On Tom Buechner/ Maria Holbein

We are in the last days of our Memorial Show for the late Tom Buechner, which ends on November 12.  In conjunction with this exhibit, we have been running a series of essays that were written by artists who painted and/or studied with Tom.  These essays accompanied an accompanying tribute show consisting of work by these artists that hangs in the upstairs gallery at the West End, which also ends on the 12th.

Today we feature the essay of Maria Holbein

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I spent exactly one year interning with Tom not realizing during the course of that year that it was to be his last year or that Eric (my husband) and I would be the final Houghton interns. No doubt, it will be many years down the road before I can really comprehend the impact of this past year on my painting let alone my life.

As Tom lay on his deathbed, I realized what a friend he had been to me in a very transitional year of my life. In June of 2009 I found myself in a new city, a new stage of life, and spending a lot of time with this rather flirtatious, exceptionally perceptive, and very interesting 83 year old man. Each day began with a 45 minute conversation about whatever… Sunday’s sermon, married life (new for me), or some fascinating story from Tom’s seemingly endless past before moving on to his eclectic, yet meticulous list of tasks for the day. His life was a steady rhythm of rituals into which I was quickly integrated; we ate the exact same Panini every Monday at precisely 12 o’clock the entire year.

Tom was ever intentional, both in his painting and in his teaching to paint! He taught me his methods and I am better for it; I will continually be instructed and inspired by Thomas S. Buechner.

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