My teaching philosophy has always been to help students realize their gifts and abilities through the language and medium of art.
To begin, I like to see what the students’ skill sets are, and what knowledge they bring to class concerning the subjects of drawing
and painting. Teaching the fundamentals helps students to build bridges - linking new content and skills to their prior knowledge -
and helps them to start making sound decisions in crafting their work.
I expect students to be open to new ideas, to act without fear and embrace the concept that the only way to learn is to make
mistakes. Sometimes students have a fear or expectation that everything needs to be perfect. What I prefer to see is a willingness
to get the hand, eye and mind to work as one. Art is about transmitting feeling, about evoking emotional responses through the
process of making and sharing work.
I view my role as one of encouraging, expanding, and stimulating my students’ own artistic process by helping them grow in their
abilities and confidence. I give them visual comparisons and tools, especially in teaching color, to evaluate what they see. I open
their eyes to the potential of a world beyond ordinary sight and I try to help them differentiate between preconceptions and
I give students tools that expand how they see. I believe in these tools over canned technique. Technique can copy a photo, but to
make good art takes more than this. Students must transcend technique in order to produce work that is exciting and fulfilling.
To implement this, I believe students need to be physically involved in producing their work. For example, standing and using
the rhythm of their entire body to produce line and form in drawing, expands a student’s comfort zone. And in the process, they
acquire the confidence necessary to simply be in the moment. Being in the moment is important because art is created in time,
very much like music. Yet the viewer vicariously experiences art after it has been created. This is why I believe it is important to
use exercises that get the student fully engaged in the moment and the process of creation. Another drill I use that forces students
to view what they see without previous assumptions, is having them draw with their “off” hand. It’s amazing to watch them do
this. They often produce better drawings with their “off” hand than with their dominant hand. And I’ve had several students who
didn’t want to switch back. This seeming contradiction happens because the student no longer is able to rely on shortcuts they’ve
learned and must instead rely solely on the truth of what they see. This inspires the student and encourages them to reach for the
next level creatively.
I became an art educator to help and uplift. My journey as an artist has taught me perseverance, courage, and an optimistic faith
in the unseen. I am constantly looking for ways to improve what I have to offer students, both as an artist and teacher. I genuinely
want my students to become independent and successful in whatever they endeavor to undertake. I impress upon students a
passionate love of the process of making art, of conveying their artistic vision with integrity, enthusiasm, deep connection and a
raw emotional courage.
To summarize, I am a believer in a modern approach to art education that places emphasis on students building their own view
of the world through experience. I believe in giving students tools that help them expand their view and implement what they
know. This proactive training can be viewed through various practices in my classroom as I endeavor to give the most I can to my
students, never forgetting the influence I have for future good.
Feel free to contact me at 509-397-4368, or email me at email@example.com