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Projects in Painting 1: private theater, public meaning


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Painting goes back over 40,000 years, as evidenced by the El Castillo Caves of Spain. No other art form has an accessible history this extensive, which is why the choice to make paintings is particularly challenging. And yet, this is also the reason we continue to do it. Because, when you reach out with that brush, you are metaphorically touching all painting and thus attempting to communicate with all humanity past and present. Painting has provided us an impression of people from the Neanderthal to the Renaissance to Modern and Post-Modern times. This history serves as evidence of our humanity. Because of its plasticity, painting continues to be the most economic means for expression. The intelligence of painting comes from its 2-dimensional character. It requires the invention of flat abstract shapes to communicate complex, multi-dimensional ideas. For the individual painter the painting process takes place in time. It is an intimate theater of action. However, in public, paintings are experienced in their simultaneity. The paradox; painting is a process that takes place in time but is experienced without time. When we connect with a painting our empathy with the artist collapses all of time into the present. There is no history.

Learning Outcomes

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Topic Outlines

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Grading Rubric

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  • Demonstrated comprehension of techniques from canvas and panel preparation to mixing and application of paint.
  • Comprehension of ideas appropriate to painting. (Good “ideas” are not always good for painting.)
  • Comprehension of painting principles: Position/reposition, proximity, dark-light-middletone, closure, figure/ground relationships and an increased facility with brush work.


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Course Resources

University website

Uploaded by Common Syllabi on 2023-04-20