Art and Inspiration

For the past 33 years, Rose Pickel has been inspiring students to be creative, to see the beauty in their surroundings, and learn to express themselves through art. Through her contributions, Mrs. Pickel has forever changed the canvas of the Ensworth school. Here is what she had to say about her time at Ensworth so far!

Q: Looking back over your time at Ensworth, what has been one or two of your favorite memories from your time here?

A: I have so many favorite memories but the trips to Italy with the middle school students are very special. It is always so rewarding to see the students in a venue other than the school setting. The children make memories for me every day, however. The younger children are so eager and love coming to art especially on “clay day.” They are just the “icing on the cake!”  I also love the interaction between our older students and the younger ones. The older students are just “super heroes” to lower school.

Q: The students adore you, what has been one of your favorite inspirations for your art projects that you lead the students in?

A: It is important that each art project allows each student to express himself/herself individually. Art is very hard work.  Although it is also something to enjoy, it requires thoughtful and deliberate work. It is vital that there is a learning process in each endeavor and that the student feels a sense of pride in their work. Problem solving and gaining a sense of fulfillment for a project well done is so gratifying. There is inspiration for art in everything. If we look for it, we can find it. Exploring with color and texture, seeing the tiniest details in nature, noticing what surrounds us is all part of the total process.

Q: If you could be a fly on any Ensworth Classroom, which would it be and why?

A:  I would love to be a fly in every classroom here! I am so amazed at the rewarding work that goes on and the dedication of our incredible faculty. However, since I have always had a “math phobia” (probably because I did not have math teachers who were tolerant of my “right brain” processing), I would like to be a fly in a middle school math class and hopefully learn to be less math phobic!

Q: I know that you are a painter yourself, tell us about what you love to paint and where you find your own personal inspiration.

A: I do love to paint! There is a quote from the Impressionist artist, Claude Monet, “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers” that I relate to. I love gardening and am fascinated and totally enthralled by the beauty of nature.  Most of my inspiration comes from the beauty and peacefulness found in a garden.

Q: Did you always think you would be an Artist? If not, what area would you have pursued?

A: I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an artist. I lived in a small town and my mother had an artist friend who had come back to our home town to live after having an art career in New York and being on the faculty of a major art school there. She lived in a very old and imposing Gothic house and agreed to “tutor” me since there were no art courses available in my school. I was terrified of her at first as she was quite an unusual person, very tall with unmanageable white hair and an abrupt manner. However, she became a true mentor for me and I am very fortunate to have had her respond to me with patience and also with high expectations. Since I took lessons on Saturday, she always required that we listen to the opera each week. That was difficult for me and I did not appreciate the experience until I was older. Now I truly enjoy the opera!  If I had not been an artist/art teacher, I would have been an English teacher. I love to read! Mrs. Terwilliger is one of my heroes although I am glad I don’t have to grade all of those papers!

Q: What faculty from the HS would you like to see featured next?

A: Aaron Sundstrom is such a remarkable person and I would love to hear about him (and his new baby)! When we were in China together two years ago he was such a good friend and it was so much fun to be with him.

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