The Benefits of Teaching

Lately, I’ve been taking on students for private instruction. Though it’s a path I’ve considered for some time, I was hesitant to move forward on it because I wasn't quite sure what area of expertise I wanted to offer. Two years ago, I taught several students: one was an experienced artist who wanted to learn oil-painting specifically and the other was learning to paint for the first time. After the sessions ran their course, I convinced myself it wasn’t worth pursuing any further, convincing myself I simply didn't have the time as I toiled over the inadequacies of my studio with excuse after excuse.

This year, I’ve had several inquiries from friends who were either interested in learning more about painting or wanted to further advance their techniques. After some coaxing, I agreed to develop curriculum specifically for each student. So for the past month, in addition to my own painting, I have created lesson plans that focus on the exploration of color. I started by reviewing my original plans from two years ago to revise and improve them while researching and organizing new information. Keeping a general audience in mind has forced me to examine details in a way that I hadn’t for quite awhile to disseminate information in a pragmatic way. In doing so, I am becoming reacquainted with some basic elements I normally take for granted. This process of taking a step back is not only enabling me to become a better teacher, but I am becoming a better artist.