RIP: Ray Yoshida, Painter and Teacher

Ray YoshidaI just learned that Ray Yoshida, one of the Chicago Imagists and one of my painting teachers at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, passed away this week.

I studied with him in an advanced painting studio for one semester: he once told me my work was “too sentimental.” (Thank goodness!).

I’m sad and very nearly speechless. So, let me just quote from the NYT article:

“He was very important to a lot of people there,” said Robert Storr, dean of the Yale University School of Art and a student of Mr. Yoshida in the mid-1970s in that school’s master of fine arts program. “As a teacher he was mysterious and witty. The mystery would draw you in, and then he would say something funny but with an edge that would make you think — kind of like his paintings.”

And the Chicago Tribune wrote a nice story on the life of Ray Yoshida (09-30-2010: which they have since removed).

But if you want to really get a sense of what it was like to have Ray for a teacher, artist Laurie Fendrich captured it beautifully.

How true. We’ll miss you, Ray.

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What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness.

— M. C. Escher
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  • Gorgeous color and emotion captured in this! I love this series. You really bring life to the sky and it is wonderful!
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Don't Look Down - Oil on Canvas - 10 x 10 - © 2015 Marilyn Fenn Untitled (2015-005) - Oil painting by Marilyn Fenn Blockhead -  Oil on Canvas - 8 x 8 - © 2015 Marilyn Fenn Untitled 2015-017 -  Oil on Canvas - 12 x 12 - © 2015 Marilyn Fenn