Art Quote for the Day

Here is the second paper written for the writing arts assignment… continued from yesterday’s post:

Jane Fasse by C.M.

” For sure all my life I’ve had a sweet tooth.” Jane Fasse said when we gave her a cookie.  Jane  was born on March 24, 1953 and is 60 years old.  Even though Jane is 60 , she seems crazier than ever.

Jane has shoulder length blond hair with hints of white.  Jane has blue eyes that sparkle like the sun.  Jane seems to like laughing and smiling and, if she doesn’t,  I’d be suprised because she smiled a lot.

Jane rmembers when she was younger that she was a great student in grade school.  She was very advanced and had fun at school.  “I go to Junior High and all went to h******, she said. Jane said she did not like her teachers much and it was not very fun.  She also remembers that she had a lot of jobs.  One she remembers where she chopped onions all day.  She said when she cme home she smelled horrible.  She hated the job, but who cold blame her?  She also worked at the Jolly Green Giant canning factory and at the mall for twelve years.  She worked for so many places I can’t even mention them all.

Jane Fasse is married to Tom Moss and does not have any children.  Jane works as an Art Teacher. Some of her hobbies include drawing , cooking, and gardening.  Drawing helped Jane get a job and she loves doing it.  Jane is a very interesting person and I had fun  interviewing her.


So that’s how the interview went. I think it’s interesting how both girls picked out some of the more incidental things to mention, the small talk kind of things, but I’m glad they got the gist of fact that I’ve had art in my life  MOST of my life. That is what I was hoping for. After years of crummy jobs I’m finally in the place I was born to be in …. art has never failed.

Art Quote for the Day

Buckminster Fuller once commented that there’s nothing about a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to become a butterfly.  It’s a great line, but it misses the mark – at least as far as artistic development is concerned. Every good teacher bears witness to such metamorphoses.  Watching young artists at work – their energy sparkling with the intensity of a summer lightning storm – is an exercise in humility.  you soon realize that your real purpose as a teacher may simply be as a catalyst, offering a few provocative ideas here, clearing the way past a few technical hurdles there, and eventually just pointing the way to the far horizon.

After that, well , all you can do is stand back and watch, hoping they can hold it all together long enough to convert their  seemingly limitless potential into accomplishment. Over time it is life’s enduring patterns and rhythms that sustain us.  This holds as true in education as in any  other fact of life.  Every student, sooner or later, will wear a teacher’s hat.  And every teacher, periodically, will return as a student. The  cycle is common and recurring, with teacher and student trading roles many times over the course of a lifetime. It’s a universal truth: giving back what we receive gives life meaning . Ask any parent.

The View from the Studio Door by Ted Orland

Art Quote for the Day

” Key works in every field  draw upon the wisdom of seemingly  unrelated disciplines.  Charles Eames learned how to mold plywood under heat and pressure while working at a naval shipyard, and later folded that knowledge into the design of his world-famous Eames chair. Physicist Howard Edgerton invented the high-speed strobe light, and then spent a good part of his career using it to reveal the unexpected beauty of fleeting events like the arc of a golfer’s swing or the splash form a single drop of water.  Ansel Adams combined the discipline from his early training as a musician with his knowledge of photographic chemistry, to create the Zone System for controlling the tonal scale of photographs.  There was a even a time late in World War II when a lone American military researcher saved the city of Kyoto from destruction by convincing military planners not to target it for saturation fire-bombing.  Why? Because he had once visited Kyoto’s gardens and shrines – and was moved to protect their beauty.

Real-world examples are wonderful things, and for good reason: precisely because they are real, they cut right through virtual worlds of theory and abstraction.. They also raise large questions about how the process of education actually works.  After all, if there’s no predicting which particular piece of knowledge or experience will alter prove essential, we’re faced with the disconcerting possibility that everything matters.  And if that knowledge or experience could come from anywhere , the clear implication is that teachers are everywhere. That line of reasoning may appear extreme , yet after field-testing those exact premises for about a half-century now, I’ve reached an inescapable conclusion:  YES.Everything does matter.  Teachers are everywhere.

Where, then, do you start?  Well, fortunately, you already have.  Conceptually speaking, that ever-changing instant of reality we call the present is merely a point in time weaving its way through a universe of potential we call the future .  One undeniable consequence of this is that everything  you learned or experienced in the past has somehow delivered you, at this moment, to this sentence .  You may be traveling a path that will closely parallel mine for years to come , or one that  fleetingly intersects at right angles – but right here, right now, we share this common ground.

The View from the Studio Door – How Artists Find Their Way In An Uncertain World by Ted Orland

Art Quote for the Day

Good Morning ! It’s 6 AM on a Saturday…. a beautiful light rain is falling…. my garden is loving it! This afternoon I will be teaching an IPAD tutorial to a few willing individuals.  This seems like a pretty blah thing to start my post with …. big deal, I’m teaching a class. But , when I consider that it’s been barely over a year since I had to be “convinced”, pulled , kicking and screaming into learning how to use an IPAD, well, I am still truly amazed. I will be the first to acknowledge that I’m barely scratching the surface…… the students I taught last semester , in an HONORS course; IPAD SKETCHPAD, sometimes taught me more than I taught them. ( I mean , they’ve grown up with this stuff, they’ve had 18 years to learn it and I, hesitantly just started getting comfortable with my email in the last couple of years!!

But, I’ve made myself be , oh, shall I say , NOT TERRIFIED of the machine by just treating it as another means by which to make art. I have learned the basic tools of Photoshop and Sketching apps for the IPAD and just as with the most simple and basic media, ( pencil, charcoal), I can teach people how to be creative with it. This is my humble task….. I’m great at coming up with 50 variations 0n a single theme, at getting people to try different alternate solutions to a creative problem. So , I can do this with the IPAD as well.

It was interesting watching the students in the IPAD SKETCHPAD class. Several of them weren’t art majors. I would have them create an image on the IPAD and then have them translate it into actual art. On the IPAD , everyone was willing to try different techniques, start over, make several versions, etc.etc. but when it came to making actual “hard copy” art they were stuck and , yes , I’ll even say , AFRAID. But , over time , they started to make the connection – that the process , whether on the IPAD or on paper, was the same. One just takes a little longer, there’s some paper waste maybe, some chalk powder to clean up , but once they understood the process they started to create fantastic art.

So, this afternoon, another class. I’m seeing a trend, in that Art Teachers are wanting to learn more about the whole IPAD and making Art process. Classrooms in Middle Schools are starting to supply the students with IPADS and the teachers need to learn , the same way I did. It’s the future I guess, and if it helps kids open up  their creative flow its a good thing.

Art Quote for the Day

from the book,  Why Art Cannot Be Taught – A Handbook for Art Students by James Elkins

Teachers Make Idiosyncratic Pronouncements

All criticism-and some would say all discourse, including science-depends on “interpretive communities.” A  group of people who think along the same lines form a “stable interpretive community” meaning they will be likely to agree among themselves.  It may seem that the  ateliers of the French Academy were such communities, because it appears to us that they agreed on a single kind of art.  We might imagine that typical atelier contests would not provoke heated discussion, that people would either  agree on what works were best or else disagree in predictable ways . It seems that situation is no longer true today.  There are many ways to judge postmodern art, and many different short-lived schools and styles. As a result , we have “evanescent interpretive communities,” and no one kind of art is valued for very long.  But we need to be careful in assuming that there is more disagreement today than there was in the Baroque, or even that standards of judgment change more rapidly now than in the past.  The passage of time  collapses nuance, and it is not true that more people in the eighteenth century agreed more of the time, or that standards of taste took longer to change.  Then, as now, the judgment  of artworks depends on a consensus of like-minded people.

In a critique it sometimes happens that all the panelists agree. In that case, the critique panel comprises a stable interpretive community-stable, at least, for the duration of the critique.  Standards of taste or quality will remain reasonably constant.  When two panelists do not agree, it can mean that they are “representing” two disparate interpretive communities. To take an artificial example: one might like Andrew Wyeth, and another Joseph Beuys.  If the panelists are affiliated with two such radically different ideals , then you can expect many of their statements to disagree, and in addition you can expect them to disagree in some predictable ways.  In such a case the panelists are like ambassadors for absent interpretive communities.

One difference between the Baroque and contemporary art worlds is that today there are many more points of view.  There are more movements, more “isms” , in the early twenty-first century than there were in eighteenth century France.  The art world appears to change rapidly and contemporary artists can be pluralistic and work in a variety of media; but as a matter of practice, it is often fairly easy to decide what affiliation  a faculty member has.

Art Quote for the Day

taken from the book, Why Art Cannot Be Taught – A Handbook for Art Students by James Elkins:

“We retain the Romantic re-invention of the “master class”. In order to foster individuality and freedom ( and in part, to return to what they thought of as authentic medieval workshops), the Romantics expanded the advanced levels of instruction.  Students worked under masters, who helped them to develop their “individual genius”.  Comtemporary teachers adhere to this in that they do not try to foist a uniform standard on each student they advise. Instead they try to feel their way to an understanding of what each student is all about.  Teachers acknowledge that everyone has different ideals, directions, talents, and potentials.  That sense of individuality is quintessentially Romantic.

We still think – sometimes- that art cannot be taught.  Some Romantics thought that only  techniques could be taught in art school.  Hermann Grimm ( son of one of the brothers Grimm) held that art was “altogether unteachable”. Later in the century Whistler said, “I don’t teach art; with that I cannot interfere: but I teach the scientific application of paint and brushes.  These ideas are extreme , but they follow directly from the less radical idea that artists are individuals : if everyone is differernt then there’s no telling how art can be taught .The Romantics were the first to explore the idea that art cannot be taught, and some of their reason are also my reasons in this book.”

Art Quote for the Day

IMG_3003I spent this past  Saturday morning  with a group a fellow art teachers from the area . It was a morning for exchanging ideas and  showing  student work . It was an inspiring morning….. these teachers were passionate about what they do and about the purpose that ART plays in education and I left after 3 hours feeling like YES , I am going down the right path! What was especially  fulfilling about this experience was that most of the teachers at this idea-exchange were Alumni from Edgewood College where I teach!  Some of these intelligent, capable , passionate individuals were students of mine  six,seven years ago. It was an honor to be with them as EQUALS . It was gratifying to be with them and share ideas and see the maturity and capability  that they have gained since I had them as undergrads….  I don’t have any children of my own but on Saturday I felt like a very proud Mom ( on a very small scale for sure- I know I had just a small grain of influence on how these folks turned out) but if , indeed , I ever have a doubt in my mind , wonder about why I’m doing what I’m doing, wonder if my little teaching gig at Edgewood college makes any difference in the world , after Saturday’s experience I can honestly say YES! If I had any hand in getting these people through the undergrad years so that they could go on and  make  themselves into what they’ve become then yes, I’ve made a difference. Now , they too , will pass on their wisdom and enthusiasm for the arts to other young people and the cycle will continue.  Glad to be a part of it and I am so thankful to have had the Saturday morning experience.

Art Quote for the Day

“The  practices that are now called painting and drawing are entirely different that what they were in past centuries. Painting has died – its central techniques have been lost- four times in the history of Western art: once when the Greek paintings and textbooks were lost, again in the sixteenth century when Jan Van Eyck’s method was lost, again in  the late eighteenth century when Venetian Renaissance technique was forgotten, and a fourth time in the early twentieth century when painting alla prima ( wet in wet) definitively replaced the more systematic Baroque techniques.

Renaissance  painting was done in many stages, with each layer drying before the next coat, and the images were constructed: that is, planned in advance and brought to completion in a more  or less systematic and deliberate manner.  Different emulsions were used within a single painting ( a typical sequence was tempera, followed by oil and then glazes and varnish.) Nowadays artists paint all at once, alla prima, in a single thick coat.  Even Romantic  painting at the beginning of the nineteenth century, was definitively different from what is done now.  the change happened as early as Manet and the Impressionists.

It doesn’t help to look in old texts, because Jan and Hubert Van Eyck kept their methods secret, and there is no Renaissance source that says how Titian executed his glazes.  Nor does it help to turn to contemporary chemical analyses, because what is important about the technique – such as ultra-thin paint layers – cannot be adequately studied in infrared, X-ray, or thin section.  Some German texts, written around the turn of the twentieth century, record attempts to recapture Renaissance methods-but even they have become hard to interpret as the traditions of reconstruction have died out.  the fact is that oil paintings is a lost art several times over, and what we call oil painting bears very little resemblance to what past centuries knew by that name.”

Why Art Cannot Be Taught – a Handbook for Art Students-  by James Elkins

Art Quote of the Day


Variety is the counterweight to harmony, the other side of organization essential to unity.  Although an artist might bring a work together with harmony, it is variety that imparts individuality, arousing the viewer’s curiosity and holding his or her attention.  It creates visual contrast – a separation of elements and images.  Like a good sheepdog that singles out one animal from the flock, the introduction of variety actively separates areas or images to make them more exciting and let them stand apart.

If an artist creates a work using a complete equality of visual forces, the work may feel static, lifeless, and unemotional. Visual boredom is a sign of an overly harmonious composition.  By adding degrees of variation, the artist introduces essential ingredients ( such as diversion or change) for sustaining attention.

Visual interest, then, results directly from adding variety to the composition.  Variety causes visual separation – a pulling apart of related elements or images, differentiating and disassociating the componenets.  This separation is achieved through the use of contrast and elaboration.

Art Fundamentals – Theory and Practice by Ocvirk,Stinson,Wigg, Bone, Cayton

As a teacher of 2-dimensional design, I emphasize the fact that Variety, as one of the unifying principals of design is important to the completion of a successfully designed image. If you go to my blogsite , then follow me on Pinterest you’ll find a board that is labelled , APPLES. I have a quote that , very early on I posted as a quote of the day, dealing with this idea. It goes something like this: Art is about making choices… take a simple subject like an apple. Is it red or green? shrivelled , bruised , fresh, is it the BIG APPLE or the apple that the witch gave Snow White? The quote goes on , but eventually points out that with each decision made about that apple you change the meaning of the art. I decided to use this ideas and collect images of apples and on my Pinterest page you’ll find numerous examples. Enjoy! And for your own amusement, pick a simple object and set to creating imagery using assorted media you may have, collage, pencil, paint, makeup, finger nail polish, anything and everything will work if you keep an open mind!

Art Quote of the Day

As the blogging continues, I wonder sometimes what purpose it should serve. I want to appeal to artists of every ‘stripe’,young and old. I look for inspiring quotes , educational quotes, personal quotes from individual artists,design ideas, etc. Today’s might seem a little simplistic for some but I thought I’d gear it towards my students maybe, ( if they follow this at all!) or other beginning students. So here it is…

“When an artist views an object – a tree branch , for example – and is inspired to reproduce the original as seen, he or she is using and drawing inspiration from optical perception.  The artist who reproduces only what he or she perceives in the ” real world” is thought of as a “perceptual” artist. However, some artists see the tree branch but envision a crying child or rearing horse.  When the imagination triggers this creative vision and suggests additional images, the artists are employing conceptual perception. Artists who are inspired by imaginative concepts are called “conceptual” artists. Leonardo da Vinci, writing in his Treatise on Painting, recorded an experience with conceptual perception while studying clouds: “On one occasion above Milan, over in the direction of Lake Maggiore, I saw a cloud shaped like a huge mountain made up of banks of fire….”  Elsewhere, he recommends staring at stains on walls as a source of inspiration. Following Leonardo, author and painter Victor Hugo found many of his ideas for drawings by studying coffe stains on tableloths.

By attempting to see the unique-ness in everything around us, we can expand our sensitivity and response to art.  The author Gertrude Stein wrote, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” A literal interpretation would lead us to expect all roses to be identical, but we know that every rose has a different character, even with identical breeding and grooming. Every object is ultimately unique, be it a chair, a tree or a person. One of the major characteristics that sets the artist apart is the ability to see (and experience) the subtle differences in things.  By exposing those differences, the artist can make the ordinary seem distinctive, the humdrum exciting.”

Art Fundamentals – Theory and Practice , 12th edition – Ocvirk, Stinson, Wigg, Bone, Cayton