Bill is back in town, and we can all look forward to more of his plein air paintings like the one’s below. I’m personally wondering whether or not he behaved himself at his workshop and how many of the 40 people were ready to strangle him by the end of it. Fess up Bill.
And so begins another term at the California Art Institute for me this week. I will be teaching four classes this term, so it’s a busy one. I have a number of brand new students coming in. They are my favorite kind. I like to teach them all of my little habits so that they are easy for me to work with (see my May 18th entry under “Art Instruction” and go to “Previous Entries” to find it). So often when students come in with painting experience, they are not interested in learning my technique. I sometimes wonder why they are there, since I cannot help them very well with a different technique. Yes, some rules apply across the board, but they are certainly not taking full advantage of me and what I have to offer. So I like them green. I feel more accomplished, and those students usually seem happier with the class in general.
New students are also usually very nervous coming in for the first time. Painting class is a scary situation on day one. I often hear people talk about how fearful they were to even walk into the Art Institute to look into taking a class. Why is that? Maybe the word “Institute” sounds scary. Very serious. Baloney. We are a business like any other, trying our best to recruit new people all the time, and everyone is welcome.
I do my best to dispell that fear from the very beginning since it is so shackling to creative progress. I will never forget a young woman student I had in Nashville who was so nervous the first day of class, that every time I came around to help her, she became faint, and I had to pull a chair up for her several times because she thought she might pass out. She did not last beyond two classes. Bless her heart. I hope she did not go on to have children, or travel by air. For the most part, once my students experience my classes they realize how laid back they are, and how EVERYBODY struggles with the “simple” matter of putting on paint.