IS IT TIME TO QUIT THE CLASS?
Is it time to quit the class?
Unless the art class you attend is part a needful social outlet, there is no need to be going there for years on end to improve your art. The sheer weight of class hours alone does not equate to being a better artist.
It's a bit like students being involved in higher learning right into their thirties. Life has left them behind, while they are still 'learning' about stuff. The very best learning in painting or life is done on the job and life experience shows the truth of this.
Classes and workshops are best regarded as springboards to launch our own endeavours and without our own efforts away from the class environment, there will be no progress at all. We should never stop learning and if we think that classes as the only place to do that, we will limit our progress.
Sadly, some never break away from the style of their tutors and fail to find their own way around a canvas. It is very possible to be a competent practitioner but without your own artistic voice.
Several years ago I saw a wall of paintings from an artist I had never heard of, but it did look like the style of an artist I knew. Sure enough the artist in question was a student of the artist I knew and the paintings where just voice of the tutor. This artist had been in class for too long!
The class situation is somewhat controlled and we can feel safe inside it. Mistakes are safely corrected and sometimes by the tutor's own brush - something that rarely helps a student.
Once we learn the basics of painting, it's time to move on and that doesn't mean we should stop learning. I believe the best way of gaining knowledge is by listening to and observing other artists. Personally, one of my best tutors was Monet. I discovered things about aerial perspective and the colour of shadows by studying his work. There are plenty of other modern day masters I have learned from too and not from the confines of a class.
As we know, we rarely learn about life until we leave home and we can't truly learn about painting until we leave the homely class. We will start to shine when we begin to forge are own way and find our voice and no one can teach you that!