|Hartmann's Jew in a Fur Cap|
While I am not an artist (translation: "not an artist" in this instance means "have no imagination"), I'm pretty sure that interpreting music that was inspired by paintings of two old Jewish men -- one a rich man and the other a beggar -- wouldn't have been my first choice. As we listened to the music, the Maestro shared his vision of the beggar whining about his lot in life, with the rich man (played by a piccolo trumpet) responding, "shut up, shut up, shut up!" Brenda was enthusiastic, though, and I could tell by watching her that she was immediately full of ideas.
|From Berdnik's sketches|
It didn't take her long to realize, though, that painting two old Jewish guys wasn't going to be much fun. She switched gears and started thinking about doing an abstract. The reds, recalling heat and fire, would represent the dominant man in the conversation, while the squiggles and cooler blues would represent the whiner. (Interestingly, although Goldenberg is the wealthy one, his "voice" is the one that squeaks in the music.)
Throughout this process, Brenda was talking with other participating artists about the development of their works. Somebody suggested that she put her own spin on the piece. Why not use something that she loves to represent the conversation? Nature provides Brenda with the inspiration for a lot of her art, and the mating ritual of the sandhill cranes, in which one of the cranes flaps around and jumps and leaps in an attempt to draw attention while the other plays it coy, came to mind. (I wasn't familiar with this ritual, so checked it out on YouTube. Quite interesting, to say the least.) The parallels worked, so she went with it.
|Brenda Berdnik's Conversation of Passion|
Her finished work -- Conversation of Passion
-- is absolutely stunning. She worked on a large canvas (48x48), which provided plenty of room for the cranes' "conversation" to develop. (Brenda has been working most recently in miniatures, so painting on a large scale was a big change -- literally! She said that she's ordered an even larger canvas for her next project.) The piece is very textured, with fiber, crackle and modeling paste incorporated. It is truly an amazing piece of art.
To see more of Brenda's work, check out The Gallery at Gannon's Art & Antiques in Fort Myers.