"Visual art has influenced my life as long as I can remember. Before books, museums, galleries and famous artist instructors, prairie town painters magnetized my youthful free spirit and set patterns that would eventually lead to a professional career.
An eccentric neighbor from Illinois, whose Victorian house was hung floor to ceiling with her own paintings, wove stories of Chicago and Cleveland art centers, while I caressed large pieces of baroque bronzes in her collection and she exposed me to the fragrance of oil and turpentine.
My first grade teacher recognized and praised a talent; subsequent teachers encouraged development. A family friend, confined to her chair, exemplified the joy attained from using one's ar
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