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Art 1010: Week #8 Writing About Art

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Art 1010: Week #8 Writing About Art

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  1. Art 1010: Week #8 Writing About Art June 11th, 2009 TWTh 6:00 - 8:40 pm Bryce Walker

  2. Things to discuss today • Quiz #4 (2D and 3D art) • Assignment #2 Review • Art News? • Review of Syllabus • Writing About Art • Museum Paper Handout Review • Exam #2 Study Guide • Andy Goldsworthy Video ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  3. Writing About Art • Items to be covered: • Diagnostic Test • Common Questions About Writing • Comparing • The Research Process • The Writing Process • Plagiarism ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  4. Goals and Objectives • Learn proper grammar and writing techniques • Learn how to research art • Learn how to compare artworks • Learn the writing process • Learn how to determine and avoid plagiarism • Learn how to proof read and make revisions to your paper ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  5. Common Questions About Writing • Writing Communication There are similarities and differences between spoken and written English. While spoken language is freer, more colloquial, there still remains a broad relationship between speaking and writing. Consequently, it often helps to read your writing out loud to see if it sounds awkward or strange. However, unlike a casual conversation, a paper must be refined and must be written in formal Standard English. It is built up in much the same method as a painting, with the rough draft acting more as a sketch, or casual conversation. Each rewriting will bring the paper closer to the ultimate goal of a polished, finished product, similar to the difference between a sketch and a final painting. Therefore, do not be surprised if you need as many as five or six revisions for each academic paper you write. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  6. Common Questions About Writing • Organization Your papers must be clearly organized. The best way to do this is to create a simple outline. Questions to ask: • What is your thesis? • What is the point of your paper? • Where are you going? The best papers usually develop around a specific idea. For instance, a paper about the life and times of Georgia O’Keeffe would be too broad a topic. However, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Lake George paintings would be a better and more specific topic. Then you would determine your basic premise: Lake George provided important visual inspiration for O’Keeffe’s development as a landscape painter. This, then, is the point of your paper: to show how the artist’s time at Lake George was critical to her development as a landscape painter. Following this determination you would make an outline to lay out the key points. If the paper needed to be ten to twelve pages, you would determine from the very beginning how many pages to devote to each of the areas you wish to cover. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  7. Common Questions About Writing • Organization Outline Ex. Topic: American painter Georgia O’Keeffe developed an unique abstract vision of the American landscape which evolved and matured during the 1920’s while at Lake George, New York. • I. Introduction—Alfred Stieglitz and O’Keeffe. Stieglitz’s family home at Lake George. • II. O’Keeffe’s move toward abstraction even before Lake George. Discussion of her early style. • III. Lake George as a topic. Stieglitz’s images of Lake George. Discussion of several key images by O’Keeffe. • IV. Summary of changes in O’Keeffe’s style during the Lake George time. Other key images painted during these years that might be compared to the Lake George images. • V. Conclusion: Significance of Lake George imagery for the later landscapes of O’Keeffe. Importance of this body of work within her career. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  8. Common Questions About Writing • Organization (Conclusion) The conclusion of a paper is not a repetition of the introduction, nor usually the summation of the facts presented. A good conclusion does the following: • Takes the facts presented and evaluates them. • What can we deduce from the ideas presented in the body of the paper? In the O’Keeffe example above the conclusion would deal with the role of the Lake George paintings in the context of the artist’s career. Given all the previously stated information, what can we conclude about the significance of these works? ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  9. Common Questions About Writing • Maturity of Thought and Sophistication of Vocabulary While all sentence structures in your paper may be grammatically correct, if you lack a deeper comprehension of your subject and employ inaccurate or immature vocabulary, the resulting paper will not be successful. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  10. Common Questions About Writing • Word Usage Most students consider the first draft their final draft. The unfortunate effect of this misunderstanding is that they often include awkward phrases, repetitive sentence structure and duplicate words. Do the following: • Go through your draft and look for word or phrase repetition. • Have you used the word “painting” five times in the first paragraph? • Can you substitute the words “work,” “oil on canvas,” or “creation” in any these instances? • Did you start four sentences with the same word organization? For instance, did four of the last five sentences start with the word “the?”... The artist painted.... The painting is. . . The color in the right-hand corner is . . .etc. . . Words that are commonly repeated: USES, ART, ARTIST, PAINT, PAINTED, PAINTING. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  11. Common Questions About Writing • Sentence Weight Writing is just like painting and drawing. In the visual arts different shapes, colors, and lines hold different weights, drawing the eye through the composition with each nuance. Writing is exactly the same. Don’t write with all short choppy sentences or all long complex ones. Try to vary the weights of your sentences just as you would vary color, line, and shape in a painting. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  12. Common Questions About Writing • Verbs • Simple versus complex verb forms. Always try to make your sentences interesting by looking for stronger, more complex verbs that are accurate and descriptive. • Ex. The nude is in the chair. • Change to: The nude sits in the chair. • Or even better: In this artist’s unusual composition a nude woman sprawls lazily across an old wooden chair. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  13. Common Questions About Writing • Subject/Verb Agreements • Make sure that your subjects and verbs agree. • Ex. The artist paints at this location everyday. • Many artists paint at this location everyday. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  14. Common Questions About Writing • Verb Tenses Make sure that you stay within a single verb tense while writing your paper. Generally write in the present tense except for events or actions that took place in the past, although you can choose to keep everything in the present tense. • Ex. Mixed Tenses: Van Gogh applies his paint in a heavy impasto with thick rich brushstrokes. He also used intense colors to activate the composition. • Change to: Van Gogh applied his paint in a heavy impasto with thick rich brushstrokes. He also used intense colors to activate the composition. • Or: Van Gogh applies his paint in a heavy impasto with thick rich brushstrokes. He also uses intense colors to activate the composition. However, you can and should write in the present tense when it is an observation you are making in the present. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  15. Common Questions About Writing • Qualifying Verb Do not use qualifying verbs like appears, seems, might be, etc... Qualifying verbs actually weaken your statement. • Ex. The figure in the lower left of the painting appears to be bathing. • Change to: The figure in the lower left of the painting is bathing. • OR: Perhaps the figure in the lower left of the painting is bathing. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  16. Common Questions About Writing • Adverbs • Wrong form of adverb: It has become quite common to leave off the “-ly” ending necessary in an adverb. The most common example of this is “fresh” baked bread which should really be described as “freshly” baked bread. Although “fresh, baked” bread is grammatically correct as long as the writer has used a comma, “freshly baked” bread is more informative and demonstrates the correct adverbial form. • Ex. Cassatt often painted charming, posed figures of mothers and their children in her Impressionist interiors. • Change to: Cassatt often painted charmingly posed figures of mothers and their children in her Impressionist interiors. • Although “charming, posed” is grammatically correct in this case because both are adjectives, it is not nearly as informative as “charmingly posed” which demonstrates the correct adverbial form. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  17. Common Questions About Writing • Run-On Sentences,Comma Splices, and Sentence Fragments • Do not use “sentences” that are really two sentences run together, sentences in with only a comma or no punctuation at all, or “sentences” that lack a subject and main verb. • Ex. Run-on Sentence: Picasso created abstract compositions based on the human figure and the still life with fractured forms and shallow flattened objects he exaggerated these shapes to make a specific statement. • Change to: Picasso created abstract compositions based on the human figure and the still life with fractured forms and shallow flattened objects; he exaggerated these shapes to make a specific statement. • Ex. Comma Splice: Courbet painted realistic landscapes, however, he often created the final work in his studio, not en plein air. • Change to: Courbet painted realistic landscapes. However, he often created the final work in his studio, not en plein air. • Ex. Sentence fragment: Cézanne often included black enclosing lines. Even when painting the landscape in greens and blues. • Change to: Cézanne often included black enclosing lines, even when painting the landscape in greens and blues. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  18. Common Questions About Writing • Non-Parallel Constructions • Different elements in a sentence connected by “and” or elements listed in a series must be grammatically parallel. • Ex. Abstract Expressionist paintings are large, powerful, and an American statements(“Large” and “powerful” as types of words, adjectives, are not equivalent to “statement,” a noun). • Change to: Abstract Expressionist paintings are large and powerful; they make a strong American statement of individuality, cultural iconoclasm, and independence. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  19. Common Questions About Writing • Dangling Modifiers • Ex. Demonstrating a unique creative surface, Van Gogh applied paint thickly and emphatically to the canvas. In this example Van Gogh himself has a unique creative surface, like a tattoo. What the writer really means is that the surface of the painting is unique. You can generally fix the problem by matching the first part of the sentence to the subject. • Change to: Demonstrating a unique creative surface, Van Gogh’s canvases display thickly applied paint and an emphatic hand. Or change the phrase to a clause with a subject and verb. • Ex. When Van Gogh emphatically applied thick paint to the canvas, he demonstrated a unique creative vision. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  20. Common Questions About Writing • Passive Voice • Stay away from complex verb forms and passive voice. • Ex. The painting had been painted in France. (3 verbs, or three words to state something that could be said with a single word) • Change to: The painting was painted in France. (2 verbs) • Or even better: The artist painted this particular piece while in France. (1verb) • Ex. This painting is considered to be an important one. • Change to: Scholars consider this painting important. Passive voice is when the object is being acted upon instead of doing the action itself. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  21. Common Questions About Writing • Illiterate Spelling • Please use a dictionary to make sure that you spell correctly. Also, use the spell check feature of your word processing program. Do not make the following errors: homonym confusions such as affect/effect, all ready/already, a/an, its/it’s, society’s/societies, than/then, there/their/they’re, and to/too. Do not misspell basic words such as the title of the work you are discussing or the artist’s name. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  22. Common Questions About Writing • Reading is Related to Writing • The more you read, the better you will write. If you do not already read for pleasure, begin now. Make sure that you read a book you like for 15 minutes everyday. This keeps your mind tuned up and ready to go. Not only will you be reading with more comprehension, and faster, but your writing will develop more quickly. Try not to fall asleep while reading. If you do, you may become conditioned to do so whenever you read. This will make studying more difficult for you. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  23. Common Questions About Writing • Dash & Semicolon • Dash: The dash may be used in place of a comma, or commas. Also, the dash is two lines, while the hyphen is just one. Use the dash in moderation. It is best used in sentences which already require many commas. Ex. Although Picasso’s work evolved through many different periods—including the Pink, the Blue, Analytic and Synthetic Cubism, Surrealism—his paintings always have an identifiable style. • The Semicolon: The semicolon is probably one of the most misused marks of punctuation. The semicolon is used between two main clauses arranged in a pair and not coordinated by a pure conjunction (and, but, for, or, neither, nor). Specifically, you must have a subject and a predicate in each clause. When you have two short sentences that are interrelated you can join them with a semi-colon. Ex. The color blue is extremely important in Cézanne’s work; he used it often and to great effect. Wrong: The color blue is extremely important in Cézanne’s work; and he used it often and to great effect. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  24. Common Questions About Writing • Colon & Apostraphe • The colon is used to introduce a quote or a series of elements. Ex. Lichtenstein uses many devices borrowed from commercial art: benday dots, solid-black enclosing lines, primary colors. • The apostrophe is used in several different ways and is often misused by students. First, the apostrophe is used to show where one or more letters have been omitted from a word or words (a contraction). Ex. O’Keeffe didn’t move out west until after Stieglitz had died. can’t (cannot), won’t (will not), it’s (it is), isn’t (is not), didn’t (did not), shouldn’t (should not) • PLEASE NOTE THAT IT’S IS NOT POSSESSIVE! Ex. Possessive: The dog in the lower left corner of the painting wore its sweater. Ex. Contraction: It’s a very small painting. Second,the apostrophe is used in conjunction with s to form the possessive of any noun, singular or plural, which does not end with the sound of s. Ex. An artist’s style; women’s professions. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  25. Common Questions About Writing • Apostraphe • You can even use an apostrophe and an s to form the possessive of a singular noun ending in the sound of s. If the word is the name of someone quite famous, like Jesus or Moses then you may use only the apostrophe if you so choose. • Ex. Thomas Eakins’s paintings; or Jesus’ figure. • Use the apostrophe alone to form the possessive of a plural noun ending in s. • NEVER USE AN APOSTROPHE WITH THE POSSESSIVES ITS, HERS, HIS, OURS, YOURS, THEIRS BECAUSE THEY ARE ALREADY POSSESSIVE (This rule does not apply to one’s, other’s, another’s, either’s) ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  26. Common Questions About Writing • Quotations QUOTATIONS may be included in the body of the paragraph if they are not too long. If they are longer than a phrase or sentence they should be separated from the body of the paragraph by indentation. Quotation marks are only used when the quote is NOT inset, that is when it is part of the body of the paragraph. Insetting acts as quotation marks. • Ex. Henri Focillon clearly defined the role of the architect in the medieval world when he wrote that “the architect is simultaneously to a greater or less degree geometer, engineer, sculptor and painter.” Or • Ex. Henri Focillon clearly defined the role of the architect in the medieval world when he wrote: “The architect is simultaneously and to a greater or less degree geometer, engineer, sculptor and painter—geometer in the interpretation of spatial area through the plan, engineer in the solution of the problem of stability, sculptor in the treatment of volumes, and painter in the handling of materials and light.” ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  27. Common Questions About Writing • Paper Format • Your papers should be in normal Times New Roman, 12 point font type with one inch margins all around. You may use either a justified or unjustified right margin. You should double space between sentences and paragraphs. Do not triple or quadruple space between paragraphs. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  28. Common Questions About Writing • Underlining, Italicizing or Nothing • In art and art history titles of paintings and sculptures are either underlined or italicized. Titles of buildings, however, remain unchanged, neither underlined nor italicized. • John Constable, The Hay Wain, 1821 • John Constable, The Hay Wain, 1821 • Frank Lloyd Wright, Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1956-59 ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  29. Reviewing the Museum Paper Structure of Paper: • Introduction • Body • Brief description of both art works • In depth description of each Artwork. Always talk about the first artwork and then the second. With each comparison, keep information in the same paragraph. This includes: • Imagery • Medium • Elements • Space • Conclusion • Colored Prints • Bibliography Let us practice verbally and written now. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  30. School of Athens ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  31. The Last Supper ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  32. Jan Van Eyck The Arnolfini Marriage,1434 Oil on wood, 32 1/4 x 23 1/2 in; National Gallery, London Jan Van Eyck (IKE) was born in the Netherlands. His paintings are very detailed. He was not the first to use oil paint, but he perfected the use of oil in paints. The colors in his paintings are delicate and have a beautiful shine. He was called "The King of Painters" by people even hundreds of years after his time. The painting we are studying; The Arnolfini Marriage , is a record of the marriage of the two people in the picture. In modern days, a couple would hire a photographer to record their wedding. Giovanni Arnolfini hired an artist to paint the picture. In addition to being a portrait, it is also a legal record showing that the marriage took place. The artist signs it as a legal document. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  33. Diego Velazquez Las Meninas, 1656 Oil on canvas, 10'5" x 9'1" Museo del Prado, Madrid Painted in 1656, this extraordinary slice of seventeenth century life in the royal court continues to be studied today by students, critics and scholars alike. Deciphering the true meaning of Las Meninas is impossible and it seems that this was precisely Velázquez's intention. Many questions are left unanswered allowing each viewer to draw their own conclusions regarding the true meaning and intentions behind the painting. The timelessness of Las Meninas is captured perfectly by Velázquez because he has struck on a topic that will never fall from favor. Breaking with the norms of traditional portraits, Velázquez chooses to show us 'behind the scenes.’ Velázquez truly broke with tradition to let the world see a bit of normal life in the palace of Philip IV of Spain. Las Meninas also works to humanize the royals, suggesting that they were just like any other family.

  34. The Research Process 1. Visit the museum and locate a work or works that interest you. 2. Take careful notes from direct observation of the work(s). 3. Go to the Library (or onto the computer) and look for articles and books about these works and/or the artist that made them. 4. Collect your resource materials. Make sure you go beyond the holdings of PGCC Library. Call in books from other libraries. 5. Read your gathered materials. 6. At this point you may want to go back to the museum(or visit NGA website) to take more notes as you are now a more educated viewer. 7. Begin the writing process. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker

  35. The Writing Process • Brainstorming: just write down ideas in any order that they come to you. • Write a thesis statement: when looking at your ideas determine a direction for your paper. This direction is stated in the thesis statement. • Create an Outline: Expand upon the thesis and organize the ideas from brainstorming. Determine the length of each section of your outline. • Write the first draft. A good outline will take you quite naturally into your first draft. • Edit the first draft. Usually the first editing is a self-editing process. • Write the second draft. • Edit the second draft. This could be a peer editing. • Write the third draft. • Tutorial with your professor for consultation and editing. • Write the final draft. • Review the final draft: look for any small errors or typos you might have missed. ART1010- Intro to Art, Bryce Walker