Home-Study and Studio Art Instruction for Children and Adults-Teacher Training

About the New Masters Art Curriculum


If you are reading this section, you are probably dissatisfied with some aspect of your work. Most likely your problems are in the area of drawing. If so they are either mechanical, technical or psychological in nature. You may be using your hand or eyes incorrectly or using the wrong drawing strategy. Or your performance may be compromised by impatience or compulsivity. This curriculum addresses all of these things. It will help you identify and address your problems so that you can progress from a merely talented artist to a truly accomplished one, a professional level performer, perhaps even a master. If you have normal sensory-motor abilities, a good work ethic (or a sincere desire to develop one), and if you have enough intelligence to understand this essay, you have enough talent to master drawing and painting. The most important question is not if you have talent or not, or even how much of it you have, but which of the two kinds of talent you have: functional or innate. The difference is that functionally talented people appear to have been born with their abilities while innately talented people are largely unaware of their abilities and thus usually fail to realize them.

Many false assumptions have been popularized about functionally talented people, the most common of which is the idea that they are “born with” specialized skills in a particular field. My theory is that they are gifted, but not with specific skills. They are gifted with a general skill that can be applied to many different fields: the skill of self-teaching. Gifted people, in other words, are trial-and-error learners whose “talent” in a particular field is the result of their interest in that field and their willingness — driven by that interest — to keep working at it until they master it.

If you are innately talented (interested but un-skilled) in art, you will need formal training to realize your talents. Once you attain your skills through systematic instruction, you will be indistinguishable from — and in many cases superior to — those who have been “gifted” with those skills. So, unlike the selective European systems of the past, the New Masters program is designed to provide all students with professional level technical skills in drawing and painting regardless of their ages or demonstrated abilities prior to starting instruction.

John Gordon
Director, Gordon School of Art
New Masters™ Art Curriculum

“Talent Is A Matter of Training”
— Shinichi Suzuki