He thoroughly enjoyed being outdoors in nature, and after a prolonged period of only drawing, he finally began to paint again. In 1939 Miz joined him in America, and two years later he became an American citizen. Hofmann continued to teach in New York and Provincetown for the next twenty-eight years.
During the 30s, 40s, and 50s, Hofmann’s dual role as teacher and artist would prove challenging for him. He remarked, “Being an artist and being a teacher are two conflicting things. When I paint, I improvise… I deny theory and method and rely only on empathy and feeling… In teaching, it is just the opposite, I must account for every line, shape and color. One is forced to explain the inexplicable.” Nevertheless, he was an enormously generous teacher, and despite his broken English (which was often peppered with German and French), he was a wonderfully expressive and attentive presence in the classroom. He gave his students one-on-one critiques, often drawing a tiny composition of his own in the corner of their works to illustrate one of his points.