Sharing Creativity Through a Painting Class
For years Cathy and I taught weekly art classes at our studio in our hometown. We had classes going on every night of the week and often on the weekends and the studio was a hotbed of activity and creativity.
We loved every minute of it, but eventually with raising three children and having other full-time jobs, we had to change our format and go to only weekend seminar type classes.
We did that for a few years and decided that our business was best served if I did traveling teaching and taught at locations all over the eastern part of the United States. I have been doing that for a couple of years and will continue to do that because it is great fun. I get the opportunity to meet artists all over the country and teach a wide variety of people that also have a varied mix of artistic experiences. But honestly, I miss the weekly interaction with the same group of people. There is something magical about teaching a group of artists week after week and getting to know their strengths and their weaknesses, both personal and artistic. The connection that comes through getting to really know someone while creating art is incredible, in fact there is nothing else quite like it.
This summer we ran into a lot of students that were part of our weekly classes several years ago and many of them had requested that we start a class, because they really missed it. We decided that we would teach one class a week at our home to a very small group of artists that were like minded. Cathy and I were quite picky about who would be in this class as we only wanted people that were more committed to learning than to completing a project and that would look at art education as a goal that takes a long time to reach. This past Wednesday evening we met for the first time, with our new class.
We had several challenges to make this happen. First of all, we had to convert our lovely dining room into a teaching space. We accomplished this by adding a table onto the end of our large dining table, covering the floor with a tarp, covering all tables with plastic tablecloths, setting up a remote television system and adding a few auxiliary lighting pieces to make the space work. It took a long time to figure out but just a bit of time to set up. Now that we know what we are doing, we can throw it together fairly quickly.
Next, we had to decide what to teach. Our students all desire to paint the lovely Alla Prima florals that our studio is known for. But, you have to learn to crawl before you can walk, right? After all, we didn’t learn to read the Bible or a play by Shakespeare when we first started to learn to read, we worked our way up to it. Painting has to be the same. As a result, I decided that we would EVENTUALLY paint a large Alla Prima floral canvas.
We had to start by learning to “crawl” and spent the first class painting on practice boards. It is somewhat liberating to practice on a board that no one else needs to see. We can experiment and take risks to develop our technique and there is nothing to lose. You know the saying, “No one likes to see the sausage being made”, well, this process is “the making of the artistic sausage”.
I practice everything on practice boards as I develop my skills and talents and eventually it leads to this:
Our Wednesday nighters responded so well to this and did a great job on their own practice boards and the class was so great. The sound of laughter filled our home as all of these wonderful artists struggled to find their own look, brush calligraphy and style.
Eventually we will paint landscapes, some strokework pieces and the students will design and create their own original artwork pieces based on the techniques that we are learning. We will struggle, obsess, laugh, share, eat, laugh some more and explore the recesses of our creativity as we grow through art and we will do it together. I will update our readership of their progress and will occasionally share some of their successes. I am so honored to be their teacher.
Thanks for visiting. Please come back soon,
PaulPosted by admin | 2 comments