Chapter 2, Awareness, Creativity, and Communication
Art = quality, production, or expression of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary
, 1930, Edward Weston – photograph of warped green pepper, Weston found
it more appealing than an ordinary culinary one would be. Example of artist wanting to show
world something most people would pass by and overlook. Pepper takes up all of the picture –
makes it look bigger, monumentalizes it. Other photos by Weston (not in book) include a
cabbage leaf, and the cross-section of an artichoke.
The difference between looking and seeing – you look quickly at a doorknob to know where to
reach, but you look carefully to SEE a doorknob that is particularly beautiful or unusual.
Artists see things in unique ways. Two paintings of bathers were made by Monet and Renoir
painting at the same place, on the same day, working side-by-side. Monet focused more on the
landscape, Renoir more on the people. Renoir loved painting people, Monet didn’t. Fig. 20,
Man Tricked by Gypsies
, by Leonardo, c. 1440
Art doesn’t have to be beautiful. Beauty and aesthetics have a wide range of possibilities.
Leonardo found beauty in ugliness. Image includes heads with lumpy faces, attenuated noses and
Aesthetics refers to perception, anesthetics means no perception (like during surgery). Fig. 21,
Skull with Burning Cigarette
, Vincent van Gogh, 1885-86. Shows smoking was known to be
deadly over a hundred years ago. Also gives another example of art that isn’t pretty. Fig. 22,
, 1984, Jean-Michel Basquiat – this artist knows about addiction, he died of a drug
overdose at 27.
Art by Children-- We all make art as children, but most of us quit drawing by about age 8 or 9,
when we come to the realization that our drawings don’t look like what they are supposed to
represent. Fig. 23,
Searching for Bugs in the Park
– quite sophisticated for 9 years old Fig. 28,
Mother Octopus with Babies
– exuberant – takes up the whole page Fig. 29,
I Can Ride, I Can
Ride My Unicycle
– shows understanding that things further away seem to be smaller
Self-Portrait by a 4-year old (not in book) extends her left arm to help balance the picture and
take up more picture space. Children seem to have an innate sense of composition and design.
Apprentice with Drawing of a Marionette, 16th century (not in book) – shows the similarity
between children’s drawings that are hundreds of years apart.
Several artists influenced by the art of children and try to emulate it, for example:
Wassily Kandinsky - Figs. 532 and 533
Paul Klee (pronounced “clay”) – Figs. 53 and 586
Joan Miró – (note, this is a man) Fig. 561
Each uses bright colors, childlike qualities, and cheerful images.
Art by untrained artists Artists who start making art because they want to or have to. There are