Teaching is an active profession. Filling my time in the classroom is never a problem, I’m always moving from one student to the next; fetching supplies, showing new techniques, and discussing what the kids are creating. Sometimes it’s hectic, but I enjoy my students’ creative enthusiasm. It suits me and contrasts nicely with the quiet time I spend making my artwork.
Then there are the private lessons. In the beginning, I had doubts that I could quietly observe and guide only one person. What would I do with all the spare time? It turns out that these hours are some of the happiest of my work week. I’ve gotten to know some wonderful people and share their artistic successes.
Above is a self-portrait by one of my favorite students. She has just turned thirteen and is smart and creative, and we have an excellent rapport. She challenges me but also respects my advice. We first met when she was nine and I’ve been working with her for a little over three years. She may want a career in art and I want to give her a good start; lots of basic knowledge balanced by her interests and curiosity. One of the ways we’re marking her progress is that she periodically paints a horse.
It was one of the first images she painted with me and repeating it was her idea. She’s serious about her artwork and is willing to take time to build a strong portfolio. This first picture, above, is well composed and the pink horse is delightful. For the latest depiction, I wanted her to create a grayscale painting and use glazes to add the color. It’s an old technique, but the understanding gained was worth all her hard work.
I’m amazed at how her technical ability has grown over the past three years and I’m looking forward to seeing how her talent evolves. She has the intellect and the drive and her portfolio is off to a good start!