Brooklyn College, MFA 1981-82. Recipient of the Charles G. Shaw Award for painters, and graduate fellowships in second year.
Parsons School of Design / Graduate Program 1978-79. Helena Rubinstein Grant
Kansas City Art Institute, BFA, 1973-77. Admitted with advanced standing status, scholarships awarded. Graduated second in class and finalist for Danforth Teaching Fellowship.
New York Studio School – Summer program in Paris 1975 scholarship
New York Academy – classes in Ecorche 2011 and 2014
Teaching drawing and painting engages me. I like that it takes a balance of approaches, teaching both skills and concepts. I talk to my students about abstract concepts, how space is created perceptually and how to translate that into a two dimensional work. I also approach teaching in a practical way, so that students can find a concrete connection between what they do and what it means. So the process of learning the skill of sighting becomes synonymous with understanding how to construct space and what space means to the visual artist. Learning to draw and paint is about development of skill as well as ideas. When I teach my students to make the connection between skill and language, the ideas become real and part of their vocabulary.
I believe that language precedes creativity. That while making “great art” can not be taught, the visual language that is the fabric of creativity most certainly can. My goal is to teach in a way that balances personal skill development, understanding of concepts and creative play. I believe that students want to learn, that they are naturally curious and if shown a path that they can access, they will eagerly explore that path.
As a teacher I feel strongly that it is my responsibility to encourage each student, helping them to develop confidence in their competence and ability to learn. I understand that learning requires trial and error and that self correction is essential to growth, that mistakes are an opportunity to grow and never a personal failure. I make it a point to motivate students with positive feedback when they find problems with and make corrections to their work. Learning should be an experience that builds critical understanding as well as self esteem.
In pursuing my own art I have found a strong connection between my insight into what makes a painting work and my growth as an artist. I would call this the visual language I have developed over time. One of the connections that interests me is the relationship between thought, how the mind structures and organizes experience, and the natural world, the order and structure that exists in nature. Exploring these connections has provided me with the most rewarding and uplifting experiences in my life. If I can share that with my students, start them out on their own road of exploration, I have done my job as a teacher.
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
William Butler Yates