May 31, 2019
Artist: Aleta Gudelski
Title: Impact, Hammonasset State Park Beach, Madison, CT
Size: 24” x 24”
Medium: Oil on gallery wrap canvas
“Why am I doing this? Because I have to do it.” Artist Aleta Gudelski was a pure pleasure to sit and talk with on an early spring day. We touched on many topics from family to careers, her time spent in Haiti and of course, about her art. It was a tale of passion, hard work and even some heart break.
Meeting her lifelong partner at age 15, she prioritized making a family before ever giving herself the chance to fully consider life as an independent artist. However, with some good advice and a reality check from a few poignant teachers along the way, Aleta made her own destiny. And although this might sound lighthearted, it’s not. Her ability to persist though the harder times is what makes her art a cut above. Aleta’s work has emotion and is undoubtedly a labor of love. It has that “thing” that you can’t quite find the words for when describing the work, because it simply won’t do it justice. You just need to see her paintings in person.
The truths about finding your way in a career while raising a family and caring for elderly parents were familiar to Aleta. Making a life of art is not easy for anyone. Women in the arts can face particular disadvantages when confronted with both systemic sexism and the realities of their specific situation. I only say this to provide a means of context. Aleta’s work speaks for itself with a wisdom that can only be found through a life lived and experiences happened. There is emotion, wonder and play in all of her work, and from our conversation it became clear where much of the passion came from. Returning to her roots in nature and the sights of her childhood has provided the visual imagery to inspire her work. “Artist are communicators … they have a duty to be stewards of their environments.” I could not agree more.
Tuning into the moments that shaped her life, Aleta has an understanding of what it is to be an artist. It’s the life long discovery, it’s an understanding of environment and it’s the persistence to keep making. Thank you Aleta for sharing your story with me and other readers. I encourage you all to check out her work at www.aletasgudelski.com.
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