Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Student Teacher

“You are always the student in a one-person art school. You are also the teacher of that class.” Irwin Greenberg

“Don’t hoard your knowledge, share it.” Irwin Greenberg

A little while back I was browsing through the Strand Bookstore in Manhattan. They sell a lot of used and out of print books and have a great selection of art books. I have been browsing the store since High School when I h was a student of Irwin Greenberg, (Greeny). He gave me my first real art book and encouraged me to buy a book on John Singer Sargent that had just come out- the beginning of my book collection.

I came across an out of print book by James Fletcher Watson, an watercolorist whose work I was curious about. When I opened the book the first thing I saw was Greeny’s name on the upper right corner of the page, (Greeny had the habit of writing his name on all the books he owned). I immediately bought the book. I was thrilled to have a book he once owned by someone who influenced his work which in turn influenced me.
The Scarf, Watercolor by Irwin Greenberg

Greeny taught at the High School of Art and Design, The School of Visual Arts and also at the Art Students League and he was always learning.
He learned from the Old Masters, from contemporary artist‘s,  from books, from his students, and especially from painting everyday.

I think the best lesson that I learned from him is to always enjoy being a student and let other people call you an artist, or as he
put it:

“ Don’t call yourself an artist. Let others name you that. ‘Artist’ is a title of great weight.”
Irwin Greenberg

“Be humble; learn from everybody.” Irwin Greenberg

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