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Ever enter an art museum and feel lost? Did you want to experience and discuss the art, but not know how? Follow these simple steps, and you will not only sound like an art expert, but your knowledge and appreciation of art will grow!

Look for the sensory properties of the art work. Discuss its lines, colors, shapes, textures, and light and dark values. What kinds of lines did the artist use? What type of colors? Are the shapes organic or geometric? What do you think this work of art would feel like? Is it bright? Is it dark? Why do you think the artist chose to use the lines, colors, shapes, textures, and shading that you are viewing?

Analyze the art work's formal qualities. How did the artist organize and unify the art work? How does this organization and unification express a feeling or an idea? Look for and point out any repetition, rhythym, contrast, dominance or balance in the piece. Close your eyes. Open them. Where are your eyes dtawn to in the piece? This is the focal point. How does the artist draw your eye to this point?

Talk about the work's technical properties. How was it made? What medium did the artist use? What type of tools did the artist use? What art techniques were employed to create this work?


Examine the work's expressive qualities. Does it convey a mood or a feeling? Is there a big idea behind the piece? Is it busy? Is it restful? Is it high or low energy?

Discuss the works aesthetic qualities. Do you like it? Why or why not? Is it valuable? Is it important? Would you hang this work in your home? If so, where? If not, why not?

Explore the history of the work. When was it created? What was going on in the artist's world? Is it religious, political, or personal?

Follow these guidelines and you will soon expand your knowledge of art. You'll sound like an expert, as you learn!