Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Just What CAN You Teach? Selecting Classes for Las Vegas

Since I've been home, there has been some interesting events. On the artistic front, I had a student who had planned to take one of my classes in Las Vegas, who reached out to me through asking if I had kits of that class available. Like I mentioned earlier, I too had stared at the materials I had already created and thought, well, I help my teacher and mentor create hers, why can't I do the same thing? I gave her a price, got the postage to Canada and I have a sale.

As I learned though, creating a kit is not simple. When you paint something, its often a trial by error event. I'm sure that I am not alone in saying that. Well, maybe because I'm an amateur, I am saying that.  However, my teacher noted that in teaching her class last week, there were errors in the instructions and she's been teaching over 25 years.

I literally chronicled a painting of cactus here showing the step by step agony (or is it ecstasy?) of that process. When I repainted my own painting with a student, I realized that I too had made errors in my instructions. It is not always an exact science, in fact, I wonder about the whole process. Can you actually instruct someone to paint like you do? If you go to any guild or painting convention, it appears that you can. YouTube is filled with videos of painters showing you how to paint. I think this is something that raises many questions. My intent in learning to paint was to create my own style. However, that said, I will also say that by taking classes from others you learn a great deal. There are tips and techniques that you may not have come across. Last year my painting took a very different turn. Each teacher had their own style and I realized that you pick out what you want and forget the rest, or forget it until you come across the same kind of problem and remember what they did and adapt it to your own situation.

Hopefully, after talking to the Creative Painting Convention operator, I will get another chance to try to teach. Looking at what I had done over that past year, I realized that I really didn't know what I wanted to teach nor what I could teach? Looking at the canvases, including the two cactus paintings, I thought that I would start small, and 8" x 10" still life, a slightly larger 12" x 9" still life, this lovely daisy, then moving on up to the two cactus projects and ending with some plumerias.

I realized though that there are several criteria here when making a selection of items to propose. One, can it be painted in the time given? From experience, I know I hate though classes where there is simply no way you can get the project done. I find that the unfinished project sits around unfinished and finally, its thrown away. So, it has to be finished in the allotted time. You want a success story!

Then, is it something that someone would want to paint? I think I would hate to be Jay Sharp, operator of the convention who has to make those decisions on what to offer. Its not only painting being offered but a variety of craft projects as well. Six days of classes in fact! He has to look for those projects that attract signups, are different enough from years past and are something that people really want to do.

In talking to him from my rehab home, I mentioned what I had been considering to submit anyway and he was amiable to them. Southwestern themes are hot right now and there haven't been many still life's in a four hour time slot. So, when I mail the proposals tomorrow, all six of them, all I can do is cross my fingers and hope!

The best part, if there is any good part is that everyone of these can be painted using DecoArts acrylic paints. No wet paintings! And, I think everyone one of them can be started AND finished in the time I allotted!

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