I am Jill Baker, an artist who has an MFA in Painting from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and who has taught Art for 17 years on the college level. My first teaching assignment was to teach drawing at Pratt Institute in 1980, as an young Intern. I have funny stories about those days, in case you would like to hear them sometime.
I would like to tell you about my philosophy of teaching.
My philosophy in teaching art to people who are already artists is to treat you as I would like to be treated. As the teacher, I have, perhaps, years more experience and education that inform me, but, like those I teach, I have personal goals and desires that direct my art-making. The benefit of taking classes from someone else, learning from an experienced teacher, is that the teacher sees the art that I am creating, and from an objective viewpoint sees the strengths and weaknesses in my creations. The teacher's job is to help you find and emphasize your strengths, wherever they may lie, and help you work on weaknesses you may have, beginning from the point you have reached to date. The teacher also informs the students of areas of art that may not have been introduced before, such as color, value and perspective.
I have always desired to help others learn more and better ways to paint, from the drawing to the finished painting. That desire has made me a teacher. I understand the frustration and the difficulty of trying to perfect one’s art. As a teacher, I learn from my students and from many other sources every day, as making art is not a process that ends, and one that is never perfect.
When artists come to my studio, I provide a one-on-one experience, with a feeling of a relaxed, but working environment and safety rules as needed. Drinks and snacks may be brought to class as desired; there is a kitchen with coffee. There is space for storage of some paintings. There are stools and easels for each artist, a freezer to store paint boxes in, and paint stands, each with a glass palette to utilize while painting. Each brings their paints, canvas, brushes and an idea of what they want to paint. Artists should also bring a pencil and sketch pad.