"54 Small Works", ranging from 1" x 1" and up, exhibited on 4 Gold Panels, were painted with Acrylics on Linen Boards, made in memory of his Grandparents’ after-Shabbat Dinner Poker Games. 52 cards plus 2 wild cards, which equals 54, were the result of accepting a dare from his lifelong friend, mentor and daily critic, Master Fine Artist Knox Martin to create 1 painting a week for 1 year.
Wanting a secure life and home for his family, Schulman instead of an 80’s Soho group buy, chose the safety of Long Island Gold Coast town who had always supported its artists. Continuing to show in New York, Huntington, Long Island and Canada, to support his family opened Schulman Custom Stretchers. Not having enough volume to support staff and family Schulman taught at the Huntington Art League got certified in Cabinet making. For 15 years, with a van and partner, Schulman went to work fine tuning kitchen and bath installs for the Luxury Specialty Retailer Design Expo owned by Home Depot.
Finding time to paint on nights and weekends, putting out fires and family illness began to dominate his focus and time. The stress got the best of him, at 38 he suffered a near fatal heart attack. Remembering the white light of a tunnel, at the end his Grandmother Lena who raised him, who told him to go back it was not his time.
Another decade passed, Schulman would finally get into back into his zone at the Vermont Center and Virginia Center of the Creative Arts. Going annually for 10 years, Schulman had the space and support from exceptional artists from all over the world and genres get his confidence back and know he couldn’t fight with destiny.
Remembering Friday night card games after Shul where his Great Grandfather was a Cantor and 52 cards in a deck, every day for a year Schulman went to library and painted. At that time not knowing the 52 Small Works created to honor his Grandparents, would become the Jewish lucky 54, displayed together with other works dedicated to his family and Jewish Tradition at the Rabbi Ario S. and Tess Hyams Judaica Museum in Roslyn.
On a quiet Sunday in September, cleaning a garage’s, Schulman had no idea curbed lifetime of accumulated art supplies and works of art deemed not good enough. In his soon to be ex-house which sat on top of hill on a popular thru street with a stop sign, Schulman met more people that day than he met all the time he was living there. That day, 2 neighbors Art Professionals, seeing a book of Schulman new works, knew had met and saw works that were magical and went to work to help him get to the other side.
"As I paint, I am constantly examining things. I paint in strokes (touches), but I see in patches. I also use grid systems. There is something programmatic within. As shapes occur, I look for their rightness, their harmony. Color creates its own sensation. Reacting within the painting progresses and takes shape. The magic is in discovery. The ‘new’ is just around the corner. Using figurative and landscape motifs. The beauty is discovering the unknown. Range of WorkTallit, Tefillin, Mezzuzah, Shema, Shabbat, Shofar, Sukkot, Simchah, Paintings, Mixed Media." GEORGE SCHULMAN
Thinking about his heritage, his Great Grandfather a Cantor and Poet, Contemporary Artist Schulman realized he had not accessed his Judaism. Going to the Synagogue where his son Michael was Bar Mitzvahed, he was given books in both Hebrew and English of the Torah. Schulman observed the Hebrew Script is similar to the linear elements he uses in his paintings.
Adding Hebrew Script and Writings to his personal alphabet of mark–making, Schulman's latest Work created for the American Guild of Jewdaic Art is a series of Paintings and Works on Paper.
Learning how to sew at the knees of his Tailor Grandfather and Seamstress Grandmother, half of Schulman's most recent Works are Collages painted in Acrylic in midtown brights, accented with handmade paper and digital printed paper, zigs, zags and dashes made out of multi-colored sewing thread, with dotted with buttons and pins.
Works also include paper copies, hand made paper from discarded envelopes, melted wax crayons, magic markers, powdered pigments, ball point pens, graphite pencils, straws, napkins, aluminum foil held together by different binders, until one is indistinguishable from the other. Textural, layered, familiar, yet unsettling, complicated and tense, this series reflect the past 2 years of his life; abandonment, isolation, remorse, survival, hope, strength, reconnecting, love and rebirth.