traditions and cultures.

I don't actually follow, or even understand, political happenings and motivations. But it can be noted that many works of architecture and sculptures that were kept alive for centuries in the middle eastern countries for example, have been destroyed because they were regarded as no longer important for the MEMORY of the culture that they formerly came from. All religions have relics illustrating their pasts and their beliefs, and from those monuments, we can see the skills of the ancients, study the anthropological twists and turns that evolved over the centuries. It is not up to us to destroy ancient culture. Our ancestors are not going to be forgotten. Our arts programs, take for example the Art Channel on Public Television, is revered by those who love opera, ballet, symphony, music of all genres.

Public Television hosts a showcase of music. We hear and see art movements from every era, past and present, starting from the recent centuries since film was invented.

One of the most enlightening programs on Public Television is the work of Rick Steve, who takes us through countries we would like to, or plan to, visit.

This is important to our growing knowledge of where art has been and where we can take it to in the future. The act of creation is not done in a vacuum, but is a collection of the physical remnants of artists, philosophers, writers, musicians, who rose up during their time to make their voices heard. One of the most expressive forms of music is the jazz genre, which came from a culture that is vastly underrated within a large variety of important, intelligent, cultured, educated, and talented people. Jazz itself describes the musical pop culture of America since it's inception with early settlers in America.
The act of creation is not done in a vacuum, but is a collection of the dust of ages, as it were. One of the most expressive forms of music is the jazz genre, which came from a culture that is vastly underrated within a large variety of important, intelligent, cultured, educated, and talented people.

According to the statistics of The Art Actions Fund, is in the billions. The ability to make art, to design, all craft, everything begins in the minds of the young, with early childhood education.To be able to know the basic visual forms that exist in earth's time, is to be able to decipher the world around us.

To repeat: There is nothing that a person wears, eats, uses, or sees outside of nature; that wasn't designed initially by an artist who was educated in our systems. It could be fashion design, industrial design, graphic design, package design, and so on, because that is the way people recorded their surroundings from the earliest times. All freight, mailings, USPS, just everything that isn't a stone, a rock, sea shell or tree, is designed by an artist. Who will take up this cry? and bring it to President Trump?

Mediums and Paints, my experience

August 31st, 2017

Mediums and Paints, my experience

To be able to express the colors and mediums used is a fine thing. It's many years that I couldn't write or focus on a running journal to explain what colors and mediums I used to turn out a large number of paintings. Given 50 years of trial and error, I have stumbled onto Robert Gamblin's website. It is beautifully written, clearly laid out, and so I highly recommend this for study. My blog here will dwell on how I fared when following his advice.

I am collaborating with James Water on new concepts and compositions, on very large canvases.