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work of art

the visual expression of an idea or experience formed with a skill through the use of a medium

nature of art

engages people in terms of feeling


a particular material, along with its accompanying technique

George O'Keefe

The arts communicate meaning that go far beyond the ordinary verbal exchange, and artist uses the entire range of thought, feeling, and observation as a subject of their art.

Purpose and function of art

Art can inform, embellish, inspire, arouse, awaken and delight us. art challenges us to think and see in new ways, and help us develop a sense of beauty and truth. Art can also deceive, anger and humiliate us.

Art for communicating info

art makes a statement to a broad spectrum of people, it has often been used to impart info and ideas.

EX: stain glass windows and stone sculptures>>>Communicates Bible Stories to illiterates

Art for everyday living

objects of all kinds have been conceived to delight the eyes as well as serve more obviously useful functions. As we make such choices we engage in universal art-related processes--- making visual statements about who we are and the kind of world we like to see around us.

Art for Worship

In many societies, the arts have a spiritual component. Spiritual or magical purposes motivated the making of the world largest carvings and cave paintings.

EX: Stonehenge

Art for personal expression

Some artist reveal themselves and their heritage so clearly that we feel we know them.

Ex: Rembrandt>>>painted many self portraits, created statement about how it feels alive, to be human

Art for social cause

artist in many societies have sought to criticize or influence values and public opinions through their work.

Ex: Felix Gonzalez Torres>>>"I need the public to complete the work. I ask the public to help me, to take responsibility, to become a part of my work, to join in."

visual thinking

ten people painting the same subject from the same vantage point>>>make ten different images based on their experiences, values and interest


to become aware through the senses, particularly through sight or hearing.

aware (conceive)

to be conscious, to know something, and to understand through awareness.


implies taking in what is before us in a purely mechanical way

Robert Irwin

"seeing is forgetting the name of thing one sees."


an active extension of looking


an awareness of beauty or to that quality in a work of art which evokes a sense of elevated awareness

Beauty vs Ugliness

Beautiful in our culture>>> pretty, pleasing to the eye
Beautiful in art>>> having qualities of a high order; delight the eye, engage the intellect and moral sense

Ex:Leonardo da Vinci>>>ugliness as worthy of attention as beauty.


the ability to see (or to be aware) and respond

visual communication

most direct avenue to the mind is by the way of the eyes. In art, visual experience is essential. how the artist interprets the subject is more than the actual subject; how the image is composed becomes the basis for the in depth experience of art.

representational art

depicts the appearance of things as they are recognized in the everyday world

trompe l'oeil

most real looking style of painting. french for "fool the eye"


1) works of art that have no reference to at all to natural objects
2) works that depict natural objects in simplified, distorted, or exaggerated ways


the two dimensional picture surface


an extension of a point. linear forms in which length dominates width.

EX: "draw" lines with eyes>>>converting edges to lines
lines as path of action>>>record of energy left by moving point


the expanse within the outline of a two dimensional area or within the outer boundaries of a three dimensional object
Geometric: precise and regular (circles, triangles, squares)
Organic: irregular, relaxed and informal (often curved or rounded)

picture plane

creates a second shape out of background area

positive and negative shapes

positive: dominant shapes
negative: background areas

figure ground reversal

EX: fish shapes and bird shapes trade places


the physical bulk of a solid body of material


mass encloses space, space is called...


indefinable, general receptacle of all things- seemingly empty space around us


source, color, intensity, and direction of light greatly affect the way things appear

Dark/Light Relationship

perceive relationships between dark and light rather than their isolated forms


affects us directly by modifying our thoughts, moods, actions, and even our health

local color and neutral color

L: the color that appears to our eyes as that of objects
N: without the property of hue (Gray)


particular wavelength of spectral color, to which we give names (yellow, green)


relative lightness or darkness, tint of shade


intensity of color. intense come forward, dull recedes

primary, secondary, and tertiary color

P:blue, red, yellow
S: Green, violet, orange\
T: red-oranges, yellow-orange, yellow-green, etc.

warm/cool color

W: red, yellow, orange (comes towards)
C: green, blue, purple (recedes)

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