Who is the master and who is the student?

In 2010 the local bishop arranged for me to meet an old friend of his while I was on a personal trip to California. The friend of the bishop was one of the most highly regarded iconographers in the western hemisphere, if not the world. This iconographer is very famous and if you know iconography and I were to tell you his name, you would probably instantly recognize it. His work is truly amazing, and shows a great deal of mastery of the technique of iconography. When I met this iconographer he asked to see my portfolio, which I showed him. He asked me to see an example of how I painted a certain icon and I responded to him that I would show him, but that he was the master. His response to me was “No, Michael, I am not a master. I am a student just like you are.”

We are all students. We are all learning. The second we think that we are no longer students is when we have begun to die as artists.

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