One Friday in the not so distant past, I sat in a circle and discussed the nature of “character” with a group of 11 other people. Can objects have character? Is there more to character than simply having or not having it?

Fast forward: is nature arbitrary as it relates to color? What did Delacroix mean when he describes a “colorist”? What is the difference between adding color or value with purpose or randomness?

Fast forward again: What does Flannery O’Connor mean when she talks about concreteness in writing (which also pertains to visual art)? How does a work of art open up an experience for the reader/viewer, and how does that relate to an abstraction?

Fast forward more: Staring at a candle for an hour and discussing the candle…

Fast forward one last time: 4 hours of writing about 3 paintings.

Where can one find all this and more? (and yes, there’s much more). You guessed it; not business class. Although someone (not in my program) mentioned that she watched a cartoon during her business class, so maybe I’m underestimating non-artists…

I’ve discovered that I enjoy putting an entire cube of sugar (sometimes 2) in my small coffee cup. In other words, I don’t actually like coffee, but I like sugar.

The art we look at in “seminar”, or Art Criticism if you prefer the technical term, ranges from the 19th cenutry to 35,000 years ago (or as one of my professors says “or…ok, 20,000 years depending on who you ask.”) So anything from cave paintings to Roman sculptures to a Chinese drawing of a Monk smelling a flower, to Rembrandt illustrations.

I never knew I could spend an hour looking at and discussing a drawing that probably took 5 minutes…

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