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.