I have lots of goals and aspirations for my new life as a high school art teacher: changing lives by making art relevant; helping students find a voice in a world determined to drown them out; developing students who are creative, compassionate and socially aware; and of course, that involves creating a great space for this sort of magic to take root and grow.
Above are two original paintings I finished last week that I intend to use as "learning tools" every bit as much as "decorations." The Enlightened Mind of the Artist is inspired by old phrenology illustrations, and included within are some of the basic and postmodern elements and principles of art, as well as a few "extras" I consider to be essential to art-making: see, intuition, feeling, story, etc. These are the types of things that enlightened (or aware or awake, as I like to say) artists consider when making art.
Cultivate a Thinking Eye was inspired by reading Drawing Projects: An Exploration of the Language of Drawing by Mick Maslen and John Southern (I really recommend it, for artists, students of art, and teachers alike, so get your copy here). The text celebrates drawing as "the process of seeing," and reinforces ideas I've had about drawing, and art in general, for a long time - that making art is essentially a way of seeing and engaging with the world. Seeing through the thinking eye allows us to be truly aware and experience the world on a deeper level.
I can't wait to share my passion with students, and give them the most challenging and rigorous art training & experiences that they've ever had.
BEHOLD the optimistic and slightly annoying power of the first year teacher!