Lets Talk About Art in 5 Simple Steps
One of the things that I have noticed from doing art shows all these years is that you have a very small group of people that know and love to talk about art. Then you have the majority, who love art, but really don't know how to talk about the art that they are viewing.
Talking about art doesn't have to be complicated and full of art-speak. I actually find art-speak extremely annoying. Ha! But what I do like, is talking about art in simple, everyday language, that communicates what each individuals experience is to the piece that they are viewing
So today I would like to give you 5 easy tips on how to talk about art.
1. What is your immediate feeling about the piece? Are you intrigued? Repulsed? Happy? All of the above? (you can read my post on immediate responses to art here). Now ask yourself, what about this piece is making me feel this way? Is it the color? Subject Matter? Texture?
2. What is the image doing? Is it telling a specific story (like the image above) or is it abstract and a little more unclear. The most important thing to notice is what stories are popping into you head at the moment. Does it remind you of something you have experienced?
3. How does your eye move across the page? Do you find that your eye following a certain path each time you look at a piece? Why do you think that is? Or maybe your eye is focused on one area of the image. Ask yourself why that particular area is attracting you.
4. Notice the use of color, texture and line. Are the colors cheerful, muddy, or multi-layered?
How thick is the paints texture? Are there any unusual materials that the artist used that are creating an interesting texture?
Are the lines in the piece thick or thin? And how is this effecting the piece?
Is the piece unusually large or small? How is this effecting how you respond to the work?
5. This tip is the easiest for the beginner. Ask the artist what their process is. How did they create the piece? What are the materials they used? Why did they make that particular image? You can learn a lot about the piece (and how to talk about art) and maybe even have a new reaction to the work after hearing what the artist has to say about the work.
Talking about art shouldn't be scary or difficult. It's mostly about communicating what part of the piece you are having a reaction to. Be it color, texture, subject matter, or maybe even the size of the work. What sort of feelings, memories or stories is the piece bringing up in you and share what you feel comfortable sharing.