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My last teaching project

I’ve decided to stop teaching watercolour. 

I do enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with people, which is basically what teaching is.  And from the feedback I’ve had, I think many have benefited from that sharing.

I have enjoyed the sociable side to teaching.  There’s nothing better than getting together with a group of like minded people who are keen to learn and improve.

The trouble is I get totally involved in any teaching project I embark on so that everything else is secondary to it.  So my identity as an “artist” is consumed by my role as a teacher. 

So I find myself always thinking “how can I put this technique over to students?” or “what stages can I divide this painting up into to best teach it?”, all of which does not exactly lead to artistic spontaneity!

There is no point trying to teach something unless you really put yourself in the place of the student to understand how they are learning and what their difficulties might be.  But in doing that you wave goodbye to that special private and secret state of being an artist with an idea that is your own to express.

An artist does not explain why.  An artist expresses freely with no thought to how the idea is going to be received or understood. 

Some practising artists seem to be able to “teach” while preserving their authenticity as an artist.  Bu t I think that probably they are not “teaching” but rather offering a master class to demonstrate their work; two entirely different things.

So here I go into a different realm...where vision, inspiration and creativity are paramount.  It is a much more solitary and secret and selfish place, I think.

Stay tuned, as they say, I’ll let you know how I get on!

(Mind you, never say never again!)

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