LoveToKnow had the privilege of talking to Terry Holliday in this homeschool art interview. Terry shares the scoop on teaching art to your children as well as talking about the wonderful resources available on her website.
Homeschool Art Interview with Terry Holliday
About Terry Holliday
LoveToKnow (LTK): Terry, thanks so much for agreeing to talk to us about art and homeschooling. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you first grew interested in art?
Terry Holliday (TH): Hi Lori. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to talk to you about my homeschool art projects. First, a little about myself..... I am Texas born and raised. I wear a lot of different hats. I am a Christian, artist, art teacher, writer for two blogs, wife, mother and homeschool grandmother.
The interest in art came slowly for me. All through my childhood my grandmother gave me art supplies, art books and encouragement trying to spark an interest in art. I know it must have been frustrating for her when she had to push me to paint or draw. I had a great appreciation for art and artists. I loved going to the art museum and pouring over art books. But, I had the idea that you had to be born an artist. I did not believe I had talent. In my mid-twenties, at the insistence of my grandmother, I took a weekly watercolor class. That class changed it all for me. I found out it was possible to learn drawing and painting skills. I found my passion in watercolor. I was hooked for life.
LTK: Will you share the types of art you work on and where we can find your work?
TH: My favorite medium to work in is watercolor. Through the years I have become interested in also working with colored pencil, photography, acrylics, jewelry-making, and film-making. Interest in other media came from teaching art at the junior high and high school levels in public school.
My work can be seen on two websites. They are watercolorsbyterry.com and terry-holliday.artistwebsites.com. If you happen to be on the island of Molokai in Hawaii you can stop by the Molokai Art From the Heart Gallery to see a few of my paintings in person.
Homeschooling and Art
LTK: How important is art as part of a homeschooling curriculum?
TH: Obviously art is not something that has to be taught. You can live without it in your curriculum. I never had an art class until I was an adult. There is research that shows that an art education can increase a child's problem solving skills and helps him in his basic academic courses. Through my experience as an art teacher, I have personally seen my students become more self confident, observant, and creative. I have watched them blossom as they develop pride in their work, respect for others, and the ability to appreciate art from other cultures. I could go on and on about the benefits of an art education. In fact I wrote an article about it called "Benefits of an Art Education".
I feel that if we encourage the artist in every child to develop, that child will see the world in a slightly different manner. I think his life will be richer for the experience.
LTK: How can parents first introduce their children to art at the youngest ages?
TH:Sit down with your child and pour through picture books of various artists. Keep art supplies on hand. Buy large sketch paper for your child instead of coloring books. If your child will not try to draw or paint on their own, sit down and work with them, Make it a game. Make creating art a fun experience. Give your child a place to work that cannot be hurt if a color goes off the page or paint spills.
LTK: What if you have a child that shows a real propensity to art? How can you encourage their skills?
TH:Words of encouragement and praise go along way. Call your child an artist. Take your child to an art supply store. Let her wander. See what she is drawn to. If you think your child really has a propensity for art, buy better quality art supplies. Acid free paper and quality paints are the first two things I would splurge on. That way your child's work can be treasured for a long time. Find a local art class, art lessons online, an art camp. Go to the library and check out art books. Do a picture study with the whole family. Take your child to the art museum or local art galleries. Talk about art. Take your child to the park with sketchbooks in tow. Model being an artist yourself. Point out shapes in the clouds, shadows on the sidewalk, the texture of bark on a tree. I could say more, but I think you get the idea.
Video Art Lessons
LTK: You taught in schools for 12 years. How is teaching in a traditional school setting different than your approach with homeschool art lessons?
TH:I think my teaching style in public school and on video is the same. The only difference I've noticed is that I spend a little more time explaining the basic concepts in my videos than I did in the classroom. That is because the classroom gives you instant feedback. You know whether or not the students get the concepts immediately. A benefit of my art lessons on videos is that the student can pause the lessons when needed, re-watch parts they did not understand, or fast forward through the demonstrations
LTK: You initially started videotaping art lessons for your grandchildren who lived in another state. At what point did the light bulb go off and you realized there was a real need for art video lessons for homeschoolers?
TH: I don't remember the exact moment I realized I needed to make art lesson videos for homeschoolers. The whole thing evolved. After I made two video lessons for my homeschooled grandchildren, I started looking on the Internet to see if there was anything like my videos. There wasn't that I could find. I also knew through talking with my daughter and her homeschool friends that many parents did not feel comfortable teaching art to their children. There was a need that I felt I could fill. So I created my first video lessons and made them available online through the membership site at Art For Homeschool or DVD. I have more video projects planned for the future.
LTK: What can homeschool parents expect their children to learn from your video lessons?
TH: My video series covers the Elements of Art. The elements of art are value, shape, space, form, line, color and texture. Parents can expect their student to learn that artists use the elements of art as a form of communication. The students will also learn basic art terms and how to recognize the elements of art in artwork or the environment. By the end of each lesson the student will have an original work of art created with a specific element of art in mind. The students will learn skills that can be used over and over in creating more original work. Some techniques the students will learn involve drawing, making rubbings, painting, and weaving,
LTK: Tell us about the online art show you are sponsoring...
TH: Ah.. the online art show...I am very excited about the online art show. I got the idea for the show a few years ago. I finally acted on my brainstorm a few months ago. It took me a while to figure out how to put it together but I am proud to say that we just had our first Art For Homeschool art show this month.
The purpose of the online show is to give homeschool students a place to display their work, to get feedback, to receive encouragement, and to create a community of homeschoolers that love art.
The winners for the May show are posted on Art For Homeschool. The theme of the show was "My Favorite Things." In order to enter the show homeschool students must join the Art For Homeschool Student Group. I have all the steps for entering the show on a page called AFH Online Art Show. Here is the link to the page that gives all the instructions to join the group and enter the show: artforhomeschool.com/afh-online-art-show
There will be four shows a year, one each in February, May, August, and November. Any homeschool student or parent can enter. The students work is placed in age groups, 5 to 8, 9 to 13, and 14 to 18 years. At the moment I have one sponsor of the show donating awards for each age category. Hopefully in the future we can divide the work into categories by age and medium when we get more sponsors.The theme for the August show is "Summer".
LTK: Anything you'd like to add?
TH:I would just like to say "Thank You" for taking the time for this interview. I appreciate the interest in my site, Art For Homeschool, and my art lessons. I am hopeful that the lessons will inspire the artist in every child. I would love to see the student artwork created through the lessons. Students can email images of their work to me or upload it the the AFH Student Group on Flickr.
A huge thank you to Terry Holliday for sharing her views on art and homeschooling. Terry has many free articles and resources on her website as well as a shop where the video lessons can be purchased.