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Lessons in Art

(Forgive the overpowering yellow of the smiley face)

Over the last year, I have been teaching some students art each week. It all started with a home school mom whose daughter liked to paint. Would I consider teaching her? My initial internal response was, what could I possibly teach her?!

But after researching some lesson plans and some beginner watercolor concepts, I realized I do actually know a few things. Annoying how self-doubt weaves in trying to cripple one's self.

Through word of mouth, I gained a few more students of different school ages. Some for drawing lessons as well as watercolor and oil painting lessons. It took me back to teaching English in South Korea. I forgot how much I enjoy teaching. It has been an evolving, and contemplative year. I adjust my language and teaching methods to each child.

We all learn differently and we all have different subjects, materials and ways of creating. I liked walking along the road of discovery with these young minds. Some students love to copy. Others prefer to add their own artistic touch to the skills I taught them. Some are process based: they are more interested in the journey of creating to the finished outcome. And others set out with a very clear objective, working painstakingly carefully until they reach their vision.

It's made me more aware of how I create, and why. It's important to ask the question why am I creating this? Has it been done before, and how will my version add new life/beauty/thought to the subject?

Late last year, I was approached to lead a make and take for adults, which (initially) seemed daunting. Self-doubt attempting to cripple me again! These ladies are dear friends but still I feared their reproach if we might run out of time, or I might not be well prepared, or my incompetency would be visible for all to see. Some prayer and refocus shook these fears away.

It was difficult to strike a balance between teaching as if they knew nothing of watercolors (without being patronizing) and assuming everyone has a grasp on the fundamentals. They were very gracious with me. I was reminded that what seems obvious to me is not so to someone else. There are those who know which colors go well together, and there are those of us who have minds that just grasp the foreign world of algebra!

I came away from the evening with such jubilation. It was a treasure to witness the variety of creativity from painting to painting. I was reminded how we can look at the same thing, but see with our own eyes very differently to others. I loved the varying color choices. Some were very bold and vibrant. Others soft and delicate.

Our time in Japan is in the hours of the setting sun. I've stopped my classes. I hope to set up again when we get settled in Florida. I have loved being privileged with opportunity to encourage and push and develop these students. Look at all their gorgeous color choices!

Many blessings,


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