Mentoring – Artistic Insights through Teaching
I have learned over the years that it is good for me, and for my own painting journey, to mentor or teach other artists along the way. While I am giving encouragement and advice to them, as a side effect I then also benefit from the relationship and enjoy being part of their development.
Looking at another’s paintings, I begin to understand what the artist wants to express. I try to give them ways to communicate more completely. We talk about the basic elements of art—line, color, shape, movement, balance, size, repetition and composition. We talk about different ways to fill the space on their canvas or paper. Also, we discuss different media and materials to experiment with, and subjects like: how to know when the work is finished, how to frame the piece, how to stretch their own canvases, how to write an artist statement, how to approach galleries and much more!
From my library I lend them my books of the artists I sense they will feel related to in some way, encouraging them to look at as much art as they can.
We use our lower level INSIDE/OUT space for the community to use their own creative ideas to produce theater, comedy, writing. We have found mentoring provides impartial advice and encouragement, develops supportive relationships, and improves self-confidence. All positive outcomes!
When I get back to my studio I find I can be more insightful and critical of my own painting. There is new energy for me to be expressive in my work. I continue to learn from those I teach who have also become good friends along the way.