Adventures in the Master's Program

I just wanted to share some wonderful artwork I've been studying about in my Master's program of Fine Arts.

My program started on September 4th and I've been going strong and fast ever since.  Between creating items for the online store, teaching students fast and furious and the MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) program, I've been a bit busy, to say the least.

I'm taking an art history course called Art & Ideas of the Enlightenment and I can say I'm looking at everything from a completely different perspective.

I'm learning so much about philosophy, art and the growth of modern thinking that I'm very excited.

My view on my everyday surroundings has changed quite a bit.  I think about all of the time I've wasted over the years watching TV and playing video games...  I've always had a desire to learn, but I've never really had a direction until now.  Maybe because I'm over 40 now and life seems so much shorter.

My passion for art has always been a part of me, but since I never could draw or paint, I kind of neglected learning more about it.  I wish I hadn't.  Not only has the new information spurred me into a frenzy of creativity, but it has also made my thought processes change quite a bit.  Here's a good example, I'm working on a philosophy paper for my midterm and I know I've heard about Aristotle and Descartes, but I never really knew why they were so well known and revered over the decades.  I never even thought about trying to find out until now.  

It's liberating and eye-opening now that I'm finally pursuing my passions instead of trying to collect a paycheck.  I work harder than I ever have, but the rewards are so much more.

Back to the class, we're studying the Art of the Netherlands this week and I know you may have seen the movie Girl with a Pearl Earring with Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth, but did you know the real artist, Jan Vermeer, may have been using a camera obscura to outline his drawing on canvas before actually painting the portrait?

There is a theory by Charles Falco that the masters of the Renaissance may have used this technique to create almost photographic quality portraits.  Go read "Smoke and Mirrors" by Cara Feinberg to learn more.  I was intrigued by his theory and maybe you will be, too.

We've also been learning about several different types of painting styles over the last month and I have to say, I'm so excited to have made this decision to pursue my passion!

Below are some examples of vanitas or still life painting which was popular in Spain during the Baroque period:

 Juan de Valdes Leal

Juan de Valdes Leal

 Juan Sanchez Cotan

Juan Sanchez Cotan

What do you think of these?  I'd love to hear your opinions on the artwork and the theories!