My teaching philosophy revolves around the encouragement of conceptual exploration by students, backed by sound fundamental knowledge of methods and materials. I feel that developing strong and structured foundations in drawing and design are essential. For without these basic skills, even those students with the greatest of concepts would lack the tools that are essential to creating a fully realized expression of their ideas.
Observation is a key component in understanding the nature of a subject. During the initial phases of instruction establishing the hand/eye connection is vital. Along with the maturation of this relationship emphasis is also put on development of problem solving skills and critical thinking. Often the act of looking, along with investigating material handling, provides solutions and inspiration in need of further exploration. The goal is to have a student come up with a non-conventional solution to broader ideas introduced in class.
Encouragement of students to consider work from a wide range of sources (both contemporary and historical) provides context for their ideas. They are often required to provide critical analysis of said work, along with that of their peers. The ability to analyze design principles, color theory, material choices and technique are critical in the students understanding and creative process.
As a student is in the process of achieving the competency and confidence in their abilities ideation is introduced. Reinforcing the importance of craft is a key factor in this discussion, effective presentation being crucial to bring about clarity of concept. Emphasis is placed on the examination of personal motives ultimately leading to creation of work that reflects their interaction with, and conceptualization of, the world they live in.