I had color classes, drawing classes, illustration classes, graphic classes, art history classes....I learned about collage and three dimensional work. Abstract art was the time period for the 70's. I began to look at objects, people and scenery as shapes, shadows, texture, color and the whole composition that I was going to create as a design. What did I see and feel about something that I could create an oil painting, acrylic painting, a charcoal drawing, a collage or a combination of these elements. I had a professor that was an expert in the masters and I was able to produce a large painting of a still life. Another professor was an expert in nude paintings with the use of various mediums. My photography professor did not like my work even though my class would walk up and stand in front of my self portraits and really look at them. He as a teacher liked scenery so he wanted us to do scenery. I kind of went against the tide I guess.
As I grew older, I wanted to learn how to create real-life paintings but again, had not been taught because I lived in what I would call the "abstract art world". Could I talk about art, go to the museum, and discuss what I saw in a piece hanging on the wall that was worth millions of dollars. "No" and when I listened to others talk, the terms and ideas discussed sounded silly to me like a bunch of "artsy fartsy" discussions.
So here we are in the year 2010, I am more mature now, married, mother of five, homeschooled my children, have a grandson and now am diving back into art. I can do what ever I want-abstract-realism-subreal-photography, oil painting, acrylic painting, printmaking...it is endless.
Saturday, I began my vocabulary list-art words, art terms, plain english words that describe art. So that when you look at a piece of abstract art, you may be able to carry on a conversation in your head about what you see, you can discuss it with someone else or maybe understand an art guide when you are in a gallery. In the one sitting on Saturday afternoon, I came up with over 100 words so far that you and I can use to look at an art piece or even to create your own.
Here are some of the words and maybe you can even include them into your art if you art journal or collage:
So what do you think so far? Just a list of Webster dictionary words? Go to a museum or gallery for the day, grab an art magazine off the shelf in a bookstore, and select a piece of art that turns you on, and see if you can see a couple of these words describing the art work. Maybe you will come up with another word of your own. If you do, send it to me. I will continue with another list later or tomorrow. We then in the future will look at a piece and I will describe it. Let's learn together how to write about art.