My class starts this week. I’ve put together all my materials and created a plan. All the preparations have me thinking about my own art education. Sometimes we don’t receive great direction from every art teacher we have in our lives. I am personally especially cautious of art teachers that don’t show their own work and ability to draw and or paint. In addition, often in grade schools and colleges, most teachers aren’t motivated by accuracy or art training due to the adulteration and almost demise of the study of classical art in the early 1900’s (The Twilight of Painting by R.H. Ives Gammell). The trend for a long time has been to push just being creative or that both the foundations and being creative are equally important from inception. In every other tradition, however, you must know your craft first before you can creatively perform. Imagine a violinist with no training playing in a concert. Where there is no foundation there is nothing to stand on and certainly nothing to support creativity. While some will quickly mention successful modern artists at this point, I would say yes there are some happy accidents, most are the product of modern art critics attention and promotion. However, statistically speaking a well trained artist has the odds in their favor to do well.
So, my suggestion is to question everyone and don’t assume that any one really has all the answers that you will need to reach your goal of being the best artist you can be. Constantly seek knowledge on your own, practice every day and work towards growing as an artist. I wish I had this wisdom earlier on in my artistic life.
For me and this class…this is where we begin.