Honoring the Artist: Arline Goldstein

This week’s cover of Dan’s Papers by Arline Goldstein is quite a different image of Bridgehampton than we’re used to seeing. While the buildings have been repositioned (Bobby Van’s is now located next to The Candy Kitchen), the atmosphere is upbeat and cheerful with its sunny colors. In fact, the setting looks as if Bridgehampton might be in the tropics. Moreover, the shapes are tilted to give Main Street a surreal feeling. Such an image fits right in with Goldstein’s new artistic direction: less realism and stronger colors.

Q: You have said you are working on a new style. How does the cover reflect this besides the brighter colors and less realism?

A: The cover gives me a chance to put in patterns; Matisse is my favorite artist. I make up my own patterns, like Matisse. I also use patterns in my home for ideas. It is my canvas.

Q: In general, would you say you have evolved over the years? [expand]

A: An artist has to evolve. People have to change. Every artist starts out trying to capture what they see. Through the years, however, I have put my own feelings and perceptions into my work. Picasso said, “ It took me a lifetime to paint like a child.” I can connect to that statement; I work to simplify my shapes.

Q: Besides your art taking on a new direction, your life did, too, after retirement from teaching gifted and talented students in the school system.

A: People would say, “What will you do after retirement? What are you going to do differently?” I wanted to do everything differently, but you know the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.” Every day I do something different.

Q: It’s commendable how you are involved with so many things. I am really impressed with how active you still are with teaching.

A: Yes, I teach in the Lifetime Learning Program at Stony Brook University, teaching watercolor classes to retired people. I also taught at the Smithtown Township Arts Council.

Q: You are also active in bringing awareness of art to your local community.

A: Yes, when I was President of the Smithtown Township Arts Council, we did a lot of projects to help artists. I am also in charge of the House and Garden Tour, “From Cottages to Castles,” which we do the first Friday after Labor Day. The proceeds go to the Smithtown Arts Council, the Historical Society, the Smithtown Garden Club and the St. James Chamber of Commerce. We also have an Art Market for the Smithtown Historical Society in April.

Q: Besides your activities for bringing art and artists to the local area, you have private art projects that keep you busy as well.

A: I recently finished a children’s book, Keeping Time with JouJou. It was written by my son, and I did the illustrations. It’s about our first dog, a Bichon, and teaches children how to keep time. Part of the book is a coloring book. I go to BOCES and read it to the children, who are in kindergarten to third grade. I also make pocketbooks out of faux zebra fur. I even added costume jewelry from my own collection to the bags.

Q: Where did you get this particular talent from?

A: My grandmother was a tailor and taught me how to sew.

Q: How about your children? Are they artists or interested in art?

A: My daughter, Lorry, is a Home Economics teacher; my other daughter, Robyn, is an entertainment lawyer. And my son, Jody, is a financial planning. So they are not artists, but they got an appreciation of art from me and logic and math abilities from their father.

Q: How would you describe your life now?

A: Doing what I do is a dream come true. It’s what I wanted it to be. I feel very satisfied.

Arline Goldstein can be reached on her web: arlinegoldstein.com. Her work will be at the Smithtown Township Arts Council from December 2-3. Call 631-862-6575 for information.

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