Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Over Oberman's" - A Friendship, and A Swap

Over Oberman's  oil
 When we started visiting Monhegan Island ten or so years ago, I began visiting artists' studios.  On the walk down Horn Hill is a small fragment of shingle wedged in between a smaller couple of supporting sticks. The shingle quietly announces: "A. Simon  Tue, Thurs 2-4". It has an arrow.  Hmmmm.  Is there a Simon somewhere in there?  Man or woman?  And, where?  

The arrow points to a grassy knoll, with wonderful view over the village.  A. Simon.  So, I followed the arrow, and found a gap in a hedge.  Stepping through revealed a lovely old house, and studio perched on the side of the hill.   Turns out A. Simon is Arline Simon, of Yonkers and Monhegan Island, wife of artist Moe Oberman. Her work is exciting!  And, though my family moved from New York when I was of pre-school age, Arline's quick wit and accent felt like coming home. 

Tam's Notch by Arline Simon
Soon after, I began my Arline Simon collection with a striking image of Manana which I cherish. Visiting Arline in her studio has become one of the highlights of our Monhegan visits. 

This past summer, I was admiring one of Arline's pieces.  She and I talked about a trade.  Arline and Moe planned to look at my site to choose something, but didn't have a chance before we were heading off Island Saturday morning.  Just before the ferry pulled in, Arline came down the hill and handed me a bag containing her painting and a bouquet of wildflowers. (Tradition says, flowers given to you as you leave the island mean you will return.)  So moving.
With Arline at the dock

 We communicated this fall about completing our   trade, but hadn't yet succeeded when an invitation  arrived for Arline's semi-annual show at the Upstream Gallery in Dobb's Ferry, NY.  Long story a little shorter, I did a painting of Arline and Moe's home from above on the grassy knoll; we headed off to New York to surprise Arline at her opening, to see her new work (which is striking!), and to complete the exchange.  So glad we did.  Arline and Moe were so surprised!  We also had a chance to meet Jerry Vis,  to see his wonderful work and talk about his process.  Great weekend all around!
With Arline at Upstream Gallery

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