My Sotheby Personal Statement Requiring Enhanced Concentration Leading to the Demise of an Espresso Coffee Pot

So I awoke early to prepare the 1000 word Personal Statement required for the application to Sotheby’s Art institute in London, England (not Ontario0. Before composing this epistle I measured coffee and water for espresso, a stove top espresso coffee pot. I set to work with great concentration, then as it neared completion I suddenly remembered the coffee. Well the coffee pot is utterly destroyed – utterly. The powers of concentration. So today’s blog will be the Personal Statement, before final editing. My flight to NYC leaves early in the morning and there is much packing to be done. I will send the document to Sotheby’s from New York.


You ask of my future career goals. Attending the Sotheby’s Institute of Art is the culmination of a long career as my C/V attests. At the ripe old age of 75 I am not planning on another typical job, although volunteer opportunities will be welcome.

I chose this programme by magic. I was at the Art Rental Department which is my favourite oasis in the Vancouver Art Gallery. I rented and then purchased two of their treasures and often visit the two employees and volunteers who work there. One day in November 2018 they introduced me to Zoe, who was their boss, recently returned from maternity leave. We took to one another and began to tell our life stories. She was rather amazed that I attended school in London and she offered that she had gone to school in London as well. She was a student at Sotheby’s Art Institute. She then told me of a fellow student. He had been a dentist, then a plastic surgeon and finally the culmination of his career was attendance at Sotheby Art institute. I was inspired. I went home, went on line, Goggled, found the web site and began to enrol. But something went wrong and I was not able to complete the application. So I wrote, and spoke of the difficulty I was encountering. Everyone was so helpful and attempted to assist me on the Internet. But I told them that I was visiting London and could I just come to Sotheby’s and apply in person? “Of course” said they and so I visited in December of 2018. It was love at first sight. Well, it was for me. I hope it was for Sotheby’s Art Institute.

My art experience is limited to a life time of visiting museums in the United States, Europe and Japan. The museum I am most familiar with is the DeYoung in San Francisco as I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1967-2014. But, in addition, I became intimately familiar with several London museums when I lived in London from 2014-2017. The museum that caught my fancy was the Tate Britain. The intensity of the romance quickened during September and October of 2016 and resulted in a self published book In Contemplation and In Conversation Companionship at the Tate Britain. A copy of that book has been submitted as part of the application process in lieu of a writing sample. It is a book of poetry and prose illustrated by photographs taken by my handy dandy iPhone. In all modesty it is a delight for the eyes and mind and has been described as “a book validating the importance of original visual art to be made accessible to the public at large.” An artist and writer Kathleen Katon Tonnesen further rhapsodized: “What I liked about this format , is that the book is indeed a good companion guide, as a foundation for anyone, academic or novice, to visit and navigate with ease, the labyrinth of the Tate Britain without being overwhelmed with where to begin.” Further Kathleen opined that “it is the ultimate compliment to all of us in the visual arts, who simply must create to breathe.’ Kathleen’s article in its entirety may be found at An interesting byproduct of the book was the creation of a blog as my book’s computer genius Chris Jackson set up a blog that It began in on January 22, 2017 that now has a readership of 20,000 people a year. The blog and my Instagram will often contain photographs and impressions of visits to museums. The most recent of note was Ham House, that 17th century treasure trove located in Richmond. But, of course, the Vancouver Art Gallery and its exhibits and permanent collections have often been mentioned. Canadian Emily Carr is my favourite artist and her work has been praised and pictured complete with biographic details. Research forms a necessary part of my blogging and serves as an outlet for this knowledge. My plan is to continue my blogging and will provide readers with an inside look into the wonders of Sotheby Art Institute.

My career was more of a hum drum variety including work as a social worker, a probation officer and then a lawyer performing civil litigation for the County of Marin in California. However during my working days I did have creative hobbies. I once had a photo exhibit with the theme MY YARD, tens of framed photographs of my West Marin farmyard property in all seasons. During that time I also took ikebana Flower Arranging for twenty years, once doing a demonstration before the San Francisco Ikebana Society. I can still recall how nervous I was doing flower arranging backwards for demonstration purposes. My Sensai and I travelled to Japan together and then I undertook an extensive exploration of Japanese art and Japanese gardens. I will never forget the wonders and joys of that trip.

Retirement from brought more time for creative endeavours. Application to Dominican University iSan Rafael, California and obtaining a Masters of Humanities. One class assignment allowed the possibility of exploring Ikebana by examining the meaning of Ikebana over the ages. It was a fascinating lot learn that it was required education for Japanese warriors. Another graduate course focused on 19th century Paris and a power point presentation on the French cemetery Pere Lachaise, illustrated with photographs taken over a span of time. I had been able to spend a month in Paris every summer for seven years because friend Dr. Denise Adams an apartment in Paris and she allowed me to stay in her apartment. I am eternally grateful to her and therefore, I am most familiar with the museums of Paris.

I cannot wait to begin my studies at Sotheby’s where I can unlock the door to more art to see what goes on behind closed doors.

It does seem rather weird to be sending this to the blog before sending it to Sotheby’s institute of Art but as faithful readers know, I am a little weird.

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