Words Carry Us, Saturday, February 20 8PM
Please join Betty MacDonald for Words Carry us on Saturday, February 20 at 8 PM on YouTube with her guests Will Nixon and Lynne Stone.
Please join host Betty MacDonald for the “Words Carry Us” artist interviews on Saturday, February 20 at 8 PM on YouTube with her guests, the February 2021 Green Kill exhibition artists, Will Nixon and Lynne Stone. To see the event please go to this link.
The 2021 Green Kill February Exhibition presents Howard Miller, Will Nixon, Lynne Stone.
The exhibition runs from February 13, 2021 to February 27, 2021. Exhibition hours are from 3-5:30 PM, Tuesday through Saturday. You may make special appointments by calling 347-689-2323.
We are all living with this new normal. The economic impact on the performing artist community has been devastating. Green Kill live streaming events are accessed by making a donation on Tickespice. A minimum of 2 dollars is required. All proceeds are divided equally between the performers and Green Kill.
Writer/actor Betty MacDonald contributed to the writing of and performed in TMI’s “What To Expect When You’re Not Expecting.” Her essay “Before Roe v. Wade” appears in the anthology Get Out of My Crotch! Her work is included in the anthologies 80 Things To Do When You Turn 80, Open House, and the recently released Better With Age. Betty has read frequently at Spoken Word, a monthly gathering of writers and readers in Kingston, NY, and at TMI Project events in Rhinebeck, Woodstock, Kingston, NY. She presented her essay "First Love" for 650Read at the Cell Theatre in New York City, and at Vassar College. Her essay "Daughter of Twins" is on Youtube for 650Read's Mother's Day presentation. Her essay "Not Jewish Enough" is on Youtube for 650Read's Jew-ish. Betty hosts Words Carry Us, a series of Livestream readings from Green Kill in Kingston, NY.
Following her early career as radio personality Tiny Lee, she became a sculptor working in Porcelain. For many years she was a correspondent for the travel industry which sounds great but wasn't because she’s a homebody and finds travel uncomfortable and exhausting. For over 30 years, storytelling has influenced Betty's work as a performer with Community Playback Theatre, an improvisational acting company in the Hudson Valley.
Five years ago, brand new to iPhone photography, I was given a poetry workshop assignment to bring in a pair of selfies. Before that, I hadn't owned a camera or taken anything but snapshots since college in the late 1970s. Nor did I like having my own picture taken. I have a queasy camera smile that shows up all too often in group photos. Nonetheless, I stepped out into the yard to snap my first selfies, then retreated to the couch to see the results. I was aghast. Did I really look that old, that miserable? When had I grown such a deep worry line between my eyebrows?
Two thoughts saved me. First, Jack Nicholson to whom I bear no resemblance but like to think I do. He's not handsome, yet he's riveting on camera. Second, Cindy Sherman's Film Stills for which she dressed up as various ingenues at anxious moments in noire movies that were never made. I decided my selfie didn't need to be a flattering image good for a dating site. Instead, I should play a character
in my own little mystery. In the workshop we were told to think of Narcissus as we wrote poems inspired by our selfies. So Narcissus I became.
Not many weeks later Christmas threatened. I needed to buy presents for my father and brother who'd visit me in Woodstock for the holiday, but on a whim I decided to buy myself a gift first in a fancy toy store off the Village Green. As soon as I entered I knew what I wanted: the rubber animal masks hung on the wall behind the counter. But which one?
Twenty years earlier upon leaving midtown Manhattan for a Catskills log cabin I'd chosen the bear as my totem animal, a totem I took seriously. I read about bear mythology and learned to spot bear claw marks on beech trees that matched the size of my hands. Fitting my fingertips to their scratch marks I felt like we could be kin.
Then I acquired a bear rug I kept folded on a table by my writing desk. Needing a break I'd spin in my chair to nod at my unflagging friend as if I was Johnny Carson and he was my Ed McMahon, but with small eyes, shiny teeth, and black fur that smelled like fine leather gloves. I learned a lot about myself by learning about bears.
A bear mask hung on the toy store wall, but I'd left the cabin long ago and wanted to move forward in life. Why I chose this crow—or is it a raven? I still can't decide—I don't really know. The bear was an obvious totem for cabin solitude, but crows can thrive anywhere. Perhaps a mystic or shaman can explain what the crow reveals about my psyche and soul. What I do know for sure is that I bought this sword-beaked companion without any purpose in mind. It's not like I collect masks or do Halloween. As I left, though, as I closed the door behind me, I thought, why not take this thing over to the cemetery to take a selfie?
The rest is history. The rest appears in this show.
To make a painting I must first spot something interesting or compelling from anywhere at all. This part is completely indiscriminate. There simply must be a psycho-visual tickle, and I must get that tickle on the canvas. Of course the initial tickle is typically linked with some aspect of being human which right away sets the stage for all manner of human—and whatever else—drama(s). So from that dodgy start the painting process becomes free-associative with lots of scrubbing-out, adding-on, and building-up. It’s a messy process, but all-in-all it’s a totally absorbing visual-cognitive adventure. And I push myself to advent with a double intention: pressure my cognitive envelope to get synapses freshly jumping; come up with an interesting piece.
For my political, visual, and aesthetic philosophies I draw in particular from the socio-political collages of DA DA, the paintings and drawings of R. B. Kitaj, the paintings and drawings of David Hockney, painter Stanley Spencer, sculptor Thomas Schutte and many many others.