A message from new OSA Member, Ted Michener:
Glad I could make it to the “New Members” ceremony at the Arts and Letters Club. There was a slight glitch when my name wasn’t called for the handing out of certificates or the group photo, but I assumed it was only because the cameraman cherished his lens too much to have me in the shot. However, It all worked out well in the end. Hey, even the buffet was dandy!
Looking at the members list, I was happy to see some names from long ago who taught me at The Doon School of Fine Arts, the former home of landscape artist Homer Watson. This was a summer school retreat near Kitchener, Ontario. Renowned artists such as Yvonne Housser, Carl Shaeffer, A.J.Casson and Jack Bechtel were just a few of the teachers that helped me along my creative journey. I performed various duties in the mornings such as cutting the lawn and, my favorite, feeding kitchen scraps to the pigs that wallowed about in the sty across the road at Cluthie’s farm.
Each afternoon I joined the folks paying for their classes and received healthy criticism from a variety of visiting instructors throughout the season.
It was great fun painting into the wee hours at the central coach house. Jock MacDonald, Alex Millar and Greg Cournoe were always sure to be there. The washrooms on the peripheral of the property were aptly dubbed “Augustus John” which was clearly scrawled over the entrance way.
When the owner, Bess Hamilton was in the throes of selling the business she called me up in Toronto and asked if I would like to buy a Group of Seven oil. The price was ten thousand but I had just graduated from the art college and didn’t have that kind of scratch. Talk about an investment! They are worth at least half a million today! But it has been a while since she made that offer.
Just a quick note. We also made a lot of our own oil paints back then. Probably not the healthiest endeavour to undertake but we all survived it.
Bye for now.