Art is a broad spectrum of human activities involved in the production of performing, visual or artistic artifacts, that express the artist’s creative ideas, conceptualized ideas, or specific technical skill, meant to be enjoyed primarily for their aesthetic beauty or personal significance. The term ‘art’ can also refer to a range of intangible works that are designed to promote the appreciation of art or the culture of a particular area. Art has been a central theme in artistic and cultural practices throughout the history of mankind. It is present in almost all societies and is now subject to rapid and far-reaching changes in its interpretation and scope, as reflected in the current literature.
Painting is one branch of the arts that has undergone tremendous changes over time. Previously, only the most skilled artists were considered worthy of being called ‘artists’. Painting started as a way to mark time, and was used in cave paintings from thousands of years ago. However, during the Renaissance period, the importance of painting as an art form was elevated to something more than just an occasional hobby. The term, ‘painted art’, came into use around this time.
Painting involves using a palette to apply colors and other pigments on a surface, and there are three basic types of painting: pre-painting, preparative painting or blind painting. Pre-painting generally refers to a range of techniques that artists use to prepare a painting for display or as part of a study. Some pre-painting techniques include using oils or acrylics, drawing, gridwork, chalks and watercolors. Other methods include shading, dry-brushing, spraying and working with pencil.
Painting is seen as a very personal art form, with some artists creating meaningful works of art based on personal experiences. However, other famous painters have produced works of mass art that are often commercially exploited, appealing to the public. Andy Warhol is perhaps the most famous artist to have popularized the concept of ‘posed art’. His iconic pictures of himself were typically shown in a series of downward faced poses, which he interpreted as a symbol of power and ability. Other popular pictures used the downward facing theme to suggest aging and old age.
Art has a broad variety of fields, including the visual arts, music, visual culture, literature and drama. In the late twentieth century, the art world began to experience a new focus and development, with many new art movements springing up. One such major movement was called expressionism, when artists used various forms of technology, such as photography, to express their creativity. Others used graffiti to create unique images that reflected their feelings and emotions.
Art is now considered a unique art form, with many artists producing pieces that reflect their individual artistic talents and influences. While each artist’s work will vary according to the skill, talent and desire, these types of works will also generally conform to certain common themes and styles. For example, some artists will focus on natural imagery, while others will highlight the symbolic aspects of natural objects. Others will create works that are highly abstract, while still others will showcase the realistic aspects of objects.