In the November issue of Professional Artist magazine, there’s an article about realist painter Mel Leipzig. His paintings are great as are his methods but I found the most absorbing theme to be his resolute pursuit of realism in the face of obstacles. Realism never really goes out of style although other movements, styles and technologies come along. These new concepts are needed for the life of artmaking yet realism is sometimes dismissed as anachronistic. So, artists like Leipzig keep forging ahead, dedicated to personal vision, in spite of the voices that seem to insist that realism is done.  

What an inspiration. I took up my brush again with more dedication a few years back and I found his thoughts about education, the need for active studio practice and most of all the pursuit of personal vision to be just what I needed to hear.   

Once more, with feeling

For many years after receiving my MFA, I focused on teaching rather than making art. I’d still make art occasionally and put everything I had into the project, but I still considered myself an art teacher. I cherished my time in the classroom helping students address issues in drawing and watercolor painting, but it took a serious health event to shift my perspective.

I’m teaching again – no studio classes this time, but the fascinating history of art and art appreciation. This time though, I’m more committed to my studio practice. It’s like I’m getting another chance at this lyrical challenge.