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Leaf Gallery Noah Leaf Mendelson
  Leaf Gallery
  Leaf Gallery

Noah Leaf Mendelson

Noah Leaf Mendelson's youngest days were characterized by arrays of smiles and many quiet happy moments at home. However upon leaving the house he became quite the crank. His first laughter was observed as he pointed at a cow. His first created word was, "Ishh"...which he would say as he pointed things.

In early youth, Noah's days were marked with long hours of creative play; frequently absorbed in building forts, acting out scenes for his toy epic battles. He refused school after two weeks of kindergarten, resorting to home school, though shunning most academics. Actually refusal was one of his favorite notions, stating firmly and regularly, "No." He was determined to play continuously with mandatory meal breaks. Noah's parents were very supportive, or at least tolerant of his decisive independence.

His was mostly a rural life style, living eccentrically at 3200 feet on a mountaintop in West Virginia. The closest neighbor lived almost a mile away. The house had no electricity or running water. Regular seclusion and self-amusement echoed many days. Noah could often be found exploring the woods and pastures. On rainy days he might practice yo-yoing, trying to pull off that grand master trick; or joggling for the world record without dropping a ball. One may see Mendelson's early conduciveness to an artist's life style of creative activity, through resolves, determination, and selective interests.

From the ages ten to fourteen, Noah Mendelson began immersing himself in long hours of contemplation, analytical thought, and fanciful imaginings. His father would ask him, "Are you going to do anything today?" He would reply, "I am thinking." Thought opened up a whole world to Noah, a world of entertaining desires and developing original perspectives.

In addition to West Virginia life, Noah would spend many winter months traveling in Mexico and Belize. These journeys were rather radical, from hitchhiking with his father at the age of four, to living out of a Volkswagen bus with his sister and parents. We can see much influence in certain paintings of Noah's creation, from the rich colors and architectural elements in Mexico's landscapes. One may also find mountain top perspectives prevalent in many works, reminiscent of views from Mendelson's Mountain living space.

At the age of fourteen, Noah's family moved to the town of Lewisburg, there he began high school, wrestling some with finding a niche in the social and academic configurations. He planned on becoming an engineer, utilizing his Mathematical interest, and following his father's footsteps. Yet Noah scheduled many art classes, as they seemed quite undemanding. During his senior year he began drawing and painting out of interest... This began to consume him, drawing in every class, at parties, everywhere. Mendelson felt a freedom in creating, away from life's constraints. Also it was something that could be given and appreciated.

Noah Leaf Mendelson continued education at Berea College in Kentucky. He found a wealth of knowledge from his interaction with his painting professors. "We became dear friends painting together, conversing on the great expanse of living life." He recalls the wonderful, encouraging heartfullness of his art history/painting teacher, commenting with a warm smile on Noah's error of misdating a well-known work of art by a whole century, "You are a painter not an art historian." Noah reminisces on his college experience... "College was a packed conglomeration of informational indigestion, with a little time for application. Painting helped balance the extensive intellectual demands of other classes, my heart found silent rest in the canvas. Growth of feeling centered focus was embraced."

After completing his BA with a painting emphasis, Noah furthered his studies in a monastic life style for over a year at Hidden Valley Retreat in Escondido California. The routine consisted of group meditations, horticultural work, study, and recreational activities. "The over all experience was challenging and amazing; the influence and development there as a being has greatly impacted the way I live my life to this moment. There, calmness and concentration expanded their dimensions."

Moving along, Mendelson explored the life of a hermit, returning to his childhood mountaintop home. There, only an occasional plane or faint distant motorized contraption would enter into nature's melody. The months were that of late fall and winter. "Much time was spent keeping warm, compiling basic necessities, cleaning, bathing, cutting wood, etc. The water source was a spring and an old basin below the gutter. I used some barely big enough Rubbermaid tub for the old old-school dipper shower. It sometimes was below freezing in the house; during cold nights I placed unfreezeables next to the stove.... It seemed nuts at times, yet the simple life, with such rare science, was rather liberating. I would go up to nine days with out human contact. It was time of song writing, poetry, guitar, and meditation."

After a few months of being a hill hermit, Noah explored the social work field. He worked facilitating people in creative gardening projects. Mendelson also assisted individuals with basic living, in their home and in their careers. "Social work was important for expanding perceptions of the human race in helped me develop consideration for others. This consideration inspires my artistic drive."

We have highlighted some small splashes of what has influenced Noah Leaf Mendelson to become the Artist that he is. For the evolution of an artist may unfold in unusual ways...obscure ways...obvious ways...and surely many ways.

Further more, Mendelson feels his creative process is both intuitively guided and self-reflective. He says he relishes "the continuity between interior consciousness and the external life that rises from that consciousness" and that it is extraordinary "to experience art in its every facet of evolution as a partial reflection of my being."

Collectors and viewers of Noah Leaf Mendelson's art are drawn in by the ability to personalize the abstract. The artist embraces this connection. He feels that there is an almost universal recognition of the moods alluded by color relationships, suggestion of space and interpretive forms. And vice-versa, observing a landscape with mountains or a stream gives us, as he says, "a foot hold to spin in imaginative, vast, abstract delicacies."

Mendelson hopes viewers will "find common grounds in the work yet be offered newness for expansion."

  All work copyright 2005 Noah Leaf Mendelson. Site by