I used to work part time at the Demuth Foundation in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the home of Charles Demuth, internationally known American Precisionist Artist. This work was my connection to the world of art after graduating from college. I am and have always been in love with art history and studio art. I majored in studio art to become an artist. I love shapes, color and most of all line. I like to work with artists and talk with them about their art. I had the pleasure of working with Susan Gottlieb through the Demuth Foundation many years ago and I will never forget her energy and sparkling eyes and love of doing art and being a part of art in any way that she could. I have followed her career in Lancaster as we have moved on. Susan has managed to continue working in art. I am now a toddler teacher at The New School of Lancaster. Susan has taught art at Lancaster Country Day School as well as working as an artist in her own right. Presently, she owns her own company leading international tours, writing books, and giving guest lectures. She has found a way to knit her need to work as an artist and to share her love of art with others together.
This book Susan made is a work of art and a conversation about her experiences in learning to see and experience Italy and its history. She connected with the environment and the people and enriched her own experience by having the wisdom at a young age to dig deeper to experience all that is both on the surface and also beneath. The title, The Skin of the Milk, is the opening experience Susan had when Lidia the 72-year-old woman explained that “it” was the best part of the coffee. Susan tried the coffee and agreed. It was her moment to begin to be open to all new experiences. Reading this about this moment took me back to my initiation into opening myself to new possibilities and becoming aware of a new and different way of seeing all that comes in contact with my senses. Every time I open this book I can feel that excitement again and I want to experience that exhilarating feeling of a fresh start. If I walk outside, try a recipe, anything, the experience becomes an adventure. The book is always a new adventure for me. I am sitting reading (listening) to Susan share an experience that I could have. I look beyond the words and dive into the lushly reproduced colors. I want to dance. But I also enjoy exploring the sensitivity of her line drawings. I itch to pick up a drawing pencil and look deeply again. I want to get lost in that trance of connection that my eye and hand share as object moves to paper.
When I pick this book up I do not want to put it down. There is joy in the experience of turning each page. It is a friend with whom you want to spend quality time. You will want to slow down and think and look and imagine the smells, tastes, sounds, and to feel everything that is in your path. Walk through this book with Susan and experience Italy through ancient ruins, urban visits to market. Smell the food. Listen to the water in the fountains and the streams. Then taste the flavors of gelato and close your eyes and dream the experience. Thank you, Susan, for doing this. I look forward to more.