The Art of Inspiration
Who inspires you? When I think about my own life, there are a few people who stand out. One person I will never forget is Mrs. Kogan, my high school art teacher, who passed away earlier this week. Mrs. Kogan was not only an accomplished artist, she mastered the art of inspiration. She was my favourite teacher of all time, and her impact on my life will never fade.
Art or Music?
I have always been passionate about both music and art, and I remember agonizing over the decision between band or art in grade 7. You could only choose one of them, and if you said ‘no’ to band, you would not be allowed to join it later in high school. I chose art. And though the junior high art class was forgettable, when I got to high school in grade 10 and met Mrs. Kogan, I knew I had made the right decision.
Thanks to Mrs. Kogan, art was no joke in high school. I remember her warning all the students who signed up for art in hopes of an easy credit that they better hang on and work or they might not pass (spoken with a hint of wicked glee! ) Art class was challenging, with a lot of work. I remember pulling a few all-nighters to finish projects! We built our own canvases for painting, sketched live models (our classmates) and studied art history. Basically everything we needed in order to build a portfolio for a Fine Arts degree.
Loosen Up and Let Go
Mrs Kogan’s sense of humour made art class unforgettable, along with her high caliber curriculum and teaching. She had no qualms telling me when something wasn’t working (in hilarious ways), yet I never felt criticized. Though I don’t remember what I was painting, I recall Mrs. Kogan examining my work and saying dryly, “Midnight on the ocean with no moon out…” In other words, way too dark with no contrast. She even got me to laugh at myself. It was no small feat!
The Art of Inspiration
Mrs. Kogan was a master of the art of inspiration. She didn’t just teach art. She imparted a passion for art with her fiery personality. There is something so special about people who find what they love, and do it with passionate abandon. I still think of her every time I paint, and I always will. What a wonderful lady! It is my greatest desire to master the art of inspiration like Mrs. Kogan. Rest In Peace, Mrs. K.
Good news: you don’t have to be an artist to master the art of inspiration. What do you love to do? What is your passion? Do the things that light you up, and you will be a light to others.
A Gallery of Remembrance