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Portrait of the Artist

Americans Ethel and Julius Rosenberg who spied for Russia and were executed

I was born 95 years ago in 1922 in Chicago, Illinois. I have loved to paint ever since I can remember. I would like to share my thoughts and paintings with you.

My parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe. We were very poor. I was their only child. School was my haven. I loved my teachers and did well in my studies. It made up for the hard conditions at home. At age 12 I was granted a scholarship to the Art Institute where I learned to appreciate the work of the masters and to develop my own painting. Is it any wonder that the magic world of art took me on flights far removed from my spare existence. 

Artist Nancy Weinberg

I met my husband Sam when I was 19 years old during my freshman year of college. We married and World War II intervened. I left my studies to follow Sam. At Fort Lewis, in the state of Washington, I would wake up each morning and see grand Mt. Ranier from my window. You can't imagine the joy I felt then seeing 'her'. After the war Sam became a social worker and then an elementary school teacher in some of Chicago's roughest neighborhoods. I worked as a secretary to help make ends meet. We had two children.

It is difficult to condense 75 years of existence into a sentence or two. Suffice it to say that over the years our social and political views took shape and I chose to admire those who fought for the disregarded and overlooked in society. They became my heroes. Their belief systems spoke to me deeply. At the age of 50 I returned to Northeastern Illinois University, the same college I had started thirty years earlier when I married. Based on my previous work there in the art department I received a four year scholarship and earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the age of 54. I loved every moment of it.

The day I retired I picked up a paint brush and have never put it down. Since moving to the Lieberman Nursing Home in Chicago five years ago I was determined to continue painting but because of limited space I was forced to scale down from large paintings to a small easel and 9x12 canvasses. But what to paint on a 9x12 canvas? Portraits of course! So began my odyssey through my past of the painters, authors, poets, singers and political figures who played such an important role in my life.

On this page are examples of my work. 

           Caught on canvas (from left) Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Nelson Mandela, Mark Twain and Zero Mostel as Fiddler's Tevye 

 

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Sunday, 21 April 2024

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