The Joy of Art: How to Look At, Appreciate, and Talk about Art

The Joy of Art: How to Look At, Appreciate, and Talk about Art

by Carolyn Schlam


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An Artist’s Insights on Art Appreciation

Written by a practicing artist, this book decodes and maps the basic elements of visual art, leading the reader to a greater understanding and appreciation. Not an art history lesson per se, this illustrated guide is rather a tool kit to make the study of art and a visit to the museum truly rewarding. An entertaining and informative read, The Joy of Art offers the reader:
  • A working art vocabulary to help you identify and explain what you’re looking at
  • Answers to many of the questions you may have about visual art in general
  • A summary of the basic criteria to consider when looking at art
  • Highlights of the primary art genres and an introduction to the artists who pursued them
  • Many visual examples of aesthetic considerations and practices
  • Interesting facts about your favorite artists and clues to why they made the choices they did
  • A few games to test your new skills

The Joy of Art contains 150 color photographs and many interesting insights from an artist-author who takes readers behind the curtain and into the studio to uncover what actually goes into making a work of art. If you love art, this book will take your appreciation to a new level. Not only will your enjoyment of art increase, you’ll be able to clearly communicate your understanding to others.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621537045
Publisher: Allworth
Publication date: 04/07/2020
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 378,221
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Carolyn Schlam is an award-winning American painter, glass artist, and author, born and raised in New York City. She studied painting with Norman Raeben, youngest son of the Yiddish writer Sholem Alecheim in Carnegie Hall Studios and glassmaking at Urban Glass in Brooklyn. She is the author of The Creative Path: A View from the Studio on the Making of Art and various illustrated books for children. Carolyn resides and has her studio in southern California. Visit her at

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: How the Book Originated 1

Chapter 2 What Is Visual Art?: Some Basic Definitions 5

Chapter 3 Art Vocabulary: Art Terms and How to Use Them 23

Chapter 4 Twenty Questions … and One More for Good Measure 45

Chapter 5 Art Speak: Quotes by Famous Artists 69

Chapter 6 Looking at Art: General Criteria 75

Chapter 7 More Looking: Specific Criteria 97

Chapter 8 Subject and Master: Figurative Art 129

Chapter 9 Subject and Master: Landscape 163

Chapter 10 Subject and Master: Still Life 187

Chapter 11 Subject and Master: Abstraction 197

Chapter 12 Subject and Master: Sculpture and Other Artistic Practices 213

Chapter 13 A Closer Look: Decoding Works of Art 233

Chapter 14 The Future of Art: Where We Go from Here 287

Appendix A Art Games: Sharpen Your New Skills 293

Appendix B List of Images 315

Acknowledgments 337

Index 339

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