From high school on, I have gone to museums, read books, and generally studied art, artists lives, and the cultures in which they lived. I made visiting museums and churches in the various countries of Europe one of the primary goals of my three-month trip to Europe so that I could better understand the cultures in which artists of the past lived and that influenced their art.
When I began teaching Art at St. Raymond School in Dublin, CA, I did extensive internet research on schools of art, artists, their styles and their cultures in order to help my students develop their understanding of art history and art composition.
Everyone can draw a dot or a line. That is where each artist starts in their art-making, and it is where I begin to teach. I like to see what people draw, hear about their interests, and observe the skills they already have. Then I begin introducing and teaching concepts and techniques in a gradual progression so that students are constantly building on what they already know and can do.
We begin with basic lines and shapes, then learn about different kinds of lines, organic and geometric shapes, gradually adding the elements of value and color, rhythm and patterns. Students also learn about proportion and scale and about creating balance, harmony and unity in their art., all while creating their own artwork.
Because I have taught Art to students from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade, I have seen students develop their skills and understanding over a period of time, which was very exciting to me, and which helped me hone my art teaching skills. I know how to teach those who have trouble drawing a square as well as those who have sophisticated drawing skills.
The classes I took in art as well as my own experience in drawing has helped developed my own skills, and I love to share that knowledge with others.