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When I lived on the Lower East Side, 6ht Street between Avenues C and D I would enjoy walking
and exploring my new neighborhood. On the farthest east of St. Marks Place near Tompkins Square Park, as I remember, I would sometimes pass A Sign that read “Michael Carver School of Art”.
After doing this for a while I thought that I would inquire just what was up with that. I met Michael and found out that he had a little art supply store and gave lessons in his studio which was a loft on the second floor that later became the Jazz Gallery, and Michael got moved out.
Michael gave lessons in eight week increments, starting when he had enough students. I think there were almost 10 for the beginners or introductory lessons. I don't remember the costs involved but you needed to have a sketch pad, some charcoal for drawing a still life set up and then painting it in oils. A paint box, brushes, tubes of oil paints and I guess turpentine and linseed oil. The following eight weeks was an oil painting of your choice.
When I started, I was working as a flunkey on wall street, and while taking these lessons I changed jobs and started working in photography.I felt that if I took some painting lessons I would learn something about composition. There was a lack of that kind of knowledge in my photography. And I was right, of course.
I thought that carver was a good painter and he wanted to sell some of his work. But the paintings I liked best were much too big for my apartments. They were maybe 4 x 5 feet. My pad could have comfortably dealt with an average size calender. I needed to know everything I learned from Carver. And a lot more. He was a new york painter and there was some interest in his work. He was not in any sense a bohemian. I would think he had a very self conscious sense of humor. I cant remember any really free laughter coming from him.I was glad I knew him, I liked him but he was not the kind of guy you would smoke a joint in an alley with.