While in New York, Armand set out to meet his mentor Artur Schnabel. After he finally located him, Schnabel thanked Armand for his interest in his work and said how much he appreciated Armand’s response to a recently released recording. Delighted, Armand decided to send him a painting of Beethoven, one he had painted on the living room floor at sixteen while listening to the Pastoral Symphony. He eagerly awaited a response, but no word came back. So it went with celebrities, Armand thought. They were too mighty and too busy.

But a year later, Armand received a letter from Schnabel’s son Stefan, a well-known actor, apologizing for the delay. Right at the time when Armand’s painting had arrived, the world-class pianist had suffered a nearly fatal heart attack. He convalesced for months in Stefan’s apartment. When he recovered his strength, he noticed the unopened crate collecting dust in a corner and asked that it be opened. Delighted with the painting, Schnabel asked that it be hung near his bed where he could see it as he was gaining strength. Grateful, he was now keen on corresponding with Merizon, hoping that they could become better acquainted. Thus began a short but increasingly warm relationship between the young artist and his older mentor.

In the summer of 1947 Armand returned to Grand Rapids.