Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Goodbye Elemore. And thank you.
I just found out that you are gone, and the wind was sucked out of me. It has been many years since I was in your class, and it is still so clear to me that you changed my relationship to drawing, and more importantly to myself. I didn't grow up in a family that knew how to appreciate artistic talent, much less encourage it. You did. And with me you did it with grace, gentleness, authenticity and care. It seems you were that way with everything you did in your life. You modeled for me the way I want to live my life, with courage and curiosity and enthusiasm. At 76 you were younger and more full of life than most people I know half that age.
I'm so grateful that you and I had a chance to talk a couple of months ago when I asked you to write a letter of recommendation for me as I prepare to go to grad school. It had been years since we'd talked, and yet we picked right up and had a riveting conversation about art, teaching, and the nature of drawing. I talked about that discussion with many of my friends. And now, the letter you wrote for me is a cherished possession. Tears are coming down as I write this. You saw me and honored me and blessed me, at a time when I needed it. And thanks to you and your loving ways, I draw more now than ever. I will always be in your debt, and I'm dedicating my graduate school experience to you, so that when I'm short on inspiration I'll know where to turn.
Rest in peace my friend. I'll look for you in the clouds and the wind and blue, blue sky, and know you are still at work.