Still Learning from Mr. Havas

Painting by Edwin Havas

Whenever I am struggling with a painting, I reach for my art books. You know, those beautiful table top ones that are suppose to be for show. Not for me, they are my instructors. We all learn from those who have gone before us. But I also have a personal tutor as it were. It’s Edwin Havas. Mr. Havas (now retired) was an art teacher at Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, New Jersey. My brothers loved him as an art teacher, even though they weren’t inclined towards art, so that tells you something right there. For every fund raiser the school had Mr. Havas would donate a painting, my Mom would buy lots of  raffle tickets but never win. She too was a great admirer of his work. So eventually she put her pennies together and bought a beautiful piece which now hangs in my home. Now it’s hanging on my living room wall.

I was always envious of my brothers to have such a great art teacher and since Seton Hall was an all boys school I figured I’d never have the benefit of his instruction. Well as luck would have it, Mr. Havas eventually moved up to Seton Hall University. The Fall semester of my Sophomore year I was unable to get a dorm room in Boston where I had been attending college at Northeastern University. In light of that I spent that semester at home and took my course work at Seton Hall University, which included a watercolor class with Mr. Havas.

Indeed, my brothers were right. He was a wonderful teacher, fun and engaging and full of information. And that class was in fact my first college level art class. It had a huge influence on me. To this day when someone complements me on my trees in a painting I say Mr. Havas taught me how to paint trees. Well with my recent dilemma with this painting, I came in from the studio, trying to reason out how I should handle it, I sat on the couch and looked up. Yes, Mr. Havas had the answer, it was right there in front of me with his painting.

To see more of Mr. Havas’ paintings you can go to his web site (

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