An Art Teacher who wants to really learn
Story and artwork from Roberto Helguera
For the longest time, I remember saying to myself: “If I had a million bucks, I would take the time off of work, move Florence and complete a two-year art academy course there in the old masters’ style. I used to read International Artist magazine in the US and envy those who could do this. But, as life would have it, I am a married man who has left his legal career to teach and run a small Catholic liberal arts school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since art has always been a part of my life, I teach it at my school as well. And I make sure to teach it in the classical realist mode. It has always been clear to me that college art schools or institutes are no match against the best realist art ateliers out there. I was happy to find that now, with the Drawing Academy, I don’t need to be “out there” to have great art teachers!
Ever since I was a young kid art took an important place in my life. I drew all over my school books, drew in class, won my first competition in 4th grade at school where the prize were whatever each kid contributed out of his own school stuff, drew beautiful girls for my high school friends in school (on demand!), I went to an art school for serious comic artists in my last year of high school, intending to draw my own European style “bands desineés,” I earned a scholarship and completed the IB course of art, joined a couple of ateliers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for fun and have always been fascinated with the street talent found in big cities.
Life has taken me through college and work obligations so, until I founded my own school to educate my children and those of my friends in the classical liberal arts method, I had to relegate art a bit. Still, I made sure to continue working at least once a week at an art atelier in Austin, Texas, where I lived for many years. I also wrote two icons in the Byzantine Russian mode, with the Prosopon school of iconography. I directed the painting of large Byzantine icon murals at Holy Spirit church in Area 4, Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, and our work became a national cultural shrine.
Looking for good material to use to teach art well to my high school students I came upon the Drawing Academy site. I must say I have been impressed by the thoroughness and quality of the course offered. I believe I have been gifted with much artistic talent, but I have always remained at the amateur level simply because of “lack of time” or, rather, lack of organized material and direction with respect to my art.
The challenge I have is to finally become the artist that God meant me to be when giving me the talent my family and friends see in me; taking art seriously enough to be able to live off of it, if needed and wanted; and finally, learning to draw so as to be able to really enjoy and teach others the joy of art.
I see the Drawing Academy as the opportunity to have the best artists opening the “mysteries” of art to me with the techniques used in the best drawing and painting traditions in the world. I am impressed by the good quality of the work I have seen and how seriously you take your work.
I would like to win the Drawing Academy course because… who would not? It is my chance to “travel to Florence” virtually but even better. I believe it is the chance of a lifetime to finally take art seriously enough to do it well. Argentina has gone through difficult economic times and a dollar is very costly here. Thus, winning the course would make an otherwise very difficult dream possible for me.
By voting for me, people would “spread the love” of the Drawing Academy effects to more than myself, as all I would learn would impact my enthusiasm and classwork with young students who will discover that they, too, can be great artists. Thank you.