The Pocket Universal Principles of Art is a portable but still comprehensive reference for all artists, and a companion volume to Rockport Publishers' best-selling Universal Principles of Design.
John A. Parks trained at the Royal College of Art in London in the 1970's and subsequently pursued a career in New York, exhibiting his work with several of the most renowned art galleries in the city. His work has received considerable critical acclaim, including a review in the New York Times by Roberta Smith, the chief art critic. Parks' paintings are represented in a number of museum collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design. Parks has been a member of the faculty at the School of Visual Arts in New York since 1979 teaching a broad array of courses in painting and drawing at every level, from undergraduate to post-graduate. He has also taught courses for adults for many years amassing wide experience in presenting approaches to making art to people of every background and time of life. In the early 90's Parks began to write for the art magazines using a concise and lucid style that makes his writing highly accessible to a broad audience. He has since written more than 150 feature articles for publications such as American Artist Magazine, Drawing Magazine, Watercolor Magazine as well as pieces for the New York Times. His writing has explored very broad array of subjects, ranging from profiles of contemporary artists such as Lucien Freud and Wayne Thiebaud, to historical figures such as Rubens, Raphael and Whistler. His writings on art technique again cover considerable ground including a major article on the painting technique of Vel\u00e1zquez as well as pieces on quill pen drawing, watercolor and gouache techniques. Parks also published a regular column on the business of art in American Artist Magazine.
Pocket Universal Principles of Art presents one hundred principles, fundamental ideas, and approaches to art making that will guide, challenge, and inspire any artist to make better, more focused art. The book provides a wealth of prompts, hints, insights and roadmaps that will open a world of possibilities to both understanding art works and generating new ones. It covers techniques and concepts, incorporating both historical and contemporary theories of art and art making.
Fundamental ideas include:
- Tone as Structure: Tonal relationships in representational roles.
- Color as light: How color is used to recreate the sensation of light.
- Perspective: A sophisticated convention for describing three-dimensional space.
- Composition: The artwork as an arrangement of elements.
- Harmony: How elements work together for the good of the whole.
Practical strategies include:
- Quoting: How referring to another work of art allows for refinement of meaning.
- Simplification: Reducing a statement to its fundamentals.
- Successive approximation: The artwork as a journey.
- Restraint: The power of holding back.
- Romanticism: Spontaneity, feelings, imagination, and genius.
- Classicism and Renaissance: The tenets of the Greco-Roman world recur throughout the
- Minimalism: Art stripped bare.
- Deconstructionism: A critical technique exposes the manipulation of meaning.
- Form Rendered: Describing three-dimensional forms on two-dimensional surfaces.
- Drawing Language: The syntax of description.
- Printmaking: Description of basic methods and procedures.
This detailed, yet concise, reference pcoket book will be invaluable for artists, historians, educators, art lovers, and students who seek to broaden and improve their art expertise, enhance their enjoyment, or improve their practice.