Free Your Creativity

As Palo Duro High School sophomore Linh Vo will tell you, painting teacher Rebecca Chandler has taught her a lot about art – and so much more.

Ms. Chandler is a big part of the reason why her art skills have grown exceedingly this year.“Last year, as a freshman, I was not very serious about art,” says Linh. “I knew how to draw simple drawings and shade. I knew how to symbolize my art, but I never felt the need to create more and more art.”

Linh admits that she never knew what painting was, or the many forms it entailed, until she joined Ms. Chandler’s class. Eventually Ms. Chandler introduced her to watercolor, which has turned out to be her favorite medium so far. Linh credits Ms. Chandler with recognizing her potential as an artist by allowing her to independently assign herself projects. “That freedom gave me space to learn, to wander around, to make mistakes, and improve,” says Linh. “From the first landscape to the second to the third, the differences are very noticeable.”

Ms. Chandler also encouraged Linh when she was encountering challenges. Recently, Linh has been preparing for the VASE (Visual Arts Scholastic Event) art show; she recalls becoming angry while gridding her landscape because the picture and the paper did not align proportionally. Knowing that Linh is a self-described perfectionist, Ms. Chandler calmed Linh down, explaining, “Art does not have to be perfect.” Also knowing that Linh enjoys reading, Ms. Chandler further explained: “If every book had the same plot and formula, would reading still be fun? No, it wouldn’t. That’s why you need a variety of everything. It doesn’t have to be exactly this way, or that way. And that's ok.”

To show appreciation for everything she had done for her, Linh created a portrait of Ms. Chandler: “As Ms. Chandler told me, ‘Free your creativity, let it flow.’” #IAmTXEd Amarillo ISD Palo Duro High School