A different kind of inspiration in the classroom
The usual way of thinking about this is that the students are inspired by a good or great teacher. One rarely thinks of it being the other way around but this is a story about a very unusual art class. Most of the students are older than the appointed teacher, me. Many in my class leave me for a warm place in the sun each winter. Not that I blame them for seeking warm and sunny days, yet, I can tell you it is always a joy to me when they come back. Many of them join art classes wherever they go and we, the rest of the class, want to know all about their classes, their teachers and see their projects.
They have inspired me to try new techniques and subject matter. A case in point: Kaye has inspired me to take a serious look at flowers. This is a subject matter I have for the most part avoided but now I have created a dozen paintings with flowers being the focal point. Nancy and Ned have inspired me to do more horses and Suzanna, our youngest member, has caused me to rethink farm animals, but the wildest undertaking this past year was when Mary got me to help her paint several bricks, yes, I said bricks. They were auctioned off at the Lilly Chapel Methodist Church. Mary and I still get a big charge and are really grateful about how much our bricks brought in for the church at the auction. Maybe I should give up on painting on canvas.
It’s really mind boggling to see how willing our artists are to undertake big painting projects such as the large canvas Sharon took on in painting a Mediterranean town she visited complete with the seaside, hills and buildings. She learned a lot just by the challenge and I might say that the end result was very rewarding and beautiful and challenged all of us to do more.
I could go on and on about the way the members of this class have inspired me but the paper would run out of space. Let me just say that every individual in this class has inspired me one way or another. Some of my former art teachers are envious of me having such a fantastic class.
Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. You can send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (740) 852-4906.