Monday, November 30, 2009

Don Punchatz

On Thursday October 22nd my mentor  Don Punchatz passed away. Its been over a month now but its hard for me to talk about these things. Let alone write about it. I first met Don in 1990 when I was encouraged by a friend to take an extended education course in life drawing at TCU. It was my first time on a college campus and I was nervous to say the least. A friend of mine helped pay for the course but I still couldn't afford the supplies. I showed up with what I had, a few sheets of paper and couple of pencils. He looked at me and said "Wheres your supplies?" I was already nervous and now embarrassed. I explained my situation and he allowed me stay in the class, the next week he bought in some extra paper and an assortment of pencils for me to use. I learned a lot in this course. Don taught me to look at things the way they really are not the way you think they look. 
 I eventually began working for Don as an assistant at his home studio. I worked on the Doom game cover and ads for Pepsi and Frito-Lay. I learned a great deal from this man. About art the art business and life. In 2003 I had my first solo exhibition at Gallery 414 Don was one of the first people there and after looking at my work he said "Jesse, you make want to pick up a paint brush again". It was one of the proudest moments of my life.  Thanks Don.  Goodbye


Treehouse-Dweller said...

It is good that you put your feelings about Don's passing in writing. It was such sad news, and I am glad I was there with you when you first heard it. Your post is a touching tribute to a man who will be missed by many.

The Stash Dauber said...

Sorry to hear of his passing, but can tell he must have made a difference to many others, as he did to you.