It is humbling to share my work from my high school years, but it is so beautiful to remember all the instances that brought about each painting and drawing. I value memories – both written and visual – and I am happy to be able to share a few. My art teacher all through middle school and high school was an amazing woman, and it is my privilege to express some of how she shaped me and nurtured me as an artist.
I wrote this letter to my art teacher some time ago, but I wanted to share it again here on Naptime Collective.
Dear Ms. Patti,
My words will not do my sentiment justice, but know that every one is sincere. Thank you for your faith, art, and passion to teach. You taught me new techniques, you pushed me to look at history, and most importantly you were a shining example of how to be an artist to the glory of God.
I think I was 9 or 10 years old when I went to my first art camp with you. It was a week long, and I still remember the excitement every day before I got there. I was nervous because it was the first time I made art in community. As a young homeschooler I did not get a lot of chances to create outside of the safety of my home and you pushed me to be confident – and to not erase!
Thank you for the hours of your life you poured into me. Thank you for the life lessons you taught along the way. Thank you for your raw opinions, gracious critique, and unabashed faith. Thank you for showing me that making is worshiping God, that painting is prayer, that art is best when done in community.
You are the reason I pursued art in my life. You cultivated my desires and abilities to draw and paint. You were an example of how to live passionately, vibrantly, and faithfully. I am so grateful for the lessons about shading, color, and Jesus. Your confident trust in the Savior shines through every inch of your art and life.
Thank you for exposing me to new cultures and new learning experiences. You took me and a group of kids to Poland where we were faced with the deep realities of human brokenness. In the midst of concentration camps and cobblestone streets, I learned both horrors and hope; and developed relationships that would impact me for years to come. Thank you for teaching me to make art about and through pain. Thank you for diving deep into the ugliness and then for reminding me of the hope of JESUS!
You also took a group of us to Greece to walk the path of Paul and to encounter worldview principles. We learned about God, the world and ourselves.
Thank you, Ms. Patti for all you did for me and for the countless other young people who are eager to learn from you.
Thank you for modeling Galatians 2:20
“I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”