In 1997 Gus Clark was an art student at UCSC and Ed Carrillo was his mentor. Observant, responsive, Gus was eager to pick up on whatever his professor suggested as a worthwhile path of inquiry.
I remember one day when he was visiting us here at home and we were out in the studio.
Ed walked over to a large (5’ x 5’) oil painting, “Los Bucaneros”, depicting Indigenes and Conquistadors on a Spanish Galleon loading cannon as the ship pitched from side to side in the waves.
“Gus,” he said. “I want you to take this and copy it, then give me your copy and you can keep the original.”
I gulped! I liked Gus too but “Los Bucaneros” was one of my favorites and I could not imagine it going away so casually, and not even a sale! By that time I was well acquainted with Ed’s talent for giving but this surprised me. Gus gulped too. Yikes! What a responsibility! A responsibility he readily accepted. He was up to the task!
Gus did it. He took it home to Eureka and worked on it for a couple years. Ed died in the meantime and never did see the completed copy. It’s close to perfect, pretty darn close. At least he had perfection to guide him.
Well, this was typical of Eduardo Carrillo. He did not monetize every sketch, painting or even masterpiece. He saw beyond price and his own advantage to ask himself, what good thing could I do here? Obviously, he thought that was to inspire his worthy student, Gus Clark.
Ed’s mentorship was laced with generosity. He would always go the distance. Ask Cruz Zamarron.
Restoring “Los Bucaneros”
So many people contribution to the success of bringing the art to life through restoration and vivid documentation. Click on the images to enlarge and learn about the masters involved in restoring and documenting Eduardo’s painting.
4 thoughts on ““What Good Thing Could I Do Here?””
In the mid 70’s when at SJCC I was recruited to UCSC by Tino Esparza to be Eduardo’s student I had been doing artwork and murals in San Jose as a self trained “artist”. I grew up in a very poor neighborhood and went to schools with no formal or elective art education. I had no training except for helping my father, a craftsman capable of building most anything. When I got to UCSC, and sitting in my 1st watercolour class with Eduardo I had no idea what he was talking about or understood the list of materials needed for the class. Also, I was dirt poor. I didn’t have the money for supplies-no room in my budget. Ed must have seen something in my face as I read the list and walked out the Oakes studio. He asked me what was going on, and embarrassed, I told him that I had no idea how to use these materials, what type I was looking for and anyway “i can’t afford the materials”. Immediately, Eduardo said “let’s go downtown”. And, there in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the Palace Arts store, Eduardo gave me the only formal art lessons I ever had in my life as he explained the different brushes, mediums, papers, and how to use them. Then, he said the most important thing-he said, you can always experiment bc sometimes your mistakes lead to new things. Eduardo filled a basket for me of the brand materials that he liked and paid for them. That was the best day of my life and I learned more in that one afternoon than any time I ever spent in a classroom after that day. Rip Eduardo, truly The Master of Light….
I remember Tino Esparza also. He recruited me out of SJCC in 1978. I did a search, hoping to see a picture of Tino, and the closest I got was your article on “Los Bucaneros”. I used to get the yearly Alumni magazine. And there I read that Tino had passed away. He had moved to the east coast and started a travel agency. Something like that. And passed away. Nevertheless, I tried to see an old picture of him. Oh well, nice article!
Cruz this is uncle Louie. I want to see you.i live in lake Co. Now.
I have original oil painting that I believe is from this artist, if I sent you a picture could you take a look at it just to let me know what you think