teach what you want to learn

face-shapes-traced

simplest components from African mask (see last picture, below)

We’ve all heard that right?  We teach what we most want to learn.

On the eve of teaching another class at The Boston Center for the Arts, I ought to be asking, then, “What is it that I want to learn right now?”

Hmmmmm. How to take a motif, maybe, and ‘go deeper’ with it (whatever that means). But I know what that means.

teaching

making faces

Or here’s a corollary: we give the advice we need to follow. This is extremely useful for me personally, because two of the people I routinely give advice to are Oppositional, with a capital “O”. Sometimes all I can do, is turn it around.

What advice have you given recently? Don’t fudge it by scanning memory for advice you WANT to hear. I recommend just thinking of the last three things, the most recent things, you have said to someone… in an effort to be helpful.

I’m always telling certain people to be more organized, or more responsible (and yes, yes, that applies here) but here’s the most recent thing offered:  yesterday, I suggested to someone that she partner written memoir passages that are painful with those that are joyful, so that the juxtaposition told a story, on top of those told in the passages and, possibly, to make it bearable to write the really tough stuff.  My idea for her was that a one-two step like that had the potential to turn into a dance, given sufficient air and trust.  So? Trust. Give work air? Partner the ‘uck’ with the ‘yahoo’? That’s probably pretty good advice for me right now.

four-faces-blue

building from the bottom up

Little changes make big differences

Little changes make big differences

eye lid adjustment

eye lid adjustment

looking askance

looking askance

add patterns!

add patterns!

Tomorrow’s adult class will be ‘more sophisticated’.

two sections (top and bottom) that may or may not belong together

two sections (top and bottom) that may or may not belong together

But, I’m wondering, maybe the more you break a thing down, the more complex it becomes. This I have seen time and time again in the manner of Jude Hill‘s designs and thoughts and cloths… the simpler she makes it, the more avenues spin off in every direction.

So maybe for the adults, I should make it EVEN SIMPLER!

Female kifwebe mask, late 19th or early 20th century. Unknown Songye artist. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Female kifwebe mask, late 19th or early 20th century. Unknown Songye artist. Democratic Republic of the Congo

7 thoughts on “teach what you want to learn

  1. Sandy

    as a adult, I say simpler is the way to go. I think(ha…) as we get older our minds become so much more critical and it’s a hard thing to break. Simplicity is how I am finding my way. Clearing our unnecessary clutter in the physical, emotional and spiritual world of mine. It’s working. Love the 2 sections together- LOVE it! Happy Friday and I hope you have an awesome class tomorrow. Cant wait to hear all about it! HUGS!

    Reply
    1. deedeemallon Post author

      Thanks, Sandy. Clearing clutter is hard work and it really, really does make one feel better on so many levels. Ps. I just finished your necklace. Going on the mail on Monday.

      Reply
  2. saskia

    simple is complex enough; even when I have decided to start with a ‘simple’ idea, it ends muddled up, or veers off in another direction, at least it does in my experience; I have to do lots to try and explore as much as possible, which is why I keep on going…….
    I wish I could hop over for a lesson

    Reply
    1. deedeemallon Post author

      I’m always interrupting myself with other ideas. Like you, it can be hard to stay on track

      Reply
  3. nadia

    Hi, Dee. Interesting post. I’ve been thinking about self-portraits lately, but I can’t “see” myself. I don’t think I want to analyze that!
    best, nadia

    Reply

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