Many of us in the PSNC have fond memories of Herb’s leadership, artistic skills, and friendly, outgoing nature.
In 1993, Herb moved from New York to North Carolina after his retirement in 1990. He became involved in the Pastel Society of North Carolina, bringing his New York experience to the fledgling group, and teaching students in his many classes over the years. Herb aimed to have his students get into the feel of their subjects, to “wallow in the happiness of painting.” He was intrigued by the thought of the art experience “creating 3-dimensional feelings.” He said, “If you can look at it all day and all night and enjoy it, that’s a painting.” He had loved being in the art world, and appreciated every day, observing people and what was going on around him, reading, and teaching. His favorite subjects were cloudscapes, portraits, horses, landscapes, and florals. His work is in several public and private collections in the United States and Canada.
His daughter, Roni, took this photo of him on her last visit before the corona virus hit. The painting was a work in progress on his easel when he became ill.
My husband and I helped Herb and his daughter Roni pack up for his move to New York in September 2014. A steady stream of people came by to help and share memories. Every inch of wall space in his apartment was covered with his paintings and a lifetime of memories. We made a farewell visit to the K & W Cafeteria, his favorite. It seemed like each staff person knew him personally! PSNC hosted a farewell member’s meeting on September 20, 2014 at the NC Botanical Garden.
My husband and I visited Herb three years later in October, 2017. We were lucky to have two visits with him and Roni at his assisted living retirement home on Long Island, and to see his current exhibit at a local gallery. His new living space was also filling up with his paintings, and a photo below shows his latest work then in progress. At the time, he was 91 and still painting on a regular basis, and that continued until his passing at age 93. He was such an inspiration, and his work is a testament to how much he loved life and people.
~ Chris Berndt
We (Toni Lindahl and Hunter Taylor) joined the Pastel Society of North Carolina years ago, when Chris Kanoy and Herb were co-presidents. We remember meeting Herb because he always greeted everyone with his big smile; he was so active in the organization, always working on some task. For example, during one of our exhibitions Herb demonstrated with a cloud painting which was fascinating and we realized then how talented an artist he was.
As time went on we both had the opportunity to see more and more of Herb. We enjoyed picking him up at his apartment and taking him to lunch or he would treat us as well. We began to regularly take him to the meetings and arm in arm we would walk in with Herb in the middle of the two of us. Later we would go out to lunch with the group. One time around Christmas we met at Herb’s house with Chris Kanoy to have a feast of chicken and Xmas treats. It was a wonderful day with a good meal and wonderful conversations. We always enjoyed seeing all of Herb’s work in the studio and on the walls. When Herb was unable to drive we would take his work along with ours to exhibits so that he wouldn’t miss participating. His beautiful work continued to be included in juried exhibitions such as the Statewide.
We will remember Herb mostly because he was such a wonderful, kind person and we are so grateful to have known him. He never said an unkind word about anyone in all the years that we knew him and he has enriched our lives with his laughter, his art and his beautiful soul. We will remember Herb mostly because he was such a wonderful, kind person and we are so grateful to have known him. He never said an unkind word about anyone in all the years that we knew him and he has enriched our lives with his laughter, his art and his beautiful soul.
~ Toni Lindahl and A Hunter Taylor
This was taken during one of his art shows here at the Robert & Pearl Seymour Center in Chapel Hill, NC. We all loved Herb, he was an exceptional talent and a kind and generous friend!
~ Jerri Gale, Front Desk Manager at Robert & Pearl Seymour Center
Perhaps my best memory is from after Herb had quit teaching. I was working on a painting and really struggling. It was from a lovely photo I’d taken in a charming French village – a river in the foreground, then an arched stone bridge and beyond it the village and a mountain. I could not get the village to look right. It was very detailed and the proportions looked all wrong or something. So I called up Herb. “Bring it over,” he said.
I went over to his condo and he set the painting up on an easel while I explained the problem I was having. He gazed at it for a couple of minutes then grabbed a very dark pastel and shoved it into my hand. “Darken the shadows under the bridge.”
Huh? The old fool, I thought, it’s not the bridge I’m having a problem with, it’s the village. But what the hey, I’ll humor him. So I obediently darkened the shadows under the arches of the bridge.
“Right,” he said. “Now, step back.” I got up and stepped back a couple of paces. It was like a miracle had happened. The bridge had jumped forward, the village and the mountain had receded and it all fell beautifully into place. And that was how I came to finally understand about values and why Herb and my later teacher Kim were always carrying on about them.
I remember Herb with affection and gratitude. Such a dear man who left his mark on me and so many others.
~ Tim Williams
I work at the Seymour Center and have been in charge of the art programs. Herb was always one of my favorites, a joy to know. He was always so dapper and I admired his talent as well as his intelligence. I took a drawing class with him at the Art School and was amazed how a few strokes of his on my paper created an entirely new and better image. I once told him about a painting I had that I was unhappy with the texture of the subject’s skin. Herb said bring it to him and some photos of the individual. When I got it back, rather than fixing the skin tones Herb painted an entirely different painting over the previous one using one of the photos I had given him. What a character! Send our love to his family. The Center has so many cherished memories of him.
~ Robin Bailin, Facility Manager at Seymour Center
If you have a memory of photo of Herb you would like to share, please email Leandra and she will post it here.