Mrs. Susan VanGeest teaches 9th-12th grade art at Calvin Christian High School. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Art from Northwestern College (Iowa) and from the University of London, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of South Dakota.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Favorite scripture verse:
Psalm 100: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Favorite thing about working at CCS:
I love immersing students in the joy of creating, and teaching them to transform materials: earth into a vessel, charcoal and paper into concept and form, paint into expressive strokes. While they are shaping their artworks, the artists themselves are becoming and transforming; contributing to one another and God’s kingdom. Being involved in students’ lives and creative activities is the most fulfilling career I can imagine.
Favorite learning activity:
Large scale process drawing is one of my favorite assignments. It requires students to choose a subject of personal conviction or connection, gather research images and then draw, correct or erase, redraw, correct or erase, redraw, and on and on. The work is about the process of learning, both the joys and the hard work of really seeing and pushing ourselves to improve without fear of failure or errors. The beauty of the work is not only in the image but in the history behind the image and the very process of creation. Because the drawing is a 3’ x 4’ piece, the artists are immersed in their work in a very physical way. There is so much paper to finish that one must begin boldly and try new techniques to create shading, value, and texture. Most students use one or two erasers per drawing and are surprised to learn that so much correction and change can lead to a rich surface and image. This assignment reminds us to play, imagine, explore, experiment without fear, and to learn from our mistakes.
Fun or fascinating fact:
I love adventuring and learning, especially while in the beauty of Creation. Some of my favorite activities include mountain biking, canoeing, fishing, in-line skating, and camping.