Author Mary N. Balcomb (Sergei Bongart, Nicholai Fechin, William F. Reese, Robin-Robin: A Journal) was born April 29, 1928, in Mass, Michigan. After high school, from 1946-1948 she attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago, where she met her husband-to-be, Robert Balcomb.
The class she valued the most, and which had an effect on her for the rest of her life, was Quick Sketching—how to get the essence of the subject on paper very quickly. Below are ink/pastel drawings done in that manner. One can tell that by this young age, she was already a prodigious talent.