Mermaid spotted in Skaneateles

After the birth, she took up painting. And then another fluke, she painted a nightclub for another island resident Carly Simon. This established her as a muralist in much demand.

"I don't know anyone who has painted more square feet of art than me," she said of her 29 years as a muralist.

Later, she ran into Simon when she was first starting out to write a children's book and wondered if Margot could illustrate it. Datz said yes, then ran home and called her Skaneateles friend Patience Brewster Gregg who was an established children's book illustrator and said, "Help." She coached me through the process that was the beginning of a four-book journey with Simon that was as fruitful, as it was fun.

Datz on 40

She was never painting for herself; everyone else always came first, clients, her husband and her children. For her 40th birthday she made a couple changes. First, she gave herself the gift of an outdoor bathtub with hot and cold running water in a small woods on her property; and secondly, she decided she would give herself her first art show, which she did, made up of tiny painting that contrasted from her murals. She connected with a formidable gallery on the Vineyard. She painted from her inside out. One year she painted a whole show of wacky dreams. With each year she kept writing about each painting.

"I was so blind to my own issues," she said, "I don't know why we are so blind to our own issues?"

These painting became small glimpses into her interior life. They were very revealing, only Datz didn't realize this until they hung together, "It was like hanging my underwear out on Main Street."

Then a funny thing happened, the show sold out, "All the issues that I thought were embarrassing and my own pain, and very personal, it turned out these were everyone's issues."

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