questions I can’t really answer

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Originally uploaded by SOFennell

One of the things that came out of conversation yesterday was, what’s the best way to learn? What did I recommend? Workshop or working on one’s own? My response was, basically, independent study. Later, I had to reconsider.

I don’t have the answer because, I have to admit, there’s nothing like a workshop, where you’re working and learning with a community. You receive and give inspiration, things happen spontaneously, and there’s the sharing (which may already be implied here). When I teach, I learn from my students. I’m trying to see through their eyes and it’s refreshing.

On the other hand, I like the isolation and quiet of working in my home studio where I can focus on specific ‘problems’ or aspects of research and practice.

Maybe it’s both. I did “get started” by attending a workshop. It’s what jump started the whole thing. I might have arrived there eventually anyway. I was already intrigued with the color, the pigment, the “stuff” for probably most of my life (cultural environment). It was going to happen. When it did, I knew it was the thing I wanted to work with.

To go back to that question, though, experience (practice) is always the best teacher. The student can teach him or herself in isolation or learn it with others. Either way…or both….I’m back to the that topic we often addressed at school, “Approaches to Learning” – there are so many ways. So, one has to find one’s own way – whatever suits.


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