On Being an Artist and Art Teacher in the 21st Century…

What’s it’s like to be an artist and art teacher in the beginning of the 21st Century? I wrote an essay about this topic, “A Storm of Exceptions: On Being a 21st Century Artist-Teacher” for the Mind’s Eye Liberal Arts Journal, which published in Fall 2013. In this essay you can read about sitting on Michelangelo, working your…

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Want to See More Birds? 12 tips for birders

Would you like to see more birds? Here’s some tips for finding birds in the wild and getting closer to them… 1. Use your ears. Especially in the thickness of summertime forests, it is almost always the case that birds will be heard before they can be seen. Their songs can also be heard over…

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Book Review: Hawking and Mlodinow’s “Grand Design”

To Infinity and Beyond: Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow’s The Grand Design. By Gregory Scheckler, 2010 The Grand Design Hawking and Mlodinow’s new book, The Grand Design, outlines the emergence of quantum physics, which in turn becomes the starting point for the newer explanations of M-Theory (Hawking 2010). M-Theory is the only currently viable theory…

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Book Review: New Brain Trends in Art, Onians’ “Neuroarthistory”

The following review was published in the Mind’s Eye: a Liberal Arts Journal, 2012   New Brain Trends in Art, a Review of Neuroarthistory: from Aristotle and Pliny to Baxandall and Zeki By Gregory Scheckler Scholars Rudolf Arnheim and Ernst Gombrich grounded their work in art history and the psychology of perception. But around the…

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Nicolas Poussin Did Not Eat Baloney

Among believers in sacred geometry and conspiricists of themes such as in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code full of taboo religious beliefs and saucy secret-society stories, the artist Nicolas Poussin holds a special status as having been rumored to hold important secret truths, especially with respect to his famous painting The Arcadian Shepherds, sometimes called…

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Changing Ideas of Form: Composition, Disposition, and the Never-ending Image

Ancient ideals of disposition and composition aren’t the same as today’s ideas for composing pictures. Time to make a few corrections.

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Sargent’s Madame X and new ideas about visual objectification of women

John Singer Sargent’s painting Madame X was a scandalous portrait in its day, and arguably one of the most erotic images of the late 19th Century: The portrait was of Virginie Gautreau, whose mother objected to how the dress, unstrapped on one side, appeared to be falling off thus suggesting a too-easy availability. As a…

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Portraits of College Dropouts

The essay is out: The Darkness and Brightness of Teaching: Portraits of College Dropouts, featured in the Fall issue of the National Education Association’s Thought and Action journal, of Nov 2011. Over the years I’ve learned from my advisees that sometimes the best option for the student is to become a college dropout. This recognition…

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Why I love Leonardo da Vinci: He was a skeptic!

“The adversary says that he does not want so much science… to this it is replied that nothing more deludes us than to place faith in our own judgment without any other reasoning, as may be proved by the way in which experiment is always the enemy of alchemists, necromancers, and other simple minds.” –…

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Max Ernst’s Profanity and Sacrilege

Some artists become creative by reacting against the system. My first post about Max Ernst is popular, getting more hits than any other post on my website. So I thought I’d add some more thoughts about his artistry. He once said his art was “Rebellious, heterogeneous, full of contradiction,… unacceptable to specialists of art, culture,…

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