Patchwork & Ornament: A Woman’s Journey of Life, Love, and Art

By: Jeanette Feldman and Nadine Galinsky Feldman (editor)
Publisher: Gal In Sky Publishing Company
Publication Date: March 2010
ISBN: 978-0967441610
Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko
Review Date: December 28, 2009

The unique collection of art that goes behind such creations as patchworks, mosaics and collages really set them apart by joining an assortment of unique individual ideas or pieces together to work collaboratively to make an entire work of art. This is exactly like the stories, journals, letters, poems and drawings that make up Patchwork & Ornament: A Woman’s Journey of Life, Love, and Art. Collected by Nadine Galinsky Feldman (and her family), the editor and daughter-in-law of the author, Jeanette Feldman, the writings in this book work together to create a complete recollection of a life well lived. Now, one may believe that selecting a few important stories from Jeanette’s life would be sufficient, but to do that would not do her life the honored justice that it deserves. Instead Jeanette’s daughter-in-law breathed life into many varied works and displays them together in one book for all to enjoy.

Although Jeanette Feldman’s life was not an easy one, as she grew up in the Depression Era in the South Bronx, NY, a poor daughter of an immigrant mother and disabled father, Jeanette’s struggles did not get in the way of her artistic passions. Studying art at Cooper Union School of Art, she was able to surmount her difficult life and bring beauty into her world through not only the written word, but works of painted art, which have been proudly displayed in galleries in New York, New Jersey and Texas, and are also included in full-color in this collection. The following is a wonderful example of poetry written by Jeanette, taken from the pages of Patchwork & Ornament:

The trees, the flowers grow
and bloom and fruit
because they must,
because they’re alive.
I do what I do because I must,
because my being says I must,
and because I’m alive. (p. 128)

Patchwork & Ornament is simply an extraordinary collection of writings that not only honors the life of an artistic woman, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, but truly has the power to inspire the creativity in us all. Despite a not so perfect life, and a career in the art world that was sometimes wobbly, Jeanette persevered, and she has left us an everlasting legacy of her creations.

Quill says: This work is a touching celebration and tribute of life in all its glory, from love, to family and children, to the heartaches of death and all other life struggles. No one should miss reading this book, and should consider it a privilege to be able to get a glance into the complex life of such a remarkably creative person.

For more information on Patchwork & Ornament: A Woman’s Journey of Life, Love, and Art please visit the website: Patchworkornament.com

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