I have quite recently started teaching art to a kid in my area. It kind of just happened, and I am making up lessons on the fly with not real curriculum. The classes are informal and take place at my kitchen table where I do all of my own art, but it is kind of fun.
Getting ready to teach each week has made me reflect on lessons I had when I was learning how to draw and do art. It has also made me thankful for all of the art teachers I have had through the years. I don't really think I would have discovered my love for art without out them.
I have one teacher in particular that I am especially grateful for. She taught outside of school like I am with this kid. I learned things that no in-school art teacher would have ever gotten to. She was and is still an actual practicing artist. I learned from someone who makes art that I admire. It was great to gain insight that is so fundamental to my own art practice.
The most important thing that she taught me was how to see. She taught me the difference between symbols we use to communicate and the lines of the real world. In our lessons she broke me out of the habit that most people never break, that compulsion to draw with symbols rather than drawing with their eyes. I am a very logical person and at times it can be quite difficult for me to see real life through the symbols that permeate our lives. Up until the point in my life where I had that lesson, I had always thought that I didn't posses the skill to become an artist. I thought the most creative thing I could do was write. I was pretty sure that I would end up doing some kind of average desk job.
I have leaned to see the shapes of things. I have learned the difference between the weird almond shape that has a circle inside it that is a symbol for a eye and what a real eye looks like. I didn't know what I was doing when I was learning these lessons. They were just assignments. She managed to teach us without us realizing just what it was that we were learning. Now that I know what she was teaching I am eternally grateful for these lessons.
With the new objective I have to teach another how to draw, I feel like I can actually do this. She prepared me so well with the fundamentals of drawing and the lessons she taught me were simple enough I feel like I could easily pass on this learning to others. She broke down the concept of drawing so well for me that I feel like anyone could learn to draw if they had the desire to.
I am so thankful for the gift she gave me, that I have learned how to express myself through art. I don't know that I could ever express to her how much I appreciate this skill in my life. Though I may not ever see her again I just needed to share my gratitude for her lessons. I would not be the person I am today if I had never attended her classes. They became the direction of my life and continue to help me as make my way through this world.
I don't know who I would be without art, but I am thankful for what it has done for me in my life.