Laurie Greenbaum Beitch Artist Statement




When I was a young girl, my grand aunt, Julia Sonnabend Rice, would take me to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on Tuesday nights. It was not the glitzy, popular place it is today. It was kind of depressing. The restaurant, which was a grim affair in the basement, specialized in salad with brownish bits of apples and slightly wilted lettuce. The clientele was ancient, a blur of blue haired Brahmin ladies. Upstairs, we toured the various exhibits, my grand -aunt asking my opinion of the pictures we saw. She would take the time to explain what she thought was special about the pictures, and the artists that created them. I found the whole business exhilarating.

I still do. There is something so utterly exciting and optimistic about starting a new picture, especially with some gorgeous, velvety new pastels. It is like the first day of school. You check your pencil box to make sure everything is sharpened and in order. You anticipate the coming months with excitement and some anxiety. Eventually however, you may learn quite a bit, and even figure out why they included a protractor.

More than anything for me, painting is about the process. In my work, I try to evoke a mood, to create a feeling of light, of atmosphere. I experiment with different materials and techniques. Regardless of how the picture is resolved, I feel satisfied with having gone through the process of creating it. For some reason, which I have not yet figured out, I become unbearable if I have not painted in a while. Just ask my husband.

I am intensely interested in color. That is probably why I love pastels. There are so many seductive shades from which to choose. I work on-site, because I feel my color relationships will be more genuine and less predictable.

I hope to convey somehow my feelings of how precious these scenes are. I try to capture their beauty, tranquility, and fragility. With the sprawl of the suburbs, it is becoming more difficult to find these serene and magical places.