The Year My Vision Changed


I am always amazed how the course of a life can change directions through a random conversation with a person and how often we are unaware that the direction of our path is dramatically affected by this moment in time...

It was the mid-80s and I was about to enter high school when my neighbor mentioned to me that I must take a class with an art teacher named Mr. Bartman. Little did I know that this random advice had put me on a path that would dramatically influence my life.

INSPIRATION - The Year My Vision Changed

The first day I walked into Mr. Bartman’s art class, jazz was playing through the sound system. Mr. Bartman, my new high school art teacher, was reading quotes and displaying inspirational images of famous artists. Art was everywhere. I immediately noticed the huge poster boards with lists of challenging art assignments. The goal of all our projects was to help us see in new authentic ways. We were expected to fill an entire sketchbook every semester! There was always a huge crazy still life in the middle of the room created with random objects  that looked like they were dragged out of a fisherman's boat. Cables, boxes, rusted traps, buckets and more. In that hour of my high school day time stood still and the doors of freedom instantly flew open. I learned to stop and smell the roses, to see differently... I was hooked.

Mr. Bartman, my dear teacher, continues to teach and paint every day of the year. He takes groups to paint outdoors - in the fields, in the snow, on the coast. He urges his students to not make descriptions but to create poetry. I am grateful that he encouraged me to create, to push through the struggle to find beauty in the ordinary so that I can express the invisible through the visible. Marianne

*See Walter Bartman’s work and workshops here: