I'm sure my thoughts will be a pale comparison to what Mercedes said but here goes.
|One of my painting trips with students to Ghost Ranch in New Mexico|
Secondly, or maybe firstly, many of my students are people who are coming to art after another career or in conjunction with another career. There is a certain stigma attached to being "of a certain age" and starting an art career, especially at an art school. If you are amongst a group of 20-30 year olds, it can start to feel like you're out of the loop and can hamper your joy with making art. Let's face it, we all want to belong to the group, right?
But what if you are really passionate, longing, craving to make art? You have a full time job or maybe some kids still at home. Where will you find the time? How can you make "real" art if you don't have an art degree?
You just start. Twenty minutes here, thirty minutes there. I wrote an entire book about it.
Many of my students, most in fact, don't have art degrees and make beautiful, moving, authentic work. They have shows and sell their paintings. They take classes with me, either in the studio or online. They come every week, sometimes for years. They want to know color, shape, texture, paint chemistry and much more.
And I can help them. Do you have any idea how good that feels? It's the highest high. It literally makes my eyes fill up with emotion. When a student sees the painting come together and gets that immense feeling of satisfaction, I get to witness it! That's my job!?!
In small studio classes, in the old "atelier" method - outside of the mainstream of academia, I teach people to paint.
But what I'm really doing is giving them permission to be passionate.