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Irwin Greenberg

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Irwin Greenberg

Mesaj  Admin la data de Vin Feb 20, 2009 10:39 am

February 17, 2009

If you've ever wondered just how good an artist can be, take a look at some Irwin Greenberg watercolours. Irwin has maintained a steady flow of quality work over a lifetime of teaching the "Old Hat Painting Class" and at the Art Students League in New York. In the July 1995 Artist's Magazine, he offered some timeless advice and a hundred insights on being an artist. "Succeeding," says Greenberg, "takes more than technical skill, inspiration or simple forbearance. It incorporates your state of mind, your powers of thought and expression, your self-discipline and your strength of character." We've put some of Irwin Greenberg's work and a complete list of his 100 insights at the top of the current clickback.

Many of the hundred insights cover the basic stuff that most of us agree on--"Be your own best critic" ; "No struggle, no progress" ; "Be hungry to learn" ; "Look, really look" ; "Habit is more powerful than will" ; "Spend less than you earn." Other, more esoteric ideas are honed from a lifetime of personal experience, such as "When you take a break, don't eat. Instead, drink a glass of water."

It's been my observation that seasoned artists can be pretty particular. This doesn't mean that they provide us with universal laws, but that they can be expected to invent ones that feel like it.

One of Greenberg's dictums is to keep winnowing out favourite artists and studying their methods. "Find the artists who are on your wavelength, and continuously increase that list," he says. Greenberg's starter favourites were Howard Pyle, Vermeer and Rembrandt. Time and again he drew strength and focus from these and other masters. He figured we all need to keep tracking our heroes.

Greenberg has lots to say about teaching. "If you teach, teach the individual. Find out where he or she is having trouble and help at that point." Teaching was a way for Greenberg to survive as an artist and yet remain true to himself. For many artists of a copacetic mind, teaching keeps one in touch with the real world and real feelings. Still, there have to be those wonderful long days in the studio. "Structure your day," says Greenberg, "so you have time for painting, reading, exercising and resting." Balance and common sense come from every Greenberg insight--ideas that can push an artist to thrive.

Best regards,


PS: "You are always the student in a one-person art school. You are also the teacher of that class." (Irwin Greenberg)

Esoterica: One of the unexpected joys of writing these letters is the stuff that comes in the mail. While I was in Vietnam, there was a buildup of books, discs and other material that readers thought might be of value to us. These insights of Irwin Greenberg, for example, came in the regular mail from the snowy cabin-studio of Ron Solkoski of Otter Lake, Ontario. I'm so glad I was reminded again of Greenberg's ideas, and refreshed to take a look once more at his work. Thanks, Ron. We were both thinking of Irwin: "Be a brother (or sister) to all struggling painters."

Current clickback: Advisory Panel contains reader responses and live comments on the business of mentoring artists on a one-on-one basis. It also contains Irwin Greenberg paintings and a complete list of his 100 insights.

Read this letter online. Please feel free to give your own insights and add to the wisdom of Irwin Greenberg. Illustratable comments can also be made at We look after the illustrating by going and finding your work online or using what you send to us.

Facebook: Michelle Moore, 20, who manages our free links, thought my face would be okay for Facebook. She put the letter there too. Please go here. Now she's done it again for twitter.

If a friend of yours is trying to subscribe to the Twice-Weekly letter via Constant Contact, please let them know that as well as subscribing they must confirm their subscription by replying to the email they will be receiving from Constant Contact. This is to prevent it going to people who really don't want it.

Irwin Greenberg is still painting and teaching.

Featured Responses: Alternative to the instant Live Comments, Featured Responses are illustrated and edited for content. If you would like to submit your own for possible inclusion, please do so. Just click 'reply' on this letter or write to
Ideas keep growing! A Premium Art Listing in the Painter's Keys Art Directory is the most effective thing an artist can do to be tastefully and respectably noticed. This listing--really a mini web page--costs $100 per year and we do all the set-up. Find out how well it might work for you.
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Mesaje : 83
Data de înscriere : 21/11/2008
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Localizare : Timisoara- Romania

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