Gifts from Nina
Nina and I worked together doing textiles, but we always wanted to be making other art. We would get together and draw and paint; I keep coming across the results, like the above portrait of me, probably done at the same time as the still life, because it’s also on rice paper. We would also sit at the piano in her apartment in Chelsea and sing songs: Laura Nyro was a favorite, and “Desperado”, the Eagles song. I loved it because it was fun, but also because it reminded me of the times my father would sit at the piano, and the family would sing my parents’ favorites: Tin Pan Alley and Broadway show tunes. Those were good times.
Nina and I have always been giving each other art, and I have a little marker drawing of a cloud and rainbow dated 1977 that’s faded a lot but you can still read the words: “a truly fine phenomenon”. She was using text before it became a trendy art element. I scanned it in the frame, and I like the misty results.
She’s also given me a few of her cards, and this hopeful one is a favorite.
Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late