I hold a BA in Art History from Virginia Tech and a Masters in the Humanities with a concentration in modern/contemporary Art History from the University of Chicago. I currently teach History of Photography in the Art History Department at Prairie State College. I've also tutored undergraduates and lead study groups in Art History at Virginia Tech.
I've been studying Art History since 2004 and have extensive coursework in Early-Late Medieval European Art, Northern and Southern Renaissance, East Asian Art, 19th and 20th Century American and European, Contemporary Art, Aesthetic Theory, and Museum Studies. My graduate studies included project-based grant proposals and extensive research in the History of Contemporary Art. My undergraduate studies include trips abroad to study Italian Renaissance Art.
Tutoring Art History depends upon the period studied. However, there are big and small questions that always need to be asked, thought about, and answered. I believe that teaching critical looking and thinking skills is as important as memorizing dates and styles. The big questions include looking at a specific object or image and asking if/why it is art and how it relates to other objects created around the same time and area. Are there functional/religious/social uses for the object? How was it created? Was there a patron or an official order for the work? Smaller questions include asking specifically who made the work and in what style. What did critics at the time think about the work? How did the work influence what came after it? What questions/problems in art was the artist interested in? Date and location are always important, especially in introductory levels to Art History.
I have over forty undergraduate credit hours in Fine Arts, including twelve credit hours in drawing including advanced life drawing and topic studies in drawing the human figure. I've had drawings featured and sold in exhibitions associated with the Virginia Tech Art department. Additionally, I have experience modeling for life drawing classes and have served on critique panels in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago.
Drawing is a foundational skill necessary to excel in other forms of the visual arts. To tutor or teach drawing, the first thing to do is educate the student about her materials. She needs to know about different types of paper and why she should choose a certain type for a certain drawing. She also need to know about pencils, charcoal, conte crayons, pens, ink, markers, water soluble drawing material, etc. This can be talked about to an extent, but it is also necessary to expose the student to the materials so she can see how they work when she uses the. When the drawing lessons begin, it's typical to start with a still life. It is important to emphasize to the student that she needs to constantly be looking for scale, and can use nothing but her eyes and her pencil to measure and translate scale from the world to the paper. Modulations in light and dark and different ways of shading are also important. The human figure and anatomy are vital as well, including the skeletal and muscular systems. The key to drawing well is looking carefully. It is as much about the eye as it is the hand. It is also necessary to ask students to talk about their own drawings and if they work well and why.
As a certified tutor at Huntington Learning Center from 2009 to 2010, I worked extensively with children ages 5 - 12 on reading, phonics, math, spelling, logic, speech, and basic skills. I worked one on one with up to 4 different students per week within this age group. Most often, I used learning materials provided by the center, but sometimes students brought their own materials with them from school to work on.
The most important thing I learned during this time was patience in dealing with children and adaptability in my teaching style if they had trouble understanding me the first time. I learned ways to monitor whether students were making progress, such as asking them to repeat the main purpose of the lesson or re-state information in a new way.
I have over forty undergraduate credit hours in Fine Arts, including fifteen credit hours in painting. Courses include oil, watercolor, and acrylic painting. My graduate coursework included extensive research in nineteenth century painting. I've also served on critique panels in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago.
To teach or tutor painting, one must first educate the student about materials. This includes how to construct a canvas frame with stretcher bars, safely stretch and staple a canvas, and prepare its surface for paint. It also includes the basic chemistry of different media. Oil paint in particular has many different media with which it is mixed to produce different viscosities, drying times, and surface qualities. Color mixing is vital as well. The student must have an in depth understanding of the color wheel, as well as the greyscale. Brushes and the various purposes of different types of them is important to talk about as well, though students usually learn about brushes while actually using them to paint.
Painting from life often produces the best results, and in order to paint well, students must first have a good grip on drawing. To build from basic drawing skills, students must learn to modulate form using color (as opposed to line shading). This may require a technique that builds paint in layers (oil or acrylic) or placing transparent layers next to and over each other (watercolor).
Students should be able to discuss their own paintings and why and how they work.
I have an MA in the Humanities and Art History with a strong emphasis on photography in my graduate coursework and research. I currently teach the History of Photography at Prairie State College. I also have extensive coursework in darkroom and digital photography. This includes an intensive study abroad program in analogue photography. I own and operate several fully manual cameras, as well as a digital SLR camera. I have sold photographs as artworks.