How to Live an Extravagantly Exuberant Life

Richard Cramer and Carol Markel are the products of a creative and fun filled life.I met Carol at the New Museum  and have been meaning to get together with her ever since.  The two artists met at Elmira,an all female college, where  Cramer  was teaching at the time. Carol explains that she was inspired to sign up for Richard’s art class after his introduction to the faculty, “The girls were giggling in the crowds.After his introduction to the school I  was immediately  inspired to sign up for his art class.”

[Richard Cramer, Carol’s artistic inspiration]

Cramer is still quite the charmer exclaiming that before he dies, he would like to eat 144 oysters in a day, like Casanova . The couple told me stories and showed me their fantastic drawings and paintings, created   in their extremely organized loft style apartment. They explained that bare walls allow them to be absorbed in their work. They told me,”We are Minimal in our living, but extravagantly exuberant in our work.” We went through their current work, Richard’s large scale drawings of colorful birds interacting in urban and industrial landscapes, and Carol’s fanciful world of dressed up women. It was wonderful to see how they support and nurture each other’s creativity. 
Carol and Richard immerse themselves in the art world, attending gallery shows and museum exhibitions. They moved to New York in 1985 to a loft on Rivington. Carol worked a serious job for 35 years, while Richard taught art at The Tyler School of art, commuting back and forth from Philly. During these working years they always made art in their free time. Richard’s work is in several corporate art collections, and Carol recently made a hat for Amy Sedaris.It was so inspiring to see a couple that has made creativity a priority in their lives. Carol told me that although she was busy, it is always about priorities and that she always made time for art. Carol and Richard go to the gym together everyday, work on art, and travel.  I will post more on this magnificent couple soon, including images of their work. For now I hope you enjoy the photos above.
  • They look like a lot of fun too

  • Magnificent.They way they dress say it all.

  • lovely stylish couple!

  • These are fabulous! And they ARE a fabulous couple. They live in my building and I've never seen them slummin' it. Always bright, fun & colorful. And young Mr. Cramer is quite yum.

  • Carol and Richard sound fascinating and wonderful. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  • I love colors too!!!!

  • What absolutely delightful people and perfect lives. They inspire me.

  • flawless humans. | |

  • I look at those outfits and I hear passionate Gypsy violins!! What gusto they express!

  • Wonderfully expressive, so vital and youthful!!
    Great sense of play.
    Dress up together; stay together!

  • they have got to be one of THE most charming and adorable couples ever! =)

  • I love his socks… theyre wonderful! I dont think my husbnad would wear them….!

  • They are def trend setters!!!Love the blog!!!Please visit our blog

    xox Cybelle & Fabi

  • they are a reminder to FEAST our eyes. his socks are my favorite detail!

  • Rosie

    They are the perfect foil for each other! Love it all!

  • Thank you for your comment.
    I hope you are busy painting hehehehehe.
    Much love and 1.000 mil besos siempre my dear friend.

  • they look great!

  • Carol & Richard have been inspirations to me for decades. Now that I live in Hawaii and don't get to see them regularly, it was great to see this profile — makes me homesick for NYC!

  • They are the most adorable couple. Still stylish and in love after all these years. It almost makes me believe in love. Almost.

  • What a fun fashionable couple they look to be. If only we could all be so lucky.

  • i love those colors!!

  • Their story would make a wonderful film – couldn't you just see it directed by Spike Jonz or Sofia Coppola? The wardrobe, the romance, the love!

  • your blog is in my top 5!!
    LOVE IT!

  • I really hope you'll post images of their work. Both are extremely talented and have inspired many. So please please please show us what they're creating these days!!!

    P.S. Richard and Carol- if you read this- I have a photo of you both hanging in my studio form the time Stacey and I visited with you in New York. Think of you often!

    A fan,
    Ann Nassif

  • Wonderful and inspirational couple, I enjoyed reading about them.