"Dunes, Waves," 24" x 24," acrylic on canvas
A visual artist and a writer, Rhoma Mostel has worked in a variety of media over the years -- drawing, painting, collage, and works on paper. In painting, she generally works in a square format, and the sizes vary from 30" x 30" to a more recent series of 6" x 6" paintings. Whether the format is small or large, she is concerned primarily with the emotional content of a subject -- perhaps a landscape seen up close or at a distance, or liminal places where land meets the sea, such as shorelines, estuaries, riverbanks, islands, or particular times of day such as dawn and twilight.
She works for the most part in acrylic on canvas, though there is an extensive body of smaller works on paper, done with pencil lines and watercolor wash. She usually works in a series, and some of it -- though not all -- is based on observation of nature.
Rhoma Mostel is also the author of several artist's books on diverse subjects such as the artistic legacy of Coney Island ("Sand in My Shoes -- A Coney Island Journal"), the water, wind, prehistoric and archaic life along the Gaspé region of Québec ("Travels in Gaspésie"), and "Harvest" (a partial photographic compendium of farm produce available in New York City greenmarkets during the fall season).
She has written and compiled several books of poems, often combining poetry with graphics or photographs. Her poetry chapbooks include "Winter Hours," "Imaginary Postcards," "Quesadilla Days," "Flotilla," and "Rice and Rain." Chapbooks issued in 2012 include "Woman at the Aquarium," "Strict Instructions," "Early Light," and "The Cassandra Letters." She is at work on a new poetry chapbook about art and artists, "Young Woman Peeling Apples (and other poems on art)."
On October 29, 2012 Hurricane Sandy caused heavy devastation to New York's shoreline communities (including Coney Island). "Sand in My Shoes -- A Coney Island Journal" preserves some of the artistic legacy of the permanent outdoor museum of popular culture that is Coney Island, much of which has been irrevocably altered by the storm surge. "Sand in My Shoes - A Coney Island Journal" is a record of that legacy in its pre-storm incarnation, and the new Second Edition preserves all of the photographs in the first edition, now of archival value.