I had a painting workshop recently that moved me a lot. The teacher told us flat out, “You need to be teaching. Share what you know with others, it solidifies what you have learned.” The teacher also shared their opinion that we are creative beings designed by a creative Creator who delights in our work. I learned a lot that day because I opened my mind to possibility. Wasn’t it Emily Dickinson who said, “Dwell in possibility”?
Over the course of my short time as a painter, I have taken a lot of workshops from several different teachers and though I am sure on some points I was instructed in the same information more than once, I learned new things in each and every class. With all instruction, being gentle on myself and accepting of the truism,”I hear it when I am ready to hear it, and I see it when I am ready to see it,” is helpful. Taking lots of instruction exposes me to new and old ways and different techniques of transferring and applying information. Each of us has our own learning style.
Another truism I embrace, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” So, I opened myself up to the idea of teaching and call it fate, destiny, chance, whatever you will but in November I was visiting an art show with a friend and from it came an opportunity to teach for the first time, coming in February. I am grateful, I am challenged, and I am happily collecting the basic tenets of what I have learned about oil painting for the class. We are going to focus on opening up, turning off the “what I think it should look like” image in our heads and explore what we actually see to transfer it onto canvas. I hope to help turn back the clock in our heads to our young six-year-old selves, to a time before what other people thought about what we drew or painted became so important and limiting and shut down many of our creative leanings. I am grateful and think that I will likely learn as much as the students. If you are in the Nashville area and would like to explore creativity with us, you are invited to register: USN Evening Classes, Beginning Oil Painting. The class number is #701.
About Renee Bates
Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit, Greenways for Nashville. Renee is inspired by nature and enjoys hiking, birding, and the garden. She contributes to HerSavvy, a blog featuring writings from a group of well-informed women wishing to share their support and experience with others. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, enjoying flora and fauna is a family affair.