Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Spelling List

The Vancouver Sun published a CanWest CanSpell Study Guide today, so I just had to read through it to check out my vocabulary. ( I think I am beyond entering spelling bees!) The first thing that caught my eye was "easel" which, apparently, comes from Dutch. So then, I had to look through the study lists to see what else might appear in arts oriented words. "Landscape" is also from Dutch, while Italian contributions are " graffiti, portfolio" and "fresco".

Old English didn't have many art words on this year's list in spite of Celtic Art - but there was "linseed". With German, we have the colour "cobalt" and, stretching the point, thinking of life drawing - "gestalt". We could stretch it even further and find Robert Genn's term for those paintings that just don't work out- "schnauzer". (As an Airedale owner, he didn't want the better-known term "dog".) We might think of Italy first when we think of "renaissance" but the word comes from French - who also give us "diorama", "collage" and "genre". Latin contributes a number of words that might come into criticism - but I'll settle for "discipline" and "retrospective" from that list. Finally, a whole glory of words for colours from the Arabic- "azure, carmine, crimson, orange, saffron, lemon, lilac "and "henna". - Now, back to the easel.

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