Category Archives: Art

An Ending

I haven’t written in here since NOVEMBER and I finish my final (if I pass!) OU course on May 31st. Needless to say, the end is nigh for this blog. That said, I want to keep writing, and more regularly. If you are so inclined, please do check out my very new personal blog over here.

Anyhoo, for my last course I managed to scrape a 2:1; hoorah! The hope is I can continue the trend with my current course (AA315: Renaissance Art Reconsidered). For my first two essays I received a 2:1 but I’m not that optimistic for the final two.

My next essay is due in April 5th, is worth 40% of my final grade, and I only have a week to do it (which I think is UTTERLY unfair). And I don’t understand the question. Granted, I haven’t asked for any help or checked out the forums so far, so hopefully my understanding will be better this time tomorrow!

I have received back my proforma for my final Independent Essay and things aren’t good that end either. The direction I wanted to go in is pretty much a dead end so I have to re-evaluate what the heck I want to write about. This isn’t easy as I have discovered I dislike Renaissance art greatly and don’t care about any of it – and if you don’t care, it’s unlikely you’ll write a good essay.

Having said this, I am pretty motivated to pass this damn course because I refuse to spend another second of my life studying; I am utterly fed up of it and just want a grown up job with some monies please!

This year, a few things have changed with the OU which I dislike: the main one being their constant fiddling with the submission time of essays. When I first started, it would be Friday at midnight. Then it moved to Friday midday. Now it has moved to Thursday midday. This effectively cuts out two days of essay writing for the average person and I am not happy with it, at all.

I also don’t understand my next essay being worth 40% and only having a week to do it, whereas the Independent Essay is worth 50% and for that we have six weeks.

I don’t understand such changes and I just thank my lucky stars that I have parents willing to support me because no way could I do this amount of work, hold down a full time job and still hope for a social life! I do sometimes wonder if this is why the OU appeals to the older student: at 24 I need a social life! Also, after being in education for twenty years, my motivation for textbook based learning left me a good long while ago.

Oh well, moaning over! Hope you’re all well and thank you for reading 🙂

Nikki x

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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Art, OU, TMAs


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Long Time, No Write.

Gosh, September 8th was when I last wrote here. Since, then I have finished my EMA, collated it and sent all three copies off to Milton Keynes.

I was confident with it at the time, but with hindsight my confidence has dwindled. Last year I thought I did really well in my exam but I only got a Grade 3 Pass (a 2:2. I have been told this is the degree classification of the partier, which would be rather accurate. I do like a good night out). I did do better on my TMAs this year compared to last year though so who knows? I do have to admit, I found it much easier to secure 2:1s when I was at actual university than I do with the OU. Lord knows why, because I never used to pay attention in lectures. My friend and I used to pass notes to a guy who sat in front of us. About dolphins. It was very bizarre! (But we were drama students, so I think we can be forgiven.)

Anyway, AA318 has finished and I have embarked upon AA315; Renaissance Art Reconsidered. I am actually finding this course more enjoyable, I think because there were set rules artists had to follow and these are easier to digest than a 20th century artist putting forward odd notions about what exactly made him enlarge Brillo boxes.

The only part of this course I don’t like is architecture. I think it is half down to the way the author wrote the chapter, half because I find it very difficult to visualise in my head, even after watching the DVD. I have never been interested in architecture, I find it too technical. However, I found learning about how frescoes and altarpieces were created very interesting indeed. The jury is still out on sculpture because again, I find it hard to visualise. But it’s easier to get my head round than architecture!

This is (hopefully) my last course with the OU; in June I should have finished! However, because this is my last year, for some reason I seem to have lost an awful lot of motivation. From what I can gather, this is pretty common. I have been studying at degree level since 2006, with a large break in 2008. That’s four and a half years. It’s tiring! I never thought I’d say this, but I’m getting fed up of education!

That said, I have started my proper Swedish classes which result in an OCR qualification. I can’t help myself! My CV is getting to the point where I have to have a few different ones depending on the kind of jobs I want to go for, because I have a lot of superfluous crap on there. (eg I have Childcare and First Aid qualifications. I got out of doing the Food Hygiene one!)

Anyway, I think I will upload a video soon of everything that came with this course. It’s all become a lot more internet based since last year which is to be welcomed, although I DO wish we could submit our EMAs online. Recorded delivery is bloody pricey!

Hope you’re all well, and sorry for not writing for two months!

Nikki x

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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Art, OU, Universities


The Royal Wedding.

So I do hope everyone’s Royal Wedding day was nice, whether you are a monarchist or not. I’m apathetic about the monarchy, but I must admit I do enjoy the history and tradition, and no one, no one, does pomp and circumstance better than the Brits.

We had a party in the field next to our house. Lots of people came and we had food, Pimm’s (of course!) and played rounders. My throat is a bit hoarse today though thanks to getting a bit too over excited during rounders and because I was used as a raffle announcer, since I know how to project my voice 😉

I think the wedding ceremony was nice but it did drag on a tad; the pair of them looked exhausted bless them. I bet they had next to no sleep the night before; I know I wouldn’t have. And that dress; my god. Stunning. I’d love to get married in a similar style dress, but in blue. Oh well, there’s always Harry! 😉

Anyhoo, I was reading a blog about today’s front pages and how almost all papers put the same image on the front cover; that of Wills and Kate kissing on the balcony. Nice, but safe. The Independent went with this by Tracey Emin, which I must admit I depsise:

I think I dislike it (a) because it looks like it was traced, (b) because it looks smudged and (c) it’s so impersonal! They’re a beautiful couple (even if Wills is losing his hair) and this just completely depersonalises it. I have never been a fan of Emin though so no surprises there.

However, The Times went with a fantastic photo which is completely candid and really captures the spirit of the couple. This is what good photography is all about:

Who could not be moved by that photo? Gorgeous.

I have a TMA due in on Friday and I haven’t even looked at the question (so disorganised at times), but I’m hoping to make a video about the process so look out for that sometime next week!

Nikki x

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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Art, The author, TMAs



Mmmm, I am sat here snacking on some vanilla flavoured pumpkin and sesame seeds from Graze. They are to die for. If you want a free box, use this code: HXH6Z7Z over at You won’t regret it, I assure you.

And now for some Art History…

I found this picture when I should have been writing my essay last week but was instead procrastinating on tumblr. There are a few blogs on there devoted to humerous images for us Art History geeks, and I love it because I get nearly all of the references! This one rings especially true because many people don’t really understand what Art History entails. I don’t think it is especially difficult, though it is tricky to get your head round all the different theorists and what not.

Anyway, essay has been sent off; terrified of finding out how I did on it so keep your fingers crossed! It’s always daunting starting a new course, especially when said new course is at level 3! Slightly terrifying, but it has to be done.

On Thursday I started reading the second textbook (there are 4 in all) and it reminded me why I decided to study Art History, for it is on Expressionism. When I did GCSE Art back in 2003/2004 I remember being fascinated by the Fauves, and my art teacher had that huge Art coffee table book, that looks like this:

And I remember that was the book where I discovered Fauvism. I in fact did one of my paintings for my final exam based off of a Matisse. This one, in fact:

So it was nice to start reading about an art movement that really holds my interest (and it was a nice change from Barnett Newman, whose paintings I don’t think I will ever truly ‘get’!)

My favourite art movement, though, is Impressionism, but I am not sure if we get to study that in this course (I’m not one for flicking through the books prior to actually studying them). I also love pop art, especially Roy Lichtenstein. There is a great show on Sky Arts 1 at the moment, on Tuesdays at 8pm (I think!) where this ex-art forger is placing famous people into well known paintings. He has so far placed James May into a Lichtenstein, Ronnie Wood into Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe and some people who I can’t remember into a Hockney. Next time he is painting Stephen Fry, and it really is the most fascinating programme, so if you have Sky I recommend you set your plus box to record it!

I cant promise when I will next update because Oliver! is fast approaching (I have in fact just got home from a rehearsal) but I will try not to be more than a week.

Ciao! Nikki x

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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in Art, OU

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