Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend with the Masters cont.

Today’s email delivered a letter from Robert Genn’s Twice-Weekly Letter entitled—"The Art of Teaching Art."  After reading an anonymous response about teaching and creating art, I had to put my thoughts into words to help me process what I thought about what was said. 

The old saying, “Those who can, do; those who cannot, teach.”  I agree and disagree.  How’s that for taking a stand about what I think!  Years ago, I remember an interview with a noted writer who was asked—“Now that you are older and wiser (he was in his 80’s), what have you learned about life and your art?”   He said something to the effect that he felt in his last years, he was spiritually obligated to pass on what he had learned to those younger and talented individuals. And hopefully, they would do the same in their latter years.  A circle if you will.   He had made his “mark” on the world and the next step in his final years, was to leave behind to others what he had learned and to support their efforts.

So my response is not one that is so black and white.  It’s really a timing issue.  Anyone in his or her early career is not seasoned and truly grounded in their knowledge and skills.  Add to that, the ability to put into words and actions that knowledge and ability for others to understand conceptually.  If you do teach, it’s my opinion that, you the teacher, will be learning more than your students. 

In this theme of teaching, and the Weekend with the Masters, I saw the most fantastic, powerful, heartfelt, and very absorbing film (on DVD available at Amazon) dealing with this subject of teaching:  “LOCAL COLOR:  One Master, One Student, One Summer to Dream.” a George Gallo film.

Armin Mueller-Stahl is amazing as the older Russan master and his influence on the young man (a life experience taken from Gallo’s life) wanting to paint under his tutelage.  Another major theme is one that I feel very strongly about.  It's a must see.  Check out the movie clip.

My experience with WWM definitely proved that those presenting could DO and also, TEACH.

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