Friday, May 29, 2009

Creative Energy and Learning

It has been an incredibly productive and creative week here in my studio. During the day two students have been coming in to paint with me and we are working on completing our Willem van Aelst study. We are all in the 'July' portion of our instructions so we have officially come halfway and the paintings look amazing.

We had some really great moments this week...Lynn and Lynn both had serious 'aha' moments when they came to the realization that they were painting 'their' painting and not David's or Willem's....sounds silly I know because they are painting a reproduction piece, but as an artist it is an incredibly liberating moment to make the transition from painting "cause it says so" to painting "cause that is what MY painting needs". It means that they are seeing and executing as an artist, they are making reasonable judgements and decisions that are based upon what is happening on their own canvas. I think it was a moment that has building within them for quite sometime and then snuck up on them and took them quite by surprise. I know that this painting has stretched them both and they have both learned so much from the exercise.

My Wednesday night class is exercising some creative freedom as, bunch of rebels! What I had intended to be a floral study from their own photographs has morphed into something even more wonderful and rewarding. There are 4 of them in class and all 4 of them are painting something different. Some based on published patterns and some based on photos. It really is stimulating as a teacher to be the 'guide' and just facilitate and help along the way instead of standing at the front and having them copy step by step exactly what I do. Everyone is learning so much from the different skills that are necessary in each different painting. I think they might say that it also allows a lot more time for 'social' time in class. LOL

Painters are amazing people. Everyone comes to the studio from different backgrounds, different lifestyles, different families and yet they all have something in common....I've watched some really great friendships develop over the years because of classes and it is so wonderful to realize that I am part of such a large family.

Here's a shot of my van Aelst so far....I'm in the middle of July instructions and working on the watch.

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