The Dreaded High School Teacher

A creepy photograph of a person wearing a mask. Writing on the t shirt reads let me teach you.

Photograph by Ronnie McInnes Let Me TEACH You © 2017.


I had planned on writing a bit about the creation of my most recent digital paintings in this week’s blog. But I changed my mind (it changes a fair bit to be honest). Anyway, here it is.

Recently I have been reaching out to more Scottish art galleries to find out if they are interested in exhibiting some of my work. Quite often a gallery will ask for a CV or a biography to be sent to them, along with a small number of images that show my work. Presumably, many of these galleries are looking for certain levels of education. Maybe they’re looking for those letters that people put after their surnames to, I suppose, give them some clout? There lies my particular problem. I don’t have any of those letters at the end of my name. I didn’t study at an art school. Instead, I taught myself through trial and error (emphasis on the error) for over 20 years. That’s likely not what these galleries are looking for. The start of my biography reads the same as the education section on my CV. It reads “My art teacher in high school told me that I could never become an artist and that, instead, I should pick another career. He can get stuffed!”

My earliest memories as a child include me drawing all the time and having the aspirations to become an artist. By the time I reached high school I looked for support and education to help me make the move forward, but instead my teacher told me to give up. To him it was nothing more than a silly dream that I could never achieve. Being young and impressionable (15-16) I did give up and I chose a different career path, telling my parents that I simply no longer wanted to be an artist. Yet I continued to draw and paint as a hobby. I never worked towards any art qualifications but I made sure I learned from each of my mistakes and made improvements to my skillset. Something I strive to do even now as a self-employed artist. Yet I do wonder. What if my teacher had not told me to give up and instead, supported me, would I get my foot into the doors of more galleries?

I think I would have liked going to an art school, it might have made a lot of things easier for me. But anyway, I digress. The whole process of reaching out to more galleries got me thinking about where this art teacher is now. So, the internet being good for this kind of thing, I looked him up.

He still teaches. Though, thankfully, he’s now teaching adults rather than children. He looks to be doing ok for himself. I think it’s extremely unlikely that he remembers me, a student unworthy of his teachings. However I can’t help but get a little twisted satisfaction after seeing his work and I think “Thank god I don’t paint like that!” Ha!

Thanks for reading folks, although there’s no space for comments here please feel free to leave any you might have on my social media pages.

Ronnie.