This is a response to You should take an art history course at least once in your life
Last year, in the spring of 2022, I took an art appreciation course with the expectation that I would learn what I already knew from elementary school. During my pre-teen years, I had a passion for creating art, except I had little knowledge of most art history at the time. When the semester was over, I really understood the significance of the course for my creativity and perception of art. First, we reviewed the formal elements, line, space, shape, color, value, and more. These expressions help describe the physicality of art. Terms such as Emphasis, Scale and Proportion are also referred to as the design principles. Practicing this vocabulary is essential to explaining how a piece is made and designed. At the end of each week’s lesson, the class engaged in a critique of a featured artwork and answered questions about the topic. As we analyzed different pieces of art, I was invited to learn about different eras in history and the motive behind why the artist created the piece. Several artists that caught my interest were David Hockney, Ruud Van Empel and Max Ernst.
Art can also include the different aspects of individuality and the relationship between colors and symbolism in the subject. Researching works of the old masters also teaches me to practice these elements in my artwork. I learned about different periods within art. My favorite standout era is the late 19th century expressionist movement. During this period, different colors and unique shapes accompanied by brushstrokes were techniques used in art. These elements conveyed an emotional expression based on the artist’s feelings through the exaggeration of the subject’s images. I found three artists I found intriguing: Franz Marc, Edward Munch and Marc Chagal. One thing about these artists is their use of formal elements in their own stories.
From the moment my professor introduced us to new media such as graphics and collage, I was drawn to the themes of gender and identity. Challenging myself with new techniques while looking to these topics for inspiration strengthened my creativity and reminded me how learning about art history benefits your artistic development.