At the beginning of the class, I didn't know much about art criticism. I had taken art classes in the past but we hadn't done much with art criticism. I knew that different people could have different opinions on what someone's artwork was about or the meaning of it but I didn't know how to evaluate artwork for it's quality or the artist's growth while disregarding personal opinions of the subject. I was comfortable saying that I personally liked/didn't like a piece of artwork but I wasn't comfortable evaluating the artwork on the basis of it's quality. I didn't know the difference between "bad" and "good" artwork or if there even was a such thing as a "bad" piece of art.
My understanding of art criticism has grown during Art 1. I've learned that evaluating art can include judging an artist's use of shading or color, the depth/dimensionality of the piece, and the amount of effort that went into it. Before taking Art 1 I thought that paintings such as the one pictured right were debatably not even artwork. I thought that they must be easy to make and not represent or mean anything. However, we watched a video about how Jackson Pollock put canvases on the ground and dripped paint onto them in intricate and unique ways. This taught me more about that style of painting so that I could evaluate it better.
Some important/useful things we learned in Art 1 are shading and water color techniques. Learning water color techniques such as gradient and transparency helped me create my artwork (pictured left) for the landscape unit. I was interested in water color artwork before taking Art 1 so learning these techniques was beneficial for my future endeavors. I hadn't done much work with shading before this class so learning shading techniques such as cross-hatching helped me to experiment more with shading in my art. Another important thing we learned in Art 1 was how to critique and evaluate art. We had days where we walked around and evaluated others artwork and that helped to broaden my horizon on what art looks like and how different types of art are made.
To make Art 1 a better learning experience, I would change the way deadlines are accomplished. I think that having set deadlines for each project, instead of just giving a general idea, would help to make sure that students work efficiently and make the best use of their time. I would also eliminate blog posts and instead have one-on-one teacher and student conversations about each unit's artwork. This would keep the focus of grading centered more on the actual artwork and how much the student accomplished, as opposed to their writing skills. Overall, I think that Art 1 is a good learning experience with little need for improvement.