The more we learn, the more we realize how little we know. After more than twenty-five years of being involved in the New York City art scene, I have unique life experiences to share. Rauschenberg and Warhol are my great influences and I had the privilege of meeting both and getting to know them. Their gifts of enthusiasm for art are now part of my search for knowledge and the creative process, which perpetuates my motivation to become a mentor and an inspiration for students.
This gifting process is also a cyclical sharing of knowledge for teacher to student and back to teacher. I ask questions and listen to my students because they also have something to say. I strive to nurture a sense of wonder and curiosity of observation in my students and this is the key to discovery in their artwork. Painting is a reflection of life, an integral part of the human condition. The painter should not see things as they are, but more importantly, he should see them as he sees his life.
I encourage students to explore instinctive, intellectual and technical approaches through materials and processes. In art 2 + 2 does not equal 4, but rather it equals “X”, the unknown. Or to take the idea even further, 2 + 2 equals an un-pronounceable cipher, an intuitive abstract gesture. Art has no wrong answer, therefore it is important for students to investigate and experiment in a cross-disciplinary way with collage, assemblage, mixed new media and alternative materials. Merging the latest digital technologies with traditional techniques will help students to reinvent genres in painting and keep it exciting for them.
Networking students into the real world via visiting galleries and museums, artist demonstrations, lectures, viewing films and assigned readings will assist them in a better portfolio, increased self-esteem and future employment in the context of the larger community.
Improving their visual and verbal dialogue connects students to problem solving within the creative process. I challenge my students to expand their interpersonal and cooperative abilities, gaining a deeper understanding of working in a creative environment. By incorporating the gifting process into this learning partnership
I show students how to discover and gain knowledge and skills from within themselves. The gifting process continues the cyclical adventure of developing a balance between art making and self-discovery. I want to share my vast experience and continued search for knowledge in the ongoing evolution of motivating students to realize their ideas and utilize their imaginations.