There's a lot of stereotypes about artists. I even discovered there are a few stereotypes that I believed in. Mostly I enjoy breaking stereotypes so I thought that might make a good blog series... It tends to blow people's minds when I tell them that I was both a math teacher and an art teacher. The shock is even greater when I show my paintings that are very loose, emotional, and expressionistic. It's like they expect a math teacher to make carefully shaded, perspective drawings. I taught art for four years. I then taught math for three years. If circumstances hadn't changed, I'd probably still be teaching math and not working on this project. I loved that job.
I think one of the stereotypes about artists is that we aren't good at math. Perhaps there's been some over-emphasis on this whole left-brained v. right-brained thinking. It's as if we have to choose between the two and can't enjoy or be skilled at both.
I really like math, especially algebra. When I was teaching, I liked how different math was from art. In math, there was one right answer but many ways to get there. In art, students often all used the same process but ended with so many answers. Art made a messy classroom; math was tidy. They are opposites in a lot of ways and that's probably what I liked.
There are similarities too. Both math and art are problem solving. Both can involve a lot of trial and error. They require persistence and practice. Both can be very beautiful.
Lately as I work on pulling together my story of this project, I'm finding that I've always felt this pull of opposites. I like surprising people, sometimes I even surprise myself. What stereotypes about artists do you see? Are you a good example of someone who breaks that stereotype?