Saturday, November 6, 2010

Frank Petronzio

Frank Petronzio was my art teacher during my last two years of high school. He was a dedicated and skilled teacher, an excellent painter, and taught art the way it should be taught: with lots of personalized guidance and encouragement for each student to pursue his/her own artistic vision. Frank took particular interest in my work and taught me watercolor techniques that I use to this day. He was warm-hearted, free-form, fun and inspiring. Each memory I have of Frank still brings a smile. Every moment I spent in his company was a pure pleasure, and that's mighty unique in my experience.

After high school, I went to college, pursued my career and lost touch, though I would sometimes hear about him from my family and some mutual friends. About two years ago, I attempted to contact Frank, after finding out about his whereabouts by chance. I sent him a fat package of my professional work and copies of some old art I'd done in his class. Sadly, I never got to see him again, as he passed away not long thereafter.

Frank was an old-school artist and predated the Internet by many decades, so there is precious little about him to be found on the web. Details of his life and career can still be seen here in this obituary. There is a touching slice-of-life encounter detailed here, and my old friend and exceptional artist Debbie Clarke posted this remembrance on her blog shortly after his passing.

I rendered the above likeness of Frank in my heroic style, as he was and always will be one of my heroes. It's based on his photo in my yearbook and the way I like to remember him.

I was in attendance at Frank's memorial service, and it was standing room only. Frank Petronzio would have been 91 this Sunday, November 7th. Happy birthday, Frank.

1 comment:

  1. bless you and your memories Dave we are the sum total of all we meet

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