The thought for the day (well, for the week in my case) is.....
I truly love to learn - so if I gave this a lot of thought I am sure that I could develop a rather large list of potential subjects to delve into. The first two that come to mind however, are Art Appreciation and Photoshop. Let me explain.
If you could study a subject that you’ve never had the opportunity to learn, what would you choose? This could be an academic class or the study of a specific skill or art. Tell us your passion about it!
I have always been involved in the arts, mostly through music (I played the piano for about 6 years and then picked up the flute in junior high and played through my junior year in college). I am quite certain that music saved my life in high school. Well, that may be a touch melodramatic, but I do know that I never quite felt like I fit in UNLESS I was in the band/orchestra room. Somehow cliques disappeared for that hour of instruction - and good times were had because we all shared a common passion.
As much as I enjoy and appreciate music, however, I have never seemed to transfer that passion to the visual arts. I had the opportunity to live in NYC for 4 years and I think in all that time I took the time to visit one museum. I am fairly certain I could cover the Metropolitan Museum of Art in about 90 minutes time. This is a travesty -- I know.
From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism, and I read Art for Dummies (don't l augh - it served its purpose and its audience). I am happy to report that I spent 3 hours at the museum and left wanting more. This has fueled a true desire to learn to appreciate art in the same way that I have learned to appreciate books. In books I pay close attention to the author's tools: his words - diction and syntax; his weaving of plot and development of character; his deeper meaning behind the words. I am beginning to learn that art is very much the same way: the artists tools are his brushes and his color; his use of light and shadow; his perspective of the ordinary to make it extraordinary; he does truly have deeper meaning behind the picture. I have a long way to go, but I know it will be a satisfying journey.
While I know that I have no talent whatsoever to become an artist --- I do think that Photoshop has created a program that can enable all of us to become decent photographers -- which is as close to an artistic endeavor that I will ever get. I have always enjoyed taking pictures. Not the artistic "make a statement" pictures -but the "capture the memory" sort of pictures. I tried a photography class a LONG time ago, but aperatures and F-stops were too cumbersome for me to learn (and I was dealing with young children at the time. By the time I adjusted the camera's settings the memory I was hoping to capture was long gone!) Using my "point and shoot" camera, I can take a decent picture. Well, by decent I mean that the subject is centered (no heads chopped off or photographer fingers in the way) and it is usually in focus (unless the dogs happen to move at the wrong time - which frequently happens). I want to learn to enhance these rather generic photos and at least make them good. I don't think it will be difficult - and I even think I will have fun -- but the problem is to find the time to actually sit down and play with it.
Some people claim that they can't imagine retirement. They would go crazy with nothing to do. Me, I am counting down the years. I have far too many interests to occupy my time and I hope that never changes. I think it is what helps me to feel (not necessarily look) young. If you enjoy learning as much as I do, and you haven't heard of the Teaching Company's DVD series (in severeal subjects, not just art), be sure to check out their website. It is an absolutely treasure trove.