Reading Reflection: “Explaining Creativity” Chapter 16

Sawyer’s words on Creativity in the Visual Arts left me unsatisfied like an empty stomach and hungry for more. Most sections (underlined below) had something interesting, but in this type of manner: blah blah blah blah blah – interesting tidbit – blah blah. Mostly I just wondered why all the words for so little learning – where’s the beef on visual art and creativity? This is all we know or that should/can be shared about it?

Who is an artist? Often not solo but multiple artists. This was interesting but not a revelation.

Getzels and Csikszentmihalyi – “successful” artists derive from problem-finding not solving. More time examining and manipulating objects. Like Cezanne who explored one thing his entire career. “The painting process is intentional, conscious, planned hard work, sprinkled with frequent mini-insights, just like the creative process in any other domain.” This was great! I only wonder, though, about how “successful” (and I don’t know how they define this) syncs with creativity? How are these not apples and oranges?

Neuroaestetics – symmetry, proportion, complexity/simplicity. Good to know, but I understand basic principles of aesthetics and am unsure how this fits into the chapter.

Can art be taught? – the jury is out. But we can teach how to think, write, participate like an artist. 

Sociocultural explanations of visual creativity: …

Outsider art: “self-taught.” Defined by field and domain, not properties of work itself.

Original outsider art – Gauguin’s self-imposed banishment to Polynesia (–> Picasso influenced by walking by African tribal art in Paris: simplistic expression beyond the “taint” of Europe). This was an interesting history.

Installation art: Think Spiral Jetty in Salt Lake

Photography: …

Movies: One of the more interesting sections of the chapter. George Lucas: creative but not original. Wasn’t all him (“lone-genius myth narrative”) – very close to the Western cultural beliefs about the creative artist.

Cartoons: …

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