Thinking today about my art teacher, Lee Baughman, who has made such a difference in my creative life. The best teachers are the ones who support you being you. They don’t insist that you become carbon copies of their work or that you echo their preferences.
Lee has helped me discover my own voice through watercolor, collage, and mixed media. Although Lee is specifically a watercolor teacher, his focus is on helping each student find the tools to develop her own unique voice. With this support, I’ve found immense freedom to grow and play and experiment, and I’ve recently discovered a new teacher who has infected me with the joy of pastels. Thrilled to be learning from Jane Aukshunas.
Teachers and mentors like Lee remind me how much I want to help writers become more themselves. Not to travel the path that I would like or expect, but to lean into their own storytelling vision and follow where it leads.
This is why I get excited when my writers “graduate” from working with me, and move on to other classes, teachers, writing styles, and schools. I don’t own their growth–I’m simply here to witness and boost as they build on their strengths.
No matter where the creative journey takes us, we always hold our first teachers in our hearts. They are our angels.
Similarly, when I run into a student from a class I taught years ago, I revel in our shared connection. It never ends.
Heroes like Lee Baughman have granted free reign to my artist soul, and I’m grateful to offer the same freedom to my students and clients, those beautiful writing souls in my world.