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Welcome to It's About Art: Art Appreciation.

I'm glad you could join me. Begin the course by reading through this 6 part lesson below and on the subsequent pages. A brief assignment and quiz follows the end of part 6. Enjoy the lesson...

Getting Acquainted with Art

How many times have you said, "I don't know anything about art but I know what I like"? Don't be afraid to admit it… it's a common phrase and there's absolutely nothing wrong with saying it. The ironic thing about the sentence is, knowing what you like about art is really the first step toward knowing about art. You see, in order to understand art, you don't need a degree in the stuff. All you need are your eyes - and some time.

Let's look at a comparison…

I think we can all agree that a flower garden is easy to look at. All at once, the senses are bombarded with an orchestra of color, shape, line and texture. An activity free of stress, fear and judgment, stopping to smell the roses, is not unlike standing before a painting.

"Aha!" you say… but when looking at a flower garden, no one expects you to know the bloom's name, where it was grown or what the gardener might have been thinking. To that I say, when looking at a painting, no one expects you to have special knowledge either. It's a misconception that if we do make the effort to wander into a museum or gallery, we will automatically be required to stand motionless in the quiet confines of large square rooms- or worse - we will be summoned to speak in detail about the patterns and colors that hover above the hard wooden floors. Not a very thrilling proposition is it? Relax. Museums and galleries are of course nothing like that. While it is common courtesy not to shout in public places, in a museum, you are not required to wear all black, you need not spew art speak and there is no pop quiz at the end of your journey. In fact, you don't even have to like what you see.

Let me share a story with you…

Go On to Part Two: Is This Art?