I just finished teaching a two day painting class at the Whidbey Island Fine Arts Studio in Langley. It’s a wonderful facility for teaching (and taking classes) and I’m happy to have it as an option for teaching, as my studio really isn’t set up for multiple people working there. I like teaching (occasionally, that is) because it makes me marshall my thoughts and think about why I make the decisions about a painting, as opposed to just doing it. So, here are some reasons that I think are good ones to take a class, as well as a few of the reasons it is good to teach one.
1. To learn something new.
2. To come at a problem from a different angle.
3. To get feedback.
4. To connect with other people interested in the same thing.
5. To expand your knowledge of a given medium or technique.
Here are some of the reasons I like to teach.
1. To give something back.
2. To continue the tradition of painting. (and by this I mean painting with real paint…not playing with pixels on a computer!)
3. To encourage people embrace their creative practice.
4. To fully realize how much I’ve learned over the course of more than 3 decades of following my creative path.
In today’s world of instant everything, I think there is a need to continue the traditions of making things by hand. A need to follow our thoughts, not in the fastest way, but in a way that gives us the joy and fulfillment of creating something beautiful or wonderful or thought provoking, or all of the above. Could I make pictures faster by using a computer tablet or “painting” program? Probably. Would it be as much fun? I don’t think so.
Thanks again to my students of this most recent class. It was really great to meet you all, and I hope you will continue to use what you’ve learned, both from me, and from continuing to paint. It’s a tradition worth keeping.