Teaching and Learning

This piece of art cloth was made in Kerr Grabowski's Deconstructed Screenprinting weekend workshop. 

The pondering that is going on in my morning pages today goes something like this: Who am I learning from? What do I want to learn? What is mastery? Where do I need to stretch, how do I need to polish?

As an artist, especially if one is past the earliest stages of one's education, this can be a tricky place to land. While I relish the role of teacher, I have a longing for the path of the learner, the student. I haven't taken a formal class longer than a weekend workshop for several years now -- the workshops provide great infusions of new techniques and new energy but I seem to have a need for something more sustained ... I enjoyed and profited from the 28-day Artist Breakthrough Program offered by Alyson Stanfield, but this longing is for  something directly related to my work as an artist.

Where will it show up? Who do I need to be learning from? What would take me to the next level in my work, without just being a "technique  of the momemt." I suspect it might take me deeper into the world of precision, or sewing, or traditional quilting. I'd like something demanding and stretching, something that challenges but contributes validly to my path and work. It will take a bit more meandering, I think ,for me to answer this question.

Meanwhile, I challenge you to the same inquiry. What would you like to end the summer with that you don't know now? Is it  a new skill or a new work habit? Is it more precision or more determination? Is it fluency of idea or better drawing skills? Do you really need a new technique -- or do you need to spend more time in your studio or at your desk? If you could pick any (teaching) artist alive to apprentice with this summer, whom would it be? Can you create a virtual version or that apprenticeship by setting your own learning goals for the next three months? Cobble together a plan that includes self-study, time with books, a couple of short-term workshops or classes, a once-a-week drawing salon, a monthly gallery crawl or museum day?

P.S. If you think a weekend at El Cielo might answer one of these questions for you, check out the schedule on the workshop page -- next weekend's Text on the Surface still has a couple of openings!