Week 2 - Sept. 21

What is Art?; Shape and Line

Idea 2

Welcome to Week 2!

You did it! You survived week 1! Module 1 was a low stakes entry to get you used to:


1. finding and processing information on your own (so important, yet not easy!)

2. Learning how to find and complete a module 

3. Following instructions and completing an exercise (E1, Self-portrait)

4. Understanding how forums work, where they are and how to post to them

5. Understanding expectation for when to post to forums (a two-part process, posts by Wed. at noon, comments Wed. - Sun. See the Forum Guide for more details if you don't understand).

6. Getting used to how you submit assignments on Blackboard

It's all about learning the ropes. Hopefully, you feel you have it down! Don't worry if you missed the Wed. @ noon forum deadline last week. What I really want to see from Module 1 is that you got on and posted at some point. The Wed. deadline for forum posts is strictly in effect from this point onward. If you haven't submitted your E1 in Assignments on Blackboard, do so as soon as possible to avoid gathering more late marks. 

It was great reading the forum posts from Module 1 and seeing all the work come in. I'm really excited to see what you will each come up with this term. I have updated the student gallery on the homepage with a few submissions.

In Module 1, "The Creative Process" we thought through the relationship between taste and ability, using Ira Glass' animated speech. My hope is that the connection between what you recognize as "great work" and your own, developing (and perhaps sometimes disappointing) creative work can become visible to you as a process, and therefore take some of the pressure off the expectations you set for yourself. 


Through The Elements and Principles of Design lecture, we took our first steps to understand the building blocks and techniques we think about and look for when doing a formal analysis. Some of this material may already be familiar to many of you. It is an important technical language we will use throughout the term, that I will be looking for in your forum posts, and that you will find on tests. Make yourself comfortable with formal language. In the lecture, we also learned that artwork is critiqued according to its formal properties, technique (skill), and its conceptual choices. We will discuss all three concerns in greater detail in week four, but for now, we will continue to develop our formal analysis.


Week 1 included a video from the Khan Academy called "How to do Visual (Formal) Analysis in Art History" that showed you a formal critique of a work of art in real-time with helpful visual cues. This video is a very useful demonstration of how you can think about the formal concerns in your own work, and how you can apply them when conducting critiques on the work of your peers.    

Module 2, called "What is Art?; Shape and Line," asks you to consider the purpose and action of art, your expectations for yourself as an artist, and the work of shape and line. 


Home Office

Module 2 Tasks

  1. Read:Course Workflow if you haven't already 

  2. Read: VA 113 Forum Guide​ if you haven't already

  3. Watch: What is Art for? by The School of Life. To access the transcript, click on the "more actions" button (3 horizontal dots) located next to the Share button. Click "open transcript"

  4. Read: an edited version of "How to Be an Artist" by art critic Jerry Saltz

  5. Do: Module 2 Forum Topic Post (Blackboard)

  6. Read: Exercise #2 (E2) *Don't start, just read*

  7. Watch: Demo Part One

  8. Watch: Demo Part Two

  9. Do: Exercise #2 (E2)

  10. Do: Work on MA #1

  11. Do: Go on Blackboard and find and read your "grade" and "feedback" for forum 1. Completing this task helps you figure out where to find real feedback and grades going forward 



Office C1402B

Candace Couse

Assistant Professor

School of Creative Arts

University of the Fraser Valley

Optional Additional Resources