Expressions Gallery


March Theme: What was the “AHA Moment” that encouraged you to follow
your passion for art, music, or writing?

Barbara Ehrentreu -- During Creative Writing Week at Manhattanville College I took a workshop led by a teacher from Sarah Lawrence College. She inspired me to write about a memory I had from when I was a little girl at my grandmother’s country retreat in Monroe, NY. Creative Week is a time when students could enroll in writing workshops with either an author or a teacher. I wrote about this memory and called it “Picking Blueberries”. Each day after the morning and afternoon workshops were finished there was an assembly in the beautiful salon of Manhattanville College. Published authors were there as well as the faculty. Each workshop picked a piece of writing each day that would be shared by the writers. Mine was picked for me to read and I realized I would be reading to several published authors. After reading my piece as I walked back to my seat I became surrounded by these published authors. They told me how my writing moved them. It was then I realized I felt comfortable in their presence and could see myself as an author.

Lynn Garelick -- My “AHA Moment” … I was four years old – see attached photo, which my mother labeled “Lynn Drawing.” I’ve always loved to draw since I can remember.  It’s great therapy! 

Leigh Grant -- I had illustrated a book on the history of the Twelve Days of Christmas set in the 1780s. Long story. After an odyssey of various publishers, Abrams had accepted the illustrations, and when I explained their context, asked me to write the histories. I had never written anything for the books I'd illustrated. Abrams said if you can't write, we'll do it. So I wrote them. They said, "You can write!" Big frog in a little pond moment. The book won top prize at the Society of Illustrators, was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, and got me on the Christmas “Today Show “with Katie Couric.

Doris Mady -- One day, Mrs. Hirsch, my 1st Grade teacher, so loved a drawing that I did that she sent me to show my drawing to another 1st Grade class. When I got back to my classroom, I received a hug and a round of applause, Mrs. Hirsch then said to me, “Someday you will be an Art Director.” I didn’t have a clue what art director meant, but I understood “art”. 1961 I saw the film “Lover Come Back” with Doris Day & Rock Hudson. Ms. Day played an advertising executive in NYC. Women didn’t have occupations like that in those days. Seeing that film just “sealed the deal for me”! It was then that I just knew I could do it!


I wish messages came from the sky -
for me, no big AHA moments,
and I don’t know why.

I’ve just followed my interests and heart,
with no overriding direction,
just experimenting from the start.

No teachers or mentors were guiding,
but awards, other forms of approval,
kept me reaching, rather than hiding.

What I could accomplish on my own?
With little formal training in art forms,
I’m happy with the way I’ve grown.

Singing classical music that I love,
brings me joy and gives me insights
into the world here and above.

And in my writing I’m happy to see
my thoughts enshrined on pages.
I leave behind something of me.

In photography I reveal my thoughts,
experimenting with materials and light.
My work has often been bought

by those valuing unique forms of expression.
And that is who I am, altogether.
Doing art, literature and music leaves a mixed impression,

but I knew I had to take these measures
to be fulfilled, happy and to have
a life enriched by these personal pleasures.



April Theme: Who do you draw inspiration from in your work?

Past themes: