I moved from birthplace, Detroit, Michigan to New York City at age 4, following my father, Philip Sklar’s appointment as principal bassist for Toscanini’s NBC Symphony Orchestra. Inevitably, the bass-violin became my instrument, which I played in each of my schools and attached semi-professional orchestra through college.
While music-making became part of my life, my art-making was encouraged early with classes at Parsons School of Design at age 7 when it was noted that I could draw or copy anything. A HS scholarship to the NYC Museum of Modern Art’s classes for Young People opened me to the world of 19th and 20th Century art at a highly impressionistic age (no pun intended). It has remained a profound influence. I’d add Professor Hale Woodruff, my mentor, through graduate studies at NYU to that list.
In the late 60s, and through the 70s, my drawings and paintings were classified as Neo-Surrealism as I exhibited in NYC at the Hampton Gallery on 56th St and the CODA Gallery on 10th Street with a group called “VISIONAIRES” and later at the WESTBROADWAY GALLERY in SOHO.
It seems I have traveled a full circle (more like a spiral) as I recognize my computer imaging has returned me to that underground territory. Quilting became a passion in 1981 after seeing a faculty colleague hand quilting and appliquéing during lunch. The tactile enhancement of stitched fabric to design had me hooked. Starting with traditional block construction, I soon moved into improvisational piecing, both machine and hand stitching. Quilting techniques and painting concepts fused after immersing myself in photo imaging on the computer in the fall of 1994. Since then, I have explored heat-transferring digital imagery to fabric using computer-altered scans of my photographs, earlier art work, family album material and/or actual objects.
Current work employs both visual and physical layerings and is represented at ART/PLACE Gallery, Southport, CT and at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center, New Canaan, Ct. Investigating new technologies and integrating combinations of materials in non- traditional formats has always been my approach in exhibitions as a painter, printmaker and installation-artist. However, as the 20th C sculptor, Jacques Lipchitz said, “No one falls out of the sky, we stand on the shoulders of our history”. My “soft paintings” are homage to the artistic heritage of all the inspired, gifted quilters who have preceded us.