Art Vocabulary Words

I was an accountant for 15 years before I started my Master of Fine Arts in Photography degree. Art classes were always exciting because of new art words I had to learn. I want to share that knowledge with you. Learn art vocabulary words to describe your response to art. Impress yourself, significant other, family, and friends. This will be fun.

Formal Quality of An Artwork

Jul 13, 2017(edit)

Before art school I’ve never heard of this phrase: formal quality. “Formal” refers to the visual building blocks of piece of art that you are looking at. Form starts with dot, which when it moves leaves a line, which when it closes onto itself completes a shape. Form also includes things… View More

Art Words To Surprise Your Artist Boyfriend

Jun 7, 2017(edit)

In becoming an artist, you develop a signature style: a way of creating a photograph that identifies it as yours. A viewer looks at a photograph and concludes, “yes, this is Jonah’s work.” It’s like a fingerprint. Apparently, this signature style, also transferred at work, to my spreadsheets… View More

Creating Beautiful Spreadsheets using the Enclosure Art Principle

Oct 14, 2016(edit)

“Jonah, I have to disagree with you on the white space you talked about last week.” We’ve been humming along, looking at how art principles can improve spreadsheets, making them presentable, understandable, and beautiful. We’ve looked a conceptual framework for sending a message by way of… View More

Using Negative Space in Spreadsheets

Oct 7, 2016(edit)

Things that are close together will be grouped together. Things that are separate will be taken as separate. This art principle is called proximity. This grouping function of the mind is non-verbal and pre-cognitive (i.e. you don’t have to think about it), it’s just something that you do… View More

Value: The Hidden Opportunity in Spreadsheets

Sep 30, 2016(edit)

Now let’s go into the visual aspects of presenting spreadsheets. As mentioned before, combining denotation and connotation forms a complete message of a photograph or in our case, a spreadsheet. I also said that these two have to be in sync. Now comes visual language. The visual language of the… View More

This Is Not An Apple

Aug 23, 2016(edit)

Have you looked at a photograph and said, “Why would anyone photograph that?” Usually when this happens, it’s because we’re missing the connotation. So let’s recap a bit. Denotation are all those things that are shown -in- a photograph. Anything printed on a piece of paper or shown onscreen like… View More

Denotation in Photographs and Spreadsheets

Aug 12, 2016(edit)

So two weeks ago, I recommended turning off the grid in Microsoft Excel to get a sense of spaciousness. Turning off the grid increases analytical ability by removing non-data junk. You become a better number cruncher as a result. Last week, I shared my perspective on the analytical phase of… View More

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