Before you start, answer questions:
1. What is art?
2. Why does an artist make art?
3. Do you think if artist should show life or fiction (fantasy)?
4. What kind of art do you enjoy: painting, sculpture or others?
Remember the words on the topic «Art»:
1. visual art
2. to make art
3. an artist and a sculptor
4. a picture and a sculpture
5. a picture gallery/ an art museum
6. a landscape (a seascape)
7. a still life – still lifes
8. a genre scene
9. to look true to life
10. imaginative work
11. a work of art
12. a reproduction
13. to belong to the brush of
14. try your hand at
15. be up to you
What is art?
Art is a way to show one’s emotions or communicate one’s thoughts. Art is an important part of people’s cultural life. There are different forms of art.
Painting is a practice of applying paint or color to a surface. There are a lot of genres and styles. For example, there are landscape, portrait and still life paintings. There are a lot of famous painters, such as Leonardo da Vinci with his Mona Lisa and Rafael with his Sistine Madonna.
Sculpture is one of the plastic arts. The process of work involves carving or modeling. Stone, clay or wood are the most typical materials.
Photography is also a form of art but is characterized by usage of various technical tools. Thanks to technological progress a photographer can create unforgettable images.
Theatre and cinema
Theatre is a form of art where a group of people performs in front of a live audience. The performance is usually based on a real or imagined event. The actors communicate this experience to the public through gestures, songs and words.
Cinema is a relatively new form of art. The action is performed on the screen. Today, cinema is a very popular leisure activity.
Music and architecture
Music has always been an important part of human’s life. Different genres of music can be used for relaxation, awakening, and what not. Everyone has heard about Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and other great composers.
Architectural works are often perceived as a form of art. Architecture is quite versatile. There are a lot of styles, shapes and trends. One can’t help admiring the Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi or the Winter Palace by Francesco Rastrelli.
Some information about the world famous painters and sculptors
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was an Italian Renaissance polymath: a painter, a sculptor, an architect, a musician, a mathematician, an engineer, an inventor, an anatomist, a geologist, a cartographer, a botanist and a writer. The well-know «Mona Lisa» belongs to the brush of Leonardo da Vinci.
Polymath – полимат, «универсальный человек»
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was an Italian sculptor, a painter,an architect, a poet and a engineer of the High Renaissance. He made frescoes for the Sistine Chapel in Vatican.
Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) was a founder of French impressionism. He was famous for his landscape paintings, for example “ The Water Lily pond»
Impressionism is a style of painting developed in France between 1870 and 1900 which concentrated on showing the effects of light on things rather than on clear and exact detail.
Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890) was a post- impressionist painter of a Dutch origin. His pictures were notable for rough beauty and bold colors, for example “Sunflowers”.
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 – 1669) was a Dutch painter notable for his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible.
Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin (1832 – 1898) was a Russian landscape painter. His famous pictures are «Rye», «Grass», «Before the Storm» and others.
Some people claim that the world nowadays is too «materialistic». People sometimes fail to appreciate the beauty which surrounds us everywhere. They are too obsessed with, as they say, «real problems». Unfortunately, if you tell them to stop and look around, they’ll think you’re just laughing at them. «Can’t you see I’m busy? Staring at things can’t give me any money!» — will be the answer.
But all of us shouldn’t forget the human personality is a fivefold constitution (a body, a life, a mind, a psychic and a spiritual being). None of these elements stands disconnected from the others. It’s good to climb a career ladder as fast as possible and become prosperous. But don’t forget about your soul — treat it to some art.
In my opinion art plays a great role in the development of the spiritual world of every human being. Art helps to see things from another point of view, it elevates the mind and soul, it helps to develop a good taste. I think it’s very important that talented artists manage to capture and represent such an intangible thing as the mood. Thus the beholder not only gets information about the subject matter of the canvas but also he is able to understand the artist’s attitude to it. And we should agree that a good painter should involve beholders into his creative process. T mean that while painting the artist just gives us some clues, hints better to understand his message but only a very careful art-lover will understand them completely.
People who would like to call themselves educated ought to know a lot about art. It’s all because art shows a person’s outlook. For instance, there are such genres in fine art as a ceremonial portrait or a historical painting. How can a person understand the artist’s message if he doesn’t even know what’s going on the canvas?
Besides historical paintings and portraits there are other genres of fine art such as a landscape, a genre painting, a still life, a religious painting, etc. Each genre usually has some special features (at least, it used to have, because nowadays modern art is developing and it really knows no bounds).
Let’s take a portrait. Though every portrait is distinct and individual, the center point of each is a face or a human figure. Other details are usually subordinated to it. In the background we can see absolutely different things — and it depends on the artist’s design whether the background is vague or it is clearly outlined. The likeness of the good portrait and the original is caught with a sure hand. Moreover, it’s important not only to convey the face features of the person but also to render a sense of his or her character. A good portrait can tell us the whole story of a person’s life!
What are other things which make canvases so different? Certainly, the style of painting plays a great role. Suffice it to say that if we compare an ancient portrait with a portrait which belongs to the epoch of the Renaissance or to modern times, we’ll notice the difference at first sight. In the beginning people didn’t know anything about the rules of painting, about such things as perspective or the way how to convey volume. A great technical contribution was made into painting during the Renaissance, when each picture seemed to strive for perfection. New rules of painting were discovered and canvases became more realistic. Artists started to pay attention to the smallest detail, there was a wide-color scheme in their works, they managed to achieve vision in depth and to create an open-air feeling in the work.
It’s really impossible to mention all the styles of fine art as there are lots of them, but T’ll say some words about one. It’s Impressionism, one of my favourite.
As you can guess from the name «Impressionism», the main aim of the painters who work in this style is to capture and represent the first impression the scene has made on them. They view the scene broadly and that’s why they don’t tend to depict every detail. So, how do they manage to render volume and perspective?
It’s all because they invented a new technique and adopted a new palette. Firstly, they discovered that every color has a complementary one (e.g. violet for greenish-yellow). They used them together and colors dazzled and dissolved in the eyes of beholders producing a wonderful effect. Then, they didn’t mix colors, instead they put down pure colors which at a distance fused and produced the effect desired. They didn’t use black color — only dark green, indigo or deep violet. Besides, impressionists usually used quick, vigorous brush strokes and rarely outlined the objects.
This technique was revolutionary. None had ever tried to do something like this before. That’s why at first people couldn’t understand Impressionism, their works of art were banned, other artists simply despised them. And now these canvases are the most expensive ones in the world.
In prehistoric times the first people used chalk to draw a bison or a deer in their caves. Little children try to draw everything they see around them. You see, people tend to be creative. It’s a wonderful way to express our own personality, a great way to distract from problems. And though some people will say it’s just a waste of time and it’s completely useless, it isn’t. Yes, probably not everyone is gifted enough to become a brilliant artist, but everyone possesses an ability to contemplate. Don’t let your soul be bored — open the world of Art for yourself, explore its mysteries, ask questions and search for answers, enjoy the masterpieces and, probably, create your own one!
Are you a good painter?
Can you draw pictures well?
Do you believe what art critics say?
Do you consider yourself a good artist?
Do you enjoy your art class at school?
Do you like modern art?
Do you like paintings?
Do you like sketching?
Do you like to visit art museums?
Do you like wood carving?
Do you prefer using water colors or oil paint?
Do you think it is proper to call nude paintings art?
Do you think music and dancing are forms of art?
Do you think of cartoons and comics as art?
Do you visit museums when you go to another city?
Have you ever been to any famous art museums?
Have you ever visited an art museum?
What art form do you like best?
What art museums have you visited?
Which did you like the best? Why?
Which did you like the least? Why?
What famous painters do you know? What are they famous for?
What is art?
What is the longest time that you have spend on a painting?
What is your favorite art web site?
What would life be like without art?
When was the last time you went to an art museum?
Who are some famous artists in your country?
Who is a famous potter in your country?
Who is the most famous artist in your country? What kind of art does he do?
Who is your favorite painter?
Do you enjoy taking photographs?
What things do you like to photograph?
Do you consider photography an art form?
Why do artist like to draw women's figures?
Why do you enjoy art?
Why is art important?
Why do people become professional artists?
Have you ever participated in any art competitions?
Have you ever been jealous of someone else's artwork?
Do you find Picasso's work astonishing or weird?
Do you have a favorite painting?
If so, what is it?
Why do you like it?
Do other people ever compliment your artwork?
Do you have a sketchbook?
If so, how often do you use it?
What kind of sketches do you make?
Do you feel proud after finishing a work of art?
Do you think graffiti is art?
Do you agree with this statement? Graffiti is a form of art; a form of expressing one's mind.
Do you like to doodle?
What kinds of doodles do you make?
Where and when do you doodle?
Have you ever gone to an exhibition?
Do you know any art galleries? Are there any in the place where you live?
Were you interested in art when you were young?
In your opinion, is design an important part of culture?
Can you tell me the name of a fashion designer you know?
Is design a great importance in your daily life?
The famous artist and designer William Morris said that you should not have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful'. Discuss.
Do you know any art gallery? Is there any in the place where you live?
Were you interested in art some years ago? and now?
Have you studied any pictorial movement?
Has design a great importance in your daily life
Is your work figurative or abstract?
What is your medium of choice?
What influences your work?
If you could buy a great work of art, what would it be? (style, title, artist's name...)
Do you think performance art should be considered art?
What do you think of shock art?
Have you ever seen performance art?
Have you ever seen shock art?
Does art imitate life?
Are movies a form of art?
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