Point me toward the "Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music" of painting
March 8, 2013 7:30 PM   Subscribe

I just asked my art-school trained girlfriend to teach me to paint. My art history is probably better than average, but I'm sure I'm missing knowledge of 96% of the technique I'd like to know about. Help me fix this.

Essentially, I'd like to take a virtual dash through the history of painting, sort of like that one Bande à part sequence, but with more glancing around. I've read your typical Art 101 texts, spent a lot of youthful time wandering the Met and MOMA, and already have a bunch of opinions, but I'd like more before really switching from art observer to art creator.

When I started writing this question I jokingly mentioned Ishkur's as a reference point without having visited the site in at least five years, but I just browsed through it and realized that it's exactly what I'm looking for. I really just want a curated, vaguely comprehensive, semi-subjective, and heavily illustrated overview of the last several hundred years of painting that I could spend a couple leisurely hours with and come away better informed. Does such a thing exist?

[for reference, my current interests are all over the place. If I had to choose, I'm more interested in breadth of technique than breadth of subject]
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Well....the thing is that this a physical and embodied skill, so you won't really be able to "learn" it through a mad dash. You can get a feel for it, at most, and learn some technique, but it's one of those "minute to learn, lifetime to master" kinds of things. And most formal educational offerings will focus on one technique or style.
posted by Miko at 8:12 PM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Definitely a good point, and one that I should have addressed in the OP [last threadsit, I promise!]. I'm not looking to master anything, or to even become a good artist (by any definition). I just want to give myself a chance to have a last minute run around all the possibilities and figure out what I'm missing before I listen to the part of myself that says "Vermeer+Rothko+Bacon+Blake+Neon Park GO GO GO!!!" before sitting down and beginning something that could go anywhere.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:29 PM on March 8, 2013

Well, this has piles of information and seems pretty comprehensive.
posted by bunderful at 8:35 PM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure what the figure out what you're missing comment means. Do you want to learn more about art history so you can choose a style to emulate, or are you hoping to learn technique? If it's the latter, wow, I wish it were that easy. It's kinda like saying if you watch enough NFL on tv, it will make you a good player. If it's technique, your best bet is how to YouTube videos, books, your girlfriend and then plain hard graft of sitting down and doing it.

If you just want to learn more about art history, iTunes university (itunesU?) offers heaps of online free university courses and units, as does Harvard and a lot of the top institutions which will cover just about anything you'd be interested in.
posted by Jubey at 10:13 PM on March 8, 2013

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