My husband and I spent the morning of June 11 with Luis. He took us on a tour of his studio (told us the ins and outs of his public art pieces), then drove us up a bumpy dirt road through a small valley to see his home (and goats), and then off to a little resturant, just down the road from Hondo, for burritos. He and my husband hit it off well, telling one another stories of bow hunting and bird watching. More and more stories each worth listening to, each bringing a smile or a laugh. Our day with Luis concluded with him sketching on a napkin a map of must see parts of New Mexico for us. We began our NM adventure following his map. So it came as quite a shock to find that he passed away a few days after our visit due to a studio accident.
Luis’ was a master of bringing out the best in other artists.
Becoming bête comme un peintre six straight hours every Wednesday for three months under the guidance of Luis in the Figure Drawing Studio at the University of Houston.
Six hours. Naked model. My arm seeks across the page. Brain tires. Arm sags. I prop it up with the other. Finally the deadening weight is too great. Grease pencil shifted to recessive hand. Brain shuts off. Only sense of sight and touch remain intact. Searching lines find form. Tactile pleasure. Luis strokes ego.
How is it that everyone in the class improves? No, really everyone. It is Luis coming around and deciphering the one thing that is working in each students drawing. Quietly he points it out to the student (who cherishes his praise). Suddenly this one element in the drawing begins taking over more and more of each successive drawing. Each student maintains his or her own voice, but it becomes more clear, stronger, and much more interesting.
Luis brings out in me an inclination and passion for form making. I pursue it because of him. I am artist because of him.
My path is changed because of this man. I am deeply saddened by his untimely death.0