For Gibbs Milliken 2008
Maybe it's the big, bad moon in last night's sky but I am full of remembering.
I was sitting on our deck this afternoon, wild wind bending through trees, thinking about my late professor and mentor Gibbs Milliken. I felt this acute ache to talk to him and show him how my work has evolved. I wanted to hear one of his stories and talk art. I think he'd get the biggest kick out of what I'm doing now -- the stones and rust, bones and glass.
My thoughts fell on this email exchange we had on February 15th, 2007. It made me so happy to remember it and reread it that I wanted to share.
I wanted to tell you that today I came across the paper "So You Want to be An Artist" (Notes in a Journal, Gibbs Milliken) that you handed out in our 2-D design course back in 1999 was it? It was stuffed in one of my prized possessions -- a black leather scrap book of images from my travels. It made me happy to reread the words you typed out and shared with all of your students. I liked the timing of its rediscovery. Sitting in my house in Arizona, one month into being thirty years old, having made the decision 4 months ago to "live a life without compromise" and honor my calling in art. I like that you are a part of that push that helped me come to that decision, "Do only that which you can do better than anyone else and create out of yourself the highest aspiration of mankind - a work of art." I don't know if I ever shared this with you, but there was a class where you picked up one of my paintings (Of Light and Sea it was later titled) and walked with it next door to show Richard Jordan.... something in me burst open then. I remember that feeling of "this is what I want to do...I want to always paint." Thank you for believing in me.
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This is one of the kindest notes I have ever received. I thank you for these words and know you will go forward to find a rewarding career in the fine arts. It is now in your hands to take the steps necessary to get work in front of the eyes of critics and museum curators plus having articles on a body of your works in national art publications. This plan takes time and effort, but your web site is excellent and shows the breadth of form, color and brilliance your paintings.
The future is now. I am glad you have chosen this path, it is not an easy road, but being independent never is. Along the way you just might find a rich mentor who will publish a full-color monograph of your words and images. This is a big asset to present to galleries and museums.
You need to know I will always be in your corner and have nothing but praise for the quality and sensitivity of your pieces. ----Never lose sight of your visions for they truly reveal the depth of your soul.