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powerpoint 1a. art appreciation & creativity the psychology and analysis of art. why art appreciation?. developing informed opinions art is a sensuous experience and no one person experiences art objects in the same way as someone else

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powerpoint 1a

powerpoint 1a

art appreciation & creativity

the psychology and analysis of art

why art appreciation
why art appreciation?
  • developing informed opinions
    • art is a sensuous experience and no one person experiences art objects in the same way as someone else
      • you may enjoy some pieces or some movements while disliking others – this is a matter of taste
      • developing critical opinions is more than “like” or “dislike” but refers to the way we can analyze and interpret the form and content
  • art is form and content
    • form is the materials, the composition, the elements and the principles used in the work
    • content is the meaning, the purpose and the context of the work
  • art is a way of seeing
    • to examine social issues and events
    • to understand emotions and empathize with others
    • to communicate ideas visually and sensuously
    • to challenge viewers to look and internalize ideas, objects, concepts, and representations which are not easily understood
what is beauty
what is beauty?
  • a sensual experience of pleasure, meaning and/or satisfaction
    • beauty is personal but also cultural
    • beauty is harmony and symmetry
    • beauty is viewed, felt and experienced
  • aesthetics – the study of beauty
    • the philosophy concerning the nature of beauty, the creation of beautiful things and the appreciation of beauty in nature and in art
  • art is beautiful
    • art represents the beautiful, not the pretty or attractive but the experiences and sensations which create pleasure, meaning and satisfaction
    • there is a philosophy to art but also a psychology to it as well
psychology of art
psychology of art
  • art is more than a form of expression
    • it is a way of thinking
    • creating, analyzing and interpreting art is a critical thinking process
      • critical thinking is the intellectual discipline of actively exploring, discovering and questioning and involves relating knowledge to personal experience
  • psychological studies of art and the creative process
    • MihalyCsikszentmihalyi
    • a psychologist who developed his theories by studying artists and the process of creating
the act of creation
the act of creation
  • MihalyCsikszentmihalyi’sTheory of Flow
    • artists enter the state of flow when they create
    • he defines flow as “the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it”
    • flow is a description of:
      • the mental state in which a person becomes completely immersed and focused on a task, and experiences feelings of eager determination, complete involvement and interest, and enjoyment in the process
      • in layman‘s terms, the feeling of flow is often described as being “in the zone” or “totally absorbed” or “Zen moments”

Quinn, Robert E.. Change the World: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Extraordinary Results. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons Inc., Jossey-Bass, 2000.

the act of creation1
the act of creation
  • Theory of Flow cont’d
    • Csíkszentmihályi says that those that experience flow experience effortless action in which one feels no conflicts or contradictions
    • Csíkszentmihályi described the feeling as if being carried by a current or flowing with a current
      • the participants in his studies described a feeling of ecstasy when engaged in certain tasks, feeling most alive or forgetting one is alive
  • creating art & flow
    • the chart to the right demonstrates how an artist enters flow and maintains that state

Quinn, Robert E.. Change the World: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Extraordinary Results. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons Inc., Jossey-Bass, 2000.

things to ponder
things to ponder…
  • experience flow
    • what activities or practices do you engage in, in which you experience Csíkszentmihályi’sflow?
    • do you seek out these activities in order to experience flow?
  • Jenova Chen’s flOw
    • founder of Thatgamecompany, Chen’s MFA thesis discussed the application of Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow
    • Chen’s games are crafted to create a comprehensive experience for the player and to inspire flow
    • playing his games should create a constant state of flow while moving in environments which are beautiful
    • try playing his game – does it create the experience of flow for you?
the creative process
the creative process
  • defining art in terms of psychology
    • art can be defined in terms of Csikszentmihalyi’stheory of flow, but also can be defined via the creative process and critical thinking
  • defining art in terms of creativity
    • art is a form of problem solving that requires thinking in a different language – a visual language
    • Dr. Betty Edwards is a Professor of Art at California State University and has contributed to the studies of creativity, the creative process and the artistic process
      • Her seminal work, Drawing on the Artist Within, outlines much of her research and findings
      • “Drawing, like words, have meaning – often beyond the power of words to express, but nonetheless invaluable in making the chaos of our sensory impressions comprehensible.”

Edwards, Betty. Drawing on the Artist Within. New York, NY: Fireside Book – Simon & Schuster Inc., 1986.

the creative process1
the creative process
  • Edwards’ definition of creativity
    • looking at problems in new, innovative ways
    • focusing on connections that might not be apparent
    • “This special way of seeing includes the ability to see a whole field while at the same time perceiving parts within the field in relationship to each other as well as the whole…”
  • the paradigm shift – a change in the way of thinking
    • Westerners are often taught or come to the conclusion that being artistic or creative is an inborn trait and cannot be taught
    • students of art and art appreciation must break down this preconceived notion and move beyond its limitations – unlearn what you have learned!
  • the five stages of creativity

Edwards, Betty. Drawing on the Artist Within. New York, NY: Fireside Book – Simon & Schuster Inc., 1986.

the myth of talent
the myth of talent
  • creativity vs. in-born talent
    • Edwards cautions that art is not about talent
      • reliance on talent belittles the artist, for the artist’s work is similar to the scientist’s theories or experiments
      • art requires intense study, practical application of theory and methodology, and a philosophical basis
      • success in art is based on:
        • training in observation and seeing
        • practicing methods and techniques
        • developing ways to represent the world through models (not unlike scientific models or equations) and ways to articulate these ideas visually
        • developing creativity and critical thinking skills
    • art is about the thinking process and education
      • no college student would accept an Introductory French Course in which the instructor expected students to speak French on the first day and those students who had no “talent” or prior knowledge of French were unable to continue in the course
      • creativity and perceptual skills are no different than arithmetic or language skills, they must be introduced, studied and practiced

Edwards, Betty. Drawing on the Artist Within. New York, NY: Fireside Book – Simon & Schuster Inc., 1986.

we are all artists
we are all artists
  • art appreciation is for everyone
    • every culture, throughout time has represented the world in a visual manner
    • every child begins by creating and imagining
      • somewhere along the way, many children are discouraged: they are questioned or corrected in their representations
      • we are visually-dominated organisms and so it is natural for us to use visuals to communicate
  • the universal sun symbol
    • to the right you will find examples of the universal sun symbol
    • it is universal in that every culture throughout time has represented the sun in a similar way – even very young children use a circle with rays

clockwise from left to right: Amerindian Chemehuevi Sun Petroglyph, Carschenna Swiss Alps Sun Engraving, Yolngu Australian Aborigine Sun Glyph, United States Four-Year-Old’s Drawing of the Sun

Edwards, Betty. Drawing on the Artist Within. New York, NY: Fireside Book – Simon & Schuster Inc., 1986.

things to ponder1
things to ponder…
  • key ideas from this powerpoint
    • art and art appreciation are formal practices which use creative processes and critical thinking to examine beauty and meaning through a visual language
    • art can be studied through its psychological processes and psychological effects, such as the theory of flow
    • creativity is a process which relies on perceptual skills and intellectual discipline
    • humans are artistic organisms by nature, through our reliance on observation and visual information
    • we are all able to appreciate art and think creatively
  • questions for you to reflect upon
    • Do you consider yourself artistic or creative? Why or Why not?
    • Did someone in your past (a parent, a teacher, a mentor) either encourage or discourage your artistic interests (think of this loosely – not just drawing, but making or creating in general)?
    • Do you value creative thinking?