No more teachers no more books….

Studio Class 1000

No more teachers no more books….

Something extraordinary happened to me last weekend. Something happy, something sad, something filled with future plans and drenched in nostalgia and memories.

I quit my day job.

Well, actually I quit my day job in 2003, but last weekend I quit my other day job. I gave up my teaching gigs. No more Thursday or Saturday classes, no more Monday mornings at the Women’s University Club.

Sounds simple I know, but for me it was the result of almost a year’s worth of soul searching, observation, self-flaggelation and torment as I tried to balance what I would be gaining with what I would be giving up.

On the gain side: freedom from commitments, energy, more time for my own work, more time to focus on my health and family.

On the lose side: the richness that comes from giving of one’s self, the brain-work of putting my painting practices into words, the excitement over a student’s “Ah-HAH!” moment when a concept becomes clear, the pleasure of ringing the bell for finished paintings, and most of all, the camaraderie and friendship of the men and women who have entrusted their talents with me during the past ten years.

See why it wasn’t simple?

In the end my health won out as I realized that since my diagnosis last year with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer I have pretty much been in denial that there was anything I could actively do, short of following doctor’s orders and taking my meds, to slow the beast that threatens to take over my bones, and eventually, my life.

DSC03080There is something I can do. Actually, there are many somethings I can do.

I can focus on getting myself in tip top “fighting” shape to battle this disease. That means losing weight, and strengthening my bones. Which means a certain commitment of time and energy to eating healthily and exercising.

And that’s what I’m going to do, dammit! I have to, for my own sake as well as the sake of my family and friends.

As I get healthier I will also work more on my own paintings, visit family more often, plus I have a few other projects up my sleeve. I will blog more and try to use this venue as a place to share my tips and tricks and more consistent painting-in-progress posts.

There ya have it. Big decision. I’m excited for the future and sad that I won’t see my fellow painters as often as I have in the past, but I will work hard to keep up with the friendships I have gained through teaching. Thank you to all of my former students – I’m a better person for having worked with you.


new studio teaching

5 thoughts on “No more teachers no more books….

  1. Janet Bassett

    More power to ya’, Gini. Teaching seemed like the perfect thing for a while. Now it doesn’t. If you decide to teach again someday, that’s cool, too. Thank god life is like that most of the time. I’m happy for you and wish you well in your new project(s).

  2. Margaret Parkinson

    Thank you Gini. Whenever I pick up a paint brush and work on my art I will think of you. I cannot say how much I have learn from you. That knowledge, skill and confidence (confidence most of all) will always be a precious gift from you.

  3. Kathy Paul

    Gini, you amaze me. My first reaction to your decision was “Oh nooooo who will teach me?” But your email told all of us that you have faith in us and believe that ALL of us can paint on our own. That’s kinda huge, my dear teacher, I will choose to believe you and I will keep painting… because it has become important to me. If you had not been my first teacher, I don’t know if I would have had the guts to even try! You are so good, and you continue to teach all of us by kicking us out of the Gini-nest and saying “Fly, my students, fly!”

  4. Lou Ann Street

    Thank you Gini for allowing me to grow my wings under your warm guidance. I’m scared about going it alone…but I feel like I can do it, thanks to your incredible teachings. You have given me inspiration and empowerment! AND a warm, loving atmosphere where mutual support, laughter, and camaderie are the norm. Plus I have gained a friend.
    Go Girl! I’m with you 100%.
    Feeling warmth and gratitude, Lou Ann

    1. Sharon

      Hey Gini! I’m so happy you are willing to do what your body has been asking you to do – good listening! Of course all of us will miss your wonderful talent and teaching skills, but we won’t have to miss out on your latest painting adventures. Who knows what the future will bring? Something wonderful comes out of even the most trying life events – that’s been my experience. Love, prayers and Hugs – Sharon.


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