Since Oct 27, 2004

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I am a Humanities professor at a Mass state college. I teach a variety of arts courses: from painting and drawing to art history courses: Art Appreciation, History of Architecture, Art Criticism and much more. I also teach interdisciplinary humanities courses with art history, music, literature and philosophy. I'm known as a generalist and firmly believe that knowledge of art history helps artists and doing some art helps art historians.

I am also an artist, intermediate martial artist, student of Japanese sword and mother of three.

Here are some threads on Art Appreciation/Education that I worked up during 2005. Many people are interested in art, but often they have not been able to learn as much about it as they would have liked. Modern art is quite difficult, especially because of its abstraction. However, once one knows what to look for, one can appreciate the various levels of abstract art. I am always looking for discussions and controversies on art (but I do reply to other threads too). More discussion of the issues in the following threads are still welcome.

You can always do a search under Art for more recent, fun threads that have been posted.

class #10: Postmodernism

class #9: Pop and Minimal Art

class 8: Pollock and Abstract Expressionism:

class 7: American Modernism:

class 6: Surrealism:

class 5: Cubism:

class 4: Expressionism:

class 3: Cezanne and van Gogh;

class 2: Impressionism and Post-Impressionism;

class 1: Realism: Manet and Homer;

A new series of art history "lectures" designed chronologically from Egyptian art onward:

Art Appreciation/Education series II class #1: Greco-Roman Realism and Early Christian Abstraction

Art Appreciation/Education Series II class #2: Romanesque and Gothic Art and Architecture

Art Appreciation/Education series II class #3: Art of the Renaissance

Art Appreciation/Education series II class #4: Art of the Baroque

I have also begun a series on Visits to NYC and the art seen there:

Art Appreciation/Education: Visit to NYC I: Robert Smithson and James Turrell:

Blue Moon by John Haber: A review of Oscar Bluemner's retrospective at the Whitney (I wanted to write about Bluemner's work as my Visit to NY II, but I decided to post Haber's great article instead.)

Art Appreciation/Education: Visit to NY III: Elizabeth Murray: Return to Color and Energy

One other essay I wrote on Christo and his orange gates in NYC:

A Visit to Lincoln Center

Some of my all-time favorite images of art: Piero della Francesca's Flagellation and all his work, for it abstract stillness and spirituality.

Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel for its beauty of color, monumentality and expression of emotion through body poses.

Monet's Waterlilies (especially the version at the Carnegie in Pittsburgh) for its layers of paint and enjoyment of life in the moment.

Jackson Pollock for his incredible energy, innovation and rich surface texture. Here is his Autumn Rhythm from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There is actually quite a bit of similarity between Monet and Pollock.

Elizabeth Murray for her color, simplified shapes and personal content. In this one you can see an expressionistic coffee cup and her warm, bright colors. I like good abstraction because it works on many different levels.

Early American Modernists mixed the European abstraction of Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism with their love of landscapes. Georgia O'Keeffe fits into this category; less well known are Arthur Dove, Me and the Moon inspired by swing music in the 30s and Marsden Hartley, from c. 1913-14, are shown below.

Milton Avery worked in his own colorful style on the edge of Abstract Expressionism, inspiring Marc Rothko, both seen below. (We've had a lot of fun threads on FR discussing Rothko's work; some don't like his work very much and think it rather repetitive. Look under Art or Rothko for these....)

So now I'm really going out on a limb, but here are a few examples of the "childscapes" that I do: views of growing children from the mother's perspective, using warm abstraction influenced by Dove, Rothko, Avery, and many others. In the first example, I'm taking my son to see works by Pollock and Matisse at the Museum of Modern Art's Picasso and Matisse exhibition. Then I'm nursing our newborn, then, a few years later, comforting her when she is sick while reading on a sofa. Then she is skiing, breaking free of me. And finally a landscape of Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire in the fall. You could probably figure all that out without my writing it out, but just in case....

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