HAWTHORNE, NJ - Dorothy Mae Morton, a resident of Hawthorne, has had a love affair with the arts all her life. She has always been fascinated with creative expression and finds her outlet in painting and drawing. Until her husband Lyn began encouraging her to put her work out to the public, however, she had not considered hosting a gallery display. But agree she did and residents can see her works at the Louis Bay 2nd Library, right in her home town.
On Thursday evening, September 12, Morton hosted a "Meet The Artist" reception, which was well attended and featured her pencil portraiture. Local businesses also contributed to a vast spread of refreshments laid out for visitors to the free exhibit to partake. Some of the businesses which donated food were Andy’s Corner, Baking Grace, Cake Specialty, Franco’s Pizza, Hawthorne Diner, Inserra’s Famous Pizza, Puzo’s Family Restaurant, Tastee Pizza, and Villa Rosa Restaurant.
"This started two years ago as a hobby of hers when I was traveling a lot," Lyn said, "she really got caught up with this and started doing more and more. A year ago we wouldn't have dreamed that we'd have this kind of display here, it really just great organically since she's so talented."
"The works are dated 2018 and 2019, when he started traveling for work a lot, I started picking up my drawing again and this is the result of it," Dorothy Mae said. "All of my life there was some kind of artsy thing going on, whether it was drawing or painting, oils or acrylics. I turned to pencil and fell in love with it. I search sometimes for hours until I find a face that moves me enough to want to draw. 'Life On The Docks' was my first one, that's what started this. A lot of has to do with light and darks, I love the contrast."
Her favorite is "Jimmy", a large portrait of a young boy with a whimsical, striking expression displayed as the centerpiece of the exhibition. Other portraits are of celebrities, while others simply have a particular quality that resonated with her and inspired her to draw it on paper.
"A year ago I never would have done this," she said, but was obviously happy she had taken the plunge.
"She posts her work online on Facebook and the feedback is always 'you should show these'. People are speaking," Lyn said.
"Before this, I thought it had to be a 'gallery'. I never thought of my town's library, it never occured to me. Then someone said why not see such-and-such a library and I thought, what about my own? I'd rather start with my own," the artist and mother of five said. And it seems there will be an opportunity for her to pass along her techniques and advice with others in town who want to learn the craft. "The library wants me to teach here next year, so I'm looking forward to that. I'd love to share this, it's not as hard as it looks."
Morton's exhibition will be on display in the library through the month of September to the end of October.
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