General Art Terms & Concepts
Although this appears to be a list of definitions, it is more than that. This list is not something to simply memorize. Within any field of study, there is unique jargon, or language, used in order to understand what is studied as well as to establish a common knowledge base. The mastery of these terms will help you understand the lectures more directly. I cannot stress how important it is that you have a grasp of these concepts. NEVER hesitate to email or ask me for clarification—these are not always easy to understand. But I will say that as you read & as we move through the course, they will make more sense to you. REALLY!! 1. markmaking: A contemporary term but one that is really old as time. It describes the attempts by any artist, craftsperson, shaman, or any human to put their mark on something, to announce their existence in the world. In artwork, markmaking can be done using almost any device—pencil, paintbrush, awl, clay tool, scraper, knife, carver….and using any medium—graphite, paint, clay, chalk, dirt….Some people say mark making is what differentiates humans from animals. The desire to make a mark indicates higher brain function—to create meaning. 2. visual literacy: being educated in the language and terminology of the visual arts. 3. criticism: the art of evaluating or analyzing with knowledge and propriety works of art or literature; to consider the merits and demerits of and judge accordingly. 4. two-dimensional: Height by width; a flat surface ie: drawing paper or canvas. (2-D). 5. three-dimensional: Height by width by depth. If we say a work of art is three-dimensional, we mean that it is fully articulated in space—that is to say it can be viewed from any angle and exists in the viewer’s space. Usually, three-dimensional works can be walked around, yet there are artists (me, for one) who create 3-D works that are hung on the wall, and thus the back is not important. 6. picture plane: The flat,...
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