~Not to pay a debt but to acknowlege it~

"These brighter Regions which salute mine eyes
A Gift from God I take:
The Earth, the Seas, the Light, the Lofty Skies,
The Sun and Stars are mine: if these I prize."

Friday, November 23, 2012

"Looking forward to your visits."

Even the teacher had a valued teacher. P.D. recalled a time when Merl Blackwood, his high school art teacher, brought a Mondrian to the class and asked why it was a piece worthy of an expensive frame.

"I remember thinking it looked like tile from a bathroom. This was before Mondrian was in the Art Institute, before he was accepted as a great artist. But I kept looking at it and reading about Mondrian and his ideas. I ingested it until I understood. Students have to be cannibals. They must ingest what came before until it becomes a part of them."

Merl was still sending his student Christmas cards in the mid-1990s. Wood block prints on heavy paper stock. One was enscribed "Looking forward to your visits, Merl."

Mr. Blackwood died in 1998 at the age 101. His Dioramas are currently on display at the Stephenson County Historical Museum in Freeport Illinois. He (along with principal L.A. Fulweider) found funds to cover the walls in the Freeport High School with fine reproductions of masters, from Monet to...yes... Mondrian.

 Merl & P.D.

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