I enjoy teaching. Just this past week, I taught a week-long plein air workshop. I always come away from them tired, but also somehow invigorated. I am always excited to push myself to new heights after such focussed examination of art principles.
It is said that the teacher always learns more than the students. Perhaps this is true (but I do hope the students learned just as much as me). There is something about analyzing and articulating principles of art that reinforces concepts in my mind. To expain why things are working and what can be improved forces me to think deeper about the art.
Another benefit to teaching is that I get to rub shoulders with so many eager and talented students. Each student during this workshop was really wanting to learn. They brought a great excitement and energy to the class. They brought their own strengths and points of view. It was a great blessing to view the world through their eyes; to see what they wanted to express. And it was great fun working with them to help them find the means to express their ideas.
During one of my demonstration paintings, I painted a quick little study for the studio painting, Pleasant Valley Farm, (shown above). One of the students commented while I painted that I must be excited about the scene. Indeed I was. There is something peaceful, even restful about grazing cattle. Yet the early afternoon light made for a joyful expression. I think there is a nice balance between joyfulness and peacefulness. Surely there is a correlation between peace and joy.
This painting is one of those rare occasions when I remained quite literal to the plein air study. Only minor adjustments where needed. It was the first studio piece after the week-long workshop. It was pure joy to paint.
This painting will be part of the Mountain Oyster Club Show and Sale in Tucson, Arizona - November 21, 2010. Request an invitation to the show (November is a great time to visit Tucson).
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Painting and text: copyright, 2010, Keith Bond. All rights reserved.