Thinking today about this past busy summer season. We camped and hiked in Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware, taking in the most refreshing and lovely sights.
I planted my gardens, and watched tomatoes and eggplant blossom and grow, counted the flower buds and awaited the opening of the blossoms. As a scientific and amazing study, I contained caterpillars in a terrarium, providing their required plant foods, and watched their metamorphosis; incidentally saving them from the many birds I observe at my bird feeders.
Each time I sit down to paint, I think of my art teachers.
In high school and college, I had a few excellent art teachers. Mr. Sproesser and Mr. Nagel both helped me learn to celebrate my imagination and provided excellent help in learning to shade, paint, mold clay, and explore art.
Doctor Bradley, a college professor, provided an independent study course in watercolor for me to catch up on an art requirement; sealing my love for the media with his astonishing fresh watercolor ideas.
And my art books, both of artist’s work and how to’s have provided an on going source of study and techniques. When I am stuck on a problem with a painting, ofttimes I will pull out a book to see how another artist tackled the problem.
To learn how to paint a waterfall, it is amazing to go and look at one- or two or twenty- the steps of rocks and the ways of the water over rock are my teachers.
To absorb the magic of the changing skies, I watch each chance to take in a sunset, or an approaching storm. The colors and the cloud formations are my teachers.
How could a flower be painted without the careful observation of one? The folds of the petals, the soft reflections of light on their colors, it is there for anyone to learn- if they take the time to look, and to see.
So my teachers are all around, from the distant past to the young students I teach; and when I ask a child for an art critique, I always get a fresh point of view. Friends from afar help me, observation of other artists, books are a wonder.
And the beautiful world is always there, free to see and learn from, the greatest teacher for artists that could be. If we just remember to look.
Who are your teachers?
Have an awesome day, all!