Painting 101

Art class was never one of the classes that I excelled at in school. I was always interested in talking and cutting up, so I was never willing to apply myself to learn the finer arts. As I have grown older I have regretted that decision in my life. I am now 31 years old and I have decided that I am going to start taking a few classes at the community college. I already have a master’s level degree so I am not interested in attaining more education. What I really want to do is to understand the methods and the moods behind painting. I can recall when I was in school learning about Picasso and Rembrandt. I can recall a few names of the very famous artists, but I cannot recall why they painted or what they painted. So I signed up for a painting 101 class.

In this class we were introduced to a variety of painters of all the ones that I learned about, Van Gogh is probably my favorite. I never knew that he painted The Starry Night picture. I have seen this painting many times and I have often thought it was crazy. In reality, it was a very personal and a very passionate portrait. The idea behind the picture is that there is a cosmic war going on all the time. Even as we lie sleeping in our beds, surrounded by the comfort of our small towns, there is a battle that rages in the world. This was a wonderful painting that has really touched me in my soul. I never knew that painting would be so impactful to me but it really is. Because of this revelation, I have started painting as well.

My Middle School Art Class

I had heard the rumors but I was not sure if it was true. Our middle school art teacher had been around for years and she was notoriously hard to deal with. If you got on her good side then you would be ok but if you acted up or did anything she didn’t like, you would be in for a hard year. The rumors that swirled around her was the idea that she wore a wig. Now that I am older I understand that this is not a big deal. Many women wear wigs and it really does not have an effect on what I think about a person. But as a young kid this was a huge thing. Not only was it embarrassing but it was insanely funny. So as a middle school student I couldn’t let this go. I had to poke the bear and push the envelope. Needless to say I was not able to get on her good side. I made jokes about hair and I asked questions about wigs.

However there was one day that really made my jokes go away. We were asked to use modeling clay to make clay heads. The faces could be shaped and the finished product would be displayed. I loved this task and I was completely devoted to making the best clay head in the class. She noticed my devotion and this made a huge impact on our relationship. The art was awesome and the finished product looked great. This was an art class that started off bad but by the end of the year we were actually somewhat close. I love art.

Things to Consider Before Applying for Art School

Making the decision to go to art school is never easy. Even though you might have a great deal of talent, you’re going to get a great deal of flak from at least some of your family members who won’t see the arts as reliable way to earn a living. If you’re passionate about art, and aren’t going to mind if you have a few lean years in your future, you should make art college a part of your future.

Start researching schools in advances. Give yourself at least a minimum of a year before you have to apply to study the pros and cons of each school and to get your portfolio ship shape.

By this point, you should know what style of art you love the most. Take the time and choose the school that has curriculum designed towards the medium. For example, if you love photography, look for a school that has several photographers on staff.

Read through the submissions guidelines and find out exactly what they’re looking for when they go through an applicant’s portfolio. Even though you want the work you show to be an expression of who you are, you also want it to catch the eye of the admissions staff. It’s okay to insert a couple pieces you personally don’t love, as long as they’re good quality.

Make sure you include some business classes into your studies. These days it’s not enough to promote great art. In order to be a success you also have to know how to market yourself. Business classes will teach you marketing tips, how to handle expenses and taxes, and a million other things that will make your life easier.

Explore the Best Art Museums for Kids

If you think that taking your toddler or young child to a boring old art museum might be a bad idea, think again! There are so many art museums around the country that are not only kid friendly, they are kid geared. So here’s a list of a great art museums to take your kids to on your next fun outing.

The Art Institute of Chicago has mini masters classes for kids to release the little artists in each one of them. There are family art camps where the whole family can get involved and enjoy the day as a family. All of this is in addition to their kid friendly interactive exhibits that are sure to make everyone happy.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is a destination point for all those with little ones. While their art exhibits are interactive too, the Met likes to focus on the educational value of art. With classes for every age group, the Met focuses on the ‘How did they do that’ of the art on exhibit. These classes are tailored for kids so the learning doesn’t take a backseat to the enjoyment.

De Young Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco, which is very kid friendly museum, is another great option for the west coast. The outdoor exhibit features a lush garden with beautiful animal sculptures that the kids will love. And your kids will love the pond and the fish, not to mention the art.

So don’t think that just because you have little ones means you have to miss out on the cultural fun of art.

Pair Art With Wine For An Amazing Class at Sassy Paints

If you have been looking for something out of the ordinary, something fun that you can your friends, spouse can all enjoy together then think about taking an art with wine class. Sassy Paints in Greenville, South Carolina offers adult classes where the participants get to enjoy the fun of art. The first rule with Sassy Paints is that everyone is an artist. Some people tend to loosen up and enjoy the fun of painting more when they enjoy a glass of vino with the whole experience.

This is a class setting where you and a group of fun loving people are led by a resident artist through a few painting techniques. There is one picture the group focuses on and paints, and the artists will help guide you through the process of making your masterpiece. At the end of the class you have made friends, enjoyed some good wine, and you’ll have a masterpiece that you can enjoy for years to come.

Even if you think that you can’t make an artistic masterpiece, the artists at Sassy Paints will help you make something beautiful. The idea is that everyone has talent and artistic ability. The problem comes when our heads get in the way of our natural ability. That’s where the wine and the fun with friends comes into play.

When you are enjoying yourself, you are more likely to have fun making art! Consider signing up for a class. This might be a good idea to do with your bridesmaids before your wedding. Or if you were looking for a good anniversary present for your spouse, something that you can enjoy and have a lasting memento from this is it!

Taking Fine Arts Out of School

With all the budget cuts to public schools in this country it is no wonder that the arts are the first thing to go with the budget belt gets tightened. This is a travesty in our country. There are cynics who think that arts do not teach kids anything of real value, and to them I say, “You wouldn’t know value from hue if it weren’t for the arts!” The arts are so vital for well rounded kids that to take away this component of their development is just unfair. We do them a disservice when we take the arts out of schools.

Fine arts like painting and sculpture teach kids fine motor skills needed to have the best chances to fully develop properly. Painting gives kids with ADD and ADHD an outlet for that energy in such a way that gives them a creative and healthy venue to do so.

Music, like fine arts, give children the ability to learn rhythm and meter which studies have show helps in their reading skills and speech development. While learning to read music has been linked to higher reading comprehension scores.

Drama give kids a safe place to let their imaginations run free. This kind of free imagination allows students the opportunity to develop key parts of their brains that will be crucial in science and mathematics in the future.

So why would anyone want to take the arts out of schools when the benefits for keeping kids involved are so numerous? The only reason I can see is that politicians who have no idea of the educational benefits are making laws that simply don’t help the kids and only help the bottom line. But our kids are more than a bottom line.

Has Modern Art Taken Away the Skill Behind Art?

I recently got the chance to visit the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. I enjoyed most of the exhibits, but I have to say the modern art portion was completely lost on me. There was literally a drawing of fly paper. Someone seriously drew a picture with an ink pen of fly paper, and this was considered great modern art.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy good art. Still, this display of lackluster talent made me wonder if the talent or skill in art is being lost due to modern art. A baby could sneeze on a canvas and this would be considered art. Where is the skill? Where is the talent? Has all that was considered art now just some archaic expression of a time gone by? Marble sculptures now seem ancient compared to the pile of refuse considered to be modern art.

I also saw a mock-up of a teenagers bedroom. There was this little alcove where a fake teenage girl’s bedroom was the entire exhibit. Really? Go to any house in America and you can see the same thing for free. How can this be considered art? This is just fodder for that teenage girl to not clean her room in an effort to not have her artistic talent stifled.

Where is the line of what is considered art? Does it have to take a certain amount of time or talent? I just think there ought to be some sort of definition. Then again, I can see a lot of people saying that this is what art is, no definition required.

Taking a Trip to the Louvre

Recently I had the privilege of taking a group of my students to the Louvre. It was a fantastic trip, and the kids will remember it for the rest of their lives. I did learn a lot in this venture that I think will be helpful to others who want to take their students to experience the Louvre.

First, plan ahead. Take the time to determine what you want to see. If you spent thirty seconds on every piece on display, it would take you three months to see everything. If you spent thirty seconds on every exhibit that the Louvre houses, it would take you nine months to see everything. So accept that you will not see everything. However, if you plan out what exhibits you want to see, there is no reason why you can’t see everything that you want to. Do your research. While the top things to see list is pretty significant, but there are many exhibits that might strike the fancy of you or one of your students. So make a list first.

Next, map out what you want to see. While the main entrance is usually crowded, there are other entrances that can be used to cut down on wait time. Getting a map and knowing where to go first will help.

I always suggest two adults. One to lead, and one to sweep. While we kind navigated as we went, it would have been easy to do a little more pre-mapping than we did. That would have expedited the visit. Just make the most of your visit by planning ahead.

Get to Know

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