Larry wanders into the drawing studio in October. My class is outside working on a landscape assignment. He asks about art and the studios in general. He knows the building, he says he works the air-conditioning and heating in the Fine Arts department.
My students are working outside this week. If you have anything you need to do in here, feel free. He comments about art and says he doesn’t know a lot about it. I sense he has a question.
Larry explains his sister has lung cancer. She lives in Pennsylvania and he would like to send her something special…maybe art. I don’t hesitate to tell him art is especially thoughtful.
What are you thinking? Do you have something in mind?
Marilyn, rescues dogs. I listen to him tell about the many senior dogs she rescues. She cares for them until the end. He describes a graveyard she has for them, where each dog has its own headstone.
Your sister Marilyn sounds pretty special.
Larry would like a drawing made for his sister. He has an idea and shows me. Do you know anyone who can do this for me?
I happen to know the perfect student for the job. Maw, in his second semester with me, and a Fischl Scholar, agrees to do the work. Within a few days him and Larry are in communication.
Maw spends time researching in the library and returns to the classroom to begin working out details which include Marilyn’s home and her many dogs. We discuss material including charcoal, color pencil, graphite, pastel and BFK rag paper.
Maw organizes a general layout and invites Larry to come and see.
All along I talk to the class about what Maw is doing. I invite them to ask questions. It’s valuable knowledge.
Larry returns one more time to okay the final composition before we spray and fix the work.
We carefully tube the drawing Larry will send to his sisters in Pennsylvania, for framing. We hope Marilyn will have it by Christmas.
Before Larry leaves Maw gifts him a fine art print he made while visiting the Grand Canyon with his father.
Maw, you rock!
Marilyn, we wish you the very best. You have a great brother!
Marylyn Jean Blair
Oct 8, 1946-February 21, 2019
Rest in peace.