Jay Noble

Teaching Philosophy

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Jay Noble

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Drawing forms the core of my teaching philosophy. I employ a definition of drawing which centers around the following premise: One ceases to draw the moment one ceases to draw new insight into the prevailing order. The double meaning of the word drawing, as a graphic practice and as an act of bringing water from a well, gives drawing a unique role in the arts that stands apart from other types of graphic practice. The draughts-person, in this case, continually draws fresh influence into their creative practice so that its waters do not stagnate or dry up. Therefore it is not enough for the student of drawing to simply perform acquired skills or repeat habits. With drawing the student must persistently work to strengthen and expand the range and depth of his or her perceptual capacity.

This notion of drawing extends beyond the drawing class. Whether I am teaching design, painting, color, or figure modeling in clay, drawing is a constant pressure that informs each course, just as it does my own studio practice.

Finally, as a teacher in a liberal arts environment, I have a social responsibility to be clear about the personal and historical context from which my esthetic values are derived. As an artist and educator I did not form in a vacuum. Rather than feign omniscience with regards to art, or feign deference to an equality of ideas. I have come to understand that I have a responsibility to be clear about the origins of my values and the limitations of my own understanding. The liberal arts environment further conditions this responsibility by demanding that I remain respectfully and critically engaged with other value systems. I have found that when I am clear with students about the complexity of ideas and experiences that motivate my values, it is easier for them to begin to productively contemplate their own condition.

While I care deeply about the esthetic goals of my courses, I encourage students to challenge and question every ounce of what goes on, taking nothing for granted. This atmosphere of open critical dialog helps students gain the confidence to form and articulate their own values in a decisive yet respectful way.

Jay Noble

Paintings and Drawings