Have you ever encountered an artwork and wondered why you have the feelings you do about it?

Has someone put you on the spot asking your opinion about an artwork in the news or in a museum?

I have taught art for nearly 8 years and the minute I share, “I teach art” to someone new in my life I get the usual responses:

“I only draw stick figures.”
“I painted when I was young and won this award…”
“What is with those giant canvases covered in splattered paint? I could do that and I am definitely not an artist!”

All of these statements are direct reflections of our art education system and I would argue, its flaws. How many times have you a person respond to a math teacher with,

“I can only do addition and subtraction.”
“What is the purpose of geometry anyway?”

There is something about the way we have cultivated the arts in our society that makes people uncomfortable and feel insecure when talking about art. I would argue that elitist choices made by art institutions and artists create this environment of discomfort and even fear. But art education is also to blame. If people knew more about art, would they feel so alienated?

How do we combat fear and ignorance? Education. The more people learn, the more tolerant they are and the greater understanding they have for different ideas. Art education and understanding of our arts is key for more of the population to engage with our arts. (Shall I remind you that art is a key ingredient to any group of peoples labeled part of a civilization?)

On July 28th, my first e-book will be released. It is called ARTSpeak. 

It is because of my hope to educate many about art that I have written ARTSpeak. I want everyone to have the chance and choice to engage with our culture. That is easier to do if everyone has access to a basic toolkit. Everyone discipline has one; in ARTSpeak I offer easy to use descriptions and examples of the Elements and Principles of Art, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to analyze and interpret art.

If you are already an Artist Strong subscriber, you are entitled to a free copy before launch (sign up now and you can get one early too!). Email me at opalartist@yahoo.com and I will forward you a copy.

Want ARTSpeak but not an Artist Strong subscriber? Check out my sales page.

I would be thrilled and flattered if any and all of my readership would offer me feedback on the book so that I might share reviews with potential readers.

Thank you all for your support. I continue to write Artist Strong because I hope it is helping you, my readers. May we all share and spread to others a greater understanding of the arts!