Some of my memories of Jack
Created by Family and Friends of Jack 5 years ago
Ever heard of someone drawing inside their pocket? Jack did. When on the subway in New York City, he didn’t want to draw attention, nor get irate reactions to his people observations, so he drew inside his pant pocket. Of course that pant pocket was always equipped with small pieces of paper and a very short pencil. Jack also used every available scrap of paper to draw on, napkins or menus of course, but also the inside of match books, or white space in magazines.
I was privileged to be part of his small Thursday drawing group (drawn from Horticulture staff) after he retired and for the last 10 years he shared with us what he loved best. We were not the best in getting the perspective thing down, even though he was very patient with us, but we thrived on the other themes he would come up with involving many barns, Ithaca front porches, winter landscapes and still life drawings of items that he brought in.
We enjoyed the annual returns of the planning for a holiday card involving mice with red hats; the Chinese New Year with a new horoscope animal on rice paper; fall leaf drawings, and of course snow landscapes. His secret to life was to always be drawing something. He would draw in a waiting room; in a parking lot; on the bus; in a faculty meeting, at Wegmans.
He often explained to us that he saw the world through eyes that could draw what he saw on paper no matter where he was. He gave every student that went through his classes Artistic License, including a piece of paper that we could personalize and carry as a card to remind us. It signified that we didn’t have to make our drawing objects look exactly accurate, but that we could make changes as we saw best; leave parts out, use a different color, etc. This of course, also provided room for mistake making, or perspective oopses, but most of all, he never stamped any of his students with who he was, or what he wanted, but allowed everyone to flourish in their own way and with their own style. There must be thousands of card carrying Artistic License members out there with the RJL stamp.