Art Teaching

Although I had considered teaching various times throughout my career, it was the obvious direction to take after working for 6 years as an artist.

Over the past 5 years I’ve spent countless hours volunteering for my son’s elementary school and as a cub scout leader. I enjoy working with kids and I love making art.

My approach to teaching ART

Art can work as a release for anyone. It’s a way to lose yourself and forget about some of the big feelings some kids may be dealing with. For those who aren’t that interested in art, it’s still a way to learn to think creatively. 

As an educator with a past career as a professional artist, I find that I have a different approach to teaching art than someone with a strictly academic art or education background. Being a commissioned artist has taught me that creativity is all about solving problems and finding the most effective, affordable and aesthetically pleasing way to achieve your artistic vision within the limited time a client has given you or before a gallery show opens. I teach my students to think and behave in a professional manner and that creative thinking is not limited to artists, but just as much to the best professional athletes, businessmen, engineers and scientists.

Using stencils to draw realistic skulls for Halloween.

Digital ART

I have a lot of experience with graphic design programs and I strongly encourage any students who have an interest in an art, to include digital art in their skill set and try to introduce it within the means of a school by using graphic design apps, video and editing software. I also try to make them realize that art is all around them, from the design of their phone to the games they play and the logos they recognize.

ART History

The other thing I’m passionate about and like to get my students excited about is art history. Although the words may sound like a snooze to most, the fact is that artists tend to live interesting lives. From the mental illness that drove Van Gogh to cut off his ear, to the mystery why Gauguin fled the South of France after that fateful night. Gauguin, the man who abandoned his family and married a young girl on an exotic island. And how about Picasso, who changed his art style with every new woman he married or dated… Not to mention the story behind David’s Death of Marat. Who really is the Mona Lisa. Did Vermeer use a Camera Obscura or not? and if so, how? Art History is no less scandalous than People magazine.

Below you will find a link to my art class handbook, containing my art classroom aims and goals, procedures, expectations, units and a sample lesson plan.

Teaching Experience

Since the start of the 2018/2019 school year I’ve worked as a guest teacher in art rooms in Bradley International School (Elementary), Hill Campus of Arts and Science (Middle), Prairie Middle School and as a long term substitute teacher at McAuliffe Manual Middle School, a Title 1 Innovation school. I’ve also taught in an Elementary school STEM lab and in home classrooms of CCSD and DPS elementary schools.

Continuous learning

Aside from art skills, I continue to educate myself on the art of teaching, notably using The First Day of School, by H. and R. Wong and Teach like a Champion by Doug Lemov.

Extracurricular activities

For the past few years I’ve designed and created the set for the Shakespeare Plays at Belleview Elementary School. This involved painting the background in perspective to create a sense of depth and designing and building a talking and burping trash container :-).

Macbeth’s dining hall – part real, part trompe l’oeuil

Mr. H. on Youtube

I sometimes make Youtube videos to introduce my students to the upcoming unit and art project. You can find that Youtube channel here.

A video I made to teach using a grid to transfer an image.

I have a statement of eligibility for an Alternative Teaching License in Visual Arts from the Colorado Department of Education. While I continue to work as a guest teacher in the Denver Metro Area, I continue to apply to become the art teacher in a Denver school.