My resume covers book and magazine illustration, portraiture, photo realism, sculpture, garden design, trompe l'oeil, decorative painting and murals in homes and public places. It also covers teaching - private tutoring, public speaking, classes in public and private schools as well as universities and adult education. If you want a detailed version please get in touch with me here.
From a mom who volunteered in workshops at my former school:
Jeannie I. is a veritable encyclopedia of all types of art, design, carpentry, and of course teaching. She is a teacher anyone would be fortunate to have.
Jeannie started her programs at PRS by creating a lovely space in a very small area. She designed and built beautiful, sturdy furniture to accommodate up to fifteen children. With no room to spare, she managed to juggle endless projects - everything from large murals and bulky 3-D marble runs to sewing projects, whittled toys and handmade jewelry.
In charge of grade-level art classes from kindergarten through sixth grade, as well as small breakout sessions and all-age workshops, Jeannie created her own projects and curricula, rarely repeating any of them. With classical drawing as a foundation for the arts, her students were taught to view the human body as a temple for knowledge and creative expression. They became very good at drawing the figure in accurate proportions from many different angles and poses. By fourth grade they were able to draw surprisingly accurate portraits of their peers. They also learned to draw the world around them, to do meaningful illustration and nature journaling.
Much of her work involved creating projects related to classroom studies in literature, science, geography and history. She also emphasized the value of making useful things, everything from clothing, stilts, coat racks, and even electric lamps hand-sculpted by the children with lampshades they painted and stitched themselves. She was focused on teaching kids the careful use of sharp blades, wood burning and carpentry tools, and sewing machines. She declared this type of responsibility leads to the self-respect and empowerment of real-life experience. She was also very particular about not using toxic materials.
Her teaching style was “very right brain” one might say, in other words her classes were often messy and noisy. Parents saw this in a very favorable light, and students loved her. They eagerly looked forward to the interesting and happy surprises that awaited them in the art room. She sang to them, making up songs for individual kids on the spur of the moment. She made their drawings come to life with puppet voices and antics. She came up with ideas showing new ways of looking at things, valuing students’ personal styles, encouraging efforts to expand their skills and develop their minds. She reminded kids to look for options and ask questions about how to make things work in their favor. They understood from her that doing art is not about entertainment but real learning, delving into things for the sake of self-empowerment - meeting challenges as well as making beautiful things.
In addition to teaching Jeannie was active in community outreach, arranging for inspirational presenters, creating a gallery art show, a family art festival, displays in shops, newspaper articles, and a beautiful blog tracking many moments in her lively art room. She provided unique framed and stand alone pieces for our school’s annual auctions, showing off our children’s creations in ways that helped profit and fund our school. She also arranged for and taught after school classes and began an after school/Friday music program. She wrote grants and tended our booths at community fairs.
In short - one couldn’t ask for a more energetic, dedicated, talented teacher than “Miss Jeannie!”
Kirsten Olson, Parent Volunteer, The Phoenix Rising School