“Valori Fussell is very articulate, quick and able to communicate complex ideas spontaneously and clearly. She is the kind of artist who easily teaches out of experience. She is persuasive because she speaks with a broad background in the arts and the studio experience to make that authentic. She knows a lot "about" art and how to do it.”
Creating a friendly, collegial environment is fundamental to learning and I do my best to establish that. The studio is an atmosphere larger than the room itself, it is where both the inner and external work of making art takes place. I, as the teacher am the protector and guide in that space. It is my responsibility to support the exploration, maintain the honesty and protect the vulnerabilities that arise through the journey of art-making. I introduce the materials, approaches, options, best practices and theoretical concepts that can carry the seeds of self-expression to fruition. I help students develop sensitivities to their bodies, their feelings, their intellect and their marks. In this way, making art leads to higher consciousness and self-awareness.
Technically I treat materials, knowledge, skill acquisition and theory with equal weight. But the feeling quality of the art is its greatest value. Technical skill is only the vehicle.
My teaching is rooted in traditional practices. I believe deeply that foundational knowledge is critical to the structure of good art. In my classes students learn about values, relationships, harmony, use of the page, line and mark quality, rhythm and color. They learn by doing and by being able to exchange views about the art truthfully and aloud.
All classes conclude with time devoted to group critique in which students analyze each work of art and discuss its strengths and where it could be improved upon or is inharmonious. This gives students the opportunity to review the skills they are learning and to verbalize these concepts while exercising both compassion and intellect. Using both left and right brain in this way creates a longer-lasting learning outcome.
Students generally leave my classes feeling excited and centered because they have connected both intellectually and at their soul level.
I consider that a successful class.