I came home yesterday and went straight to my computer, only to find some sad news that a dear teacher of mine had passed. His name was Kurt Godwin. I had taken only 2 classes from him in the last couple of years, but he was a very open and generous educator. Not only that, but a first class artist who was so fun to watch.
He was very easy going, but also knowledgeable and posed fun questions to us every time he walked around to talk to us about our work. “What about red?”, he said to me one time. On another occasion he said, “What if you just left that alone?”. In the short time I knew him, I learned quickly that he was pretty much an open book…..and oh by the way, he had lots of those. Every class he’d bring in parts of his home library to share with us. He had some pretty amazing books and catalogs of amazing art and artists.
He poured every part of himself into his work, whether is was teaching us or doing his own art. We connected on our processes. He created layers and layers on his work, just as I had always done. But one of the things I did learn from him, was to let go. It’s ok to let go of outcomes, not to pay so much attention to control. It’s something I still wrestle with in my own artwork (and life).
He was a caring man, cared about his students, cared about his family. I got to spend sometime with him outside of class at a few exhibits and you could tell that others felt the same way. Lucky enough to know him, lucky enough to share some space with him, lucky enough to bare witness to his experiences and lucky enough for him to share them with us.
I’ll miss you, Kurt.
It’s truly interesting how people come into your life, the impression they leave on you can last a lifetime.