| email: joe@joeglantz.com 


by Joseph Glantz

Bill Scott, “Late October” (2015), oil on canvas, 35 x 58 inches (all images courtesy the artist and Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, unless otherwise noted)
Here are some quotes and excerpts from previous interviews.

Rules for painting

In his interview with Jennifer Samet, he discussed how he met Joan Mitchell and was invited by her to live and paint at her place in France. Bill Scott said - I remember once Joan barked at me, “There’s no morality in making a picture. It either works or it doesn’t.” For me, that was a brilliant line. I’ve known so many people who have rules, like using only this kind of medium or this kind of canvas or only earth colors. But it’s not going to work just because you mastered someone else’s prescription. [Beer with a Painter: Bill Scott by Jennifer Samet April 9, 2016 (https://hyperallergic.com/289572/beer-with-a-painter-bill-scott/ )

Why he paints

There is this beautiful quotation by Berthe Morisot. She’s having coffee at a corner café one morning and writes that as she looked out the window, she saw the pedestrians as they walked by with the beauty and simplicity that exists in Japanese prints. Of that moment, she wrote, “I realize why I’ve only painted badly my whole life and why I’ll never paint another bad painting again.” And then she concluded, “And to think that I’m 50 years old, and at least once a year I have this very same hope and this very same joy.” That is so reassuring. Those fleeting moments of clarity are, for me, what it’s all about. [Interview with Professor Harry I. Naar, for your exhibit at Rider College. Bill Scott: The Landscape in a Still Life]

How he sees his paintings

I see my paintings as parallel to the fleeting, impermanent images one envisions in their mind’s eye when reading poetry, sometimes representational, sometimes abstract. Usually one or the other is emphasized in my own mind by the titles I choose. [Interview with Professor Harry I. Naar, for your exhibit at Rider College. Bill Scott: The Landscape in a Still Life]
I want a kindness in the painting. I want there to be an emotional ease. Generally, I don’t feel that in life, so I want it to exist in the paintings. [Beer with a Painter: Bill Scott by Jennifer Samet April 9, 2016
 (https://hyperallergic.com/289572/beer-with-a-painter-bill-scott/ )

On art education

When teaching and visiting studios, people often expect you to come in the door talking. I want to go in and see what’s there. A few times I have said, “I don’t know what to say, and I don’t want to just talk. May I have permission to look, and we will talk about it later?” I love what Mario Naves once wrote in a review: “When the visual peters out the verbal begins.” Let’s speak, but let’s look first. [Beer with a Painter: Bill Scott by Jennifer Samet April 9, 2016 (https://hyperallergic.com/289572/beer-with-a-painter-bill-scott/ )]

On the value of failure

“To make anything, one fails – it’s an essential part of the process. The best paintings, I believe, are the ones painted before the artist knows how to do them. Out of failure, you learn how to make something work. It is a process that can lead to possibilities not yet explored. That is something I love.” [Beer with a Painter: Bill Scott by Jennifer Samet April 9, 2016 (https://hyperallergic.com/289572/beer-with-a-painter-bill-scott/ )]

Interspersed throughout his answers are observations and commentary from his most recent exhibit: Bill Scott. Leaf and Line. Hollis Taggert Galleries. 521 W. 26th Street. 7th Floor. New York, NY. 10001. March15 to April 28, 2018
The comments are intended to illustrate how professionals in his field view his work. The comments should be read independently of the Q and A.

Q. In your Rider interview with Professor Harry Naar, you mention you admired the thoroughness and intense seriousness of Jane Piper [an early mentor]. You mentioned that she was interested in the subconscious, not a political statement. What did you mean by that?

I met Jane in 1972 when I was 16. I had seen an exhibition of her paintings at a Philadelphia gallery and afterward wrote a letter to her asking if I might see her studio. When I was young, I wrote letters to several artists requesting to see their studios and, in hindsight, I realize it was my way of learning about and reaching out to a world larger than the one I inhabited. It wasn’t always good, but I am grateful for my long friendship with Jane. A few years after meeting her I started writing articles on artists and one of the first I did was based on a series of interviews with her. She said, “There is a lot of talk today about the importance of painters responding to the problems of their time. It’s easy” she continued, “for the very well educated artist, today, to illustrate the sociological or psychological problems of our time, but I think it has to come out indirectly. […] I have enough chaotic feelings in myself and toward the world out there that what I want is to find my sense of order. I do not want to illustrate the problems that exist in the world. I think the private images that come from your unconscious are far stronger.”

It may have been an off-the-cuff comment on her part. However, the idea continues to be meaningful to me. I sometimes think about this when seeing weak artwork by artists who talk ad infinitum about the public meaning and worldwide importance of their work. I end up wishing they had used a little more of that energy to make a more powerful visual image. I do not need to see a painting that preaches to me of how the world is in extreme distress.  

I feel people are always disappointed when they ask me how or what I think about when I paint. Or when they ask, for example, if I had put a particular blue in my painting so that it would create this or that effect. I realize the frustration (for both of us) emerges because they really think I’ll have a satisfying answer. Or, perhaps, they are asking questions for which they confidently feel they already have an answer with which I agree and that it will be a bonding experience. For me, unfortunately, they are questions for which I have no answers. I do not think in those terms when I paint. If I am painting well it’s because I am in a subconscious and vulnerable state of feeling. I need to sustain that to paint. I don’t particularly want to paint something I already know how to paint. At the moment, all I can think to compare this to is to say it’s a little like the days when everyone had rotary telephones – If asked, I would be unable to recite someone’s phone number out loud, but if you gave me the phone I could dial it. It’s somewhat parallel in painting. I can’t tell anyone in advance what I am doing or what I will do next, but the knowledge, of course, is there somewhere.

“With each new offering from his studio, he reveals the breadth of his potential. His compositions appear at once completely spontaneous and intentionally controlled, revealing the paradox of his unique talent and his seasoned hand.” Hollis Taggart. Debra Pesci.

Can you talk about the experimental side of painting? What mediums you try or what new approaches you try?

I do not think I am trying to make an experimental painting per se. I’m not even sure the experimental, as an end result, is something that actually exists in painting. However, for me, the process of making a painting is endlessly experimental. The emotionally difficult part of painting, for me, is sustaining a feeling of vulnerability and the constant willingness to fail. 
If I realize I’m using a particular color over and over again I’ll take it off my palette. For a while in the mid-1990s, for example, I felt I was starting to use greens in a rather rote and unconscious way. So, I put all my tubes of green paint into a box and hid it from myself for several years. Once, as a birthday gift, a friend offered me a tube of paint – it was a color for which I had an immediate dislike. It was perplexing. I squeezed some of it out onto my palette, looked at it and thought to myself, “What the hell am I supposed to do with this?” After looking at it for a little while longer, however, I thought to myself, “Wow. What a wonderful gift. I hate this color, but lets see what I can do with it.” 

Since having that experience, when I feel I am at an impasse, I sometimes buy a tube of paint that is a color I don’t like – almost as if I have an allergic reaction to it. It’s always a way to challenge myself, to see if I can figure out how to make it work for me, and to keep myself alert and to avoid slipping into a trance while painting. 

In 1998, I lost the lease on my studio and I decided that henceforth I would work at home. Sitting at my kitchen/dining-room table I painted on small pieces of paper using both gouache and watercolor. I was assuming water-soluble materials were less harmful to my health – I certainly stopped coughing so much. A few years later I started sharing a studio with a friend who, sadly, was allergic to turpentine -- so returning to oils was not possible while working there with him. Working for a few years with water-soluble paints naturally led me to try acrylics. 
In hindsight, I think acrylics were also a way for me to separate from Joan Mitchell, who disliked acrylics. I’d not really liked acrylics either, but it was parallel to trying to paint with colors I wasn’t in love with, It proved to be a wonderful challenge for me to see what I could do with them. I thought I would just try them for a year, but I painted with acrylic on paper for twelve years. I learned a lot and, in some ways, it was very much like drawing. In 1999, after painting there eight years, I lost the lease on that studio too. I was back to painting at my kitchen table. Friends who were then making etchings introduced me to the master printer, Cindi R. Ettinger, and I soon began making intaglio prints with her. When working with oils, I had always used a lot of white. I reluctantly learned one does not use white when making color etchings. Inspired by that, now, when painting, I try to use white much more sparingly.

Rather than offer passive pleasure, [Bill Scott’s] images let us position ourselves in them and in relation to them. Rather than offer passive pleasure, they challenge us to realign the world to allow for their freedom and balance, to give them expressive power at other moments and places. Tom Csaszar - Artist, writer and teacher based in Philadelphia

​Bill Scott, Studio

Bill Scott began his career studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1974 to 1979, but considers longer periods of working informally with painters Jane Piper and Joan Mitchell as the pivotal influences of his own painting.

Scott has exhibited widely over the past three decades at museums and both commercial and non-profit galleries that include Swarthmore College, Hollins University, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, the National Academy Museum, and the University of Delaware. Public collections with Scott’s work include the Cleveland Museum of Art, Delaware Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Museum of Art, and Woodmere Art Museum. His work has been reviewed in Art in America, ARTnews, The New York Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A colorist, Scott draws from nature and his own imagination, making paintings that complicate firm boundaries between the abstract and the representational. Although his canvases overflow with lush evocations of flora and fauna, he has little interest in copying directly from nature. Instead, each painting is an offering of a perfect window view, an idealized garden, or a feeling evoked by the final days of a season. He is a painter of sensations and feeling rather than one of tangible realities. His paintings' titles echo this and hint at, without fleshing out, points of inspiration. Art historian Jason Rosenfeld has described Scott’s paintings as possessing a “peopled feeling,” suggesting that there is a sincere, underlying humanism imbedded in Scott’s abstractions. Jason Rosenfeld, (“Bill Scott: Refulgence” in Bill Scott: Imagining Spring)

How do other art forms – music, literature, poetry, affect your paintings?

I think a lot of my painting’s inspiration is from other paintings and visual imagery and less so from writing or the performing arts. When I look at artwork other than my own I sometimes have the desire to run home and paint. That’s a gift. Equally important are things that some people would consider a waste of time: looking out the window, taking a walk, weeding in the backyard, or drinking coffee with a friend. The painting is always there whether or not I’m in my studio with a brush in my hand. I often listen to music when I’m painting. I’ve known artists who rely on smoking or alcohol to put them in the frame of mind that enables them to paint. I find the companionship of music in my studio can help me to sustain that state of mind. Sometimes, I have taken a few words or a line from a song or a poem and used that as the title for a painting. But I’m never using a painting as a way to illustrate those lyrics. Several artists whose work I respect have told me they think my titles are awful – which, of course, is crushing. For me the titles are associative, but not clear-cut clues as to what the viewer should expect or attempt to see in the painting.

His well-ordered chaos of cool, green fingers outlined in red; blues that shade away into turquoise; traceries of imaginary sunsets; and magentas, yellows, and oranges fill the viewer with a sense of energy. Jim Cory – Philadelphia poet and essayist

Bill Scott, "The Cherry Tree" Etching and drypoint in 5 colors 24 x 12 1/2 inches
​ Image courtesy of the artist and C.R. Ettinger Studio

How conscious of geometry are you when you paint?

I cringe when anyone mentions geometry. I think my reaction is because, when I was in high school, I was terrible at figuring out anything that had to do with mathematics. I never understood geometry, trigonometry, or calculus, and the remembrance of feeling stupid carries forward even now if someone mentions it to me. Nevertheless, in as much as my paintings include squares, rectangles, triangles, circles and other shapes, I suppose the geometry is there for folks who interpret the world through geometry, but I am not consciously doing it. I see the paintings as space defined by color juxtapositions and as also being very linear. I like when a line is not drawn, but created where two colors meet. The paintings frequently are most hard-edged -- a friend of mine calls it, ‘razor sharp” -- at times in my life when I feel I have little or no control. I think I try to contain and control the elements within my paintings when I feel less in control of my life.

The garden of earthly delights. Few painters have the courage of spirit, let alone the capacity, to revel in such beauty - a beauty uninhibited by the disasters and distractions of our contemporary world. The elements in Scott’s work interact in a slyly discursive way. Steeped in an exuberant field of color sensation, a hidden iconography emerges. The subtle conflict between pure abstraction and dramatic content gives these paintings a life and complexity that steer them well beyond the merely decorative. It is this engine that drives the evolving story of his process, aligning him with the finest abstract painters. Vincent Desiderio - Painter represented by the Marlborough Gallery, New York.

How does your color selection work for each painting? 

Initially, when starting a painting, my choice of colors probably would look arbitrary to someone watching. 

I begin by drawing with a brush from something I’m looking at – the leaves of a potted plant or something I can see from the studio window. I’ll also apply a large area of color directly from the tube and applied with a palette knife or a rag. 

I do not begin a painting with any specific idea of what the painting might become. I mix a second color using the unused portion of the previous color. I continue that way which, I think, gives the paintings a unified color tonality. I usually only have two or three different colors going at once. After a day or two, the paintings move from being arbitrary to having more specific associations to a place or type of place. There is something about my use of color that I’m unconscious of when I am painting, yet it seems clearer to me months after a painting is complete. That is, my colors often do not correspond directly to how I feel. For example, I tend to use higher-keyed, primary colors when I am feeling down. It’s as if the buoyant color can keep me afloat when I feel I am sinking.

He uses colors with great aplomb. To combat the tendency of such colors to break apart a composition, he draws lines of dark paint with a one-inch brush. To keep the lines surprising, he refers to the curves of a philodendra growing in the studio. Franklin Einspruch - Artist and writer in Boston.

​Bill Scott, “Stillness" (2017), oil on canvas, 48 x 45 inches
If you could give your younger-self advice as an artist, what would you say?

I don’t really know except I might try to persuade myself to have been kinder and not to have worried so much. As an older person I wish I had steered clear of a few very self-involved folks with whom I became entangled. However, I doubt I would have heard or heeded the advice because I really had to make my own mistakes and learn, by failing, the importance of failing.

I think it may be because I attended Quaker schools, but throughout my life I have always sought to participate in a cooperative-type of community. I don’t know how long those things really last when there are lots of people involved. If I could, I’d tell the younger me to embrace sadness and never to expect any life experience to heel, sit, stay, or be permanent. I’m naively hopeful which is fine when I am painting, but it’s important to let things flow past me. Late one evening several years ago, for example, I was en route home. As I stood waiting for the light to turn green, I turned and saw a familiar-looking couple standing next to me. 

Dressed to the nines they were both drunk. My eyes met the man’s and he proclaimed, “I’ve lived here over thirty years and you’re one of those people I’ve passed on the street almost everyday, but I’ve never said ‘hello.’” I smiled and extended my hand to introduce myself, but my voice turned into a resigned grumble as they turned away and strolled off. I’m still trying to learn to allow myself to walk away when there’s no real reason for me to be somewhere.

Do you feel the same way about the Berthe Morisot quotation about why she paints?

Yes, I love that quotation because, for me, it sums up and articulates how I almost always feel in the present, when looking back, and when looking forward. In painting, I always experience a combined feeling of both pleasure and defeat – for me, both feelings are integral to making a painting. 

What part about doing shows like your recent NY exhibition do you like – and not like? 

I enjoy having exhibitions, but whenever I see my paintings hanging together I experience that combined feeling of both pleasure and defeat. Other artists’ exhibitions that I most love, for selfish reasons, are those that make me want to run back home to paint. I obviously do not get to choose who will like my paintings, but I hope other artists might feel the same when seeing my exhibitions. Each exhibition, metaphorically, is another chance to get it right; however, were I to ever get it completely right there’d probably be no reason to continue. I’m alone a lot of the time – and I am always alone when I paint. So, having an exhibition can be a way for me to see people if I happen to be at the gallery when they come to see my paintings. Despite my complaints, I like being with people. 

In the first fifteen years or so after leaving art school I worked in commercial art galleries. There, among other responsibilities, I worked with a number of artists to organize, install, and act as salesman and publicist for exhibitions of their artworks. When I started art school, the Dean told all the incoming students his prediction that ten years hence only five of us would still be making art. When I started working at the gallery I recalled his words and decided I’d try to prove him wrong. I offered exhibitions to a lot of artists I met in school. It felt purposeful and I enjoyed it. However, I was naïve and quickly learned artists can be very difficult folks with whom to work. They can be extremely self-involved as well as self-destructive. Perhaps the most frustrating thing of all was realizing I did not have the power to make someone else want to paint. I try to be fairly thorough in how I interact with people, but I also realize I procrastinate, can be stubborn, I repeat myselof, and am very easily discouraged, all of which can be a burden for the other person.

I had my first solo exhibition in New York in 1989 when I showed pastels as a guest artist at Prince Street Gallery, a co-op gallery. My friends, Iona Fromboluti and Douglas Wirls, proposed the idea for the show. I was at one of my lowest emotional moments two years later, after my parents had died. Iona and Douglas exhibited their own works at Prince Street and kindly suggested I join the gallery. I am forever grateful to them for many things. At this point, when I really needed it most, they threw me the most creative of lifelines. All together, I had four solo exhibitions at Prince Street and was actively involved there for almost a decade. In hindsight, it was a great experience. I enjoyed meeting the artists who exhibited there and also interacting with the many artists who frequently visited the gallery.

I have exhibited in New York with Hollis Taggart since 2004 when he presented the first of eight solo exhibitions of my paintings. I met everyone at the gallery in the late-1990s when helping them with an Arthur B. Carles exhibition they were organizing. I loved working with them all, but never thought of showing them my own work because, back then, they represented few living artists all of whom where far older than me. However, five or six years later, all the galleries where I exhibited had closed. I was pretty dumbfounded. When he learned about this, Hollis offered me an exhibition. I continue to feel fortunate and am grateful to him. I paint with tremendous faith in the painting process, never really knowing at the start what exactly the painting will become. Exhibitions are the same.

​I show my paintings-in-progress to a few trusted friends, but other times painting can be a lonely endeavor. When an actual exhibition is on the horizon, I'm filled with feelings of trepidation, doubt, hope, dread, and resignation. And when the show is about to end I unsuccessfully try to dodge the inevitable sadness. At my craziest, I quizzically wonder why the show can't be left hanging forever. [Facebook]. My ideal response to a show is that I want to come back and paint when it’s done. [My Interview]

Which contemporary painters do you like?

I have never hesitated to try to meet someone whose work I have seen and liked. The majority of the older artists whose works I followed and whose exhibitions I always saw, however, are gone. I love the work of the still life and landscape painter, Ruth Miller Forge. Her paintings have everything I’d hope to achieve in my own work. They are thorough yet only suggestive; and complete without being finished. A list of the artists my age whose work I look at could go on forever. For years I’ve looked at abstractions by Mary Nomecos – she’s able to use differentiated paint applications and a touch that, for me, activates her paintings. Other painters include Mark Green, Sarah McEneaney, and Ying Li. I’m glad whenever I have the opportunity to visit Alex Kanevsky’s studio. I used to sometimes pose for Scott Noel and always enjoyed talking with him and watching him paint.

There are younger painters working now in Philadelphia whose work I admire. Among them are Evan Fugazzi, Aubrey Levinthal, Mickayel Thurin, Ben Passione, Michael Ciervo, Drew Kohler, Leigh Werrell, Matt Colaizzo, and Rebekah Callaghan. There are others who I know I’m forgetting, but can’t remember right now. I am drawn to the way they each depict visual imagery and in how they keep their work visual.

However, whenever people ask me what other artists I like, I sheepishly think of a letter from Berthe Morisot to her sister. Morisot reported how Édouard Manet visited her studio and praised her newest paintings. Then she hesitates and recounts when Fantin-Latour had shared his observation that, “Manet always likes his friend’s paintings.” Of course, that could be me too.

If you could give your younger-self advice as an artist, what would you say?

I might try to persuade myself to have been kinder and not to have worried so much. As an older person I wish I had steered clear of a few very self-involved folks with whom I became entangled. However, I doubt I would have heard or heeded the advice because I really had to make my own mistakes and learn, by failing, the importance of failing.

Interviewer Joseph Glantz is the author of Philadelphia Originals and the creative profile series Original Philadelphians

Bill Scott,"Leaf and Line" (2017), oil on canvas, 63 x 42 inches

Bill Scott, "Saturday" (2017), oil on canvas, 35 x 50 inches
You mentioned you like to paint at night when you have a clear mind, edit in the morning, and do other things during the day. 

I still try, often unsuccessfully, to adhere to that schedule. Whenever I hit an impasse while painting in my studio, I’ll go outside – to clear my head – and walk for a while. Sometimes the most productive walks are when I end up at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I’ll go in, look at two or three things, and leave while I feel I might finally know what to do next. I always visit with the Morisot, but am additionally drawn to other works, including: Renoir’s The Great Bathers, Pissarro’s Fair on a Sunny Afternoon, Millet’s Bird’s-Nesters, Manet’s The Folkstone Boat, Bonnard’s Still Life with a Bowl of Fruit. Like any museum with a large collection, many of the things that serve as renewable energy/inspiration for me are rarely hung, including: two of the Carles still lifes, Blue Abstraction and Still Life (with a large white pitcher), the Joan Mitchell painting, the Matta, and a large sculpture by David Smith. 

It is kind of astounding to me how seeing a painting can transport me to so many different places, feelings, and memories while all the while I’m standing still. Sometimes, I wonder if it is the walk to and from the museum, and not really the paintings, which is what actually gets me back to feeling everything is paintable again. 

​Around 1987, I temporarily quit working with oils. I no longer remember exactly why I felt I needed to quit, but I did not paint again with oils until 2003. For the next few years I worked exclusively with pastels on paper. I tried to remove unwanted passages by scraping off the pastel with a dry brush. I also removed the pastel by wiping it off with a wet sponge. There was pastel dust everywhere and I sometimes used spray fixative. Around that time several artists I knew, who also worked frequently with pastels, died of lung cancer. That scared me and stopped me in my tracks because I realized that every time I would blow my nose or sneeze that the Kleenex was full of pastel dust. I stopped using pastels.

Bill Scott’s paintings are like good conversations, ones that travel back and forth between the everyday and the philosophical. The feeling taken away is even more important than the specific words spoken. The color, light, and shapes he paints are nearly familiar and nearly nameable, but he leaves them open so that any one mark has many possible meanings. Evan Fugazzi - Artist living in Philadelphia where he is represented by Gross McCleaf Gallery.

Painting in many ways is a solitary experience. Can you talk about the social aspects of your art?

I enjoy people’s company, but I’m alone when I paint. There are a few individual painter friends who I meet with regularly for coffee. It might seem odd to someone else, but we rarely talk about art. Yet, the meetings, for me at least, serve as fuel for painting.

This synthesis of rigorous structure and abundant generosity allow for a world where a circle knocking at the window or a squiggle pausing to catch its breath may be a little whimsical but by no means unbelievable. The familiar is otherworldly, in a kind and forgiving way, posting a place we haven’t really been but hope to visit one day. Aubrey Levinthal - A painter represented by Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York.

I think I once heard you say it takes until the age of 35 to 45 for a painter to come into their own vision?

​When I was about 30 years old, I heard an older painter say this: that visual artists often don't come into their own vision until somewhere between the age 35 and 45. Ironically, he added, that is the age when many performing artists are slowing down and/or retiring. For many visual artists, I think it's even a little later than 45. I sometimes feel it's a moment to which I am continually approaching. Everything one paints makes sense in hindsight and fits into a larger continuum, but one needs the life experience to realize the true meaning of hindsight. When I first heard this I was frustrated because I did not want it to take so long. There are, of course, exceptional people who do realize their vision earlier – but they're not the norm and, unfortunately, some of those early bloomers vanish by the time the seemingly slower folks are hitting their stride.

There have never been so many circles in his work; they haunt these compositions, pulsing through like bubbles in uncorked champagne or the seeds of a dandelion head that someone has blown to the wind. Charles Stuckey - Independent scholar based in New York.

Can you talk about your experience teaching at PAFA?

While I was teaching, I met several extraordinary younger artists. I am happy to still be in touch with a few former students – most of them painters -- now that they’ve left school and I am no longer teaching there.

The ongoing emotive truth and sincerity of this work is that it expresses the different tonics of life as full, fertile, vibrant, complex, and energetic. William R. Valerio, PhD, is the Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director and CEO of Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia.

You worked with artists in Kentucky and Mississippi. What was that experience like? Is there a culture clash?

Former students invited me to be a visiting artist where they now teach in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana. I also taught at the Mount Gretna School of Art. All were meaningful experiences for me and I was impressed with the students. A lot of their work is much better than what I’d seen here. The students truly seemed to be there to learn. I think that may have been possible because, unlike here, the tuition was not expensive. The high cost of attending most art schools, at my most cynical, makes me feel institutions parallel Ponzi schemes and students can unwittingly become like a customer who believes, “the customer is always right.” Most graduates will never be able to repay the debt they incur to be able to attend art school by using the wages they earn from using whatever knowledge and skills they paid to learn in art school. A student here once told me, because he paid such a high tuition, that I owed him praise and a less challenging critique than what I had offered. Flummoxed, I replied, that I did not get paid enough to lie to him. 

​I think it may be because I attended Quaker schools, but throughout my life I have always sought to participate in a cooperative-type of community. I don’t know how long those things really last when there are lots of people involved. If I could, I’d tell the younger me to embrace sadness and never to expect any life experience to heel, sit, stay, or be permanent. I’m naively hopeful which is fine when I am painting, but it’s important to let things flow past me. Late one evening several years ago, for example, I was en route home. As I stood waiting for the light to turn green, I turned and saw a familiar-looking couple standing next to me. 

 Bill Scott: Imagining Spring and other works (New York: Hollis Taggart Galleries, 2016)

Bill Scott, "Late October - Blue and Black" (2016), Etching and Aquatint, 22 1/2 x 30 inches​

​ Image courtesy of the artist and C.R. Ettinger Studio

Copyright  2019 Joseph Glantz. All Rights Reserved