Updated: May 4
By Mary Ann Strandell (USA)
Only weeks before Covid-19 exploded in New York City, Mary Ann Strandell, one of the renowned painters in the lenticular media field, and I agreed to prepare her first solo work showcase in JY&A Art Salon. Along with so many other undertakings in the works, our beautiful plan was suddenly put on hold (new opening day to be announced as soon as the quarantine is lifted). A few days after I sent out JY&A's first newsletter on April 6th (Create a new lifestyle out of the global crisis), Mary Ann sent me a long email in which she described her life and activities in the first weeks of the quarantine. Mary Ann sketched a life of isolation and solace with her husband, the artist Michael Rees, at their live/work home in New Jersey, with a poignant melancholy for the the energetic and healthy life that was forever changed by Covid-19. Here, Mary Ann Strandell depicts in her original email to me the salient moments of her daily life while maintaining unwavering faith and strength in her artistic career.
On Thu, Apr 9, 2020 at 1:31 PM From: Mary Ann Strandell To: Xiaoying Yuan, J. Yuan & Associates New York Hello Ying! Such an uplifting newsletter. Well done, thank you. I like your reference to Psychology today. Strangely, for me, I have been more tired than ever before. The first week in quarantine, Michael and I had flu symptoms, no appetite, and sleep all the time (not necessarily Covid flu symptoms). I had locked down my Chelsea studios on March 9th, and moved pertinent artworks to my NJ live/work studio.
I still juggle work and rest, and dedicate a little time connecting people to organizers making face-masks, shields and ventilator parts. I'm on the periphery. Michael is head-on. His group makes and ships over 2000 face shields a day. A group from NY and KC. MO is making a lot of face masks - Michael talks with them regularly. I sent out most of my good N95 masks and gloves to Doctors I know. My studio time has me working on new paintings, and touching up current works, including 3D Lenticular print media. I just wish I had more motivation. My back yard garden has been a good source of focus. Digging the earth and turning all the winter’s compost. Eventually I will plant seeds, and plants. My budget is so thin just yet, to buy plants. we shall see. I wish I could trade someone! Grateful to have it. The wild plant herbs are coming in, which has heightened my research on the edible ones, which also have medicinal components, too.
Mary Ann Strandell,Conversation Pit I, 3D lenticular media with interference Gold. Each work is unique with the hand painting under the optical lens. 21 x 32 in or 32 x 48 in. 2019
Yesterday, I made a wild fresh salad from green plants I snipped. Researching and using medicinal plants is one of my hobbies. I picked violet leaves (great for women), dandelion leaves, and their yellow blossom (all parts of the dandelion are edible packed with Vitamin C). I also picked Arugula that I planted last fall - it came back! And Bitter Cress - tiny round leaves, with a tiny white blossom. Just realized one of the wide herbs called "purple dead nettle" is great for the lungs, and allergies, and it gives one energy. That one I will dry, and make an infusion with, to multiply the properties.
My kundalini yoga practice has been the saving grace. My discussions with my teacher Tami, and the prayer services we have shared have been uplifting. We have friends who are very sick. One is on a ventilator in CO. My dear studio mate Helene Aylon died a few days ago. She was a great artist, and social activist in her work. We had not seen her in over a year. She only sent her studio assistants to the studio to take care of things there. Her gallery Leslie Tonkonow was doing more with Helen’s work, finally… very sad.
I am in a good space to be so inward, and deeply listening to the wise masters.
Making new work, that still combines my interest in modern architecture and the trade industries, seems to happen mostly at night. These new ones are only small sketches, but are all based on research while in China in 2018. Not ready to share, but they have good energy. I hope to send you soon the upgraded files for Duo Metro and Apple Green Stairs. The later is not radically different. Spent time shifting the tones and activating the oil surface. Duo Metro painting is more alive.
Mary Ann Strandell, Due Metro with Sevres (detail). Oil and acrylic on canvas. 48 x 60 in. 2015-2020.
Hoping to gut my web site. It is long overdue. My KC gallery is launching an online catalog soon. Which is good. I’m hoping that my collectors will still be open to acquire the works that they had expressed interest in last year and in January. Everyone is still so overwhelmed by all the Covid trauma. I’m curious if the extended lockdown in Milan will help them: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-06/milan-region-official-sees-italy-lockdown-lasting-2-3-more-weeks.
Not such good news in South Korea, as the message had been that they had lower #’s and containment: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/south-koreas-return-to-normal-interrupted-by-uptick-in-coronavirus-cases/ar-BB12bDaj.
Mary Ann Strandell, Apple Stairs Green. Oil on canvas. 60 x 48 in. 2019-2020.
OHH...also... I get the newsletter of Charles Green / Trusted Advisor. I don’t always read it, but he has such an even kiel. You might enjoy his newsletter and advice.
ALSO: do you know the work of Brene Brown? She is terrific. She has a new podcast, and her interview with Tim Ferriss on his blog was really good. I highly recommend those.
The pictures of you and your mother busy with cooking and hiking are nice to see.
Let’s talk soon! I have a list of things that need to be worked on here all day. All office stuff.
All my best,
Mary Ann Strandell *******************************
Mary Ann Strandell is a painter of note. Her works are a movable terrain between image, media, and their myriad histories. Her discursive ideas about perception, staging, and the decorative experiment with traditional and time-based digital mediums. She considers the poetic and the technological experiences of both urbanity and nature; through painting and interlacing images of the natural world with memes of the trade-industry culture. These are formed by activating information that comes up through observation and research, as a kind of transmission of ideas (and data). These include historic Asian and European Chinoiserie, the architecture of California Moderne, and more recently the architectural structures of Hudson Yards in New York City and San Francisco, CA. Contact J. Yuan & Associates New York for more information about the artist and her work
J. Yuan & Associates New York provides consulting services to art collectors and enthusiasts and helps them to own the art that aligns with their identity, values, and goals. Our current newsletter series encourages people in our community to remain healthy and strong and to overcome the difficult time with us together.