nearly every teacher I ever had. In kindergarten, Mrs. Goodwin. First
grade was Mrs. Hill, Second, Third, Fourth was Mrs. Jacobs. Then there was
Ponca City. At Garfield and Roosevelt, I had Mrs. Skillern, Mrs. Fordyes,
Mrs. Beaver, Mrs. Tracey, Mrs. Harrod, Mrs. Crawford, Mrs. Maine.
At Tonkawa I had
Mrs. Sadowsky, The English teacher who didn't believe I read Hamlet, can't
remember his name, Mrs. Strange in college.
At Chilocco I
had Mrs. Dyer, Mrs. Hayman, Mr. Adams, Mr. Dee Gregory, Mr. Henderson.
House Mothers were Mrs. Werneke, Mrs McMahon, Mrs. Means, Mrs. Robinson.
At Ark City I
remember Mr. Magg, and Mr. Johnson, but there was a music teacher and an
Rhetoric teacher I can't remember.
Then there are
the artist's with whom I've studied in seminars and other wise. Of those I
remember John Howard Sanden the most. He was awesome. His portrait
painting was so marvelous and beautiful. He painted heads of state and
presidents of corporations and commanded $30,000. Dollars for a portrait.
teachers I ever had though were the old master's. In order to come under
their instruction since, of course, they are no longer living, it is
necessary to do a detailed study of their work by reproducing it for
yourself. This may sound less than a great way to learn but in actuality
it is a remarkable learning method.
I begin my
work at the upper left of the canvas. This is after I had worked to learn
the master's pallette. Each artist uses a different color structure. Corot
used yellow ochre in everything as a mother color, and I hope I remember
this correctly. Certainly an earth color is used for this. If the mother
color is not in the mix of colors it jumps out from the canvas like a red
light would. Working down at an angle I was careful not to take on more
than maybe a quarter of an inch at a time.
stippled his work, pressing into the canvas with a direct dotting not ever
to lay his brush flat in strokes. If you one time do not do this the whole
work is lost.
his oil medium on the total pallette until all the colors were swimming
together. The lines on his work were all very blended and soft. It took me
forever to figure out he was sitting on the floor jabbing up into the
canvas with his brush. There being so much medium on the canvas caused the
lines to flow into it and soften out to a delicate soft edge.
I never tired
of learning about the artists and their work. It gave me an uncanny
communication with them and I felt like I had been in their studios to
make their acquaintances.
Picasso, I had a
real hard time with him. But it was when I began to do some writing that I
began to adore him as a person. He was so passionate with his work and I
was a bit like him when I was young. The sinking totally into the world of
painting is the greatest of feelings. There is nothing, and I repeat,
nothing like it. All the cliches about becoming one with the world all at
once has meaning. Even a simple still life takes on a personality to speak
hidden emotions, all at once, brought out there on a canvas.
The thing I admired
about Picasso was that he was able to be a business man as well. His
estate was said to be three hundred million dollars when he died. Some how
he was able to do the politics and socializing necessary to sell his work.
The great problem he had was that he couldn't do it all. He couldn't give
enough time to his family to keep them, and that was sad. But then, this
is a lesson too, isn't it?
So, all in all,
who was my favorite teacher? I can't really say. I admired Corot, felt
sorry for Utrillo, and fell in love with Picasso. Really I believe
teachers are a bit like a wonderful smorgasbord. We take a bit of this and
a little of that, and a small piece of that. Each food has its own special
flavor. It is like that with teachers. We learn something different from
each and every one of them.