Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teaching, Learning, and Growing

Fall Trees With Lake
a Landscape Lesson by Saga Sabin of Ontario, British Columbia

Throughout the summer months my personal growth emphasis has been on creative recovery.  After an intense year of classes and meeting the expectations of others, I have needed to cultivate my own inner reserves of creative energy.  I had previously believed that the best way to recharge is to check out from all my outside activities, quietly write and study, and drag my friends and loved ones through innumerable art shows and museums.  As far as these things go, all well and good.  But I have also found myself involved in something which is unexpectedly supercharging  my creative renewal.  And what a delight it is!

I refer to my acrylic painting classes at Michaels Arts and Crafts here in Woodland, CA.  I teach Grumbacher (yes, the paintbrush and art supply people) curriculum via lesson plans which are developed by painters like me all over the Michaels network, like the one shown above.  A serendipitous discovery is that, in teaching people of all levels of experience and aptitude, my own inner fires burn brighter.  I so look forward to a painting demonstration or a class or a one-on-one tutorial that I inevitably practice the sample painting so I am training my own hand and eye, often in ways that I have never tried in my own works.

Because each lesson has different, classic, learning outcomes I find myself re-thinking and reviewing my own training, often wondering, "Hmm, I wonder what would happen if I tried that brush stroke on this other painting I've been working on?" or "What would happen if I used this color palette for my landscape?"  

I have often heard the negative old saying, "Those who can't, teach."  I don't know who first said it but I would like to scold them if I could.  You see, I think it is valuable for those who CAN, to teach!  It's valuable to see making art through the lens of another as they explore what we already know (or think we know) It helps us to become unstuck from old ruts that we tend to stick ourselves in.  It helps us ask fresh questions about the processes and outcomes of our artmaking.  

My students are the best teachers I have.  If you are in the Yolo County area, and have an interest in learning   more about painting, here is my schedule for August.  You might just be one of my next teachers!

Thursday, August 2nd                     9:00 Floral                     11:30 Landscape (the one above)
Sunday, August 5th                         12:00-1:45  In-Store Demonstration of Seascape 
                                                       2:00 Still Life                 4:30 Floral 
Tuesday, August 7th                        3:30 Landscape             6:30 Seascape
Thursday, August 9th                       9:00 Still Life                 11:30 Seascape
Tuesday, August 14th                       3:30 Floral                    6:30 Landscape
Thursday, August 16th                     9:00  Seascape              11:30 Still Life
Sunday, August 19th                       12:00-1:45 In-Store Demonstration of Still Life 
                                                       2:00 Floral                     4:30 Landscape
Tuesday, August 21st                       3:30 Seascape               6:30 Still Life
Tuesday, August 28th                       3:30 Floral                     6:30 Landscape
Thursday, August 30th                      9:00 Still Life                 11:30 Seascape

(All classes are held at Michaels, 2175 Bronze Star Drive, in the Target shopping center, Woodland)

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