It's that time of year again and I'm ready to start teaching. Throughout the summer it's nice to have a break and work on my own stuff, but I miss teaching. I had a busy summer this year with my first semester of grad school at the Florence Academy and I gained a huge amount of information so that will now heighten my own style and way of teaching.
My classes for this fall are drawing and watercolor and I'm teaching a new course called Advanced Drawing for the Ridgewood Community School. I'm proud that I'm pioneering this new course for the school and that I can share a bunch of knowledge. All my classes are always based on the principles and the craft of drawing and painting; I don't believe in tricks or special methods because there's no "exact method" of painting or drawing (there are many roads to Rome). I also emphasis the importance of repetition and getting the hours of practice in to develop an individual approach; there's no shortcuts.
I always feel very thankful that I get to teach this information because I truly love it: the history, methods, materials and everything is really a complete fascination and obsession for me. Looking forward to a great semester!
To keep myself busy when I'm not painting, I'm learning how to knit. I made an orange scarf for myself over 10 years ago and I'm going to get back into it now. My Mom is a master of crochet and she's going to pick up knitting soon also. I'm sure it'll be a lot easier for her since she already knows crochet.
My first project was a simple bookmark using garter stitch and I found it very soothing and enjoyable. I'm going to stick with it and keep trying to progress so I can one day do some higher level sweaters and things. I know this will require many years to get down so I'm glad to be starting now.
it's funny to return to something and be a complete beginner because I can put myself in my students' shoes when I'm teaching them how to paint. Painting for me at this point is really second nature, but I want to always remind myself of what it's like to be a beginner. I'll share more progress as I go along.
Massachusetts Academy of Fine Art
Well I have some exciting news that I've been keeping under my hat. For the past 6 months or so I have been speaking with Mr. Raz Seri and Ms. Sharon Solomon from the Boulder School of Fine Art. They told me that they were starting an atelier school in Massachusetts. We kept in touch and eventually we discussed if I'd like to teach a landscape/plein air course and an art history course. The Mass Academy of Fine Art is located in two beautiful studio spaces with north light; one in Somerville and the other in New Bedford.
So this is all still pretty early and I'm not sure exactly when my courses will begin, but I'll update everyone as soon as I know. It's a pretty exciting time in my life and I'm trying to really enjoy each moment as I pursue my two loves, painting and teaching.
I learned a lot from this painting and I'm very proud of the way it came out. It was a total of 4 working sessions, each lasting about two hours. I was able to finish it over the course of 4 equally sunny days.
As always, there's some things that I wish I had done differently, but it's better to move onto the next painting instead of sweating over a single painting for weeks. It can be difficult to know when a painting is finished, but for me it's a certain feeling that I get when I'm mostly satisfied and the painting isn't overworked. I like to end it on a few satisfying brush strokes.
I also need to stop because the season is changing and our flowers are dying. I have an indication of the coming fall in the bottom right corner of the painting with some touches of leaves. I'm going to do some sketching and then move onto the next painting!