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Kenneth Tellis

Plagiarism is anathema to me
By Kenneth T. Tellis
Feb 12, 2014 - 12:05:34 AM

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During the 1990, I crossed over into Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire because of the scenic views of Maine`s shoreline, the Green Mountains and the White Mountain, all of which were very pleasing to my eyes.

I used my camera to photograph the many covered bridges of Vermont, and took pictures of farms in the area, and also the wildlife, such as a cow moose and her young one crossing a highway in the country.

I would go to art fairs, and view the different styles. There was also woodwork that interested me and that too was very beautiful. As I ventured further, I dropped into stores that sold pictures and it was here that I happened upon the beautiful artwork of Jane Wooster Scott of Sun Valley, Idaho. I looked upon these pictures as something that I would like to do and started to do pyrography (wood-burning), but I did not stop there. I decided that I could use both the pyrography and oil paints together. Thus, I began to think of all the things that I could do with my newfound hobby.

My very first picture was the Mount Vernon home of George Washington, on which I used a leaf as the background and the stars and stripes waving in the breeze behind it. This was my personal gift to the Mount Vernon Estate and was sent a very nice latter about my artwork from them.

I then painted the village of Old Washington, in England from where the Washington family hailed and put it all together with Mount Vernon. I had in effect created a tableau of the heritage of George Washington. But, now I took on an even bigger project the creation of a Photograph Album of Ash Wood from the U.S. with the life of the Queen Mother and her 100th birthday celebration in pyrography with photographs of all that was done for this event in Neustad and Toronto, Ontario. I had unconsciously created a treasure. After I sent it to the Queen Mother, I received an official letter informing me that it was now among her other treasures in the Royal Collection.

So, I got to thinking of all that I could do in pyrography and oil paint and I created another piece of Americana. I put the Alamo, the Texas coastline, the Lone Star flag of Texas all on a French Provincial background. I sent this as a gift to former President George H.W. Bush and it is now among his treasures at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A & M. I even made a pyrographic painting of Benjamin Franklin and Carpenters Hall, Philadelphia, PA and sent it to Joey Vento, owner of Geno`s Steaks Inc. in Philadelphia, PA.

When I had finished, I did not realize how far I had gone with my artwork. Some are in the Thomas Paine Historical Foundation Museum, New Rochelle, NY. The Thomas Jefferson Historical Foundation, Charlottesville, VA and my artwork was displayed at Amherst College, Amherst, MA a part of the University of Massachusetts.

But, I also went on to create other works of art, by making Scones and Candle Sticks that I had seen in Germany. A German friend told me that I was just like a kunzler of the 16th century and that I should keep a record of all my work, since sometime in the future they would be worth a fortune. In all I had over the twenty year period created 200 works from the past, even from Jamestown, VA. But I still had to create an Album to honour the Scot Sir John A. Macdonald the Founder of Canada. So, at 82-years, I am still working at what I love most, ART.

When I saw some pictures of Jane Wooster Scot of Sun Valley, Idaho put out by a Pharmacy in a calendar, and the Stars and Stripes flag removed and replaced with a Maple Leaf, I got very annoyed and wrote to a local newspaper that had the gall to call me anti-Canadian. I do not like plagiarism and I was quite right in telling them about plagiarism in Canada.

But it is ironic that no one in my family knows of all that I am writing about, and that includes my own children, my son Pierre-Etienne Tellis and my daughter Sophie-Anne Tellis.

Kenneth T. Tellis

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