This is a sketch I did of Mr. Brackman during one of his classes at Noank, Connecticut. It was probably done in 1959 or 1960. It has faded and the paper is very discolored. It is amazing that this little drawing has survived all these years and not been tossed in the trash can during one of my many moves, or weeding out of “bad” work. I can remember doing it, sitting on the stairs leading to the balcony watching him do a demonstration. There were so many people in the class I couldn’t see the painting, only him. He always wore a Greek Fisherman’s cap and had a cigarette in his mouth. The ashes grew long and dropped onto his shirt or into the paint. Watching the ashes fall was continuously remarked upon by many of the women in the class!
I must admit that I was a sponge in those days, when I was only eighteen or nineteen, and his cigarette impressed me so much I began to hang one from my mouth, and it became a habit (I had been smoking for years before that time). Needless to say my heroic mother was having conniptions about this trait and tried valiantly to dissuade me from the Brackman look.
Brackman was a famous teacher and his students were from all over the world. I was so lucky to have him as my teacher. I was determined to go to art school and my father was determined for me to go to a liberal arts college. We compromised. Dad found out through their circle of friends that I could attend Brackman’s school in the summer. So I went to college in the winter and lived for the moment I could get to Noank in the summer. Because it was closer by water, I sometimes sailed my boat across the channel and tied up at the fishing docks. I met mentors and people who helped and coached me in those classes, and a few became life long friends.