Me sitting on a frame in our family's first home in New Orleans with my mother, brother, and fraternal grandmother
One of the last photographs I took of my mother in August, 2009
with my granddaughter, Amanda Deyo
I will turn 62 years old on Tuesday, March 9th, a date I have been anticipating for several years because it will mark my transition to semi-retirement. When Interweave Press bought American Artist magazine in June, 2008, I told the CEO, Clay Hall, that I would like to work part-time when I reached the age of 62. I proposed that I write and edit Workshop magazine, several of the special issue publications, and the "legacy content" magazines published during the year. Both Clay and the magazine's publisher, David Pyle, agreed to facilitate the transition I proposed. It's take a little longer than expected to find a new editorial director to take over my job, but it now seems likely that the new leader will take over later in March or April, 2010.
Unfortunately, I am making an unanticipated transition because my mother died on February 20, 2010. She was 85 and was struggling with congestive heart failure, but I expected her to recover from that problem as she had before. My mother was a strong, determined individual who grew up during The Great Depression; saw her husband and family members go off to fight in World War II; raised two sons and a daughter who had health issues for most of her life; and worked with members of the Presbyterian church for peace, justice, and equality in the world.
Fortunately, I have spent the past 31 years learning from some of the best artists in the country and I am looking forward to spending more time applying that knowledge to my own painting and to sharing it with other artists in workshops. I have had the best job an artist could ever hope for; and I have been encouraged and assisted by friends and family members, including my parents, my wife, and my children. I want to thank them, the artists who have allowed me to present their artwork in American Artist, and the loyal subscribers who have supported the publication since it was started in 1937,