Description One night I wandered into the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas in The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, which is on the 1st floor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There I was greeted by lovely young docents who invited me to sketch the collections using white drawing paper and charcoal pencils. I was also given a small drawing board, kneaded eraser and little canvas stool to work on. The arts of Africa are very far removed from my own impressionistic watercolors so at first is was tricky for me to settle on an inspiration. Then I was taken in by the masks, and the faces of the house posts, fertility totems and tribal masks. Perhaps, as a seasoned portrait painter this is not such a far stretch. I made six drawings from the collection and painted them with watercolors later at home in my studio. I love these Museum inspirations!
Miriam Schulman, New York Member Since March 2008 Artist Statement New York artist Miriam Schulman is known for her exceptional mastery of watercolor in which she experiments both on paper and on canvas using contemporary techniques, making her art both relevant and modern to widespread audiences. Her portraits have been featured in prestigious juried exhibitions and commissioned throughout the United States, while many of her landscapes and nudes have been collected internationally.
Schulman skillfully and passionately captures the true essence and dynamics of her subjects, such as the synchronicity of musicians in concert, the closeness of siblings in family portraits, and the varied personalities of animals in her “Fish, Feathers, and Fur” collection. Vivid landscapes exemplify her expertise in color – as seen, for example, in the quaint towns and beaches of Cape Cod or the bustling streets of New York City – where impressionistic scenes can bring both enchantment and nostalgia. “Heart, soul and love are poured into these paintings,” wrote one collector, while another described the artist’s portraits as bringing “movement, depth, and contour and color well-conveyed.”
Schulman’s art has been published in The New York Times and many other regional and national publications including the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, which featured her painting of a raccoon for its cover in the September 15, 2008 issue.
In “A Brush with Life,” Scarsdale Inquirer 2007, Debra Banerjee wrote, “Whether her subject is penguins or people, it's personality that moves the paintbrush of artist Miriam Schulman. “Schulman's charming portraits, both human and animal, express individuality with both humour and dignity.” (full text of article at www.Schulmanart.com)
When not working on commissioned portraits, Schulman experiments with innovative combinations of mediums and methods. In her most recent series she uses sheet music as a collage medium on canvas mixed with watercolor. The notes from the music give the composition energy; so for example, in a floral series the notes appear as bugs buzzing over the flower whereas on a landscape of birch trees the musical notes appear as knolls on tree bark.
The artist also enjoys working with eco-friendly and recycled materials to continually explore diverse artistic dimensions and determine new and different ways to present and portray her insights and inspiration.
An artist comes full circle
For Schulman, art was a means to deal with the uprooting of her family many times during childhood after losing her father at an early age to cancer. Schulman found art to be a way to express herself during the transitional periods while helping her gain acceptance from peers. It was her fourth grade teacher who first noticed her talent, pointing out she had a special gift and encouraging her to keep creating and pursuing her art.
Schulman’s art continued to evolve, becoming a constant and significant part of her life. She studied art and art history while at Dartmouth College, where she pursed a degree in Art History with in minor in engineering. She supported herself by working in the Art History department and was also paid by the college to create different artwork to promote campus events. As a senior, her art was featured in a solo show that was funded through a joint sponsorship of student groups. Upon graduation, she received the Adelbert Ames Fine Arts Award.
Although Schulman never gave up her dream to become a professional artist, she accepted a scholarship to pursue a Masters degree at M.I.T, which led to an exciting and successful career on Wall Street. Still, she painted and took up watercolor by studying with noted watercolorists Elise Morenon, Mel Stabin and Charles Reid. In 2000, she left the financial world to pursue her passion for art full time.
A Muse in Progress
Initially, Schulman focused on portraits and the figure. She immediately won prizes for her portraits in local art competitions and her professional