Art should be fun, and each child should feel successful.
Students feel great when they realize that they can do great artwork. I consider art to be like reading: some kids pick it up naturally, but other kids learn to be great readers when they get the right instruction.
My value as a teacher is the combination of expertise and the ability to simplify the process for my students, along with understanding and patience. I like to take a complex idea and simplify it into steps the kids can follow to make something amazing. But I don’t want them just to make pretty pictures; I want them to develop the visual acuity necessary to be good artists- or as I tell the kids- to see things like an artist. I am happiest when all the projects turn out differently; I want the kids to incorporate their own unique ideas into the framework I give them, doing great work while learning the principles of design. And most of all, having fun and building confidence.
I teach to the Colorado State Education Standards, including art history, cultural references, the elements of art, the principles of design, a wide range of media.
Media I teach: pencil, chalk pastel, oil pastel, conté crayon, watercolor, watercolor pencil, acrylic, batik, tie-dye, printmaking, clay, wire sculpture, face painting, paper maché, collage, book binding, and more. I like to vary projects that require fine motor skills with media that require less control- again so that each child succeeds.
We draw from life, photo references, nature, guided instruction, and of course- imagination.
It’s not just about having fun projects. It’s about learning what makes good design and how to do it. And having fun projects.