Friday, June 27, 2008

What I’ve Learned from Art

This is my first online class and I was pleasantly surprised that an online class can be as engaging as being in the same room as a teacher and my classmates. In fact, I feel that I have gotten to know my classmates better through their blogs than I would in a traditional classroom situation. I did find that I was spending too much time reading my classmates blogs and not enough time reading my textbook sometimes. But it was an interesting group of people and I enjoyed the diversity of opinion. Even when we were looking at the same thing, we all saw something different.

I don’t think I’ve ever had so many deadlines to meet in a class as I’ve had in this one. I don’t think I’ve ever been so concerned with prioritizing my list of tasks or so happy when I put a check mark next to something that I had completed. Which isn’t to say that I didn’t have to make a note to myself to go back and watch, read, or listen to it again. I like to write, but I haven’t always met my deadline. In this class, I’ve been inspired to meet my deadlines, even if I didn’t complete all my tasks. Yes, there will be some reading to catch up on before the final test and a good deal of review before I’m ready to face typing letters and waiting for them to appear in the Blackboard application.

I was surprised by how stirred up people got about Thomas Kinkade, from those who were offended by his money making schemes and lack of involvement in the printmaking process to those who defended him for no other reason than they liked a painting bearing his brand name.

It was great taking time to become more familiar with artists whose works I already knew, but it was also great to be exposed to artists who I had never heard of before. Between the textbook, Michelle’s lectures and study guides, and the art museum visits that I made, I was exposed to hundreds of artists who I might never have known about.

It was fun to learn about artistic techniques. Watching the videos provided, helped to clarify techniques described in our textbook. I think I have a better artistic vocabulary. Thanks to this class, I am more capable of explaining a work of art, than I was at the beginning of the semester. I still have a way to go before I’d try to sell an article to an art magazine.

The other night I stood outside admiring the roses in my front yard, just after my wife had watered the lawn. I suppose I could have taken a picture. It was magic hour plus the recent fires bathed the lawn in a misty soft light. But I wasn’t about making art that night. I didn’t even want to interpret what I saw. I just wanted to enjoy it. I decided to save the art and the analysis for another day.

Tonight was the night.


Michelle said...


It's been great having you in class this summer. Your blog has been fun to follow from my perspective and I agree this has been a great group of bloggers! I appreciate your reflections, especially about the impact blogging had on your learning engagement. Engagement is so important when learning online. Without it there's no motivation to log in.

Best to you...glad to hear you're taking time to "smell the roses."


Rand Launer said...
and we'll be in touch.
I'd love to see the Paradox photos.

Ps...I'm not offended by his money.
Dali and Picasso are rich real artists.
I'm offended by his lies about his paintings and strictly very bad painting. McDonalds calls them hambugers. That don't make it true.
Paris Hilton calls it music,
but it's not.