I was reminded again on Thursday of how important talking it out can be in deepening understanding, developing our ideas and learning. In this week’s email correspondence with my coach, I gained an important insight into my own work; how process is in many ways what my painting is all about.
I find I immerse myself in the experience of painting in a spirit of curiosity, wanting to see what happens and guided by an internal sense of questioning and excitement. Sometimes this is about a mood, occasionally an external reference, or a particular state of mind and energy I want to explore through my work.
This new understanding has been coming over several weeks. It has also included several journaling sessions, and conversations with other friends and fellow artists alongside my work with my coach as I have inched my way to gaining greater clarity in how to speak about what my work is about.
I realised I learn best through dialogue several years ago when I was working out how to go about preparing for a raft of professional exams. I knew I struggled to learn through reading. Don’t get me wrong I read voraciously but it’s not my best way to generate ideas and to deepen my understanding. That, it seems, has always come through talking it out. It’s when I’m engaged in dialogue that those moments of insight and understanding occur.
It’s why I am committed to having a small group teaching and learning element in all of the courses and programmes I run. In the 30 or so years I have been teaching adults it’s something that I have come up against time and again. How much people value the opportunity to sit and explore ideas, reflect and explore together. The experience of learning in a supportive group of people cannot be underestimated.
How do you learn best? Is talking it out one of your preferred approaches too?
For information on Directions in Abstraction, my international online course in abstract painting click here