I love to inspire students to be creative, and most of all, I love the moment when they create something that makes them feel successful. This is when I know I am succeeding as their teacher.
My students are 5 years old, or 12 or 87, or 94. With such a wide range of ages and abilities (and disabilities) in my various classes, a constant concern for me is coming up with interesting, challenging (but not too) lesson ideas to meet the array of needs I see, teach techniques and skills in an unthreatening way, and result in beautiful images that bring joy and satisfaction to the artist.
To find ideas, I take classes, search library shelves, websites and Pinterest. Also, and primarily, I do what I tell any student of art to do, I keep my eyes open for possibilities. And I keep my camera handy at all times.
Instantly, I saw a landscape project - simple lines, gorgeous colors and strong lights and darks. This scene would be perfect for both my youngest and oldest students. I photographed it over and over - at different times in different light, and from different angles, seeking the simplest image to use as an example.
When I brought the photos home, I did several sketches until I found the best medium to draw in - dry pastels were the clear winner. The effort was worth it. Students young and old were all successful in creating vibrant scapes of sky and water and light.