Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

Thoughts on ArT

You don’t truly realize the incredible talent and skill that goes into painting and making good art in general until you have tried to paint, draw, sculpt or even compose a really good photograph. There is so much that goes into making highly expressive, dynamic and engaging art. I have picked up the my paint brushes after a year break due to the demands of my teaching and distance learning jobs and I must admit, at first I was very frustrated trying to get back to where I left off last year. I am not a representational painter by no means, although I am now trying to incorporate external references (subject matter) into my work unlike the Jackson Pollockesque non-objective art I make in Graduate school and beyond.

Take a moment and truly scrutinize a Van Gogh, Kandinski or Gauguin painting. Your first impression may be that these artists just quickly dashed some paint onto the canvas. Now…study them again, look at them hard and long and you will begin to realize that you can’t replicate their work. Van Gogh and Gauguin were putting their hearts and souls into their paintings and filtering external reality through their highly sensitive, intensely aware and empathetic sensibilities. Not everyone can do this, in fact…most people can’t.

Making good art, viable art, dynamic art, powerful art, expressive art ArT that reaches into your heart, mind and soul and grabs YOU and shakes You up is really hard to do. This is what frustrates me the most, because I understand the theory behind art, have studied and taught about all the great artists through history, the visual language and appreciate what all the great artists through history were trying to accomplish and yet…here I am with me easels in my kitchen making this feeble attempt to make a painting that expresses what I feel about the subject that I am translating to the viewers of my work.

Jackson Pollock Lavender Mist 

I am so much better at doing this through my photography, BUT painting is a whole different creative approach. You MUST be true to yourself as an artist and when you are working through the various challenges that confront you when painting or trying to harness and communicate through any creative medium, it is important to remember and be aware that none of the great artists in history had it easy and it took real blood, sweat, tears and GUTS to produce those great works of art that we all appreciate and cherish. Making art takes courage…it takes dedication…it takes perseverance and you (the artist) must be willing to take risks every time you pick up a camera, paint brush, pencil or put your hands in wet clay. Nobody said making art was easy and most artists don’t sell much if any work, they don’t get any recognition in their lifetime as well – you make art because you have to – you are driven to – you get depressed when your NOT making art, your not thinking about making art and now after teaching for 25 years it is time to redirect that creative energy into making some ART. I don’t have any idea how good it will be, BUT what enriches me – what keeps me going is the process, the act itself of making art because I really don’t care who likes it, who wants to buy it and if I get recognition for it – I make it because I have to – it is that simple.

Van Gogh is me hero so read Lust for Life and you will understand and “get” me and the issues I am addressing. Lust for Life was the best damn book I ever read next to Agony and the Ecstasy about the life of Michelangelo and On Photography by Susan SonTag.

Anybody can be an artist or writer…you just have to begin the creative journey – find a medium that feels comfortable to you and begin expressing yourself through it.


54 comments on “Thoughts on ArT

  1. Tammy Holland
    April 19, 2007

    I enjoy reading all of your posts as I have enjoyed your class. It is such a pleasure that someone has such a passion for what they are teaching that clearly comes through in your messages and in this blog. It is saddens my heart that you are having such a time with your painting. I hope one day you are just overcome with emotions about a subject and I am sure that this will come through onto your canvas. I enjoyed your painting a picture of the atlantic ocean in your previous entry I really thought you recaptured the scenery very nicely. Good Luck and keep us posted on your updated progress

  2. Jess Stafford
    April 19, 2007

    Van Gogh was an amazing artist. I love his style and use of color. I don’t think it’s possible to replicate any artist’s work and do it justice, we can speculate about what the artist was feeling and thinking when creating his piece but we will never really know what all was going on in the mind of the artist. The way that Van Gogh and Gauguin put their souls into their paintings is incredible. The time an energy that it must have taken to create some of the pieces that we have looked at is unfathomable.

    It sounds as if we are both having the same problem with trying to fully portray our feelings onto canvas in a way that people can understand. Unlike you I have never been formally trained to do any type of art. My whole life I have been fascinated by photography and would love to take some classes on it some day. I started painting 3 years ago as a hobby and then suddenly stopped painting about 8 months ago. Every time I look at the easel and canvas in the corner of my room I end up staring at it for the longest time because there are so many things going off in my head telling me I should paint again but at the same time I’m finding it difficult to pick up my brush again. It is not so much that time is the issue but more that I don’t want to give into the emotional aspect of the art I want to create because I don’t want to become vulnerable to the feelings that I keep locked away. I wonder if Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin, etc. ever had that problem. Good luck with your art.

  3. Patrick Keough
    April 19, 2007

    Thanks Tammy! I do have a passion for all types of art and its amazing and fascinating history – I also live to photograph and paint although the painting is much more of a struggle for me than the photography which is so much more intuitive. I feel as though I broke real ground with the sunset over the beach painting and now I am using that breakthough to continue developing my personal – expressionistic style.


  4. Patrick Keough
    April 19, 2007

    Yes Jess…Van Gogh is one of my all time favorite artists as well. He was so very committed to his art and he put it ahead of everything else in his life.

    I have taught photography for over 20 years and even though I minored in painting in Graduate School many years ago I never trule practiced the craft as much as my photography. Its only recently that I have had the desire to seriously get back into painting. My best advice to you is to just “do it” and not worry about what anyone will think of your work – I set my easel up in my kitchen and paint after work and on weekends. It is so very therapuetic for me and I only paint for me right now – not to please anyone else. btw…it is ok to be vulnerable – Van Gogh was very vulnerable and so were some of the greatest artists in history.

    Good luck to you


  5. laura mulks
    April 19, 2007

    Mr K,
    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog, and can relate on many levels. I paint as well as sculpt and design and create handmade furniture. Those I hand carve as well as inlay. I have been in what you could call a rut at many times,and I;m very critical of my own work. It is really hardest for me when I have an image in my mind of what I want to create, for then I am never quite satisfied with my results. Sometimes the out come is nice and many other people express that they enjoy the piece. No one else can see the image in your own mind though. The trick I have learned to use that enables me to create expressive works that I put my heart into and end up enjoying is this. I spend quite time to myself in the room I am planning on working in, I close my eyes and imagine not the painting or drawing or piece but the emotions that I want to attach to it. If I want to attach exilaration, or deep saddness. I bring these emotions up within myself until I am overcome with them. I then begin my piece with no knowledge of what it is I will end up creating. Only the emotions. I could work on one piece for days, weeks, even moths without seeing it all together. I am done when all the emotions are drained. Then I walk away and come back and see it at a later date. It is then that I finally see it complete as a whole. Those are the only works that I am every truly content with. Perhaps my technique will work for you as well. No matter what I am happy that you have begun painting again, creativity is fuel for the soul!

  6. Carlyn
    April 19, 2007

    I can’t help but wonder if Van Gogh, Gauguin, and other famously envied, reportedly inspired, commonly worshipped artists of the past have experienced that exact same feeling of inability and lack of power when they stared at a blank easel in front of them.

    Are inspiration and talent all that is required for a moving, emotionally-provocative piece of art? How important is persistance and self-discipline? If there is no talent to start with, will hard work really achieve anything at all? Can a deeply-gifted person achieve the ranks of fame and reverance on their own?

    I definitely don’t know the answers. But I would imagine that the feeling of helplessness and insufficiency that plagues many artists can and will evolve into becoming a crucial aspect of their artwork. Confidence and horror, excitment and shame…there is no limit to the range and volume of emotions that can be felt from a seemingly simple piece of art.

  7. Nikolai Figueroa
    April 19, 2007

    I enjoyed reading what you said on how hard it was to replicate something that a famous artist like Van Gough might have created. I can relate to that because I have tried my hand at doing some art and found it harder than I thought it would be. I guess we have to keep on trying our best and maybe one day get inspired and create a master piece as Van Gough and many other famous artists did.

  8. Kimberly Mellies
    April 19, 2007

    Mr. K,

    Like the rest of the folks said am sorry you are having a difficult time. Honestly I have never been able to draw or paint or any artisitic abilities at all. Although I can relate to being stuck wanting to create something and it won’t come out. I think your creative juices will start flowing again soon. Although the all time great paintings of the legends cannot be redone I have faith that you could paint a master piece of your own. I have enjoyed your onclass and I hope you don’t lose faith.

  9. Patrick Keough
    April 19, 2007

    No Kimberly…I have not lost faithin the art making process – in fact I broke ground with my sunset over the ocean painting I made last week – it just can be a struggle sometimes having the vision of the final painting in your head and figuring out a way to make it a reality. Scroll down the blog to the last entry and check out the last painting.

    I am glad you are enjoying the online class.


  10. B. Schiele
    April 19, 2007

    Mr. K,

    It was quite aparent throughout the semester that you had a passion for every aspect of art, and were yourself an artist. The best teachers are those that are passionate about their area of study. Even though this was an online class I have learned so much from my research on the different eras of art.
    I checked out some of your art, and I really like your uses of different media, and also your painted borders are beautiful, Keep up the good work, you’ll get through this “block”.

  11. Angie Baldwin
    April 20, 2007

    Mr. K
    I read your blog and checked out your art – you are very talented. I appreciate being able to hear the passion in your writing when you discuss what art is and means to you. I think that it is wonderful that you don’t expect anything out of creating art – accolades from others, money, etc but the driving force for what you do comes from your soul – you must paint or photograph – thus you do. I also appreciate your comments regarding how one needs to take a break from “life” and rejuvenate themself. I find this difficult to do – I am in constant motion it seems with motherhood, marriage, work, school and all the extras thrown in there. I need to take the time to stop, take time for me and reconnect. I appreciate that you recognize the need for that and you shared those thoughts. I love the beach and don’t get to the surf and sand often enough.
    I have enjoyed your class this semester and have learned lots. I have also found out that there is so much more to learn. I still feel that I look at a work of hard in an elementary manner – but there are things that I can take away from this class that make me appreciate all types of art and the importance that these creations mean to their inventors.
    Thanks for your insight…..and knowledge.

  12. Brandy Eidson
    April 20, 2007

    Wow, what a wonderful blog and you are a very talented artist. Before this class I had never thought of the extreme risk and dedication and talent or time that it would take to become an artist. Before this class I would have thought that an artist would have a pretty easy fly by life. However, after reading some bibliographies like Van Gogh’s it really makes you appreciate that one complex painting and all of his sweat and tears.

    I read a couple of your blogs you are so passionate about what you do, teaching and as an artist. I have enjoyed your class along with your blogs.

  13. Patrick Keough
    April 21, 2007

    Thanks Brandy and all the students that have posted so far to my blog. One thing I have learned about art and the great artists throughout history over the years is…technical skill and design awareness is only one component of being a great artist – the truly great artists had intense passion, dedication and commitment to their art. They also were NOT afraid to take risks – that is how artists grow and mature in their personal vision and style as artists.


  14. Brian Unger
    April 21, 2007

    Mr. K,
    I hope your return to the world of painting brings good luck and vivid imagination! I myself have always been interested in photography. Whether I have a talent for it or not, I don’t know. But I’d love to take a class or, I dunno’, pick up a book about it. If there’s anything you can recommend I’d appreciate it, or do you teach a class of photography? I’d love to enroll if you did. One of the things that fascinated me about this class and the research was to imagine an artist’s commitment. Today the average person will quit something when it gets too hard. But imagine putting years of your life into something and it could turn out to be something that everyone hates! I try to relate it to something I could do, I think about what if I spent my entire four years of college to get my degree and then as soon as I get it, they say a degree is worthless to have and I wasted all my time and efforts? If there’s one thing I’ll take from this class it will be the appreciation, and respect that the artists and their artworks deserve.

  15. freda brooks
    April 22, 2007

    WOW! Mr. K, how interesting I found your blog to be. You have made so many accomplishments in life to be proud of. I know you will be able to get back into painting. Maybe once you travel to see your daughter, a new environment will be able to bring out your painting skills again. Sometimes a change is what one needs. I have learned so much in your class this semester and realize how hard artists worked to make a name for themself even though some weren’t reconized until after their death. Art has changed so much as has the world we live in and it’s nice that there is talented people to keep the world of art up with this pace and instructors like you to teach us that knew nothing about this world. Thank you.

  16. Maribeth
    April 23, 2007

    Mr.keogh reading about how diffcult it is for you to get started I can clearly relate.Starting back to school has been so difficult.I have enjoyed your blog and can relate to your passion.I feel as strongly about nursing and really want others in my work to see how rewarding it can be.I am sorry that I was born with very little artistic abilities.My family has many with artistic abilities but it just didn’t get to me.I think you are born with the talent and the passion grows through knowledge.People like me are lucky to be exposed to someone like you who can show the whole package of art with passion.

  17. Patrick Keough
    April 23, 2007

    I can relate to you totally Maribeth. My girlfriend is a critical care nurse and she sees her career as both rewarding and a labor of love. Getting back into the groove of school with all its demands on your time and energy can be draining, but with that said…no one ever said it was easy to achieve your dreams in life. I am glad I was able to give you some insight into the amazing world of art – it is truly my passion along with teaching, photography, writing and of course my two children.

    Hang in there!


  18. Diana Reese
    April 23, 2007

    Mr. K,
    Thank you for sharing this with us. I agree that it takes courage to produce art of any kind. It is like laying open your inner most thoughts and feelings for everyone to see. A person needs to be very confident and comfortable with themselves. Doing what feels right to you without worrying about what other’s may or may not think about it is risky. This takes a very strong person. I enjoyed your art. It helps me see you as more than just a name posted on a website. This class has been very helpful and part of that is due to your genuine interest and passion in what you do. Thank you very much for your help this semester.

  19. Chris Turpin
    April 23, 2007

    Thanks for the great class this semester and thanks for letting us read your blog. It wasn’t until I read your entry that I realized exactly why I like art that is not strictly representational. I kept thinking, it’s not just about talent… You made me realize that it is the courage in an abstract work of art that I appreciate the most. The artist really puts a piece of himself into the painting and the viewer says “I agree, I like that” not just “Wow–that looks really real!”. I also appreciate that an artist should paint for themselves and for the joy of painting.

  20. Anne Breedlove
    April 24, 2007

    WOW ! What a awesome artice. I agree with alot of what you said. It is so hard for a painting to reach out and touch someone. I admire artist in a different way now. I use to just think well they can draw and paint good. Now i think its a gift to be able to not only paint but speak through your paintings. Just like so many of the artist we have learned about. I really think they were talking to us. Good luck with the painting. I like that your not painting for anyone but yourself. I think thats the best way.

  21. Julie Hamilton
    April 24, 2007

    I can relate to the feeling of picking up something after leving it for so long. I draw but have not attempted anything since I began my program at SCC almost 2 years ago. I am always so stressed. I sit and look but fear to touch the pencil to such a beautiful blank page thinking that all my stress will mar the beauty I want to express. Graduation is close, but I still sit with a blank page. Maybe inspiration will come back to me soon. I am glad you went back to your work. You are very talented.

  22. Darrin Bark
    April 24, 2007

    Mr. K
    I have learned so much about the importance behind art and how the atrists were effected by their surroundings. It makes perfect sense to me that art is a window in time for us to look through and understand the meanig behind their work. I sure am going to miss your class, but so thankfull to know what makes such paintings come alive and how an artist thousands of years ago can translate their emotions directly to us over such an enormous amount of time. Thanks for inviting us to read your thoughts in your blog, I am so glad to know that you are a painter yourself, and understand the challenges a painter has. Like Van Ghogh we never get the deserved credit and little is known the amount of time a painter endures through each precise brushstroke. But art is more than a source of income it is far more than a job. To me I have been didicated to my own art, which is pencil drawing, I was offended one day when someone told me my drawing was not art, because it was “just a portrait” it effected me deeply and I was hurt but only I wish I could have asked the feeble minded his definition of art. But I just want to thank you for your perception and guiding us through such a recourceful semester.

  23. Dereck Jones
    April 24, 2007

    I would like to say thanks to Mr. K for what he has taught me this semester. To be honest with you, I had no idea what art was really about and I was afraid to take this course. The last time I had an art course was in middle school. I only thought that art was separated by what the artist used in doing his piece of artwork. As the semester went on I understood the concept of ‘historical perspective’ and ‘visual elements’. Art isn’t about making money and turning it into a cartoon. Art is about emotion, energy, and more especially about life. Thanks Mr. K, I’ve enjoyed it!

  24. Patrick Keough
    April 25, 2007

    I am grateful and appreciative that so many of you have visited and commented here on my blog. I am also glad you all have enjoyed and have learned some new things in my class. I can see by your posts that you all now realize that arT is so much more than just the replication of external reality in drawing, paint or any medium for that matter. Sure…it is imporant to have those fundamental “foundation” technical skills, but with that said…arT is really about communicating (expressing) an idea, a concept, emotion, feeling from wahy down deep to the viewer of that art and this can be done representationally or in an abstract or even non-objective way. We learned that the visual elements of art have psychological and symbolic connotations and by truly understanding how to use this knowledge and channel it through the art the artists can communicate and connect with viewers on multiple levels.

    To me…arT is a way of life, a passion and a way to make some sense out of the world and my place in it.


  25. James Crowe
    April 25, 2007

    I have enkoyed your class, even though i took my sweet time completeing most of the assignments. It is hard to realte to the different works of art through the internet, especially when you have dial-up! A friend of mine is a pretty well known native american artist you may have heard of him, Sean D. Ross. He does a lot of native scenes and rituals that have gained him a little acclaim, and a very big head! But he deserves it he is really good. Check him out if you can.

  26. Charles T
    April 25, 2007

    This has been one of my favorite classes since attending SCC, even thought it was my first online class and that the art was not in hands reach. I already had a good knowlegde on the basis/ foundings of art in general, but you helped me broaden my artistic eye into other artistic aspects and see life more artistically, rather than logically. I wish I was back home near the DC area so I could take pics related to all the art eras we went over to give a closer feel. But when I go back home to visit the national art museaum again, I will have a better understanding and appreciation for the creation and creator. Thanks for a wounderful semester and have fun on your trip.

  27. James Camp
    April 25, 2007

    Mr. K,

    It is a true honor to learn from someone that really has passion for art, as others mentioned. Your charisma has kept me evolved this semester and I now have a much richer understanding of the various styles of Art.

    As for me, when I try to focus on what I want to draw I become completely blocked. I use the freestyle brainstorming learned form writing classes to get past it. I take my sketch pad and just start putting color on one page, shapes on another, and silly doodles on another. When I just let loose, I get great ideas that then can be redone, cleaned up, and put on canvas. Silly doodle’s work wonders for me. Clouds were my last accomplishment; I’m working on fire now.

    Your post is so true, there is just so much that goes into the art the average observer doesn’t see. I can only imagine how many paintings these artists must have started only later to trash them in frustration. I would have loved to been able to speak with them to learn how their work morphed as it was being created.

  28. Sarah Sloggy
    April 27, 2007

    Your post was truly insightful Mr K. and I agree completely, art is so much more than what we see at face value, It is something that we must learn to understand and appreciate. I am also trying to get back into painting and it is definitely frustrating at times but I remember now how much I enjoy it.

    Thanks for an amazing class!

  29. Celeste Dobropolski
    April 28, 2007

    It’s wonderful that you are listening to the urgings of your creativity. As strong as they are, I know how difficult and frustrating it can be to actually carry out the task. Your post expresses everything I’ve ever felt regarding art. I first attempted drawing/painting in high school. I had never taken an art class in my life and did not know the first thing about the techniques used to convey my innermost emotions. I only had my talented “art school” friends who would egg me on to attempt creating something. Drawing and painting, though my mother and brother have always shown great skill in these areas, are a constant struggle for me. I am seemingly never happy with my results, and I experienced all too well the feeling of hopelessness in being able to accurately portray how I felt on canvas. All my attempts seemed elementary, and my attempts in this area waned with time. As I fiddled with different mediums, I found that the paintings I was not able to create with paint, I could emulate using my camera. Here are a few pictures I have taken, if you’re interested in taking a gander.

    I’ve also been interested in writing my entire life, though I often feel unsatisfied with the results and constantly quit only to try again later. Music is also of great interest to me, as well as cinema. So in high school, I decided (or more was compelled by my need to create) to make my career goal an amalgamation of these interests and pursue making films. I do not mean the Hollywood type of films that are not only nearly impossible to become a part of, but also horribly cliché and stale. I suppose the collaborative effort involved in independent filmmaking will help to take some of the stress out of trying to pinpoint exactly what I want to portray.

    I’ve also had *many* a discussion with people about modern art, mostly. While most concede to liking a few non-objective pieces, they mostly berate this art form and make the ingenuous claim many say when they know very little about art: “I could make that easily.” It honestly is very challenging to explain the inherent difficulty of this expression unless you make the person actually TRY to emulate the artwork.

  30. keoughp
    April 28, 2007

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and images with me here on my Blog Celeste. I love the image through the broken glass. Great framing and depth in addition to communicating a real sense of mood and mystery – almost forboding. I have written a book about growing up in NY and you can access some of the stories under the PJK Teacher Link – Here is the pdf My Stories The camera is a great way to express yourself. In all honesty, next to writing the camera is my primary medium for expression although I am now committed to my painting as well. The main think is that we are all expressing ourselves in a creative way and not afraid to take risks with our art no matter what medium we explore. Hang in there and keep making art.


  31. Ashley Smith
    July 15, 2007

    Mr. K!!!
    Woooow!!!!, It is a blessing to see and hear your passion about art. I say that I understand, but it may not be on the same level. However, I do know that I use to paint and do crafty things almost every day and now that I have so much school and work to do it has gone on the back burner. It is not just sad; it is like a part of me is missing. I know that probably sounds weird, but who cares. There is something about putting everything you can muster in a work or putting your frustrations and emotions into another work that cannot be replaced. Passion is something that is hard to come by these days and it is inspiring to know that someone I am learning from is full of it.

  32. keoughp
    July 15, 2007

    Yes Ashley…it’s the PASSION for art and life that take us as artists and creative people in general to another realm when it comes to making art, taking photographs, writing, teaching, designing or doing just about anything in life that is worthwhile. Never lose that passion!


  33. Jamie Ham
    July 15, 2007

    It is great to see that you are still passionate about your work. In present day society folks often ‘tire’ easily and look often for change. As for art, I am grateful for taking your course. I would consider myself one of those illiterate art observers. Now when I see works in hotels, museums, etc. I have found myself trying to interpret the true meaning of the work and the artist’s emotions. You do an awesome job with motivation and making the course fun!

  34. Barbara Martin
    July 16, 2007

    Thank you for all that I have learn about art while taking your class.I guess you could say I came into this class with blinder on .But on thing is for sure I am leaving without them on.I think it is wonderful that you have shown us the passion you have for art.I enjoy trying to show my first grader how much fun art can be.I just hope that I can show them some of what I have learned from you.

  35. Althea Kennon
    July 17, 2007

    Mr. K
    I really did not understand the true meaning of art until this class. My thoughts are somewhat clear on some issues of art now. Art is a true appreciation to history. I make collages of my family pictures all the time,nut I did not consider it as expressing art until now. I now have a appreciation of art and I can relate to the pictures and images that I see at different places now with some knowledge and meaning. Thank you so much Mr. K. It has been a great pleasure. I wish that I could some day travel around and take pictures of things for futher study.

  36. Jena W
    July 17, 2007

    Mr. K,
    Your class has been a great learning experience! I had never fully appreciated the background behind the art that I have seen until now thanks to you. I’m very glad I chose to take it and appreciate all the feedback you gave!! Thanks for the help, and good luck with your painting…You’ll def. get that back!! THANKS AGAIN, and c*ya

  37. Courtney Howell
    July 18, 2007

    Reading the part about people not understanding what goes into art I completely agree. I use to think that about photography that it was simply taking a picture but it is not. My sister who majored in Fine Arts in Mt. Olive College had to take a couple of photography classes so I got to see just a little bit about all that goes into a good photo. It was more than I could do. I have only been one that liked pretty art to match my room but I really believe being in your class I really can appreciate art and its history and what it means as oppose to just if it is pretty or not. Thank You I Have Enjoyed Your Class
    Courtney Howell

  38. Patrick Keough
    July 18, 2007

    Its all about understanding the background of the artists and the times that they lived. In order to truly understand art on a deeper level you have to do some research into the artists themselves and the society, region and period of time they worked. Artists have essentially been filters of the culture they created in and have played very different roles at different points in time sythesizing their environments from court painters, educators, propaganaists, interior decorators, supporters of governments, religions, aristocrats, rich patrons, the middle class and individuals who were driven to express themselves like Van Gogh, Pollock and Kandinski. Art expands us…broadens us…forces us to ask questions, defines cultures, periods of time like the Renaissance and brings us joy, personal enrichment and a glimpse into another time and place – a window into another world.

  39. Bonnie Baker
    July 19, 2007

    You have such a passion for art that it inspires others. After reading your blog I have a new appreciation for the artists themselves, not just the art that they produced. It does take a lot to show emotion in the art, and I see that now. Thank you for sharing your passion with us, you did a wonderful job. I liked your comment that art is a window into another world, it really is.

  40. Fatima Ammons
    July 19, 2007

    It is compelling to me to see that I am not the only one struggling with picking something back up, and having those doubts pressing in and feeling like you just can’t “get it” back to where you want to be. I also like the quote that “not where you want to be, but with God’s help” you will succeed.

    Thank you for guiding us on this journey. It has truly been enlightening!

  41. Eric D. Watts
    July 19, 2007

    That is a truly inspiring post. I have never had the “talent” to do paintings, however I have one that I done just to say “I painted that” but maybe I should give it one more try. I have always been interested but only as a person looking at the art not doing it. Thanks for the blog.

  42. Heather Fulgum
    July 20, 2007

    Mr. K Why didn’t you share this blog site with your students sooner? It so inspirational. I have never been good at art but I am so very happy I took this class and had you as my art teacher. By reading your blog here and seeing the enthusiasm you have for art it makes the subject so much more real and interesting to me. I was in a doctor’s office this morning and caught myself looking at a peice of art on the wall. Only no longer did I just look at it…I caught myself examining it, wondering “when must that have been made?” and “what is the subject of it?” Wow! You truely have a gift. Your paintings are wonderful and I am so thankful you shared these and your story about the difficulty in getting your ideas on canvas. I shall NEVER look at art the same again after this class!

  43. Bobbie Wyatt
    July 21, 2007

    Anytime you stop practicing something or doing a hobby for a long period of time, it is hard to get back into the swing of things. It looks like you are getting back in the grove pretty good. You do great work. Painting is hard and it is extremely hard to mix the colors just exact to get what you are looking for. I did a water color painting class when I was at the Outer Banks last year, and it was hard, very hard!! Enjoy your painting and hope you get to devote more time to it.

  44. Cieara Gregory
    July 26, 2007

    I really enjoyed reading this blog. I really like Van Gogh also. I think he was a crazy ,distrubed man but I liked his art none the less. All his art had a sense of unity because of his paint strokes. I thought your painting “My Transtion in Paint” was very Van Goghish. I liked it alot.
    I wish I was more creative so I could paint and express my feeling sometimes through art.
    Keep up the great paintings.

  45. Sophia Cornelius
    November 29, 2007

    Mr. K,

    I really must say that I have found this blog so informative. I always like it when I am able to get a real feel of where my teachers are coming from. I think that in do time all of your creative juices will start to flow and you will not be able to keep up with your self. You are a wounderful teacher and I am very glad to be able to say that I had you as my teacher for this class. When I first signed up for this class I was just looking for an easy A, but as we got more indepth with the class I just be came so drawn to the different art forms and now I think I have pick up a new hobbie. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to our classes, Paint On!!!!

    Sophia Cornelius

  46. Melissa Myers
    November 29, 2007

    Mr. K, you have a really great passion for art, and I really admire that. I have struggled with art for a long time. I could not paint and I could not draw. I felt like I was never going to experience art because it wasn’t for me. Then one semester in highschool I found myself in yet another art class striving for some kind of outlet for myself. As I miserably failed again at painting and drawing, I found myself captured by clay. I started out just playing with it, doing whatever I wanted to it, and then it became my canvas. I could sculpt and shape that ball of clay into anything I imagined. I had no idea that my fingers could work such magic. So, after years of frustration in art, I found my place in it. Now, after a semester of art throughout history, I find myself appreciating the least little piece of art wherever I go. I am more than glad to have taken this class. Thanks for all you do.

    -Melissa Myers

  47. Bridget Rackley
    November 30, 2007

    Mr. K.,
    I am so pleased to respond to your blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed this class, and thanks to you, I have a better appreciation and a better understanding of art. I never knew how complex art was, and how it has changed over time. I find in myself that I am not an artistic person. However, I do love to take pictures and compile scrapbooks. That is my number one hobby. Mr. K., I feel priviledged to have taken this class. Your passion for art really shines through, and I think that what you have brought to the art class has given me a clearer view of paintings, sculptures, etc. You possess a quality that makes teaching and learning fun, which, in my opinion, is lacking for some teachers. Good luck with your painting; I know when you finish, it will be a wonderful creation.
    Bridget 🙂

  48. Jennifer Parrish
    November 30, 2007

    Mr. K.- What I have loved about your class and that I also see in your blog is your passion and drive for art. Before I took your class, ART 111 was just a class I had to take. I can honestly say that I now realize how passionate art can be. It may be the ugliest thing you have ever seen, but if it speaks to your soul, that is all that really matters. I have never really thought that much about art. It was just there. I now find myself really seeing what is around me. I hate that I have wasted so much time not seeing what beauty is around me and available to me. I had never even been to the art museum in Raleigh until you posted the extra credit. Sad, right? Don’t worry. I’m awake now. Thank you for the journey through time and the experience.

  49. Catherine Ashcraft
    December 1, 2007

    Mr. K,
    Wow, after reading what Jennifer wrote I don’t think I can top it. To turn someone on to art as you have done for her is wonderful. Art is not just for the artists. An intimate relationship with art can be a very enriching experience.
    I took your class to earn some credit to renew my teaching certificate (art ed, K-12) but also because I needed to renew my background with art history. I must admit I learned a lot from your class. Far more than any “art in the dark” class I took as an undergraduate.
    Art is my passion too. I totally understand your musings on standing before a blank canvas. My love for art seems so natural, like breathing. Therefore I cannot understand when people claim they don’t understand.
    Art is at the very core of the human spirit.
    Anyway, I wish you success with your painting. Thank you for your passion in teaching. I look forward to returning to this blog site to find out what you are up to.

  50. Kelly Chandler
    December 2, 2007

    Mr. K,

    You have a beautiful family and talented:) I have really enjoyed taking a class under you. You have so much knowledge and love for art. It shines through in your teaching. You have so much to offer to others. I hope you continue to inspire and teach others for years to come:)

    Kelly Chandler

  51. Ayantae Lewis
    December 3, 2007

    i totally agree with you when you said that art isn’t easy and it is hard when you leave it alone and try to get back into it after a long period ot time. I have always thought that art is not something you do it is something you live. I paint, draw and write poems and it is not becuase i think they are pretty or deep it is a window to my soul and the person that lies within me. it is hard to try to compare yourself to Michealagalo and Van Gogh or even say that you are on their level but it is a sham that these artist had to die for the world to know who they where and the art that they lived and that is why so many artist go crazy like Van Gogh and even Steven King. Trying to please the world and still hold on to who you are is not an easy thing to do in this society and that is why is forever changing.

    it was a pleasure to be in your class and learn about the appreciation of art and the meaning behind it. i wish you all the best in your quest for that insiration you need to get you back in the game.

  52. Leticia Hendricks
    December 3, 2007

    I’m glad i took this course. I have a greater apprecitation for art and the histiory behind it. Through this course I have learned many new things such as different artists, styles, and forms. For example impressionism, post impressionism, and romanticism. This course have made me realize all the dedication, emotion, time, thought, effort, and patience that goes in to creating a work of art. Looking at your photos appear to me that skill and talent comes natural for you. They look as if they belong in a kodak commercial. I have almost accomplished one of my goals to succeed in this course.

  53. Shirlene Raxter
    December 4, 2007

    It is always such a pleasure to read anything that you post to give insight to viewing art. When I started this class, I was truly clueless. The only art that I truly knew anything about was children’s art. But now, thanks to you, I have this whole new insight to looking at art work. I would not have been able to even tell you anything about art, the artists, or the eras that the art was produced in until I took this class. I thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. This post is spectacular. I still feel that sometimes maybe I don’t quite understand the visual elements that come along with art work such as some of the ones that you have posted here. I probably never would have gotten lavenders out of that last painting if you hadn’t put that title with it. Again, I thank you for what you do here and how you can help someone so clueless to halfway understand visual art.

  54. Patrick Keough
    December 6, 2007

    Shirlene and everyone else from my various online classes who have posted to my blog. Most people don’t realize how art through the ages is completely interwoven into the fabric of the culture / society creating that art. In order for us to truly understand and appreciate art from Cave paintings to modern we must develop a basic understanding of the visual language – the language of the artist and do some research into what exactly is going on at the time and place the art was being made. If we don’t do these things, we can only appreciate art face value and not be able to truly extract all the cultural, social, religious and political issues and meanings behind the art. Hopefully you will all walk away from this class with a deeper insight and appreciation for all types of art and be able to go into a museum and be able to identify the various periods and styles of art we have covered and discussed in this class.

    thank you all for posting comments!

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This entry was posted on April 18, 2007 by in ArT.
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