I took every painting, drawing, and printmaking class I could from Bob DeWeese when I was getting my art degree, 1970-74. He commissioned the first work I ever sold while I was a student. He stopped me right before Christmas as I was crossing the street to Joe’s Parkway near Montana State University in Bozeman. “I’ll pay you $20 for 5 etchings of that view of Church Street you made. I want to give them to my kids at Christmas,” he said. I lived at the top of the apartment on Church Street next to Peet’s Hill, and I’d done an etching and a large painting of my view out the window, down on a house and row of cottonwoods. It turned out that it was the house Bob and Gennie used to own, and he said his kids grew up playing under those cottonwoods. He was my mentor, my most influential teacher, as he always respected that I made art about my life, who I am, what I experience.
Some people think he was a mythical character in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but Bob was a real person, and in my life, the person most in touch with the moment, with reality, with what he was experiencing in each heart beat.
Below is a link to an article about Bob and his wife Gennie, a touching memorial to what they brought to art, life, and the community in Montana. Alice Flynn