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.