Thursday, November 20, 2008

Walter Gabrielson

Walter Gabrielson
Getting Dressed, 1980
oil on canvas 60" x 129"

This morning I learned that my friend Walter Gabrielson passed away last week. Walter was a great artist and teacher and it was a real privilege to know him. In reading Walter's obituary in the LA Times, I realized what an influence he was on my thinking about art and about being an artist. Read the obituary. It has lengthy quotes from Walter and is very inspiring. Just the title of his autobiography is encouraging — Persistence. Walter made it possible to read his autobiography online and, if you do, be sure to read his Epilogue. You can also read a tribute by Peter Plagens, his long time friend and colleague.

I can hardly believe that I still have this napkin on which Walter made a sketch for me in 1983 or so. I don't know where we were, what we were talking about or why he made it but it's a typical example of his basic human figure and I'm glad that I've managed to keep hold of it.

I've thought of Walter often over the past month and even referred to him in my post on James Turrel's piece at Cheekwood. We weren't close friends but, over all these years, he was a steadfast sounding board for me, always lent an ear, and always came back with a thoughtful, intriguing response. He was a blessing in my life.

Visit Walter's website to learn more about his work and his life.

Visit Landscape into Art to see my paintings.
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1 comment:

PB said...

On Walter's website: great paintings, and I started reading his biography which is very good too. We lived in Minnesota for eight years and his time of growing up there is fun to absorb.