Monday, November 30, 2009

20 Online Resources for Artists and Art Enthusiasts

20 Online Resources for Artists and Art Enthusiasts

Are you passionate about creating and appreciating art? There are tons of resources online to help with learning about, understanding, buying, selling, and collaborating on art. Here is a list of 20 resources artists and art enthusiasts should check out: - is a free online community for contemporary art. The site features over 50,000 artists and art enthusiasts around the globe.

DeviantART - This free online art community is a spectacular place for artists to share and sell their collection. DeviantART features digital art, photography, traditional art, film, and animation.

Planet Photoshop - Planet Photoshop is a free site for photoshop tutorials, resources, and reviews. The tutorials cover a wide range of tools and effects that digital artists will find useful.

NoBullART - This online art gallery allows artists to promote, sell, and connect with the art community for free. NoBullART also has a large art community that promotes events, shows, and offers tips.

Saatchi Online Gallery - Saatchi Online Gallery provides a way for artists to display their work to thousands of people around the globe. Within this site, users can also buy art, connect with other artists, and receive critiques from others.

Art - 3000 - This free online gallery offers a place for all artists and photographers to display their work. The site also allows artists to communicate with potential buyers and does not charge a commission.

ArtGraphica - ArtGraphica provides free art lessons and tutorials for anyone interested in learning to draw, sketch, or paint. The tutorials focus on teaching artists to see the world around them.

Digital Art Tutorials - This digital site focuses on bringing professional digital techniques to everyone. The tutorials are a great way to get straightforward instruction or find inspiration. - Artmajeur hosts a large collection of artworks from some of the best contemporary artists worldwide. Within this site, artists will find an online art gallery, artist list, upcoming events, and classifieds.

VisualProgression - The VisualProgession site is an art community for digital artists and graphic designers to share and connect with other artists. Within VisualProgression, artists will find a place to display portfolios, discuss techniques, and more.

GFXartist - GFXartist is an art community designed for digital artists. The site allows artists to browse tutorials, daily news, communicate, and share their work with others around the globe. - The online community offers a place for artists, photographers, and models to showcase their work. The free site features unlimited space for artwork, a personal gallery, critiques, and the ability to connect with other artists.

20th Century Art - This art course, offered free by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, takes a critical look at European and American art. Throughout the course, art students will discover how movements in history affected art.

Artabus - Artabus is a free online art gallery for contemporary artists to display their pieces to the world at large. Art enthusiasts can browse through thousands of sculptures and paintings.

Creative Spotlite - Creative Spotlite houses free lessons for artists and crafters of all expertise.

Arts and History - This free Open University course explores the changes in art during the Enlightenment period. This is a great course for art enthusiasts who want to learn more about are appreciation.

Artcyclopedia - This art history site is great for discussing and learning about top artists, masterpieces, and art news. The Artcyclopedia indexes over 2,300 art sites and links to 180,000 artworks.

ArtWEEN - ArtWEEN is an online artistic community for artists to connect, keep up-to-date on art news, and get international exposure for their work. The site also features weekly artists, galleries, museums, and students.

ArtPromote - This site, created for artists and art enthusiasts, features thousands of galleries, exhibits, artists, and museums. ArtPromote also provides free resources for artists to advance and manage their careers.

Tutorialized - Tutorialized provides free tutorials for digital artists and graphic designers. Artists can find tutorials for Flash, Fireworks, Illustrator, Photoshop, AutoCAD, and much more.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the Guide to Business School. She also writes about online degree programs for

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Education Sites in Second Life

I wanted to search for sites in Second Life in a different way then I have been in my research, sotoday I decided to do my search according to discipline. After about six hours of searching and looking around you can see what I have compiled so far, and these are just examples, my search was by no means exhaustive..but I am exhausted! What has excited me about this project is to look beyond the traditional University/College builds that I have been looking at and seeing some concrete examples of how Second Life can be educational content, an interactive learning environment, and a showcase for creativity.

I wanted to provide the educator who is interested in Second Life as a means of providing opportunities to teach students in an immersive environment to see what is going on in Second Life in their specific discipline area, there is a great deal of going on in a variety of areas. I only looked at mathematics, psychology and a smattering of religious, cultural sites. Given time I hope to look at more areas in the future so watch this blog for more! My first search was for Mathematics, this search pulled up four sites which included:

1) David Wheeler Institute for Research which is a closed site.

2) Life Art Gallery which has a companion website: The SLURL for this site is; Check this one out soon as it seems to be going away at the end of December.

According to the websitethis is: An interactive travelling exhibition by the Mathematischen Forschungsinstituts Oberwolfach for the Year of Mathematics 2008 in Germany. Its intention is to display visualizations, interactive installations, virtual realities, 3D objects and their theoretical background in algebraic geometry and in singularity theory in an attracting and understandable manner. It’s a unique science experience!

This site is also a part of a larger region in Second Life known as Eduversa..the Eduversa Website gives more details (in German but the website can be translated using Google Tranlator).

Another math site is the University of Warwick: SLURL here:

Möbius Band Statue by RHAS Raymaker/RHASCORP 2007

From a notecard at the University Warwick Site in SL: Möbius Band

The Möbius strip or Möbius band is a surface with only one side and only one boundary component. It has the mathematical property of being non-orientable. It is also a ruled surface. It was discovered independently by the German mathematicians August Ferdinand Möbius and Johann Benedict Listing in 1858.

A model can easily be created by taking a paper strip and giving it a half-twist, and then merging the ends of the strip together to form a single strip. In Euclidean space there are in fact two types of Möbius strips depending on the direction of the half-twist: clockwise and counterclockwise. The Möbius strip is therefore chiral, which is to say that it is "handed".

Other images from University of Warwick:

Finally I came to Kira Cafe in Second Life:

KIRA website =

From a notecard I got from their Second Life site:

The Kira Institute is an interdisciplinary virtual institute based in Second Life. Its mission is to investigate distinct views of reality, beginning with the question: “Starting with science, what else is true?” We are a real life non-profit organization and we celebrated its 12th anniversary on 24 February 2009.


Derby University Project website inPreview Psych

Second Life site:

Information from the Second Life site;

Problem-based Learning in Virtual Interactive Educational Worlds for Psychology (PREVIEW-Psych)

We are transferring problem-based learning techniques and technologies from Coventry University's PREVIEW project for the Psychology subject group. The project is developing Psychology scenarios and ‘intelligent avatar’ technology within Second Life.


Sarlumn Blog:

This work draws upon a few primary themes and ideas. Broadly, it is a response to the corpus of existential philosophy, psychology, and literature, especially the writings of Sartre, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Hesse, Rank, Becker, as well as Joyce and Bertrand Russell and others far more obscure, such as the American poet Robinson Jeffers.

Thothica Art and Psychology:

Information on the Thothica community can be found here at this community website.

Second Life:


From a notecard retrieved at the site:

The Walkway Gallery at Thothica was established in January 2008 to provide a platform to showcase aspects of the Thothica communities creative output, both individually and collectively , in a gallery setting.

Each exhibition will :
1. exhibit the work of an individual
2. exhibit the response of the thothica community to a particular theme, idea or issue
3. exhibit the works of collaborative teams

the works might be created in RL, SL or both


Virtual Haj Second Life Site

From their Facebook page;

In 2007, (IOL), along with a handful of
volunteers, launched its first project inside the virtual
world of Second Life.

From here on in, it has been an ongoing story of growth and success!

IOL already has several projects range from entertainment to museums to virtual creations of real life spots.

With an ever growing, international staff from several different cultures, IOL’s community inside the virtual world is growing rapidly.

Latter Day Saints:

This site provides many links back to various websites with information on the LDS so if you visit keep in mind how interactive this site is given the level of information available on the web.

Retrieved from an article on the Second Life site of LDS:

Skyler Goode is the creator of an online Mormon community in a virtual reality role-playing game on the Internet called Second Life, or SL for short. In real life (RL for short), he is Keith Thompson, a high priest in the Stayton, Oregon, ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What began as a hobby to fill time has become a personal mission to create a real sanctuary where people can feel spiritual while role-playing in a virtual world.

Another link to an articleon the LDS presence in Second Life.

I visited Opera Joven's Second Life project website and site in Second Life:
the private island of Opera Joven is dedicated to show the most important elements of the culture heritage of the State of Jaliso: The Cathedral of Guadalajara, the Hospicio Cabanas, Los Arcos, La Minerva, The Tequila Landscape and the Tequila.

The Second Life site of the Institute for the Study of Virtual Worlds is here:

And finally I found this general site The Institute for the Study of Religions in Virtual Worlds information from their group is as follows:

SRVW is the SL group associated with the Institute for the Study of Religion in Virtual Worlds, located in the Educators Coop at the University of Texas at Austin. The Institute was founded for the purpose of providing a forum for scholars and interested others to exchange ideas about the function, use, and meaning of religion and ritual in virtual realities such as SL.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Personal Learning Environment/Network

As somewhat of a lurker in the Connectivism 2009 class facilitated by Stephen Downes and George Siemens I have been squeezing in viewing the Elluminate archived sessions when I can. I have to say I am grateful to George and Stephen for their work on this course, it has been fascinating. I am also grateful for the opportunity to be introduced to and begin to define my personal learning network/environment (PLN) and ponder the resources I have in my PLN.

Before I launch into all the different nodes on my Personal Learning Network or Environment (PLN/E) it seems to me that defining what these terms mean is in order. According to my current favorite resource, Wikipedia, a personal learning environment is a system that helps learners take control of and manage their own learning. This includes providing support for learners set their own learning goals, manage their learning; managing both content and process and communicate with others in the process of learning and thereby achieve learning goals. A PLE may be composed of one or more subsystems: As such it may be a desktop application, or composed of one or more web-based services."

At the foundation of my PLE/N are the Google Alerts I have set. Google Alerts basically harvest new stories, blogs, and other resources on the web for information on topics that I have set. I receive this information back, on a daily basis, in an email. There are directly links to the website, however more importantly each item is listed with a line or two of text the is just enough for me to determine if I want to continue reading the article or not. I usually read these on a daily basis..if I let too much time elapse I can too far behind. These alerts go in to my Gmail account where they are automatically sorted in to folders for me to review. I also use Google Reader, however I continue to see as kind of "clunky," perhaps with time and use I will change my perception, but for now it is something I look at about once a week. The essential benefit of Google reader to me is to be able to set feeds for blogs, websites and individuals I like to follow online.

Another primary tool of my PLN/E Twitter. I use Twitter for many things, to identify people to follow who will provide me with those specific resources that are related to my particular interests. In addition to that I also use Twitter to present my own blogs, those of others and articles related to my area of interest for feedback and comments from the followers I have attracted over the last several months. Someone once mentioned it is not so much about who is following you but who you are following..and I truly agree with that, there are certain people I either search for to see what they are tweeting or those I quickly identify in the tweet stream, who consistently have good links. I also look for Delicious, which are automated tweets based upon bookmarks put into the social bookmarking system and I get alerts from Tweet me news.

I also use Evernote. Evernote captures all those Tweets I want to use as future resources when I put @myen at the end of my tweet. Evernote captures websites, images, and documents or reports that I want to use for future referral. I can tag and sort all of this by projects. The real bonus of all of this for me is that I can access these resources from any PC.

I also have Livescribe Pen. I have found it essential that I take handwritten notes on somethings as I plan out what I am going to write, sometimes to even get motivated on what I am going to write for a blog, for work or just as reminders. On occasion I find that these handwritten notes are just what I need to overcome writer's block. I have never been a journal keeper but the use of the Livescribe Pulse Pen has given me the means to do that. What I like about the pen and notebooks is that my notes are up-loadable to the web and search-able. The only drawback I have found is that my handwriting is bad enough that the translation of the written notes to word processing has not been particularly successful. I also blog and love to blog..obviously. I maintain two other blog sites in addition to this one, and Steve Hargadon noted that he uses Google Docs as part of his PLN in a discussion with HOward Rheingold and I now use Google Docs almost exclusively having purchased a new PC and not following my usual pattern of purchase MS Office for this computer.

I have also used Twine, since starting to look at and use Evernote I have kind of drifted away from Twine, but I hope to take another look at it again. I think this is kind of an example of the problem with their being too many tools...sometimes you can lose focus on a certain Web 2.0 tool before fully evaluating it. I do think Twine is wonderful and has great potential. I understand that revisions are being made to Twine and an upgrade will be made available around the first part of 2010 if not earlier.

I am also in Second Life®, I have benefited a great deal from a variety of professional development activities in Second Life.® These range Metanomics, to Gronstedt's Train for Success, Pathfinder LInden's office hours, and events held by VIO Business,to evening events. I also have spent a great deal of time touring Second Life's® education sites, and chatting with others who share my interests. There are many things which illustrate the potential of Second Life for professional development to tour, historic sites such as Caledon, events like Burning Life, educational conferences and events as well. I am also a member of the Second Life Educators list serve and it seems that there is a continuous stream of thoughts, questions and observations on education in Second Life® from that list serve.

Two WEB 2.0 tools I think I have neglected are Facebook and Linked In. I need to work these sites that I have established to present a more "polished" image to those who view these pages. I view my Facebook page as more personal, for family and friends, however the groups that available for professional development via Facebook seem to be overshadowing that use of Facebook and I am seeing that there is a great deal of overlap. The connections that i have made via Second Life over lap a great deal, not just on Twitter but Linked In as well. Many of my Second Life connections are also my Linked In connections.

I have several connections beyond the virtual in my real life. These extend beyond conferences that I attend in person! I am a member of several national organizations and serve them in one capacity or another as well. These include Merlot and WCET. I find that I can access the people from these organizations with questions regarding the work that I do as it relates to their organizations.

When I remember I try to catch Steve Hargadon's Elluminate sessions through, these are in the evenings and if I don't catch them "live" I can listen to the podcast later. I subscribe to a variety of podcasts. It's not possible to catch them all but I do what I can!

Last but not least, I have blogged about this before, is my participation in John Jamison's Imagilearning SLemester class. I have enjoyed this opportunity very much and looked forward to an ongoing relationship as an alum of the program which focuses on virtual worlds for education and training. John always has a recommendation for another good book to read!

There is also the interesting work of Micheal Trout and the connections that I have made by working with him on eSingularity.

Other resources (and these are sporadic) include Ted Talks, Fora TV and You Tube, I have to confess I am not a huge user of these, my use of these define as sporadic at best. For the last several months I have spent a great deal of time exploring Second Life® almost exclusively.

There are some tools I have "on the back burner" so to speak that I intend to pick up and use more diligently. These include Zotero, Mixbook, Ning, and FolkSemantic.