Post-a-day 2011 ~ Teaching Learning and New Art

I make art. I write. I teach. Most of all, I learn. I am surrounded by beauty and beautiful people. OMG I am blessed!

I notice small things. I make big things out of small things.

About the joy of teaching:
“My” students are learning and excited about what they are learning. They are producing beautiful drawings and paintings. They are bringing them to class and sharing. They are motivated and doing more outside of class. They come into class and share AHA! moments that happened for them during the week. They are having fun with art and sharing with their kids and grandkids! They are seeing trees, colors, faces, shapes, light, contrast, textures, balance, the moon and the world in new ways!

Adults, they came into class thinking they “couldn’t” draw. They wanted to learn to draw. Oh! Did I already say how excited they are?… excited about learning and I am excited about how much they are learning and seeing. I teach from a fundamental principle of 90% of learning to draw, or paint, or make art is learning to see… then learning how materials work in the physical world, how our optical nerves register information and eye-hand motor skills. We practice. Then we practice some more – like riding a bicycle, practicing until AHA, we find our balance!
We look at art and what has been done before and why. We talk about art history, artists, why art, what’s art and what’s Art and who decides or decided. I ask a lot of questions, they think, then answer thoughtfully, listening to each other. I actually don’t “teach” much, I allow them to teach each other and me… shh! Don’t tell them. LOL! I’ve just learned to ask questions… and love seeing them think, watch eyes pop open and “get” their own answers, discovering, uncovering what they already know…

We are having fun, laughing a lot and are noisy and silly in the Library. Shhh! (Our Library is an exciting place to be!)

Teaching inspires me… opens my brain to new ideas and ways of looking at the world, people, my own work, what I know, what I have learned from GREAT teachers and friends and students.

About making art…
I first learned to see by looking, to draw by drawing, by daily practice… and now I make environmental art, noticing the small, putting many small things together, noticing shapes and colors and patterns in my messy studios. My students have inspired me once again… Less computer time and more studio time, working with my hands and physical materials.

As I tell these students, I once learned to draw like Michaelangelo, and he already did that and is dead! Revered, admired, copied ~ he did what he did so beautifully. The ability to draw is in each of us if we can write our name or make marks on paper or walls.

So, now I paint and draw with stone from a natural palette calling attention to small things. I paint with light, photographing nature and stones. For me, making art is an amazing balance between light and dark, heavy and weightless, lifted by laughter & joy and built on a solid foundation of ancient wisdom, observation, and yes, feeling. It is a dance requiring access to both sides of the brain simultaneously. Even that requires practice.. daily doses of right and left brained activity.

The color filled display of fall has fallen, leaves are on the ground, returning to nurture the earth through winter ‘til spring. The seasons flow and I will go to ground, as well, in a sense. Working with my hands and eyes and in my studios. I LOVE creating OMG responses, in myself and others.

This video says it so well: OMG moments from Louie Schwartzberg – Gratitude (shared by Cheryl Richardson)

Here is a tiny peek at my winter series in stone – many, many works in progress… this is part of one.

Bloomin' stone

May your day be filled with creative living and dancing with the right side of your brain! Life is not set in stone, just some of my art work. 🙂

Namaste ~ StarBear

9 responses to “Post-a-day 2011 ~ Teaching Learning and New Art

  1. Beautiful, beautiful. You are so blessed to live near God and God’s beauty beyond anything we can see in the large metroplexes of our cities. It is with gratitude I appreciate your sharing God’s beauty through his gift to you to be our guide.

  2. Wow! It was nice to stumble into your site/blog. The Gratitude piece by LS was so awesome. It captured what I often feel with the dawning of each new day. Simple. Elegant. So true. Youthful wonder, Elder wisdom, Natures way.

    Your words, too, say much, enrich many. The photos of the rock piles and other arrangements were also great (as well as other of your photos) and reminded me of the many such seen sculptures left by various human artisans on many a river bar while I floated through spectacular canyons into the magic of faraway places.

  3. I never could find your comment. Which post did you leave it on?

  4. Funny how the universe works. The cycles of things. How one thing leads to another and before you know it the whole world is connected. I re-read Teaching Learning and New Art and identified a lot with how I picture my position in guide world on the river. I feel like more of a teacher than a guide, but also recognize that it really isn’t me, but the “River” that is the real teacher. And an awesome one at that, based on the many personality changes in our guests that I see from the results of her teachings.

  5. Thank you for this exchange, Gary. Yes. The cycles of things. As a teacher or guide, it seems we must first learn well what it is we love. To come to know it so well that we can share it. What we know intimately is easily shared when it is joyous and joyously shared. Something I have found myself saying over time is that I don’t know how to share what I don’t know. I can only share what I know, and so I keep learning. You know the river and in it’s constant change you, too, keep learning… being aware of subtle shifts. Me too, as things change, awareness of the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle… wind and weather shifts, personality shifts, joy and beauty shared with respect for the now. The universe, environment do not adapt to us. It we who choose to learn to adapt. Keeps it all fun and never dull… I thank God daily for the lessons of Mama Nature… lessons learned more deeply and underlying, affirming, and sometimes even negating what I have been taught in “school.” May your days be filled with continual awakenings – for you – and for those you guide!

    • Yes. You can’t share what you don’t know. Kind of like the art of listening. If we are the one doing all the talking, we won’t learn anything new, as we already know the thoughts that come out of our heads. Only by listening might we learn something anew.

      Science was my pursuit of truth in shcool, yet I too soon learned that the real school was not the one with walls, but the one outside. I appreciate that some things in the cosmos (heck, many things for that matter) are simply ungraspable. And I am ok with that, after all, what other choice to we all have?

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