Thanks so much for all of your amazing efforts with the Opera Norma. You are the glue that holds it together. Your talents continue to amaze us all!!...and you are so humble about all you do. Thanks again and God bless you.
Dear Mr. Smith,
First of all, I don’t expect you to have any recollection of me or the incident to be mentioned, but I felt compelled to write you now that I have found you.
I was an undergraduate in the art program at University of Montana , Missoula while you were working on your MFA. I was in awe of you and your paintings and would never have approached you. Your taciturnity (at the time) was another factor. In 1967 I was a new transfer student to the school and by mid-year was feeling overwhelmed and as near to giving up as I have ever been. My life drawings in particular were painfully inadequate (at least I realized it!) and I remember feeling that if I couldn’t “cut it” in life drawing then I wasn’t ever going to be an artist. I came very close to changing majors.
One day I came to life drawing (Bob Bunse was the “instructor” I believe) fully prepared for another “grinding down” session, but something new took place which, if nothing else, stirred my interest. As I set up my drawing horse and settled in, you moved your “horse” over beside mine and we began to draw. If my memory serves me well, it was after the gesture and contour session was over and the longer poses were beginning that you very quietly started to talk to me about shapes and space and line. You never touched my drawing and I don’t even remember that we looked at each other. You demonstrated a number of different ways to produce a line with quality in it and talked me through my drawing. This went on for several weeks. My drawings improved. Bunse (who had never said a word to me-I was way below his radar) must have noticed an evolution in my work because he started to hang them up with some of the other “good” drawings from time to time. At a certain point in time, you moved back to your former place and that was it! I don’t believe that I ever spoke to you about it, but I do remember seeing you in passing in the art building and we would smile and nod to each other.
That was it. I have been teaching workshops for years now around the U.S. and this is one of my favorite stories to relate to students in my classes. with the hope that it may inspire them in some way. One person CAN make a difference. In your own quiet way, I think you salvaged my life in art. I am glad to have found your web page and now I can thank you after all these years. I am pleased that you are doing well with your art – I was never in any doubt about that.
You can see some of my work if you are so inclined at www.allanservoss.com.
Thank you again!