Art Matters: She
gave her gift to us
By Robert J. Schimmel Tahoe Daily Tribune 12/4/2011
this column a few days ago with various ideas and differing directions
that had yet to coalesce into a final “platform” of content when
distractions intervened and two days slipped by more quietly than a
whisper. But the pace and activity belied the whisper, and then came
news Nov. 30 of the passing of the very talented and accomplished fine
artist, Reiko Hervin, that threw me into a mental spaghetti bowl of
disjointed musings, heartbreaks, anger, projections, appreciation and
time stands still"
Death is seldom
timely, and in Reiko's case it came completely unannounced, even after
more than three weeks of grim facts and medical overtime that began to
give hope for a recovery from her horrific traffic accident. And thus
the nonplussed emotion that at the same instant wanted to rage within me
for the defense and return of such a kind and talented individual
committed to her artistic passion and the creation of beauty!
didn't have to know Reiko well (she and I were just casual art friends)
to feel her joy for life and her chosen occupation as well as see this
exuberance in her lovely face and gorgeous paintings. Although a local
in activity while living with her husband, Kurt, and son, Hiroki, in
Wellington, Nev., Reiko's background was clearly international, and the
love she had for art and painting came from her upbringing and studies
in Japan. My understanding is that she moved to the United States in
1993 and pursued her art career and romance with watercolor continuously
to the present.
Relating to her passion and also being a teacher, I watched with high
regard her efforts and the results she achieved the last several years
as her watercolor classes and student followings increased. There is no
lack of instruction or talent in her field of art, and the students of
hers I met always had praise and appreciation on their lips. Clearly
she'd begun to receive the recognition and success, in its best sense,
that was well earned and never taken for granted.
So what makes someone like Reiko unusual and
able to live what might be considered such a joyful and productive life?
It could be something as simple as a dream or vision for one's life that
is being actively pursued, because even she had her share of hardship
to which she claimed no excuse or victimization. There seems to me to be
some dreamer in all of us, and, when you add the creative propensity and
mindset of an artist, this often equates to a willing acceptance of the
“debt” for even a portion of the dream's manifestation. To this end
Reiko lived her dream and even spelled it out in her website name,
www.ReikoDreamArt.com, and upbeat promotions.
I believe artists and all creative individuals
have an innate responsibility to “pay it forward” by modeling the kind
of spirit that nurtures joy, love, peace, gratitude, generosity, etc.
and inspires others. Likewise these same artists have a unique product
that results from the gift they are given which may, to some degree, be
a tangible legacy of wonderful and timeless memories for those close and
who follow. We have been blessed by just such an artist who has touched
many and will positively influence many more for years to come. Thank
you for the gift, Reiko, and my (our!) heartfelt condolences and prayers
go out to your family.
Robert J. Schimmel is a South Lake Tahoe artist and teacher who hosts
“Lake Tahoe Art Scene” on KTHO radio Thursdays at 5:15 p.m., and can be