Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

January 2004


Published (as Chapter 10) in Teaching for Aesthetic Experience: The Art of Learning, edited by Gene Diaz & Martha Barry McKenna (New York: Peter Lang, 2004), pp. 177-188. Copyright © 2004 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. Used by permission


I think my painting experience holds tremendous possibilities for teaching/learning of all kinds. In reflecting on the significance of the art-making experience to me, I find that what I value is not so much art but the experience of making art: an experience that values my knowings, interpretations, and expressions; an experience that involves me in constructing meaning for myself; an experience that relies on dialogue and participation as a means to this sense making; an experience that has to be felt and lived through as a whole. In so doing, I find myself absorbed in relations that could never be reduced to rules. Rather, judgments are made on an ongoing basis, always searching for a rightness of fit. The creating act positions me in between the content of my painting, the materials I work with, and the form it takes. And, it is within this in-between position that I realize that at some point the material of paint becomes a medium precipitated through the act of creating. This sense of medium as a vehicle for learning is what I refer to when I say curriculum as medium for sense making.