Monday June 15, 2009 12:05 a.m.
It began with the closing of the eyes of the late Bill Hemmerling. My brother and I were with Bill bedside at his home when he passed away, and his soul ascended up into the heavens, but it wasn’t until that time that I realized what had just happened… I had just closed the eyes of a master artist! For these were no ordinary eyes. These were the eye’s that looked at you and I with a childlike innocence , these were the eye’s that had the gift to see great things; Things that often times were not even there, but through the eyes of Bill Hemmerling, anything was possible, and any one thing could appear to be many things.
It was truly an honor to have known Bill as a friend and love him as he became a part of our family. My appreciation for art drew me close to Bill in the early years of his discovery at the Louisiana Furniture and Art Gallery in Ponchatoula where my mom would later become his close friend, and representative. I was always in for the ride, the journey, the lesson, or perhaps to hear a good story or two, but most of all, the privilege to watch a master at work, was by far one of the most amazing opportunities I may ever experience in this lifetime!
Since Bill’s passing, I have been obsessed with painting. I am saddened by the loss of my good friend, and all of my works seek to honor my late friend and teacher. He taught me so much, not only about painting, but about life, living, giving, and loving the world in which we live.
I’ve had no formal training as an artist, other than what I’ve learned from watching Bill and even assisting him in many of his own works. I like to think that when I paint now, that Bill and I connect. At least on some level.. Many times I can feel his presence while painting and often times I light a candle and welcome him onto my own canvas.