My Beginnings as an Artist

To tell you about The House of Colors is to tell you about my beginnings as an artist. When I was about 9 or 10 years old, I began studying at the Whedon School of Art in Port Washington, New York. Aida and Dan Whedon ran the school. Aida taught drawing and painting, while Dan taught ceramics and sculpture. When Aida was in her sixties she studied printmaking. She taught us kids the intaglio etching technique, which she learned herself. Our studio was one of the cleanest studios I ever worked in. This was her insistence on us respecting our tools and the space we used.

The creative spirit of this husband and wife team stayed with me long after I left them to go to college at Tyler School of Art. They took great pride in this. Little did I know that after years of teaching, I would create a school based on their model.

I have been blessed to have great teachers in my life from a young age.

In addition to the Whedons, I studied under Romas Viesulas, a well-known Printmaker who taught at Tyler. After completing my BFA under Romas’s tutelage, I went on to work for Ruth Leaf as her edition printer and assistant teacher. I soon learned that Ruth and Romas had studied together in New York. Aida had studied printmaking with Ruth Leaf. I met Ruth when I was a teenager and wanted to print during the summer that Aida and Dan were away. Aida convinced Ruth to let me work at her studio, which was just for adults. At the time, I didn’t realize how important these influences would be for my life as an artist. I understand now that we do not create in a vacuum. It is the input of our teachers, peers, other artists who have come before that we are connected to. The most important quality of visual art is to learn how to see.