I was always an artist, from childhood on – and I always wrote…
When I illustrated children’s books, trade and text, my initial sketches were just words upon a page indicating where visuals were to be placed - to be turned into layers of images on tracing paper, into finished sketches for approval, then to finished art, then published, so words and I knew each other, so to speak.
Years later I left illustrating and studied mono printing with Roberto DeLaMonica, master printmaker. My older visual images were a result of that workshop - the dogs, hanging animals, were single images, and in effect were stand-ins for me. It was a way of understanding and processing wounds and rage. There were also The Persona Series; Collograph plates that were made from distressed sheet aluminum, parts of street debris riveted and stitched together like a Frankenstein monster inked, and from it, the prints lifted seemed to produce the foreboding images that were dark, as if I were uncovering a mystery or hidden persona. These were all single images and had informed some of my poems that were written later on.
There was a hiatus, when I won a teaching fellowship with the New Jersey State Arts Council, Art in Education Program and taught for 24 years. Writing - organization of thought, outlining visual art programs became second nature. I realized then that writing was a visual experience; one visualizes then writes down what one sees inward. I taught poetry that fed into visual art projects. I left teaching to pursue working full time as a visual artist and writer of words that fed my visual imagery.
I took poetry workshops and began to look inward finding the words and sentences that made sense to me that defined what was important to me. It was about this time that I began to work in Photoshop, it was like opening a box of magic crayons. It enabled me to think in layers of meaning and the physical layers of visual transparencies. It reminded me of my sketches for children's books with layers of different images on tracing paper to produce a finished composition. It was this that enabled me to think and create in more complex visual associations that reflected and complemented poetic associations.
The content of my imagery both visual and written, endeavor to connect our common understanding of loss, in poems and in visual images; we are all wounded in some way, our wounded-ness defines us and connects us to others. I have come full circle from illustrating children’s books when I started my career - to creating imagery from the words that I now write.
The Mendham Poems. 12 illustrated poems, hand assembled and bound, individual page size, 9.5" x 13", limited edition. Poems from which images were created and in reverse, the images created both pre workshop and post workshop had generated poems. The process of writing and image making are one in the same, although each may stand on its own.
Hallowed Ground #1
Computer Generated image, printed on 13" x 19" Epson hot press Bright, framed 18" x 24", informed by the poem Hallowed Ground, published by Jane's Boy Press, 2015, author Howard Berelson ".....A child had said on that day: “I knew people were falling from the sky because they were folding in the air” Another had said: “The sky is falling."
Hallowed Ground #2
Computer Generated image, printed on 13" x 19" Epson hot press Bright, framed 18" x 24", edition of 6, informed by the poem Hallowed Ground, published by Jane's Boy Press, 2015, author Howard Berelson ".....A child had said on that day: “I knew people were falling from the sky because they were folding in the air” Another had said: “The sky is falling."
computer generated image 11" x 17" on Epson Hot Press Bright, framed 18" x 24. edition of 6. informed by the poem cancer poem, author, Howard Berelson
Computer generated, image size 14.5 x 12", framed size 19 x 16", informed by the poem, Howard's kitchen, published in "Lips", edition 42-43, 2015, author Howard Berelson.
Vietnam Series, Dcember, 2013
Left: CBU.52 A/B Cluster Bombs, image 9.5 x17 on13x19 Hot Press BrightRight: Herbicide Orange, image size 8.75 x 17 on 13 x 19 Hot Press Bright. framed 23" x 32" . Herbicide Orange / Tetrachlodibenzodioxin. Dioxin is in the collective DNA of people, now into the 4th generation.
Computer generated Image: 32" x 33", framed 40" x 40" on Etching Rag, image informed by two poems, Street Scene and Carousel written by Howard Berelson. Edition of 6, Price on Request
Computer generated image, 33" x 32" on 37" x 36" Somerset Velvet framed 40"x 40", informed by the poem Fallen Tree, author Howard Berelson, edition of 3, price on request
Untitled (Sandy /Katrina)
computer generated image, 32" x 36" on36" x 40" Somerset Velvet, framed 40" x 44" , edition of 6.
Santa Fe 2011, computer generated image: 42" x 18" on 48" x 24" Somerset Velvet, edition of 6. Created from over 100 digital images taken while in New Mexico.