Dear Aspiring Artists,
A few months after I had my first art show, with the five or six paintings I had to my name, I began to get requests to teach a class on painting. I was kind of shocked that people would look at my paintings and believe that I could teach what I was doing. Not that I didn't think my paintings were okay, and some of them were good, in my immature estimation, but it seemed like an overwhelming thought.
I had been a teacher of many ages in schools, and some Bible studies, but had not taught adults in a more formal setting - and had never taught art. Though I had been creative all my life, art as a serious practice was really brand new to me. I considered myself a "Little-a artist" and would not have called myself a real Artist yet, although that is what had now become my aspiration.
After a few more similar requests I sat down with a few books and figured out how I would go about teaching people to paint in the same way that I had learned - by looking at and emulating what the masters were doing. It was what they had done in the French Schools: they went into the Louvre and set up an easel and copied the masters.
Winslow Homer depiction of students in the Louvre.
This would be my plan. I chose some of the Impressionist Master's and we set to work. I taught basic color theory and different brush strokes based on the particular Impressionist we were studying at the time. Students finished a painting at each session and I decided we would end the course with a real art show. We sent out invitations, I hung and labelled the art work and students were able to feel like real artists showing off their accomplishments.
First Art Students: Sharla Self, Charity Tison, Me, Isabelle Mclemore
And that was the beginning. In a couple years my course was accepted into the International Catalogue of Elderhostel Programs (Now Road Scholar). I have had hundreds of students that have taken my course: children and adults; and I teach them the very same things. And we always have an art show to celebrate their work.
Painting can be taught. Picasso said "Every child is an artist - the problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up." Maybe it's time for you to "Discover the Artist in You!"
P.S. Studio 2911 Art Classes begin February 2020!