Our book and course, LOVING ART, is shaped from Arthur's course, HOW TO LOOK AT ART, a popular offering at Rollins College that has attracted art lovers since 1988. The course is a submersion into spirit and soul, into self-knowledge and joy. LOVING ART doesn’t teach art appreciation, art theories or techniques; it teaches confidence in our own visual powers. It’s about unrestrained joy in the act of looking. It's about accessing art’s mysteries unafraid, undaunted, valiant, and open. But LOVING ART offers more: it's a way of awakening, a way to live an inspired life, one filled with possibility and delight.
Looking at art intelligently, deeply, and boldly can transform one's life. Art dissolves cultural differences, offering connection, compassion, and hope to this beleaguered world. When we view art consciously, as we teach our LOVING ART students, we bring vast imaginative powers to the moment. We gaze into another’s soul and, paradoxically, into our own. Barriers dissolve. Geography, time, language, and space vanish. The artist may live in Chechnya, or Bangladesh, or Wisconsin—or have lived centuries ago. Art illuminates, revealing what it is to be human. Art literally changes our brains. But first, we must learn to look, not carelessly, but mindfully and without trepidation.
LOVING ART offers a way to look at a single work of art for a profound aesthetic experience. We teach students to deeply see, outside of any knowledge or art history, using their eyes and insights alone. Our five step method, while simple, produces powerful results. The LOVING ART course guides students through the following five doorways:
1. Stepping into the Looking Space
2. Our Instant Impression
3. Entering the Fresh Mind
4. The Uninterrupted Gaze (Meticulous description)
5. Seeing the Whole
This course is based on Arthur's "How to Look at Art," taught at Rollins College to thousands of adult students for nearly 20 years. My workshops, concerned with writing about art, also shape the course.