Vita brevis: Ars longa
Homage to a Quiet Artist
Elaine N. Szedlak
9.28.1946 – 1.19.2013
Elaine was a person of many talents: she graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown College; received her MSW from The University of Cincinnati; she was a psychiatric social worker; she was one of the founders of the first Lesbian crisis hotline in Cincinnati, Ohio; she was an astrologer; she was a bird-watcher; she was a lifelong reader; she was a photographer; she was a dry cleaning attendant; she was a bookseller; she was a student of flying; she was a rambler; she was a lover of lighthouses, and of the Sea; she was astonished by weather, an enthusiastic member of the Cloud Admiration Society; she was a Friend of the Felidæ (Sloopy, Gillian, Jessie and Gabi); she was a student of all things non-physical; she was a Library page and then circulation assistant; she was a lover of music…she wished with all her heart, someday to be free . . .
And in her quiet self, she was also a true artist – although she would never call herself so.
Until she could no longer put brush, pencil and pen to paper, she let her artful self take her on journeys of discovery. This, her last work-in-progress, was to execute 100 portraits. She completed these 23.
I have created a book to hold 20 of the portraits -- the other three are the paintings mounted on the triptych display. Elaine was my partner, soul mate and friend for 31 years. Although we had to follow separate paths for the last six years, the fact of our relationship was not altered or diminished. We shared our lives. She has gone home. I am staying here awhile longer. . .