Why I Teach Painting Classes


When I first started painting with oil in late 2006, I struggled to understand and apply everything about the medium all at once, but when I switched my mindset from having to focus on everything all together to narrowing my attention to mastering one fundamental of painting at a time, things really began to take off for me.

Before that time, each painting experience had the potential of becoming emotionally discouraging and also a disaster in outcome, you know, making a bunch of mud. And in the beginning, the time I had to devote to learning to paint was precious, because I was still working as a full-time architect.

It is my belief that each painting opportunity needs to be a productive and meaningful experience.

When I first started painting, I searched for a way to make each painting experience more enjoyable and to have a plan that would help me feel that I was moving forward, I used my lunch breaks to read, research, and map out a course of action. It was during one of these mid-day breaks that I developed a method of self-study, I would focus on one painting fundamental at a time. I would work on one technique until I began to feel comfortable with it, and then I would move onto another, constantly spiraling up, getting better and better with each painting session.

I teach because I want to help others overcome the excess of information overload and help them narrow down and guide them through exercises of concentrated focus.  These lessons are designed to develop specific paint handling skills that overall improve the creative experience.


{Harold Speed, one of my favorite authors on art instruction}


And when I teach, I organize my classes to include:
1. Demonstrations
2. Specific exercises to explore one aspect of a painting technique at a time
3. Practice painting time

My goal in all of my classes is to provide the tools and the learning experiences that will enable individual artistic growth.

Not local to Northern Virginia? I have a teaching newsletter that discusses my ideas about learning to paint with oils in greater depth.  Each newsletter ends with advice on how to apply the topic covered in your next painting session.  Sign up here!