Surely there are a number of people in this world naturally endowed with the makings of a painter, boys blessed with innate ingenuity.
Still, I have no means of verifying whether Tomi himself acquired anything more than the mere technique of dessin from what he was taught at school.
From what I have seen of his pictures produced while he was twelve or thirteen, as I mentioned before, I really cannot think that he had advanced much from those early works in the three or four years subsequent.
Tomi told me in New York, "Art form is merely technical, and can be learned in any school. What is really important is not technique but the intellectual conception."
By analogy, we could reasonably infer that the reason Tomi was expelled from the Ecole des Decorateurs was not that he had a dessin technique superior to the one taught in the school, but rather that he was inherently dissatisfied with the teaching method because of his " extraordinary trait."
Now, what was his " inherent dissatisfaction"?
It probably had its roots in the fertile world of fantasy Madelaine, the family housemaid, had created for him in his infancy.
Within this world of powerful fantasy, a random line or a sketched bird became the inception of a complete monologue, expanding to fill the world of his own organization.
The results of his imaginative faculty understandably came into conflict with the accurate lines and detailed shadings required in the dessin classes taught at his school.
The way I see it, however, his mind, unusually active and flexible for a boy his age, quickly
grasped and mastered the dessin education offered by the school, at a pace much faster than that of his classmates.
His mother has said that as a boy, Tomi "could draw at the speed of thought," or as fast as he could think.
We can find the same idea expressed in a story told to me by Francois:
"Tomi knew just about everything. He knew animals as well as he knew birds. He had a detailed knowledge of rocks, so profound that my children would listen to his stories for hours. The children would beg him every summer to visit us in the mountains of our summer resort in Chamonix, Switzerland."
Art of Montages Part2