Still posting…

I was touched by the many comments following my blog about stopping teaching.
People were surprised, sad, sympathetic and showing solidarity. 
I was surprised!  I didn’t know anyone even read the blog!
It made me realise how much I value this means of communication and what an important channel this is for artists like me working on their own in what is necessarily a solitary existence.
Other people have mentioned it in emails and phone calls since then and I think I need to clarify one or two things.
I’m stopping teaching classes and studio workshops but I intend to keep a presence on line and to post things on my two blogs.  Reason being that I enjoy sharing my discoveries and I know there are people that benefit.  And that is incentive enough.
As I say in the intro to the blog…art is meaningless unless it’s shared.
It’s the classes that take up the time with all the preparation, the thinking up and organising of projects, the gathering of materials, the booking up, the readying of the studio and so on.  I’ve enjoyed it while it was happening but now time to move on.
But I’m still going to be sharing on line, so the people who are following this blog and my other one, please keep with me.  I value the fact that you’re there and listening!

The image is of a painting I finished the other day of clematis growing early this summer on an arch in the garden.  

A room with a view

I’m staying on the south coast of UK at the moment where my husband is working on a project.  And so I have the benefit of a wonderful sea view.  I’ve set up my painting table in front of the window and have an unbelievably beautiful aspect to enjoy as I paint.

The view changes throughout the day, the sea, the waves, the sky, the people walking their dogs and fishing on the beach, the seagulls and cormorants swooping by, the boats sailing out…it’s an ever changing scene and is fascinating.  You are never bored of it.
Everyone, not only artists, is affected by their environment and sitting gazing at the scene here makes my mind turn to seascapes and the elements that make up the picture…the pebbly beach, the rocky sea defences, the people silhouetted against the sea as they walk by, the sun rising through the clouds in the morning.

  It would be good to try and render some of this in watercolour.
So to make a start I’m going to walk out and see what I can find to bring back in and have a look at…perhaps some pebbles and shells to start with…
I am a flower painter so this is a big change for me!

My last teaching project

I’ve decided to stop teaching watercolour. 

I do enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with people, which is basically what teaching is.  And from the feedback I’ve had, I think many have benefited from that sharing.
I have enjoyed the sociable side to teaching.  There’s nothing better than getting together with a group of like minded people who are keen to learn and improve.
The trouble is I get totally involved in any teaching project I embark on so that everything else is secondary to it.  So my identity as an “artist” is consumed by my role as a teacher. 
So I find myself always thinking “how can I put this technique over to students?” or “what stages can I divide this painting up into to best teach it?”, all of which does not exactly lead to artistic spontaneity!
There is no point trying to teach something unless you really put yourself in the place of the student to understand how they are learning and what their difficulties might be.  But in doing that you wave goodbye to that special private and secret state of being an artist with an idea that is your own to express.
An artist does not explain why.  An artist expresses freely with no thought to how the idea is going to be received or understood. 
Some practising artists seem to be able to “teach” while preserving their authenticity as an artist.  Bu t I think that probably they are not “teaching” but rather offering a master class to demonstrate their work; two entirely different things.
So here I go into a different realm…where vision, inspiration and creativity are paramount.  It is a much more solitary and secret and selfish place, I think.
Stay tuned, as they say, I’ll let you know how I get on!

(Mind you, never say never again!)