Last Years In Brazil : The Making Of An Artist / A Jornada De Um Artista

Last Years In Brazil

by Marcos Smyth on 04/07/16

From this point till college, I was not particularly developing artistic skills.  Drawing still passed the time for me as I doodled, sometimes in cartoonish "Dali-esk" surrealism.  Now and then I tried my hand at caricatures of friends and family, with some success.  One of my interests took me to the woods and surrounding farmland where my friends and I built hideouts where we could camp and get away from the censoring eyes of our Baptist community.  As a result of roaming the landscape and building structures with  natural resources,  I developed a love of topography and the use of  natural materials that would later come into play in my art.  The most ambitious of these projects was a tree house I built with Bulu, Eude, and Mário.   It could sleep six of us, four on the floor and two in hammocks.

  

We put a great deal of labor and engineering into building this tree house and strengthened a bond of friendship that has lasted to this day.  Many camp outs and picnics with friends were enjoyed in our little cabin in the sky.

The Baptist school I attended owned farms that my dad, Jerry, managed.  I worked with him on many weekends and summers and learned a great deal about working the land, running machinery and its upkeep.  Working with him also taught me a great deal about  focus, problem solving, creative thinking, and discipline.  He was a man of character and did his best to pass his values on to me.

At the age of fifteen, I had finished Brazilian middle school and continued high school in English correspondence courses at home.  Like my two older brothers before me, it was time for me to go to school in the U.S. to finish high school and go to college.  I didn't want to leave my home and friends, but I also relished the idea of leaving home and having new experiences in a place I didn't know well.

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