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Glossary Of Terms

A

Abstract: Art that looks as if it contains little or no recognizable or realistic forms from the physical world. Focus is on formal elements such as colors, lines, or shapes. Artists often "abstract" objects by changing, simplifying, or exaggerating what they see.
Acrylic paint: A fast-drying synthetic paint made from acrylic resin. Acrylic is a fast-drying water-based "plastic" paint valued for its versatility and cleans up with soap and water.
Aquatint: A print produced by the same technique as an etching, except that the areas between the etched lines are covered with a powdered resin that protects the surface from the biting process of the acid bath. The granular appearance that results in the print aims at approximating the effects and gray tonalities of a watercolor drawing.
Archival quality: Fine Art limited editions sold by Artifacts Gallery are printed with the most advanced reproduction technology for image fidelity. Fade-resistant archival inks and the finest acid-free paper and canvas ensure the longevity of your fine art purchase. We assure the quality of your limited edition art. Artifacts Gallery has a legacy of purchasing only limited edition fine art of unsurpassed quality and integrity.
Art: The completed work of an artist which is the expression of creativity or imagination, or both that portrays a mood, feeling or tells a story; works of art collectively.
Art deco: A style of design and decoration popular in the 1920's and 1930's characterized by designs that are geometric and use highly intense colors, to reflect the rise of commerce, industry and mass production.
Art nouveau: A decorative art movement that emerged in the late nineteenth century; art characterized by dense asymmetrical ornamentation in sinuous forms, it is often symbolic and of an erotic nature.
Artist: A practitioner in the arts, generally recognized as a professional by critics and peers.
Artist proof: An Artist's Proof is one outside the regular edition, but printed at the same time or after the regular edition from the same plates without changes. By custom, the artist retains the A/Ps for his personal use or sale. Typically, 10% of the edition total is designated as A/P, or in the case of a small edition, five graphics are usually so designated.
Atelier: French term for "printer's workshop."
Avant-Garde: A group active in the invention and application of new ideas and techniques in an original or experimental way. A group of practitioners and/or advocates of a new art form may also be called avant-garde. Some avant-garde works are intended to shock those who are accustomed to traditional, established styles.

B

Bronze: An alloy of copper and tin, sometimes containing small proportions of other elements such as zinc or phosphorus. It is stronger, harder, and more durable than brass, and has been used most extensively since antiquity for cast sculpture. Bronze alloys vary in color from a silvery hue to a rich, coppery red. U.S. standard bronze is composed of 90% copper, 7% tin, and 3% zinc.
Brush: A tool used to apply paints and inks to a surface, consisting of hairs, or bristles held in place by a ferrule attached to a handle. The quality of the hair determines the brush's quality and cost. Each type of brush has a specific purpose, and different fibers are used for different mediums.
Brushstroke: The mark left by a loaded (filled) brush on a surface. Brushstrokes can be distinguished by their direction, thickness, texture, and quality. Some artists purposefully obscure individual brushstrokes to achieve a smooth surface. Other artists make their brushstrokes obvious to reveal the process of painting or to express movement or emotion.

C

Canvas: A heavy, closely woven fabric; an oil painting on canvas fabric; the support used for an acrylic or oil painting that is typically made of linen or cotton, stretched very tightly and tacked onto a wooden frame. Linen is considered far superior to the heavy cotton for a canvas.
Certificate of authenticity: Certifies the authenticity of an individual piece in an edition and states the current market value.
Color: A visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect; the visual response to the wavelengths of light, identified as red, blue, green, etc.; primary and secondary colors; warm, cool, and neutral colors, color value; hue; and intensity.
Color permanence: Refers to a pigment's lasting power. Tubes and other containers of paint are sometimes labeled with a code indicating a color's degree of permanence (AA - highest; A - standard; C - Less than permanent, thought fairly durable; C - fugitive).
Color separation: A traditional photographic process of separating artwork into component films of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black in preparation for printing to ultimately create a full-color printed product. Recent computer innovations have obviated the need for separated film negatives in certain applications.
Color wheel: A round diagram that shows the placement of colors in relationship to each other. It is from the color wheel that "color schemes" are defined.
Commission: Refers to the act of hiring someone to execute a certain work of art or set of artworks.
Complementary colors: Two colors directly opposite one another on the color wheel. When placed next to one another, complementary colors are intensified and often appear to vibrate. When mixed, brown or gray is created. Red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and violet have the greatest degree of contrast. Red-violet and yellow-green, red-orange and blue-green, and yellow-orange and blue-violet are also complementary colors.
Composition: The arrangement of the design elements within the design area; the ordering of visual and emotional experience to give unity and consistency to a work of art and to allow the observer to comprehend its meaning.
Cubism: Art that uses two-dimensional geometric shapes to depict three-dimensional organic forms; a style of painting created by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in the early 20th century whereby the artist breaks down the natural forms of the subjects into geometric shapes and creates a new kind of pictorial space.