STATEMENT OF TEACHING PHILOSOPHY for Foundational Drawing Instruction

Amy V. Lindenberger

Having been involved with art either as a teacher or as a student for more than thirty years, I have seen a certain philosophy or attitude in some art programs by which I have been frustrated. Too often art has been presented as something mysterious which can be understood and practiced by only a very select few, and people are left with the impression that the ability to express themselves creatively is something they are either born with or they aren’t. If they come to the conclusion that they simply weren’t born with this ability, they assume there is nothing that can be done about it and so they rule out the idea of ever trying their hand at anything artistic. This is something that truly saddens me, because I have seen so many people find so much happiness through creating art.

As a result, the philosophy behind the foundation-level drawing courses (offered first by myself at The Linden Tree and now by Cathie Fithian at Main Street Lesson Center) is that each student, whether age 6 or 86, must become convinced that drawing is a learnable skill. As he or she begins to become comfortable with the process of drawing and sees himself making regular, steady progress, his confidence begins to grow. And as a person’s confidence begins to grow, he finds his willingness to try other techniques and media also begins to grow and develop.  For many students, especially those who are interested in learning to draw purely for their own enjoyment, just reaching this stage in their artistic development is the sort of fulfillment they were hoping for.  For others, particularly those who are going to pursue a career in art, this brings them to the “jumping off point” – the point at which the less concrete, more experimental courses begin to now seem exciting and challenging, not frustrating and defeating as they might have been before they had this foundation.

In short, then, what I have tried to do through my foundation classes is give the average person drawing instruction that he can really understand, not terms and concepts that seem strange and confusing, in the hopes that drawing or artwork in general can be enjoyed by a broader group of people.  And for those who wish to go further in their art education, I sought to provide a firm, basic foundation in sound drawing principles that will give them the confidence they need to pursue their own directions in art.


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Created April 1, 2009
Updated September 17, 2009