Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Teaching the teacher

I was first introduced to the work of Helen Frankenthaler by a former student of mine Amber Zuber. Amber wanted to buy me a teacher's gift. I suggested a good bottle of bourbon. She bought me "The Long Curve" an art book on the collection of abstract expressionist paintings in the Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo, NY. It was within those pages I discovered Helen. I love this picture of her with a smoke and a drink. Actually for those of you that know Amber I can envision the same pose and the same props including being surrounded by her art. I would love to have met Helen and asked her about the title of her show' Giving Up One's Mark'.
Perhaps this explains it:
There are no rules
That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen.
Go against the rules or ignore them.
That is what invention is. - Helen Frankenthaler
I got an invite to a show by a friend that does Outsider/ Folk Art. He was paired with a very accomplished painter of rural Ontario farm scenes- old barns, Victorian farm  houses, winter scenes. Very nice for most people but not for me. Although beautiful and well executed they would swear at my collection.
Here is a ceramic piece on my wall by a former student Suzanne Finn. I now wonder if Suzanne knew about Helen. This piece of Suzanne's may have been the beginning of my departure from realism and Ontario farm scenes.
Damn students are not supposed to teach the teacher. If it weren't for students


 teaching would be a wonderful job.

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