I dream, and then I paint

We need room to let our imaginations soar.

I was once told that a good painting will evoke an emotion or tell a story. I try to do both in my work. If you look at my work, for example, “Tashlich at the Lake”, you’ll see symbolism built into the story, which adds to its meaning and depth. For the Judaic enthusiast, there will be much to decipher. 

I love many art styles and my own unique style is a bit of a combination of contemporary, abstract expressionism and folk art. I also use a great deal of texture and various mediums which gives my paintings a “3D” effect.

As a child of Holocaust survivors, I grew up without grandparents, or relatives, and I spent a great deal of time thinking about what my parents lost.  I think my imagination took root in my very early years, as I imagined life a bit more carefree – and definitely more colorful than the Bronx apartment building I lived in. 

Art, painting, was the great escape.  We couldn’t afford a luxury like art lessons, so I’m basically self-taught. 

How do I start?  More often, there’s thinking, and thinking and sometimes I’ll just start playing with color and something beautiful and magical with happen.  That’s what happened with “A View of Jerusalem”. It started as a unique kaleidoscope of colors, and after staring at it for a few hours (I think I was in a trance!) I began to see the city. So, in this technique, it is the painting that is leading the artist. This can only be done if one is willing to be spontaneous and work with your intuition. I call it advanced intuitive painting.

Many of my paintings depict Jewish life. I want to share the beauty of Judaism, and I know that people from all walks have been touched by them.   At this point, I have painted something about every holiday, and have done several paintings depicting Jewish weddings. Additionally, I love to paint pictures of Jerusalem, and have several of the Kosel/Western Wall, and life in Israel.

Perhaps I paint so intensely because I had neglected my creative self for many years and only recently came back to it. 

I love watching people study my paintings and find aspects to it that I myself didn’t see.  I don’t believe that art should be so obvious a subject that nothing is left to the imagination.  

– Rivka Lemberg, Artist