The Art of Principato 
 a contemporary New England impressionist, author and instructor

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Every once and awhile someone will ask me why I teach, or do I like teaching.  I always hesitate because there are so many answers to those questions - all to the affirmative.

I love to teach because I love to paint and draw.  The act of creating is so exciting for me.   Someone once remarked to me "You are a compulsive painter!"  To this end I must admit my guilt.  Sharing what I know and love is a joy and a responsibility to me.  Passing this on is a fascinating privilege, and I find joy in seeing different people at various skill levels go through their personal stages of development.  Some will struggle more than others, but it's the right attitude that will see them through every trial.  It's not enough for the teacher to believe in you.  You have to believe in yourself and have the patience to learn.

One of my goals in art is to guide and encourage students from any level - beginner to advanced.  Painting well starts with the proper thinking.  I realized many years ago that I needed the right kind of mindset to learn and grow as an artist in my chosen medium (aside from the obvious artistic training).  Becoming a lifetime student was the result of this attitude. It keeps you humble. (Not that any of us ever has a reason not to be). Pressing on to new levels of development, not to mention areas of discovery and creativity, are constantly opening up to us as long as our minds are kept open.

There is so much to say and too little space here for elaborating.  I could write a book, and in fact I am in that very process.  If we are given a gift we should enthusiastically share it with others when the opportunity presents itself.  I must admit that for some selfish reasons I teach.  One reason is that I personally learn so much from the experience.  It helps me to refine, review and get that much closer to mastering the basics of my craft.  I said it before but it's worth repeating: " you need to have the love for learning in order to excel".  My goal in general is to teach the student how to think like a painter does and to develop an understanding of technique.  A logical approach to painting and drawing is essential in order to continue to make progress having the ability to teach yourself as well.

Finally, teaching is a two way street.  The student has to be willing to trust and learn what the instructor has to offer in the way of knowledge and experience.  This is a journey for both of us.  We should make it fun or as a great teacher once enigmatically said, "Enjoy the struggle!"

(Don't worry.  It took me some time before I understood what he meant!)