Often, if the skill is being used in a common or practical way, people will consider it a craft instead of art. Likewise, if the skill is being used in a commercial or industrial way, it may be considered commercial art instead of fine art. On the other hand, crafts and design are sometimes considered applied art. Some art followers have argued that the difference between fine art and applied art has more to do with value judgments made about the art than any clear definitional difference. However, even fine art often has goals beyond pure creativity and self-expression. The purpose of works of art may be to communicate ideas, such as in politically, spiritually, or philosophically motivated art; to create a sense of beauty (see aesthetics); to explore the nature of perception; for pleasure; or to generate strong emotions. The purpose may also be seemingly nonexistent.
Many great traditions in art have a foundation in the art of one of the great ancient civilizations: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, India, China, Ancient Greece, Rome, as well as Inca, Maya, and Olmec. Each of these centers of early civilization developed a unique and characteristic style in its art. Because of the size and duration of these civilizations, more of their art works have survived and more of their influence has been transmitted to other cultures and later times. Some also have provided the first records of how artists worked. For example, this period of Greek art saw a veneration of the human physical form and the development of equivalent skills to show musculature, poise, beauty, and anatomically correct proportions.
A common contemporary criticism of some modern art occurs along the lines of objecting to the apparent lack of skill or ability required in the production of the artistic object. In conceptual art, Marcel Duchamp's Fountain is among the first examples of pieces wherein the artist used found objects ("ready-made") and exercised no traditionally recognised set of skills. Tracey Emin's My Bed, or Damien Hirst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living follow this example and also manipulate the mass media. Emin slept (and engaged in other activities) in her bed before placing the result in a gallery as work of art. Hirst came up with the conceptual design for the artwork but has left most of the eventual creation of many works to employed artisans. Hirst's celebrity is founded entirely on his ability to produce shocking concepts. The actual production in many conceptual and contemporary works of art is a matter of assembly of found objects. However, there are many modernist and contemporary artists who continue to excel in the skills of drawing and painting and in creating hands-on works of art.
Somewhat in relation to the above, the word art is also used to apply judgments of value, as in such expressions as "that meal was a work of art" (the cook is an artist), or "the art of deception" (the highly attained level of skill of the deceiver is praised). It is this use of the word as a measure of high quality and high value that gives the term its flavor of subjectivity. Making judgments of value requires a basis for criticism. At the simplest level, a way to determine whether the impact of the object on the senses meets the criteria to be considered art is whether it is perceived to be attractive or repulsive. Though perception is always colored by experience, and is necessarily subjective, it is commonly understood that what is not somehow aesthetically satisfying cannot be art. However, "good" art is not always or even regularly aesthetically appealing to a majority of viewers. In other words, an artist's prime motivation need not be the pursuit of the aesthetic. Also, art often depicts terrible images made for social, moral, or thought-provoking reasons. For example, Francisco Goya's painting depicting the Spanish shootings of 3 May 1808 is a graphic depiction of a firing squad executing several pleading civilians. Yet at the same time, the horrific imagery demonstrates Goya's keen artistic ability in composition and execution and produces fitting social and political outrage. Thus, the debate continues as to what mode of aesthetic satisfaction, if any, is required to define 'art'.
Knowing which of many art movements the painting belongs to can give us a greater understanding of its composition and meaning. In the school of Egyptian art, for instance, painters had to adhere to specific rules of painting concerning composition and colour. Thus figures were sized according to their social status, rather than by reference to linear perspective. Head and legs were always shown in profile, while eyes and upper body were viewed from the front. Egyptian painters used no more than six colours: red, green, blue, yellow, white and black - each of which symbolized different aspects of life or death. Other cultures and cultural schools have their own specific guidelines. Dutch Realist artists valued exact, true-to-life replication of interiors and surroundings - except in portraiture, where the aim was to flatter the subject: cf. The Night Watch, by Rembrandt. Impressionist painters typically valued loose brushwork in order to capture fleeting impressions of light. Cubists spurned the normal rules of linear perspective and, instead, disassembled their subject into a series of flat transparent geometric plates that overlapped and intersected at different angles. De Stijl artists like Piet Mondrian only used geometrical forms in their pictures, while lines were always horizontal or vertical - never diagonal. And so on.
Sometimes the painting surface, its support and its frame is made a specific feature of the work of art. In the early 1960s French contemporary art was dominated by the far-left avant garde Supports-Surfaces group, whose members painted large-scale canvases without stretchers (the physical support behind the canvas), while materials were often cut, woven, or crumpled. The Italian painter Lucio Fontana also made a name for himself in the 60s with his "slashed" canvases, allowing the spectator to see through the picture plane to the three-dimensional space beyond, which itself becomes part of the work. Recently, Angela de la Cruz, one of the contemporary artists nominated for the 2010 British Turner Prize, has become noted for her canvases which, after being painted, are then taken off their stretcher support and crumpled, and rehung.
Colour in painting is a major influence on our emotions, and therefore plays a huge part in how we appreciate art. Curiously, although we can identify up to 10 million variants of colour, there are only 11 basic colour terms in the English language - black, white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, brown and grey. So talking precisely about colour is not easy. Incidentally, as regards terms: a "hue" is a synonym for colour; a "tint" is a lighter version (eg. pink) of a particular colour (red); a "shade" is a darker version (eg. magenta); "tone" is the lightness, intensity or brilliance of a colour. Incidentally, many works by Old Masters are beginning to darken with age, which makes them look less attractive. It can also make even the best art museums look extra gloomy!
Great site!I am a working artist/art instructor and I paint watercolors, acrylics and mixed media. I also mount my watercolors on wood panels and use acrylic mediums and cold wax as a varnish. Galleries accept these and there is no mat and frame expense. As to pricing, I use linear inch and charge $20. I love seeing what other artists are doing and how they are pricing their art. I struggled with the pricing issue for a long time and finally figured out what works for me. I think being confident in your work is key to not being underpaid.
Hi Melissa & Mary,Thanks for your blog n guidance it helped me a lot and im about to recreate/sell my original painting (20×20 acrylic mountainscape) for a friend and i got really nervous setting a price because as all artist know not all painting style are created with tge same amount of time and/or color (i also painted monochromatic mountainscape).And i agree with Mary that Linear inch makes more sense to me, but My question is, what is the calculation or how to formulated $ per linear price?Thank you so much
Such a timely subject. Both of you gave me some really usable tips. I find that the linear inch could work for me. Dave, I like your idea of discounting the larger pieces as that pricing model could make those pieces really expensive. Thanks for all the wonderful sharing!
But now I decided to use your linear formula, bringing down the price for larger paintings, and increasing those for smaller paintings that sell more easily anyway because of wall space. Now I feel more comfortable with the scale. I also increased my supplement factor for techniques, that take several days.
WOW, Thank you for all the wonderful information on pricing your art. I also am in the same situation of pricing and will use the linear pricing method. I have been painting for 25 years and have never felt this confident about a pricing method.
Linear PerspectiveLinear perspective was one of the major breakthroughs of the Renaissance. It was discovered by Brunelleschi, and later codified by the architect Alberti in his treatise On Painting, published in 1435; but it was first applied by Masaccio in his Trinity Altarpiece. In a linear perspective system, parallel lines are made to converge on a single vanishing point (like the parallel lines of a railroad track). Vertical elements diminish in size as they recede into depth, while the spacing between horizontal lines also gets smaller as they move further back in space.
In addition to space being a way to show depth, artists also use positive and negative space as elements of art. Positive space is the areas of the artwork filled with the content, and negative space is the space in between. 2b1af7f3a8