Los Angeles-based artist Ione Citrin spent many years of her life playing the fool in front of the cameras for Hollywood Westerns, TV commercials and a prime-time ABC morning show The Prize Movie with Ione from 1967 to 1975. Based in Chicago, Ione was the kooky presenter of a mix of comedy, variety, game-show, fitness and phone call-in, spliced between heavily edited versions of old movies – often dressed in appropriate costumes, from Tarzan’s Jane to surfer girl. Ione Citrin has been a Premiere Portfolio Member at absolutearts.com since 2005.
Anyone who visits her exhibition of Landscapes and Florals, on show at Gardens of the World from February 19th to March 31st, may be surprised to find that a serious contemporary artist has arisen, phoenix-like, from her entertainment career. Her background leaves one unprepared for the inspirational and thoughtful art that she now produces. I asked her how she made this transition.
“My husband died very tragically after a four month fight with lung cancer,” she recalls. “He was 48 years old. I became very depressed and felt that a move to Los Angeles would help. It sure did! The sunshine, warm weather and beautiful surroundings lifted my spirits and enthusiasm for life.”
No longer caring to perform, Ione tried her hand at everything, i.e., volunteering, doing docent work , but continued to feel unsettled.
“Then a girlfriend invited me to her house to paint. She suggested I bring a picture from a magazine to copy. I found a lovely landscape photograph, and after a few hours the painting I produced looked just like the picture I copied. I couldn’t believe it!”
A restless and searching artist, Ione explores as many different styles and mediums as she can. Not content to repeat herself, or settle into a personal practice, she uses a lifetime of travel and experience as an endless source of inspiration. “I have constant visions and ideas for projects that are never ending. If I live to be 300 years old, I’ll never complete my ‘do’ list”.
Ione traveled the world, being particularly drawn to regions where lives are lived differently than in the West. “The cultures of the world fascinate me, especially the Third World countries. All human desires are the same, they are just expressed in various ways from our particular personal perspectives.”
Working with the traditional materials of oil, acrylic, watercolor, and pastel, she extends her art into wall and freestanding sculptures, made from leaves, flowers, metal, handmade paper, fabric, and found objects, all initiated from “dreams” and “visions”. “I encourage creative accidents to occur, as I am directed by instinct rather than by rules. I make a giant leap of faith into the unknown with each piece. I think of myself as a ‘handmaiden’ to my art.”
Ione traveled the world, and now uses the photographs and sketches she made during those travels to produce her beautiful landscapes and florals.
Ione exhibits in galleries throughout the country, and has won many awards for her work. Does she see any parallels between her artistic career and her entertainment persona?
“My artistic career is definitely a part of myself, as was my performing career. It was the fickle finger of fate which directed me to perform first, but my instincts are the same for both expressions. If I could visualize the script, I could do the character. Now I visualize the whole scene and am able to produce my ideas as paintings and sculptures in many different mediums”
View more of Ione Citrin's work in her Portfolio at http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/i/ionecitrin/
Title: The Window
Year Created: 2002
Medium: Oil Painting
Width: 40 inches
Height: 30 inches
Price: US$ 42,000
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