Friday, May 1, 2009

The Art of Loving Life

I've recently turned 60 and I am finding it of value to reflect upon a few of the many mentors, teachers and inspirations of my formative days as a young artist.

In 1978 I met 89 year old Mr. Stephen Domonkas, the architect of Casa del Mar. Casa del mar was a small exceptionally designed and truly intimate home. It was also a museum of world art gathered during the Domonkas' nine steamship voyages round the world.

The day we met was hot and steamy, a typical lake front summer afternoon. I was returning art books to Domonkas library on the shore of Lake Erie in Sheffield Lake, Ohio. As I placed a book of Rembrandt's drawings onto the counter I heard a rasping voice say, "Rembrandt, Rembrandt, I remember Rembrandt." I looked at the ancient hand pointing to the book cover and thought to myself, "I'll bet you do."

We visited there in the library that bears his name for a few minutes and he asked me to come and see him at his home to discuss art and travel.

From then on each Tuesday afternoon I'd ride my bike through the impressive wrought iron gates into the circle drive. My wicker handlebar basket would be filled with the roll of my weekly drawing practice. During our visit we'd sip tea and he would give my work a spirited and no-holds-bar critique.

We became dear and devoted friends. His sweet wife, Ruth, often waved her hand at us during our animated chats saying, "You should've married him!"

This 18x24 inch watercolor on Arches was painted in 1979 during the time of my visits. Inspiration for the entire 'Casa del Mar' series was taken from the lighthearted style of Chagall.

Do you consider where your inspirations comes from and who the mentors for your work tend to be?


  1. I'm really enjoying following your reflections, and getting to see some of the images, new to me, that go with the stories I've heard of through our conversations over the years!
    I can't say I've ever had a mentoring experience - certainly nothing like you've described - only very traditional teacher/student duration of class kind of group guidance. It sounds extremely rich, and something all evolving artist's would thrive from :)

  2. Thanks K
    I am stepping through a doorway here and it really feels terrific to recall those who have helped me learn to trust the process along the way!


Thanks for stopping '-)