Eugene Salandra

A New Jersey native, I studied film and television at New York University, and drawing at the Art Students' League of New York. Excepting a brief Benedictine monastic sojourn, my life has been occupied with practicing the art of animation. Mentors John Canemaker and the late Tissa David were among my influences. Favorite things include drawing, watercolor, tea and herbalism, yoga, meditation, music, theatre, puppetry, crochet, nature strolls, and vegetarian cooking.

West Hollywood Jacarandas in Bloom
(digital photograph)
Each spring, the sight of the glorious Jacaranda blossoms that emerge from trees all over Southern California transport me back to my arrival in Los Angeles in June of 1999.  Nearing the end of my railway journey across the country, essentially following the old Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe route, I looked out the window at the deteriorating desert communities through which we were passing, and noticed in the distance strange trees covered with what appeared to be purplish-lavender leaves.  I wondered whether we might have made a wrong turn at Albuquerque, and arrived on Mars!  Upon disembarking at the gloriously-renovated Union Station, my dear friend Wright, who had come to meet me, explained that the trees I saw were called Jacarandas, and that they bloom every spring with colorful purplish-lavender flowers.  To this day, they delight me each year when I see them.