27 Sep

Not a Nub

A very amusing column about jargon appeared in the Economist recently and introduced me to the concept of a “nub.” This acronym for non-useful body is apparently employed by submariners to describe a ride-along person who takes up space, air and food while performing no useful function. In other words, not a member of the team.

The author went on to explain how jargon can actually be useful, helping people who are working together convey ideas more quickly and accomplish tasks more efficiently. Art has its own jargon, of course. Some of it is what I laughingly refer to as curator-speak, but some art jargon is more useful.

Concepts like composition, focal point and values can make or break a painting. They are shorthand for moving your eye around the page, bringing your attention to the most important thing in the painting, and having a nice flow of light and dark shapes.  Other words, like tonal or complements, help convey how an artist uses color.

This is the kind of jargon that convinced me the owners of a new gallery “spoke my language.” After all, if they don’t appreciate my art, how can they talk it up and sell it? Then they chose this painting, From the Dinghy, to feature in their promotional material, with its use of strong complementary colors and value contrasts. You can see it in person at the new Coastal Arts Studio at the Velvet Mill in Stonington, CT.  Their grand opening will be Saturday, Oct. 14, from 2-5:00.



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