The best art lessons I received were always from my painting instructors, and not my art history professors. Any experienced painting teacher will also have an extensive knowledge of art history, yet with a more visual approach. Not to dissuade any art historians, but somehow participating in the field grants a certain understanding that might not otherwise be attainable. A painter looks at a painting for what it essentially is, a visual object, and not an historical item to be placed in a timeline. On the other hand, certain assessments can perhaps only be gained by a neutral party. A non-participant, so to speak, is not burdened with any biases, and can add a less emotional context.