My Creative Journey
as an artist
My life as an artist began before I can remember. Art was always my preferred activity. It was my happy place. In childhood, I would use whatever materials I could scrounge up to draw, paint, embellish, or bedazzle my latest creation. As I grew into a teen, art was both an escape and an outlet to express feelings I could not put into words. As a young adult, art became therapy for me in tumultuous times. In college I discovered the glorious and muddy joys of clay, which was an indescribably good experience that I will never forget. Many hours during the day and long nights in the ceramic lab making art got me through some tough years of my life. It was around this time I decided to share all these joys I found in art with kids by becoming an art teacher.
As A Teacher
My Bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and my Master’s degree from Boston University are both in Art Education. My teaching career has spanned 15 years in 3 states, mostly in public schools. I have taught art to people of all ages, from preschool to adult, but mostly elementary school kids. Teaching is challenging, and a lot of hard work, but it is also one of the most rewarding things I have done with my life. Teaching has made me a better and stronger person, both in the classroom and in my personal life. Despite my years of experience, and many learning opportunities that I have been lucky enough to have, there’s so much more I have to learn about teaching and art. The journey that is the creative life is never over. Wherever you are on your creative journey with children, I invite you to join me here as we learn and grow.
As a parent
Nothing changes life like being a parent, which is such an important and meaningful part of my life. My 5 year old son is my little slice of heaven. He is such a part of me, and yet, he’s different than I was when I was a kid. And that’s o.k. I want him to be who he is. When I was small, I would easily spend hours drawing, coloring, and crafting with little to no encouragement from adults. On the other hand, my child seems to be shaping up to be a science guy. I think we have a little naturalist on our hands.
While art wasn’t always his number one preferred activity, he definitely looks forward to planned art experiences with me and clearly enjoys them. Sometimes he may even suggest an art activity we should try, or go to his art area when the mood strikes and independently create. I follow his interests and make his preferred art materials available so he stays enthusiastic. He tends to love anything sculptural and messy and loves science topics. He has learned to document his thoughts visually, and recently he declared that art is now one of his favorite activities. I share this with you because I believe the visual arts provide a valuable and enjoyable mode of expression and exploration no matter what your child’s interest are. Just let him take the lead.
I believe the next step in my creative journey is to share it with others. You can read more here on About the Painterly Path.
What is your vision for your creative journey? How would you like to see your child learn and grow?
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