Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Paying back

 Sparrow Tutorial in progress

I read an interesting piece tonight about an artist, perhaps intermediate level, who was wondering if she should give lessons in oil painting to people who asked.  Her dilemma wasn't whether she was experienced enough in technique and teaching to do, but that if she taught people, they would become her competition.

To me, that thought defeats the teaching rationale.  As a teacher, I want my students to excel and to be better than me.  I know they are not my competition, as I have my own style and so will they.  I know there will be wide eyed individuals who think that art teachers have secrets they will pass on that make instant artists, instead of old fashioned hard work. Yes, there may be more artists in the same market if a teacher gives them direction, but there are many elements in place to ensure success in the market, not from just one artist, but from many.

Part of teaching and or learning is the ability to give away part of yourself to others.  It can be in words or more tangible objects, but in the giving, you enable others to move forward and you enable yourself to pay back to those who have helped you along the way, even if they may never see you again and know what you do now.

This little sparrow is one of the things that I'm giving or will when its complete.  Its another tutorial that I've worked on when I've had the chance.  I have several tutorials available and some are for sale on my blog, some I provide just to see others learn and grow.  Why?  I can't teach art and I can't live life unless I can share it with others.  That doesn't always come with a price tag, but brings wealth in its own form.

Keep an eye out for the tutorial, it should be available in the next couple of weeks. And yes, it will be free!

8 comments:

Jennifer Rose said...

looking forward to seeing your tut :)
i am always willing to help people when they ask me art questions (unless its can i draw something for a project for them). It bugs me that a lot of people think that they can't draw and i think everyone can, they just think they can't. so if me helping a person with art helps them realize they can draw, i figure its a good thing.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Beautifully said, Jeanette. I am glad you were able to put into words the importance of the art of teaching.

Tracy Hall said...

Beautifully put Jeanette, and the sparrow is looking terrific already.

Valerie Jones said...

Thanks for the encouraging words about teaching. I'm an art instructor who started teaching when I thought I had very little to offer. Come to find out, I had more to offer than I gave myself credit for.

I'm looking forward to seeing your tutorial.

Jeanette said...

I agree Jennifer, anyone can do anything in reality if they want to badly enough and are willing to put in the time to achieve a level of competence.

I think some people teach for the wrong reasons Elizabeth. Unfortunately that doesn't help those they are teaching.

Thanks Tracy. I just need to knuckle down and finish this little guy. The drawing is the easy part. The difficult part is putting what I'm doing into words.

Valerie, the experience of teaching is a valuable one with learning done on both sides.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

What a great post Jeanette - definitely one for who's made a mark this week on Sunday!

Some people just don't get it do they?

Hopefully your words will inspire others to a different perspective.

Jeanette said...

Wonderful, thanks Katherine.

I strongly believe that if you undertake the responsibility of teaching someone something, you have to give all you have and not hold back for fear that someone will become better or have more knowledge than you do. Its not something that everyone can or wants to understand.

Holding 'secrets' doesn't benefit the teacher and there are no secrets to art. Its all about learning techniques, practicing an awful lot and developing your own style.

Paula Pertile said...

Well said!
Love the sparrow.