Remember that Challenging Art Teacher?
Updated: Jun 21
Perhaps she had coffee breath...or worse, challenged you to do your best? It was not always the most fun assignment, but I am so appreciative now that my own High School Art Teacher pushed me. Even though I never attended the college of HER dreams, I did keep drawing. And I grew as an artist, poet and tutor partially because of what she helped me integrate into my life.
As I begin teaching a high school art course to a small group of students once, I was reminded of the dreaded home drawings I was expected to produce every week as art class homework: It had to be a real life subject, drawn as realistically as possible - and I had to spend a minimum of one hour on each drawing (somehow she could tell if I spent less time on it). This was painful to a person who was used to quick sketches and preferred almost anything to homework. However, this practice gave me several gifts...tools for the future including:
It made me more observant.
It gave me a strong sense of composition.
It disciplined me and stretched my innovation.
It kept a record of some of my favourite things growing up (including memories).
My art instructor's faith in my ability to attain a higher skill level built my confidence.
Her habit of offering to "re-mark" an already "finished" drawing that I "reworked" according her her advice was both humbling and encouraging.
Of course I introduced the habit of weekly home drawings to my students in the hopes of passing along some of these perks. In the meantime, I realize how far I have fallen in not continuing to draw very often. Thus, I am challenged once more by an art instructor: MYSELF! I welcome you to ask me how my drawing is going when next you connect with me.
Find attached: a "NOW very cherished" home drawing I did when I was about 16-17 for my "NOW very beloved" art teacher, Mrs. Jessie Popeski. I can still hear her voice in my head as I reluctantly pick up my sketchbook and look around my house for inspiration.