This will be about my views on what it takes to put a three dimensional world onto a two dimensional surface. With a lot of digressing.
Don't forget to leave a comment, or a question if you have one, below the post. Thanks.


Jun 19, 2009


With children and no room to spare, I painted in the dining room. Everything had to be put away before it was time to start dinner. I became a permanently neat and tidy painter.Like it or not. I tried to make a studio work in the basement, but it was dark and depressing.

I tried to make a studio work in the garage, not for winter, no privacy.
I rented space in town, but I couldn't spend much time there.
Then we added a room to the back of the house, which was lovely until we needed more room.

(I should have fought for it)

A few years later I applied for, and received a MacDowell Colony fellowship. The colony is in the New Hampshire woods, with scattered cottages /studios for artists, composers, and writers. One of the studios was based on an Italian villa (I think). You don't know which studio will be yours until you get there. Lunch was delivered to your studio doorstep, dinner was shared in the main building, as was breakfast.

So for a month this was mine, all mine. Shared only with a few resident mice.

Alexander Studio, The MacDowell Colony, NH

PHOTOS Margery Caggiano


Studio Interior

What kind of work did I do there you ask? And well you might.

Nothing I could do would live up to that studio. It was like singing in a cathedral. Solo.

If it was a permanent arrangement I would have adapted, but adapting takes time, and then your work usually changes depending on the light, among other variables. It was overwhelming. And I kept thinking that I should be grocery shopping, making dinner, wifely things-never having painted away from those interruptions. Necessary of course, but still...

I went to the Colony again a few years later, and this time got a normal cottage. The breakfast conversations were still a high point.

After that we moved out to the Eastern End of Long Island, and it was back to a garden shed. Again, for the summer only, I rented studio space and gallery in Montauk. I was told by another artist that psychologists and psychiatrists that summered out there preferred non-objective paintings. I'll leave it at that.

As a matter of fact, one year a gynecologist won the Annual Shark Tournament. I'll leave that alone as well.

We finally built our own house with, space and skylights for me, the children were grown, and that's where I did my best work. It was nice while it lasted.

Whoever you are, male, female, or anything in between.




  1. Amen to that! -- and I enjoyed reading every word of this post!! What a cool honor to get a fellowship like this -- and not once, but twice!! You go, girl!!!

  2. Double the amen. Ditto on Chris' comment.
    How fortunate you were to go there twice.Really impressive.