As I reorganize my studio following the chaotic “get-everything-off-the-basement-floor” rush to prepare for Hurricane Irene, I am finally sorting some of the boxes of incomplete paintings from Betty Stroppel’s studio. When Betty’s son and daughter moved her to the Mid-west last June I ended up with the choice of watching her sketchbooks, paintings, supplies and unfinished paintings left to be deposited into a dumpster or to make room for them in my studio until I could find homes for them. I have been choked for space ever since.
I can’t keep everything of Betty’s any more than I can keep everything of my own. It is difficult to pass judgement on another artist’s work, especially when you love and respect the artist as much as I do Betty. These two studies are, for me, keepers.
Such simplicity. I continue to learn from Betty through the scraps of paper, the notes, the sketchbooks and the clippings that fill the boxes in my studio. I make note of the information that inspires me and instructs me. The rest I must release along with my own sketches, drawing and paintings that no longer have a place in my life. Too much baggage gets in the way of becoming a better painter.