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Coverstory
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By Melissa Lombard
Elizabeth Eaton Rosenthal, better known as "Sweetheart"
or "The Green Lady," has been green from head to toe for
more than 15 years. The New York-based fine artist began
by mixing her nail polish to make green, then adding one
green streak to her hair, wearing green bracelets, dying her
overalls, and then painting her shoes. Now, her hair is all
green and so is every piece of her clothing.
"It is the most positive colour I've ever experienced. Every
day I meet such awesome people who talk to me because
I'm green," she says. "The green also reminds me of home.
There isn't enough green in New York."
She buys her clothing from the children's section at Gap
Kids or Chadwick's and her main staple is her green over-
alls. She has more than 15 pairs. And if the piece of clothing
isn't green, she dyes it.
"I can't fall asleep unless I'm wearing everything green,"
she says.
But she hasn't always been green. She has gone through
different phases over the years, including stints with other
colours. And there were a few years when she was selling
vintage prints where she wore all 1930s rayon dresses.
"Then I tried green and everyone loved it," she says. "It's
such a happy colour, I haven't even thought about chang-
ing it yet."
During her time at Mount Allison, "Sweetheart" studied
under renowned artists Alex Colville, Lawren P. Harris, and
Ted Pulford.
"They taught me how to do everything," she says. "The
techniques I use today came from them."
Her biggest inspiration is Alex Colville. She says he has
guided her through many tough times in her life, which has
in turn helped her art.
"He doesn't know that," she says. "I think I better tell him."
Her foray into the art world began more than 45 years ago,
after graduating from Mount Allison. "Sweetheart" hitch-
hiked to Edmonton, where she stayed for six months, and
then hitchhiked to New York.
She fell in love with the city as soon as she arrived and
immediately returned home to Amherst, NS, to tell her par-
ents she was going to live in New York for a year. She has
been there ever since.
A Fine Arts graduate, "Sweetheart" got her first job with an
art department in the Garment Center in Manhattan,
where fabrics and prints were made. Not knowing anyone
in New York, a woman she ran into on the street directed
her to what was then the New York Unemployment
Agency. All she had with her was her pillow and her sketch-
book. She was sent on an interview right away and then put
on a two-week trial period.
A career was born.
"I loved that job because I could sit there all day and paint
with my fine hand, beautiful little flowers and do all kinds
of creative things. I see things on fabrics being used now
that I painted in the 60s," she says.
SWEETHEART
University | 13
Elizabeth Eaton Rosenthal ('64)