Carl Blair: “I don’t know…try it”

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Blair rarely us gave direct feedback on work. If you’d ask for it he would most often reply “I don’t know…try it”.

Somewhere along the way I got frustrated with him and ask why he wouldn’t give more specific feedback and he said “I can tell you what I’d do, but then you would paint like me.”

And there it is, that’s everything you need to know. You have to figure it out yourself.

Inherent in the way he taught us was a belief that we would figure it out…or that we wouldn’t...but either way we would have our answer. So instead of telling us what to do, he just pushed us along, calling us to higher level thinking instead of giving us low-level solutions.

It’s a truth of life–we all have to find our own way–and that we all have our own way. The journey is always better in the proximity of a wise teacher, who instead of giving you the answers pushes you to discovery, who shows you a path instead of pointing you to a room.

This is one of a number of posts about Carl Blair who I was fortunate enough to have studied under in college. Carl passed away on January 22, 2018.

Jack BurgessComment