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Chapter One. Art in your world. What is Art?. A work of art is the visual expression of an idea or experience created with skill. Visual art is more than paintings hanging on a wall. What is Art?. Visual art includes: Drawing Printmaking Sculpture Architecture Photography Filmmaking

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chapter one

Chapter One

Art in your world

what is art
What is Art?
  • A work of art is the visual expression of an idea or experience created with skill. Visual art is more than paintings hanging on a wall.
what is art1
What is Art?
  • Visual art includes:
    • Drawing
    • Printmaking
    • Sculpture
    • Architecture
    • Photography
    • Filmmaking
    • Crafts
    • Graphic arts
    • Industrial and commercial design
    • Video
    • Computer arts
art as communication
Art as Communication
  • Art is a language that artists use to express ideas and feelings that everyday words cannot express. Through the arts, artists can convey ideas in ways that go beyond describing and telling.
art as communication1
Art as Communication
  • To experience art fully, you develop the ability to perceive. To look is to merely notice an object with a name such as “chair” or “house”. To perceive is to become deeply aware through the senses of the special nature of a visual object.
the purposes of art
The Purposes of Art
  • People created art to record ideas and feelings long before they had written words. They used art as we use it today. The following are some of the most common functions of art:
the purposes of art1
The Purposes of Art

1) Personal Functions – art created to express personal feelings.

  • EXAMPLE – Edvard Munch’s The Sick Child. The artist had a tragic childhood. His mother died when he was very young and his sister died when he was 14. This work was meant to remind viewers of personal family tragedies.
the purposes of art2
The Purposes of Art

2) SocialFunction – Artists may produce art to reinforce and enhance the shared sense of identity of those in a family, community, or civilization. That is why many families commission or hire an artist or photographer to produce a family portrait.

Example: Family Portraits

the purposes of art3
The Purposes of Art

3) Spiritual Function – Artists may create art to express spiritual beliefs about the destiny of life controlled by the force of a higher power. Art produced for this purpose may reinforce the shared beliefs of an individual or a human community.

EXAMPLE- In Pueblo Scene: Corn Dancers and Churchthe artists have created a three-dimensional representation of a religious festival that connects two cultures and two religions.

the purposes of art4
The Purposes of Art

4) PhysicalFunctions: Artists and craftspeople constantly invent new ways to create functional art. Industrial designers discover new materials that make cars lighter and stonger. Architects employ new building materials such as steel-reinforced concrete to give buildings more interesting forms.

Example:Furniture, buildings, cars


5) Educational Functions: In the past, many people could not read and art was often created to provide visual instructionIn the Middle Ages, artists created stained-glass windows, sculptures, paintings, and tapestries to illustrate stories from the Bible or about rulers of a kingdom.

EXAMPLE- Anne of Clevesshows us how people from the past dressed and how they looked.

why do artists create
  • Where do artists get ideas?Artists are creative individuals who use imagination and skill to communicate in visual form. Artists look to many sources for inspiration:
    • Nature
    • People and real world events
    • Myths & legends
    • Spiritual & religious beliefs
    • Creative techniques
    • Artists of the Past
    • Ideas commissioned by employers
the language of art
  • The Language of Art
    • A symbol is something that stands for or represents something else.
the language of art1
The Language of Art
  • The basic visual symbols of the language of art are known as the Elements of Art. These elements are the building blocks that the artist puts together to create a work of art.
the language of art2
The Language of Art
  • The Elements of Art are:
    • Line
    • Shape
    • Form
    • Space
    • Color
    • Value
    • Texture
the language of art3
The Language of Art

After you have learned to recognize the elements of art, you will learn the ways in which the elements can be organized for different effects. When you learn a language, you learn the rules of grammar by which words are organized into sentences. These rules that govern how artists organize the elements of art are called the principles of art.

the work of art
The Work of Art
  • In art, it is important to understand the three basic properties, or features, of an artwork. These are:
    • The Subject
    • The Composition
    • The Content
the work of art1
The Work of Art

The Subject: the image viewers can easily identify in a work of art.

the work of art2
The Work of Art

Nonobjective art: art that has no recognizable subject matter.

the work of art3
The Work of Art

The Composition: the way the principles of art are used to organize the elements of art.

the work of art4
The Work of Art

The Content: the message the work communicates.

the credit line
The Credit Line

A credit line is a list of important facts about a work of art. You will see the credit line under a photo in our textbook.

Most credit lines contain at least six facts. They are…

the credit line1
The Credit Line

Name of the artist

Title of the work. This is always in italics

Year the work was created. Sometimes in the case of older works, “c” appears before the year. This is an abbreviation for circa, a Latin word meaning “about” or “around”.


Medium used by the artist. This is the material used to make art. If more than one medium is used, the credit line may read “mixed media”.

Location of the work. This names the gallery, museum, or collection in which the work is housed and the city, state, and country. The names of the donors may also be included.

the credit line2
The Credit Line

**Add this one to your notes**

Size of the work. The first number is always the height, the second number is the width, and if the work is three-dimensional, the third number indicates the depth.

the elements of art
  • Line - an element of art that is the path of a moving point through space.
  • Lines vary in appearance in 5 major ways:
    • Length
    • Width
    • Direction
    • Texture
    • Degree of Curve

A line is also used by an artist to control the viewer’s eye movement.

  • There are five kinds of lines:
    • Vertical
    • horizontal
    • diagonal
    • curved
    • zigzag.
the elements of art1
  • Shape – A two-dimensional area that is defined in some way. While a form has depth, a shape has only height and width. Shapes are either geometric or free-form (organic).
  • Form – objects having three dimensions. Like a shape, a form has height and width, but it also has depth. Forms are either geometric or free-form (organic).

Space – the element of art that refers to the emptiness or area between, around or above, below, or within objects. Shapes and forms are defined by space around and within them.

  • Color – An element of art that is derived from reflected light. The sensation of color is triggered in the brain by a response of the eyes to different wavelengths of light. Color has three properties: hue, value, and intensity.

Value – the element of art that describes the darkness or lightness of an object. Value depends on how much light a surface reflects. Value is also one of the three properties of color.

  • Texture – the element of art that refers to how things feel, or look as if they might feel if touched. Texture is perceived by touch and sight. Objects can have rough or smooth textures and matte or shiny surfaces.