Art Teachers and Psychotherapists

“We as artists have the ability to show the beauty in the mundane.” – Camille Przewodek

“Anything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision. It is the seeing of the thing that makes it so.” – Charles W. Hawthorne

“Seeing while drawing is the awareness and development of a whole experience at once and its representation as a unified whole. Students must be aware of the variety of changes and moments that influence their drawing over time. The selective process that gives meaning and expression to a drawing influences our skills as painters.” -Steven Assael, Artist and Teacher

“One of the functions of art is to remind us of common humanity. The artist, like the priest, can sometimes remind us that we are bound by an obligation to one another stronger and more lasting than the bonds of politics or economics.” – John Manchip White

An art teacher may see, know and show a way towards a deeper experience of beauty of and in art. He/she may also bring a greater capacity to experience the of beauty oneself. Has an art teacher or other person inspired you in this way?

A psychotherapist may see, know and show a way towards a deeper experience of beauty of and in a person. He/she may also bring a greater capacity to experience the beauty of art, artful things and meaningful interactions. Has a psychotherapist or other person inspired you in this way?

As a child and young adult I loved to draw. In the 1970’s This led me to Parsons School of Design and a career as a commercial artist. It was a successful career. However, I wanted to use myself to help people, more than I wanted to use my skills as a commercial artist.

Leaving my involvement with art behind, I went on to social work school and to my deeply satisfying career as a psychotherapist. And still…the “artist-in-me” kept calling my name. I returned to my interest in art several years ago, beginning with classes at the New York Academy of Art. I draw almost every day now, if only for a few minutes. It is my way of observing the world around me, finding something beautiful there, and expressing my experience. I love honing my skills and watching what develops as I observe, experience and draw. My passion for drawing and painting still surprises me: it is constant, enduring and a source of connection with beauty that nurtures me in every way.

When young, there was a gleam I longed for in the eyes of my family when they looked at me or my drawings. I needed a reflection of the beauty of my being, values, talents and virtues to encourage me as a creative, passionate, compassionate, vulnerable person. My art teachers have gleams in their eyes when they see beautiful art and growth in their students. When their gleam is directed towards something beautiful in my work it further teaches, inspires and heals me.

Photographic Image: Art Teacher at the Met © Robin Kappy 11/2011

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