A delicate balance

I do not want to be a teacher who paints, but a painter who teaches.

Student work on Clary Hill. Plein air will always be my first love.

My friend occasionally acts like a break on my reckless ambition. I whine, “I’m tired,” and she reminds me that artists need balance or the creative impulse goes phut.

Having done both, I know that creativity requires more (or different) energy than putting up hay. I can force myself to mow or clean when I’m dead tired, but if I sit down at the easel in that state, nothing’s happening. We need rest and solitude to be makers, whether that takes the form of pottery, poetry or software.

With a Maine student who prefers to remain nameless (but not faceless).

Still, there are those who take that too far. The world is littered with people who endlessly chatter about the art they no longer do. Painting requires the discipline to sit down at your easel every day and face the blankness of unrealized thought. This is something I admire about my friend and long-ago student Cindy Zaglin. She’s had many distractions in life, including two bouts of cancer and Hurricane Sandy wrecking her workplace. But she is devoted to painting, and she never stops.

Writing, teaching, and marketing are distractions from our core work. The irony is that they also part of our core work, because art has to be put in front of viewers in order to sell.

Kamillah Ramos painting with me in the ADK. One nice thing about Zoom classes; you never need to brave the weather.

I do not want to be a teacher who paints, but a painter who teaches. And yet I now have two online classes, both with students I love. More importantly, I promised my local students that we would resume live plein air classes as soon as the state allowed it. We’re at that point now.

You don’t need to be in Maine to take my online classes, by the way. We have students from Texas, Indiana, and New York joining us. That diversity more than makes up for our cancelled workshops and events this summer.

Victoria Brustowicz and Teressa Ramos at my last class before I moved to Maine. It’s great having sme of my Rochester friends in my classes again. Note the mask; it was pollen season. I was way before my time.

Starting June 23, Tuesdays, 10-1, ZOOM session:

June 23

June 30

July 7

July 14

July 21

July 28

Plein air local class, starting June 25, Thursdays, 10-1, meeting in and around Rockport, ME:

June 25

July 2

July 9

July 16

July 23

July 30

Continuing ZOOM evening Session, Mondays, 6-9 PM, three dates left (There are a few seats left; I will prorate the fee):

June 15

June 22

June 29

Painting is so often a family affair. I miss young Sam Horowitz, and I also miss his mum and brother, both of whom I’ve had in my classes.

We cover the same subjects indoors and outdoors:

  • Color theory
  • Accurate drawing
  • Mixing colors
  • Finding your own voice
  • Authentic brushwork

We stress painting protocols to get you to good results with the least amount of wasted time. That means drawing, brushwork and color. I’m not interested in creating carbon copies of my style; I’m going to nurture yours, instead. However, you will learn to paint boldly, using fresh, clean color. You’ll learn to build commanding compositions, and to use hue, value and line to draw the eye through your paintings.

Watercolor, oils, pastels, acrylics and—yes, even egg tempera—are all welcome. Because it’s a small group, I can work with painters of all levels. The fee is $200 for the six-week session.

All my classes are strictly limited to twelve people.

Email me for more information and supply lists.