I was supposed to be an artist, I suppose I could have been many things. But my trouble is I have unlimited enthusiasm and passion for stuff, but a total lack of focus and discipline.
Willie Rodger was my art teacher for 6 years, all through high school, and he read me, my strengths and weaknesses right away. I think, more than anyone probably has.
He tried and succeeded to coax good work out of me for years and although he could see as I found other distractions over the years that I was losing my application to the task more than a wee bit, he never lessened his support and encouragement.
His latter advice was just to be creative and that it didn’t matter whatever I did, music, art, words. I always had great support from my folks, still do bless them, but to hear words of support to be non conformist from outside the family bubble feels somehow different, not greater or better, just different and maybe emboldening.
I met him by accident years later after he’d retired back to full time art and I was an engineer and we chatted about way back then and where to next. I was glad of that, leaving school is one of those final moments, so many full stops and dead ends and Willie’s affect on me went beyond that.
I wish we’d met again, I’ve done so much more stuff since that he’d have appreciated, music, art, words.
I think I’d have liked him to know that his advice is still a voice in my head to this day that helps me have the freedom to do the creative stuff I do, lining up a shot in the mountains, flattening out a blank sheet of paper, opening up Word or plugging in a guitar.
Thanks Willie, for way back then and for where to next.