Back to Basics

Back to Basics
"Sugar & Spice" Nursery Mural by Michele Levani

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why I don't consider myself a self-taught artist.

Webster's Dictionary defines self-taught as "Taught by one's own efforts."
So why don't I consider myself a self-taught artist?
It is true that I didn't pursue a degree from a school of higher learning. Although, I had the opportunity, I chose a spiritual course of a full time missionary service while I was in my youth instead. I've never regretted making that choice and I would certainly do it again. I did, however, have the most inspiring, talented art teachers throughout my childhood and teen years. This is my tribute to them.
To Mrs. Keppler,
I am thankful for having you as my next door neighbor and creating that special path through your garden to your little art studio behind your home. It was because of you that I dreamed of one day having my own little art studio. You shared with me your love for the arts. I credit you with discovering my ability when I was just 4 years old. You're gone now, but not forgotten!
To Mrs. Bonnie Rushlow,
How I enjoyed the weekly art classes in your third grade class! Even though, you never claimed to be an artist, you were certainly a full supporter of the arts. You pushed for more emphasis to be put on art in the public schools. You guided me and supported my talent. You fought for me to be accepted into a gifted and talented arts program. I was accepted and then the funding ran out, but I knew you saw my potential and I honor you for that! Go Crayola!
To Ms. Linda (Carr) Scavio,
Wow! I didn't know art until you came into my life! I couldn't get enough. Because of you, I live and breathe art. You taught me so much more than just art. You took personal interest in me. We had a connection that has never been broken to this day. I remember your picking me up in that little, old, red bug and taking me to museums and art shows, introducing me to other artist along the way. You are a big part of my fond memories of my teen years. Even as an adult, when I was very sick, you inspired me to continue painting no matter what. I love you so much!
To Mrs. Sally Ullom,
I cried when I found out that I had to move on to a new art teacher, but little did I realize how much you would help me grow. You challenged me to reach my full potential. You seemed to know what made me tick and how to motivate me to create not copy. You exposed me to various forms of art and gave me an appreciation for other's abilities. Thank you for being my teacher and now, after all these years, my friend.
To Virginia St.John,
You were my best friend's mom in high school, but you were more than that. You took me by the hand and used me as your art assistant during Spoleto. Such fun! You showed me the quircky side of art! I never was able to say thank you for that. You are somewhere out there teaching, painting or performing. I hope that someday you find this blog so that you'll know how you inspired me. Please tell Tara that I miss her!
So, you see, how can I call myself self-taught? That would be too presumptious on my part. I am who I am as an artist because of these people! So thank you Mrs. Keppler, Mrs. Bonnie Rushlow, Ms. Linda (Carr) Scavio, Mrs. Sally Ullom and Virginia St.John!

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