Discover Local Artists: Martha Moffett

“No, it is not only our fate but our business to lose innocence, and once we have lost that, it is futile to attempt a picnic in Eden.” –Elizabeth Bowen

Picnic in Eden

An eBook by Martha Moffett

A suspense story: Molly meets a young man, Fielding Graves, in Manhattan and is so struck by his physical beauty that she takes him home, feeds him soup, launders his jeans, lends him her father’s razor – and marries him.

Her father owns an apple orchard, where they play at being farmers. They are in love, have a child, and the orchard is their Eden.

He’s a drifter, though, and before long, he loses interest and disappears.

Molly has no skills and she is without resources, except for her rent-controlled Manhattan apartment, which, her new friend, smooth-talking art dealer Magnus, tells her, can be her salvation.

It would be a perfect showplace for him to bring his clients to privately view fine art. He’ll pay her and there are no risks. All she has to do, he says, is put out the sherry.

Except there are risks, and Molly has no idea what the dangers are–until she’s the one holding the gun.

Interview with Martha Moffett:

Martha Moffett

Q: How did you get the idea for your story?

A: It’s based on a real situation. When I was a single mother in Manhattan, my daughter would have play dates with the son of another single mother. It was curious. When it was her turn to take the children, she’d take them to the museum or a movie, because of “insurance problems.” Once I was at the front door of her Fifth Avenue apartment, and I glanced inside and saw magnificent paintings. I looked puzzled, and she said, “How do you think I can live on Fifth Avenue and send my child to private school? Galleries pay me to hang paintings here so that their clients can see how they look in a home setting.”

I understood then about the “insurance problems.” She mentioned that some people who came seemed to be looking at the paintings, while others seemed to be counting them and looking around the house.

Q: What is Molly’s struggle?

A: She had to be resourceful, protect her child, save her house and deal with crooked people.

Molly finds her strength. She was very young. The others were realists. But she caught on to the con, which had become predictable.

She and her friends used to talk about what they would do if the Awful Occasion ever confronted them and Molly always wondered if she could rise to the occasion. She finds that she can, when she grabs the gun.

Q: As the writer, were you in any way surprised by how your story progressed?

A: Molly’s husband comes back into the story. I wasn’t going to write it that way. But he became a strong attraction, and I thought the reader would want to know more about him, would want to see him, because he was so beautiful. So, one morning, before dawn, she wakes up, and….

Molly, you see, is the kind of woman who thinks people should have a second chance and it’s never too late to start over.

When she loses her innocence, though, what she sees is the open-endedness of life and she begins to understand the principle of hope. Eden, in fact, was only a way-station; like moving from childhood to adult, she is on her way from one stage of life to the next.

About the Author:

Martha Moffett is a self-described word-on-the-page writer. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Cosmopolitan. Martha’s many publications include A FLOWER POT IS NOT A HAT, THE COMMON GARDEN, KEEPAWAY, and DEAD ROCK SINGER. She left her much-loved New York City to retreat to what she calls the Greenwich Village of Palm Beach County: Lake Worth, Florida. It just might be Martha’s little corner of Eden.

Link to PICNIC IN EDEN on Amazon:  “








Discover Local Artists: Muses and Sirens


The Art Gallery At Eissey Campus presents Chris Riccardo of Jupiter and Jacques de Beaufort of West Palm Beach in the exhibit “Muses and Sirens” Oct. 30 – Nov 30.

Chris Riccardo of Jupiter makes powerful figurative sculptures that push ceramic arts to the edge. Bursting with a raw, absurdist and unapologetically sexual energy, his work explores the dimensions of human experience that we all obsess over, but hardly ever discuss.

Riccardo does this with a supreme degree of candor and honesty that is matched only by his virtuosity as a technician. Riccardo invokes compelling narratives that leave ample room for the viewer to exist within, and his playful style belies the dead seriousness and gravity of his vision.

Ricardo received a BFA in sculpture from the College of Fine Arts at Boston University. Upon graduation he opened his own fine art bronze casting foundry. Currently, he is the Director of the Sculpture and Foundry Departments at the Armory Art Center.

Exhibited throughout the United States, his clay sculptures are on display at the Mindy Solomon Gallery in St. Petersburg, FL. His clay and bronze sculptures have been published in the World’s Greatest Erotic Artists, Volumes 2, 3 and 4, Sculpture Review and Ceramic Now Magazine.

In 2002, he was asked to design and fabricate the memorial for CeeCee Lyles, a flight attendant from Ft. Pierce who was aboard Flight 93 on September 11th. Ricardo has been invited to the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts as a summer resident artist. His 3-month residency begins June 2013.


“Parasite,” 13 by 13 by 7 inches, fired earthenware with underglazes, price: $1200

In Jacques de Beaufort’s paintings, otherworldly beings stare back at the viewer through the masks of ancient archetypal forms. His paintings act as portals to a space beyond the mundane world that we all long to escape and in the presence of his work one realizes that this is easier to accomplish than originally believed.


“Hecate,” oil on panel, 23 by 27 inches, price: $2500

De Beaufort makes visible the shamanic threads that lead us back into the labyrinth of magical and mythical consciousness, and through his paintings we become re-acquainted with a pantheon of ancestral beings that still inhabit our world and can yet be observed in the right conditions.

He is an artist, filmmaker and  an associate professor of visual art at Palm Beach State College. He has previously exhibited his work in solo and group shows in New York, Chicago and London, but primarily in the Los Angeles area where he lived for a decade after graduating from the California Institute of the Arts in 2000. De Beaufort’s first feature length film “Sanctum and Sacrum” will be released in 2013.

The opening reception is on Tuesday, Oct 30 from  5:30 to  8 p.m. Gallery Hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9 a.m. to  5 p.m. and Tuesday  9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For information call, (561) 207-5015. The Art Gallery at Eissey Campus is at Palm Beach State College, 3160 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens. lThe Art Gallery is located in the BB building.