One day I sat looking out across the beach watching approaching rain clouds - the rain started out to sea and I watched as it came sweeping in creating a misty silver haze in front of the sea, then in front of the cliffs, bleaching out colour, and finally it hit our windows. This sketch is an attempt to catch that day - with a nod to Hiroshige :>). http://static.artinaclick.com/titles/o/oha/ohashibridgeintherain/
Teaching and Learning:
I've had recent discussions with friends about teaching styles - how we teach or are taught - the styles that we responded best to as students ourselves, tutors who really motivated us and the teaching methods that taught us most.
I'm going to do a series of posts about teaching and learning styles and the way I teach.
During my teacher training the psychologist who clicked for me was Maslow - his hierarchy of needs with its emphasis on the physical and emotional comfort of the learner to create an ambience where they are comfortable to experiment, ask questions without feeling foolish and discuss problems, questions, techniques, artists etc etc etc with me and fellow students easily. Maslow felt that this was essential in order for learning to take place.
http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/motivation.htm link to diagram and more information here.
Art is quite a scary thing for a beginner. If you produce a lousy history essay, only you and the tutor need know your mark. In art your work is there for everyone to see - no hiding. So it is important to take away the fear factor - anything that doesn't work is a learning curve not a failure - this isn't just empty words to a student but absolutely true and it's so important that they realise this and can then 'go for it' and not expect perfect results every time.
At degree level we learned to do without this comfort :>) crits were tougher - but by then we had learned to take constructive criticism, for someone starting out it's vital I believe.
So step one is to make sure that students know they can ask anything, anytime and I won't think it 'silly' no matter how basic or advanced and will ask for help whenever they need it. Next is that they are all comfortable with each other and will discuss work, pass on information, give each other feedback and encouragement and 'gel' as a group - the common interest in art unites people of diverse ages and backgrounds.
The surroundings are important as well - it's easier to create this group identity in a room where there is room to move and coffee is available so that they can discuss informally at break times. Light and enough room to work is essential.
so that's the very basics - I'll carry on with this in installments in between showing paintings because it's a huge topic :>)
Do you teach or attend classes?