Tuesday, October 14, 2008

High School Crush

In my sophomore year of high school I was mandated to take an Art Class. It was a half credit class, just like gym.

The teacher of the class was a hot babe named Connie (probably about 24 or 25 years old, at the time). There were not many hot babes teaching high school in the early 1960’s. I immediately developed a crush (my first and only) on my teacher. I hung on to every word that she uttered.

After four weeks we were assigned to draw a portrait (in pencil on a sketch pad) of someone we knew or admired. I chose Carl Sandburg. I went to the Chicago Historical Society and copied a portrait of Sandburg that was hanging on one of their walls.

Connie was impressed with my artistic ability and suggested that I take classes at the Chicago Art Institute. I was so madly in love with her that I begged my Dad to foot the bill for the courses. He reluctantly agreed.

Now let me preface this by saying that I had absolutely no interest in Art at this time, my interest was in Connie, my teacher. I took the classes at the Art Institute just to please her.

I tired of just sketching and moved on to oils. I don’t know about now, but back then the Chicago Art Institute would allow you to paint in the galleries as long as your canvas was of smaller size than the original masterpiece. My first attempt was a Cezanne, which I gave to Connie, as a gift. She said it was good but I should take my own direction and stop copying other works.

Connie didn’t realize that I had no artistic talent of my own. I was a mimicker. I could see what others saw and copy their feelings and emotions, but I couldn’t actually feel the same emotions for myself when I painted. I was not a true artist.

I have painted 4 masterpieces. The Cezanne copy which I had given to Connie. My copy of a self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh that was given to my senior year English teacher Eugene,and hung on his living room wall until his passing (his wife later put it in the attic, she never did like it hanging in their living room), my lame attempt of doing a portrait of a good friend (he said it was surrealistic) and the following (Below) which I did from a Playboy Magazine Photograph in 1965. I gave it to a friend when I joined the Army in 1966. It currently hangs,above his bar, much to chagrin of his wife, in his rec-room.

I found a photograph of this painting today and copied it. I believe that it is one of my best original works. I had only two original works, so what am I saying?

If you don’t enjoy viewing the human female body naked (the scan (JPG) doesn’t really do justice to my painting ), scroll down no further. Hey, this is art not porn!

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Blogger alfredo_tomato said...

So you got it bad for the teacher.

Wed Oct 15, 12:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Uncle Mikie said...

If you recall, you had shown me photos of your masterpieces in the 80’s. The one of your friend Phil was very true to the original photograph except for the background, but it wasn’t what I consider to be surrealistic.

I you can still remember (I know that you often get brain cramps in your dotage), I told you that you should spend more time on the easel and less time in the bar.

Wed Oct 15, 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Lori said...

How come I never even knew, much less seen this talent/artwork of yours? I LIVED WITH YOU FOR 7 YEARS!!!

Wed Oct 15, 05:50:00 PM  
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