Friday, February 15, 2008

The Greatest Compliment

"Will's Sunbeam Mixer along side work done by a local, patient and very talented woman, " says Russ

Before I started painting as a full-time career I taught art in public schools. I loved it. It was always exhilerating when a student "got" something or when you saw them find an interest in what you were teaching.

So when I left teaching and started my career as an artist, I knew I would still teach because I needed to. Last January a woman called me to purchase some of my paintings. Mary Lou came over to the studio with her daughter Mary; we chatted, they bought the paintings. Then she told me about Will, her younger son. She asked if I would teach him, he's young though and I had advertised I wouldn't take students younger than middle school age. I'm a sucker and I said sure, bring him over and I'll meet him. He was six.

Will's parents Mary and Russ were convinced he had a talent for his age and he is constantly drawing and constructing, more than most kids. I agreed; they brought stacks of drawings that he had done from both memory and observation. Will was and still is more prolific than I.

The long and the short of it is that I've been teaching Will since then and seen him mature and progress in his work. He admires my work and his parents are cooks so I put out the stand mixer one day to draw. We considered the work of Wayne Thiebaud and some abstract experessionists. We talked about the power in colors and the importance of repetition and balance. The resulting drawing is quite phenomenal. So much so that his parents had it framed and flanked it with prints of my appliance portraits. This really is the greatest compliment.

Thank you Mary Lou and Russ!

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