Creative Metamorphosis
by Allison Plitt
Feb 02, 2010 | 3974 views | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Many artists experiment with various types of self-expression until reaching a period in their lives when they believe they have finally attained their creative potential. For Jackson Heights painter Leontine Greenberg, that time is now.

The 35-year-old artist has been showing her watercolor paintings in various exhibits throughout the United States for the past two years. Her work is currently on display at myplasticheart, a gallery located in Manhattan at 210 Forsyth Street. The exhibit, “New Moon: Interpretations of the Chinese Zodiac 2010,” is themed after the Chinese New Year and will run through March 6th.

In November 2009, Greenberg also presented her art at myplasticheart in a duo exhibit with renowned comic book illustrator Scott Campbell. The show, called “Adrift,” ran for a month. She had fourteen paintings on display and sold all of them except for one. Her paintings sold for $100 to $350. Greenberg also has her own Website where she posts her artwork and information about her upcoming exhibits.

Greenberg’s watercolor paintings resemble pictures from children’s literature, which she reads to her four-year-old daughter Nina. Greenberg observed, “When I started doing these watercolors, it was because Nina had just been born and I had started reading a lot of children’s books, especially mid-century children’s fiction of animals wearing clothes that’s so charming to me. When you talk to people about the books they liked as kids, it’s sort of the magical nature of things that people really love and remember.”

In addition to working with watercolor, Greenberg uses gouache paint and colored pencil and then cuts the edges of the paper when she finishes her paintings. Having recently attended an exhibit called “Slash: Paper Under the Knife” at the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan, Greenberg said that she found the show “very energizing and exciting.”

The eldest of three children, Greenberg grew up in Tucson, Arizona. Her mother is a costume designer and her father is a scientist and author. In regards to her parents’ artistic and imaginative professions, Greenberg noted, “My parents are both very creative thinkers, very open to the possibilities of the world, and they introduced me to a lot of really exciting art and film when I was a kid.”

Upon graduating from high school, Greenberg moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Washington University’s School of Art. She then attended graduate school classes for set design.

Moving to the New York City area, Greenberg held a myriad of creative jobs, from designing costumes to painting murals to working in an art gallery. She finally found her niche as a television producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Greenberg ultimately decided to change the direction of her career path by enrolling at Hunter College where she received a Master’s degree in Special Education. Shortly afterwards she gave birth to Nina.

Since becoming a mother, Greenberg devotes her time to painting and caring for her daughter with her husband, Sascha Segan, a writer for PC Magazine. Although she held an exhibit of her acrylic paintings in 1998, it wasn’t until using watercolor that she felt personally content with her work. Greenberg discussed her metamorphosis as an artist, concluding, “I wasn’t really happy with that direction, so it took me awhile to come back around to what I’m doing now.”

For more information on Leontine Greenberg’s artwork and to find out about upcoming exhibits, visit www.leontinegreenberg.com.
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