"Manon" oil on canvas 40" x 60" 2002
As some of you may know, I have been painting theatrical images off and on for many years. I came by it honestly. My uncles on my mother's side, John and F. Robert Lehmeyer, were instrumental (no pun intended) in seeing that I was brought up with an appreciation of fine art and classical music. John was a nationally known operatic director and Rob, aside from his scholarly work as a German Professor, was an accomplished musician, orchestral conductor and operatic translator with more than a dozen published translations. I, too, contemplated a career in the theater, as a scenic artist. I never followed that path, as far as joining the union, etc., but I did a lot of local community theatre work as well as work for the Peabody Opera. I was a supernumerary, back in 1985, during the Baltimore Opera Company's production of La Bohème where I was able to sketch and photograph during rehearsals. One learned how to paint fast and free backstage, as the carpenters usually didn't finish building the flats and set pieces until three or four days before the curtain went up. You really had to toss the paint! It's ironic that my work has gotten smaller and smaller as the years go by. Both my uncles are gone and I, alas, am no longer very involved in the theatre. I sometimes miss the excitement. I do still have a penchant for the theatrical, at least in my personal life.