I am not a naturally gifted artist; what talent I have is the result of my effort and a few good instructors, despite the work of a dreadful instructor.
I had the typical, uninspired art instruction in elementary and middle school (kindergarten through eighth grade - roughly 5 through 14 years old).
In high school, I encountered a dreadful teacher and was required to take at least two years with her. What made her dreadful was complicated. She openly picked favorites and wouldn’t “waste” her effort on anyone else. She embraced the crass notion that allowing students to flail around and then praising everything was good pedagogic technique. For a few months, she tried to follow a few elements of rigorous art instruction, like exercises around negative space, but then dropped that when it failed to make her feel good.
Worst of all, she taught those who were not her special favorites to hate the creative process, and to hate the process of improvi