My Painting Professor

Al Sella

Al Sella

Here is an article about my painting professor at the University of Alabama:  Al Sella. The article states his age, which would make him 88.  God, back then we all thought he was 90, and that was 15 years ago.  Every so often I google him to see if he is dead.  He was as cute as could be:  A tiny man, who wore pressed pants (khaki or seersucker), a pinpoint oxford and different colorful Italian silk tie everyday.  He was the pinnacle of style.  All that being said, He also rode his bike to class – it was rumored that he tried to run over someone once and got his license taken away.  I doubt it was true, but he did nothing to squash the rumors.  He was also mean as a snake, and could crush a young ego with his bare hands, and lashing tongue.  He played favorites and of course like most Italian men, liked the ladies.  I think I was a class favorite.  But there was a point when I was slacking off – most likely not showing up to class enough – he got mad at me and humiliated me and my work in front of the class during a group critique.  It was so bad I remember several of my classmates coming up to me afterward asking if I was “OK”.  I cried after class.  There were also rumors about him throwing student paintings off the 4th floor (painting studio) of Woods Hall if your work sucked.  He probably started those as well.  But all and all, I have fond memories of him, and his teaching style. His studio was the first “real” artist work space I had ever seen – and he did not just invite anyone in to see it.  Without him I don’t think I would be the artist I am today.  Anyway, enjoy the article.

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Filed under Artist Ramblings, Inspiration

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