I am so glad you stopped by! I love having you along my artful journey. I was thinking about when I left for college. Looking back, I don’t think I was very prepared when I went off to school. Today, before my children even stepped foot on campus, they’d taken online college courses, declared majors, and made out schedules for the next four years. I, on the other hand, remember sitting on my dorm room floor flipping through this massive book of majors, minors, and class descriptions, completely overwhelmed. So, I called my daddy, collect! I called to tell him that I had decided to major in art to which he replied, “Absolutely Not!” His concern was that I would never find a job and probably live at home forever. So I got a degree in education.
Twenty years later, my husband strongly encouraged me to go back to school and take art classes. It was one of the scariest things I ever did, but absolutely one of the most fabulous things I ever did. The hardest part was signing up for class on line. After a million attempts, I drove to the college, walked into the art department with my credit card and said “Help!”
Meet artist Richard Mills. When I walked down the hall of the art department, his door was open so I stuck my head in his office and introduced myself and begged for help. He graciously put down what he was doing and gave me about an hour of his time. After lots of questions and conversation, he signed me up for my very first studio drawing class. If you’ve ever been in a working studio, then you know the incredible experience of walking in the door and feeling like you’re a million miles away from the real world. Your brain begins to click creatively at about 100 miles an hour and you never want to leave. Mr. Mills was my drawing professor. He was amazing! Not only is he a talented artist, but he is a gifted teacher as well. I believe that is a rare combination! My favorite thing was listening to him instruct and encourage students as he would make rounds in the studio. I thought it was fascinating the way he could instruct and guide each student according to his or her own style and personality. One assignment he gave, he set up a still life consisting of an oreo, saltine cracker, pretzel and a breadstick. The instructions were to make it look as real as possible. I remember looking up at him asking if I could do that, to which he responded, “Of course you can!” That is who he is!
He was never late to class. He never missed class. He gave 100% to the class. Consequently, his classes were alway full and always fabulous. I learned more from him that anyone. He taught me how to stretch a canvas and draw folds in a blanket. He introduced me to oil paints for the first time and how to do the most basic of things like clean my brush. Mr Mills was my first real art teacher. I would stand in the studio most of the time with my jaw on the floor wondering how he did something or how I was going to attempt a certain assignment. Mr Mills is talented. He is unbelievably patient. He is a gifted teacher. He is kind and gracious with everything he knows and is incredibly humble.
He provided me a strong creative foundation on which I could build. He gave me my first real road map. He instilled in me the confidence I needed to tie my running shoes a little tighter and get moving. I am so thankful for Richard Mills and the tremendous impact he had on my artful journey. Thank you Mr. Mills! You can view his work at http://www.stonehengeinc.com
Love love love Ruthie