When I was asked recently, “Who was your first art teacher?” A flood of positive memories came into my brain. I was took a moment to reflect and remembered my first lesson with Mrs. B – my first art teacher. She asked me, “Which color and line conveys energy?” Followed by, “Which color and line expresses grief?” Followed by several related questions.
I was 13 years old and suddenly a door I did not know was there, sprung open.
My closeted emotions were going to be released with paint, color and line. Immediately, I knew I had found a sanctuary and someone who was serious about making art. This was my first lesson in an after-school small group art class. About 6 of us met in “Mrs. B’s,” cramped walkout basement so full of art, easels and stuff, you could not lean up against any part of a wall.
She was a loud, large, loving, buxom artist who wore enough jewelry for 3 women while exuding her passion for making art and teaching teenagers. We thrived in this chaos and love.
We were exposed to painting in oils – still lifes, landscapes – batik, tempora paints, pastels, stencils, sculpture, etc. Every project had a lesson that went with it – nothing was frivolous.
It was a place where I felt safe. I could forget about the rest of my life and I could express myself creatively. Coming from a home of constant judgment, emotional abandonment and an undercurrent of stewing anger, these hours of painting, exploring, learning and feeling accepted were precious ― in retrospect, a springboard to my future. Sometimes I wonder if these classes did not save my life.
Do you remember your first art teacher who awoke your creative juices? Or the first activity you executed? Share them below in the comment box. It is a delight hearing where and how we all started our creative journeys.
Do you remember the first time you felt driven to create/make art? Who was your first art teacher?
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