Teach Me/Teach You

It’s been about a week since I’ve written, and I’m still here recuperating. It’s all been so slow-going. But at least it’s going. And, I’m getting a little stir crazy. 

So last week, I started a short online painting course. It’s called, Acrylic Painting for Beginners. It couldn’t be more basic. I took it because, in reality, I don’t know the first thing about using acrylics. You’d think I did, but I’ve only used them as underpainting in oils. 

In the past, I’ve tried to properly use acrylics, but I’d wind up super frustrated. They dry so fast. I wasn’t used to it. Now I see there’s a whole trick to it. Your composition needs a little planning beforehand, or at least until you master the use of the paint. There’s also a way to keep the paint moist during the process, which I never knew about.

I have yet to do the final exercises for the class. I needed some materials first. I have them now, but I still haven’t been up for it. Raising my arms is still an issue, and reaching is painful. I feel like I can do it soonish, though. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll be changing one of the images we’re supposed to do, from a seascape to a desert landscape. The other image is a painting of an orange—that one I’ll do.

The artist who teaches the class is Laurie Anne Gonzalez, a painter from Phoenix, AZ. I became thoroughly attracted to her landscape paintings from a sponsored link on Instagram and decided to take her class, which was only $27. I think it’s been money well spent.

Taking her class gave me ideas about teaching. I don’t know if I’ll do it, but it made me think about giving a simple lesson on the Eye-book. The Eye-book was invented by Ellie Blankfort (as far as I know), and I’ve made quite a few changes to it over the years. I’d have to get her permission to teach her technique as the foundation, and I think she’ll be cool with it. I once taught it in person at an all-girls school for the arts. I told Ellie about that, and she seemed flattered. She was okay with it.

That was the last time I taught anything. That whole experience overwhelmed me for a number of reasons. That class was immensely appreciative of what I did, and the students were even assigned to copy my paintings. They were studying me, like you’d study a famous artist. I didn’t know what I was walking into. The student gallery, filled with Carol Es copies, blew me away. And then, I read the class curriculum/prospectus, which psychologically likened me and my art to the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. I didn’t know what to think, but it made me incredibly self-conscious. They showered me in so much appreciation.

They’d asked me to come back to teach another couple of classes, but I wasn’t able to return. My confidence was just gone. It felt like too much responsibility, maybe. I’m not sure what it was exactly, but I froze up about teaching after that. It was all too much for my low self-worth at the time.

Anyway, I don’t know why I got into that memory, but there it is. 

So now I’m considering doing something with the Eye-book again, but I’ll have to find the nerve. It would probably just be a video. It’s a big deal to me though—to have my person on camera and all that, so I have to think about it.

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