I started teaching the year my daughter left for college. I needed something to focus all of my nurturing tendencies on and teaching others my passion for art seemed the best way to go about it.
Returning to the Kansas City Art Institute to teach felt like returning home. Of course some things had changed, but in many ways it hadn’t. The moment you walk onto the property your mind expands. You become aware of how you view the world and then challenge your perceptions. It is the most liberating feeling and I felt extremely excited to open up others to a new perspective.
The classes I taught were open to the general public, so I had a wide variety of adult students. Some were in their 20s figuring out if they wanted to invest the time and money into an art college. A lot were engineers which challenged me as a teacher in many ways. One time an engineer wanted to rename the rule of thirds to the rule of primes. 😂
Some painted before, but many had not. I had to make sure I challenged the more experience painters, but give enough guidance to beginners. Everyone painting things that truly impressed me with their progress.
Over my many years of teaching art I noticed the biggest blocks for students in creating good work is their inner-dialog. The thoughts of not being good enough and fear of being judged all need to go. The way to create good work is compassion – for yourself and others.
A student approached me once to say she couldn’t draw. After looking at her rough sketch I asked her, “What do you mean? It is a decent rough sketch.” She replied with a solemn look, “A teacher once told me I couldn’t draw.” By the end of our class session this women could confidently declare that she could draw and this new confidence allowed her to enter a local art show where she won an award!
Stories like this is why I teach. It feels good to grow and connect through art.
Some Past Student’s Work
Over the years I’ve been asked to teach at the Kansas City Art Institute, Belger Arts, Morean Arts Center, Treasure Island Artist Guild, and Dunedin Fine Art Center. Feel free to reach out for teaching opportunities.
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