Describing art: Often, I find myself sending out press releases, usually helping one of the non-profits for history or art, which are always in need of volunteerism (ahem ~ make that non-paid labor). I've absorbed an extensive amount of art knowledge and its corresponding vocabulary over the years, but even I get stuck for words or tired of repeating the same old phrase in describing an artist's work; or, more likely these days, just forget the word I'm trying to recall, finding it always on tip of tongue or edge of memory, not quite graspable.
For those of you who have to write these things, I just found a nice "art-speak" glossary on MacmillanDictionary.com. I'm not talking the "BS" ~ I mean just the everyday terms that artists and art writers toss about with such ease ~ "figurative," "evocative," "esthetic," "artsy," "campy." I glanced over the definitions, and it's pretty much spot on ~ these are the meanings I've picked up over the years. The language is easy and straightforward. It may not explain the connotations of each word, but the definition itself should give you enough information to find the word you're looking for or keep from making an awkward mistake.
Here's the page: Words Used to Describe Works of Art or Crafts ~ http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/thesaurus-category/american/words-used-to-describe-works-of-art-or-crafts