|1972. Clara in the sculpture studio at the Chautauqua Institute.|
1977 - 1985
The most defining time period for me, were the years between 1977 and 1985. Knowing that I wanted to be a full-time artist, and knowing income would be fairly non-existent, I chose to develope a life-style to support my goals and financial challenges. A self-sufficient living situaltion is what I needed to create. First, buy land and then build a small home.
"I hired and worked side-by-side with a young man, who was just starting his own construction business, and his grandfather, who had been building for years. In this fashion, I learned the basics of construction. I purchased five acres of wooded land in upstate New York and built a small cabin. I lived here for eight years, growing my own food, fishing and foraging wild greens, heating and cooking on a wood stove, choosing to not to hook up to the electric company. With a few hours dedicated to daily chores, the rest of my day was filled with drawing and painting. I co-founded the Battenkill Art League which provided stimulation from a community of artists. A mix of commercial art work and art festivals provided enough income.
Also during this time frame, I would make many sojourns to the desert southwest, Inspired by the color and forms of the landscape, and the spiritual aspect of the wide open spaces, I created my "Mandala Sandpainting" series. This was another expressive form that showed me vividly that symbols are the language of the unconscious, the inner self, and speak in universal ways." (Clara Cohan)
1977 - 1985
The Cabin Years
And there were the chickens for a fresh supply of eggs and some meat.
That's Leroy, up to his armpits in snow!
Planting was put on hold.