Mar 072011

On February 23rd, Luc Travers gave a fascinating webcast on Bringing an Artwork to Life. Here’s what one person said about the webcast:

I attended the webcast put together by Diana last evening. It was wonderful. I’ve cared little for the visual arts throughout my life. Primarily because I didn’t understand anything about them. I’d read or heard reports of people feeling something and it was always described in a very mystical way. I recently found I could enjoy some art, I loved Bryan Larsen’s “Young Builder” enough to purchase a print for my home. And your class has opened a new world for me. I can’t wait to take my children to see some pieces of art and guide them through the process I have learned from you — both so they can appreciate something I never had the chance as a child, and also so I can learn to appreciate at it more. (Through teaching, I will have to work to thoroughly understand and ground the concepts you touched on.) You may have seen I have already purchased your book at the generous discount. Thank you!

Finally I had to write this message today because by coincidence I am listening to the audiobook version of The Fountainhead currently, and on my way to the office this morning I heard a line describing Dominique awakening in Roark’s bed in Monadnock, “She awakened with the sun in her eyes. She lay on her back, looking at the ceiling as she had looked at the leaves. Not to move, to guess by hints, to see everything through the greater intensity of implication.” And I thought this line eloquently describes what is possible through the visual arts and of the technique which you have just introduced me. To use the evidence of a snapshot either in stone or on canvas and to re-create the story and connect it to your life in a way much more intensely than watching a movie.

I’m so thrilled to hear that, and I’ve heard others echo those sentiments.

So… I’m pleased to announce that the webcast — in the form of nearly two hours of streaming video, streaming audio, or downloadable audio — is now available for sale. It costs $50 to purchase. For that price, you’ll enjoy full access to the streaming video and audio for at least two months. You can also download an audio MP3 of the webcast during that time, and you’re welcome to play that from now until doomsday. You’re welcome to share that streaming video or audio file with members of your own household, but not with anyone one else. You cannot download the video, but only the audio.

To purchase the webcast, you simply need to send me $50, preferably via PayPal. If you do that, I’ll send you the instructions for viewing the webcast within 24 hours.

Or, if you would prefer to pay by check or money order, please submit this order form, then mail your payment of $50 for each webcast ordered to Diana Hsieh; P.O. Box 851; Sedalia, CO 80135. In that case, you can expect an e-mail with instructions for viewing the webcast in a week or two, once payment has been received.

Further instructions on giving the webcast as a gift to someone else or showing it before a group can be found on the OList page for the webcast: Luc Travers Webcast on Bringing an Artwork to Life.

To refresh your memory, here’s the abstract, now slightly updated:

Most people find that literature and movies provide a more accessible and more emotionally satisfying esthetic experience than the visual arts. However, the visual arts do have the capacity to provide the same kind of experience as other genres.

Most people believe that the extent to which one can experience an artwork is a quick look and a mild emotional response. If there is an artwork which someone finds interesting, the common approach to further appreciating the piece is to turn to an art history source for information about the artist, the culture, the style. However, these “DVD extras” are not a substitute for experiencing the “story” and “characters” in a painting and deriving personal meaning.

In this webcast, Mr. Travers will describe a fundamentally different approach to engaging the visual arts–one that treats an artwork as art and not as an historical artifact. In taking you through three powerful pieces, including Michelangelo’s David, he will demonstrate principles and techniques that will help you immerse yourself into the “story” and grasp the deeper, personal meaning that so often remains untapped in great art.

Luc Travers is the author of Touching The Art: A Guide to Enjoying Art at a Museum. He leads tours at museums across the country and teaches art appreciation and literature at the VanDamme Academy in Aliso Viejo, CA.

If you’ve not done so already, I recommend that you watch this free 10-minute preview of the webcast.

As for March’s OList webcast… I’m going to try to webcast the lectures and workshops from SnowCon, so that even those who cannot attend can join in the live events and chat. I likely won’t do that as a pledge project — or I might do some variation on that. In any case, I’ll settle on and announce the details soon!

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