By Andy Garcia.
“When you step into this classroom, you leave all your stress behind” (Mr. Portilla). Art is an ancient method to convey thoughts or feelings without ever having to write them down. It’s a way to let your mind unleash its creative potential. At Heritage Academy, art is offered to scholars of every grade level. However, most of them avoid selecting it since they say that they “don’t know how to draw”; instead of challenging their shortcomings, they move on and choose a different elective. Disregarding their statements, Heritage’s art teachers strive to teach them how to make incredible art pieces. Through their guidance, I was able to watch as my peers and I improved on our artwork and technique.
In seventh grade, I entered art class with the sole purpose of wanting to learn “how to draw”. Consequently, I became enamored with all the different art tools that exist and how intricate an art piece can be. The art teacher at the time, Mrs. Haggarton, introduced us to the idea that we could turn a plain sheet of paper into an eye catching work of art.
Eventually, Mrs. Tibbetts became the new seventh and eighth grade art teacher. She taught us advanced techniques that we could use to improve our work. Now the class gained traction. As more students joined, Mrs. Tibbetts showed us how to sketch complicated objects in under 20 minutes. She demonstrated how to transfer highlights and shadows onto a blank paper. She taught the basics of art to students who did not have much confidence in their abilities. Ultimately, we saw ourselves improve our art and our potential.
The following years, we got to work under Mr. Portilla’s instruction. He pushed our limits and abilities by introducing a new medium to the class every few weeks. He would show us demos of what the medium could be used to draw. Surprisingly, we got to choose our own topics to draw about. We could draw a mountain range or a flower in the sunset. It just had to be drawn in the medium he assigned. Soon the “I don’t know how to draw” became a distant thought in our minds. Almost every class would be spent in silence since everyone was busy working on their piece. As a result, we were able to accumulate all the material we were taught and integrate it into our creative ideas.