Eleanor Rubin • Interview
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Interview with the artist
Eleanor Rubin

Inverview May '02
Questions posed by Jim McDonald of the Art Connection, Boston, MA.

How did you become an artist?

When I first began making visual images, I was making a transition from literature to art. I was seeking a new vocabulary. I have been fortunate to have been able to set up a studio with a press... a barn behind my house. Having the studio just out the back door is an enormous asset.

I became an artist because there is so much to say about emotional experiences for which there are no words. Creating images makes it possible to "give voice" to feelings.


What inspires your art work?

Joy and pain in equal measure, patterns in nature and natural cycles as experienced by human's during their life, dreams, the work of other women such as Louise Bourgeois, Charlotte Salomon, Maud Morgan.


What influences You?

Music, observation, language, especially poems by Louise Gluck, Richard Wilbur, Mary Oliver. Art work by Paul Klee (who also was influenced by music and had a flair for language) was an early inspiration. Louise Bourgeois is an artist whose work has influenced me. Examples of courage resistance and breaking the mold influence me. One example would be the work of a untutored artist like Ralph Fasanella who became an artist late in life after being a laborer in NY for 50 years. Another big influence is the monumental achievement of Charlotte Salomon, an artist, (1917-1945), whose 1200 images became her life's work: "Life or Theater? An Operetta" . Salomon's work which was created under the dual stress of Nazi oppression and family history of suicide, is enormously innovative and inspires me more the more I study it.


What Medium do you work in?

I use both woodcut and watercolor. These two media are very different, one hard with resistance, one flowing, one chosen for dynamic black and white, the other for nuances of color. Texture in both is compelling.


Where do You see Your work going

I'm interested in interconnection between image and words, image and sound. The image Transition is an example of word/image combination.. My current focus is on a project "Visual responses to the Music of Hikari Oe". I'd be pleased if people designing CD's for Folk or Classical music were drawn to my images for their covers. I'd also hope in the future to collaborate on a project with a poet.