Yes, one can argue that it's all my work, but painting just for a class is a different thing. When painting just for a class, I'm usually in my analytical mind. I'm constantly thinking - about how to simplify paintings for beginner students, about how to use fewer colors because that can slow the process down, about questions that may come up, and how to help my students get the best results.
The challenge is always to make the painting interesting or beautiful while keeping it as simple as possible. Which, lends itself to left-braining it the whole way through.
The art that I do for myself - for my soul - is not left-braining it. It's true that in any creative process there needs to be an analytical portion. We need to sit back and analyze... see what's working, and what needs improvement. But with my own work, I'm far more right-brained than with my class work. I love to dive into a painting and lose myself for hours at a time. It's part of the reason that I paint to begin with.
All of that would be fine if I had loads of time to paint. But I don't. Running my business eats up most of my time. I then have to decide whether to spend my painting time on myself, or on my business.
I long for a more integrated art/business life!
This painting may hold the key.
I started this painting earlier this week while teaching it to a class. I took it as far as I could go with the students, then the following day I pulled out the old oil paints and see how much farther I could go. I'm happy to report that I made some progress! I wasn't able to get as lost as I'd have liked, but I did start a dialog with the painting. I listened to it, and found where it wanted to go.
It's far from finished, but it's also has more depth, color, and detail than the painting I did with the class.
The idea that I might be able to marry my class paintings with my own work is terribly exciting! I love taking paintings to another level, and I encourage my students to do the same - especially the ones who are not brand new to painting.
Some people work on their paintings more at home, and some are happy with their paintings when they leave here - either way is fine and appropriate. The students who don't have their own paints, or who would like to deepen their paintings with a bit of instruction, come back for one of my Freestyle Studio Sessions. I really like these because it's a cross between a class and a private lesson - students work independently, and I'm there to help when they need it.
This is an advantage of small groups, and it's one of the many things I'm looking forward to when I take a group of women to Oaxaca Mexico for the Phenomenal Women Art Retreat. We're going to be a small group, and will have loads of time to paint, get lost in our art, and dive deep into our creativity. And there will be plenty of time for one-on-one instruction, so I can really help take these ladies to the next level with their art. (Even if that "next level" means just starting a new painting. Everyone is at a different place on their creative journey.)
I feel like being in Oaxaca will bring out my soul's work. But I'm there to teach too. Perhaps Oaxaca will be the place where my soul's work and my class work will finally seal the deal!
If you'd like to join us on Oaxaca, Feb 4-11, 2019, you can find more information here. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.