Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I had worked in pastels, oil and watercolors but never acrylic until I joined Mz Hazel's class. The first stroke of the paint brush I was in LOVE. I had finally found the medium which I would enjoy the rest of my days.
I studied oil painting under Gus Baker and whenever I get a whiff of turpentine, ah the wonderful days at UT come flooding in like a tidal wave. If there ever was a person who could pass for a Hobbit, I think it had to be Gus.
I will never forget my first encounter with Gus, as he was head of the art department and I was to meet him with my portfolio to see if he would accept me into his class. My stomach was in knots and I had my best figure drawing sketches in this large black cardboard portfolio.
I entered the empty classroom and saw a rather funny little man. He turned and smiled and I saw the kindness flicker in his eyes and the knots went away and I was immediately put as ease.
Gus had curly dark hair streaked with gray and giant bushy eyebrows which stood up in a hook over his nose. He was dark skin with a plaid shirt that stretch over his round little belly. He motion me inside and we spread my portfolio over a table and he began to silently thumb through them. Again, my heart started to race and I was feeling pins and needles go up and down my spine.
He cleared his throat and said "Very good." I almost fainted from the relief. Then he said "Go ahead and sign up for class and I will give you a grade from this work to cover the drawing classes".
Well when I got the grade he had given me an "A" and a whole year of credit. Boy was I a proud "Kitty".
I had to work during the day to support myself but my first class at night in oil painting class, I felt as if I had arrived at the opening of Heaven. Then Gus gave this long speech and told of the requirements of the class and I swallowed hard but was determined to stay.
The second night of class I was prepared to give the Hobbit a try and when I got to class only half the students had returned from the first night. Gus laughed and said "we have gotten rid of the slacker, so lets have some fun".
Ah what a wonderful teacher he was but I never liked to wait on the drying of oil so when I got into acrylic it was the beginning of a true love affair with PAINT.
The Kitty Justice is you just have to keep searching for the medium that will take your heart in hand and carry you into eternity.


Marcel said...

Wow, I loved seeing all the wonderful paintings. There is lots of talent in your class. And then I read your post. How fun. It sounds like I would have enjoyed meeting Gus. I always enjoy characters like it sounds Gus was. People who love doing what they do and love sharing it with others. I’ll look forward to seeing more of your painting calls and of course your paintings.

Lady Di Tn said...

What is so funny is that Gus and Hazel were good friends and each reminds me of the others. I feel very fortunate to have studied under each one.
Yes we have quite a few very talented artist and it is like a family gathering when we all get together.
More art tomorrow.

Marcel said...

Great I will look forward to more art.

The bad news for me is that I'm getting very busy and will have less and less time over the next few weeks to do much blogging. I will of course do my best to swing over and see how things are on your blog. I will also keep my daily blog going with the many photos I have taken over the last few weeks.

It sounds like you are very luck to have studied under both Hazel and Gus.

Speaking of study I have about 59 pages to read tonight for a class I'm taking so I guess I best get at it.

Merle said...

Dear Lady Di ~~ I enjoyed reading about your art class and teachers a lot. And I can hardly believe that you got burnt out three times.
I used to cut heads off photos too, but since I got the digital, I don't do it often now. Thanks for your comments and I am glad you liked my
Ice cream story, and the jokes. Lots of people enjoyed the Leaning Barn story too. Thanks again. Take care, my friend, Love, Merle,

Lady Di Tn said...

Thanks for telling you that you will be busy and study hard. I will keep checking the daily for pictures. I gave the one with the boats in the harbor with the Church in the background to Ross and he said he had no idea what he was going to paint and I came to his rescue. Picture of the unfinished work and Ross will be on the new post.

Thanks for you comments. Yes it is a hard one to wrap your head around to think of three house going up in flames and sometimes it is hard to believe it myself but then when I think of something (which is not a lot) I would have like to have kept for the memories I then realize yes it happen and way to often.
Peace to both