Expanding his palette: Mr. Colburn’s sabbatical

the Drawing and Painting teacher applies artistic talents and palette on sabbatical, from new museums to his own canvas


Colburn’s presence can be felt at the school through his work, despite his temporary absence.

Second semester is upon us: students are all continuing to walk familiar halls, greeting our familiar friends, and taking familiar notes. Despite the doses of familiarity that students and the majority of teachers are facing, Bill Colburn, the Drawing and Painting teacher and Blake’s long-time source of artistic passion, is absorbing just the opposite on his sabbatical. Colburn is currently trying on a student lifestyle, exploring new museums and taking the time to put his own brush to the canvas!

Growing artists enrolled in Drawing and Painting classes this semester may wondering exactly what Colburn’s charmingly quirky and creative self is up to as we move forward with our education, and the answer is exceedingly simplistic: “I have been busy with two things: painting and viewing art.” He even brought his craving for new artistic experiences to Texas! Colburn elaborates, “I’ve been visiting museums that I’ve always wanted to see, especially the Kimbell in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas.”

Clearly, Colburn’s time off from extending his painting prowess into the eyes and onto the canvases of students is beneficial. “During the summers, I usually get a lot of artistic ideas started, and now I have the time to follow through with so many of them,” Colburn shares.

Although Colburn is enjoying his time outside of Blake and inside Texas, he admits, “It feels extremely strange not going to school everyday. It’s the first time in twenty years that I haven’t been teaching.”

Whenever you find yourself walking those familiar halls and greeting familiar faces, know that although Colburn isn’t doing the same, he misses teaching and the crusted paintbrushes, stained shirts, and frantic students that come with it. Even though his motivational spirit isn’t physically at Blake right now, he advises art students to “enjoy every single moment of your time creating art in Blake. It is a wonderful privilege.”