Artists work in a variety of colors, styles and media. Painters may use acrylics, oil paints, or watercolors, and may paint on a canvas, paper, or use mixed media supplies. When we think of the the great painters we often look at the French Impressionists. Painters like Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Gauguin all helped make art what it is today. As impressionists, they used color extensively, and the majority of impressionism focused on outdoor scenes. The term Impressionism derives from Caude Monet's painting "Impression: Sunrise" (shown here). A title was needed in a hurry for the catalogue of the exhibition in 1874. Monet suggested simply Impression, and the catalog editor, Renoir's brother Edouard, added an explanatory Sunrise.
Characteristics of Impressionist paintings include visible
brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing
qualities. Impressionism often accentuates the effects of the passage of
time. Using ordinary subject matter, Impressionism adds the inclusion of
movement as a crucial element of human perception, while focusing on
unusual visual angles.
Another style of art commonly seen is pop art. Artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein changed the way we think of and classify art. Andy Warhol was called the "Prince of pop Art", and in 1968 he famously coined the phrase "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." From
1962 on Andy Warhol started making silkscreen prints of famous
personalities like Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor. The quintessence
of Andy Warhol art was to remove the difference between fine arts and
the commercial arts used for magazine illustrations, comic books, record
albums or advertising campaigns. Andy Warhol once expressed his
philosophy in one poignant sentence: "When you think about it,
department stores are kind of like museums".
Roy Lichtenstein became famous for his benday dots and the comic book appearance of his artwork. Adding word bubbles to his artwork was his finishing touch. Roy Lichtenstein's first work to feature
the large-scale use of hard-edged figures and Benday Dots was” Look
Mickey”(featured here) in 1961. This artwork design came from a
challenge from one of his sons, who pointed to a Mickey Mouse comic book
and said; "I bet you can't paint as good as that, eh, Dad?" That year
Roy Lichtenstein began hiding images of comic strip figures (such as
Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Bugs Bunny) in his paintings.
Lichtenstein explains his artwork this way:"Abstract Expressionists put things down on the canvas and responded
to what they had done, to the color positions and sizes. My style looks
completely different, but the nature of putting down lines pretty much
is the same; mine just don't come out looking calligraphic, like
Pollock's or Kline's."