In ancient times, meaning BC, or, before computers, I went to art school. I had drawn since my childhood but had reached a point where I didn't know where I was going with 'my art'.
So I decided to go to an art school in Ottawa and take what my art needed from the lessons. The girls who signed me up for a course agreed with my plan and so I paid the sixty dollars and showed up on a Monday night.
The teacher was an old man, a very good artist who is still alive, so I won't mention his name. He told us all that he had studied with the second-best artist in the world. A lot of people wondered about this statement. How does one judge what is best in art?
He had some strange habits. One was to tell the same three jokes over and over again. Now, he was over sixty in the eighties and so we all thought he was senile. We were nice because we thought he would die soon.
He's still painting, still teaching, and if I'm correct, still telling the same three jokes. In fact, those were old Groucho Marx jokes so he may well have been telling these jokes his whole life.
And he would tell us stories. One of which went ... I was in the army, there were lots of girls around, and it's none of your business what I was doing with them... I always wondered why he mentioned it at all. What part of the story did he want us to take in? I found this puzzling.
He would also stick his tongue out at his less favorite students. Some poor guy who had an attitude would look up to see his teacher's tongue directed at him in an obvious insult.
Sadly, although he was a colorful character, I didn't learn much from him. Later I met another artist and when I saw his work, I knew where I wanted to go.
So I didn't need to spend that sixty dollars but maybe it was worth it for the experience.
By the way, my new e-book, Beggar Charlie, will be released in June. Here's the cover.