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Preface    Some Meanings of Art Activities    The Meaning of Art for Budding Artists    The Senses As Basic to Learning    Self-identification and Self-expression    The Meaning of Art for Society    Arts of Development    Art as a Basic Means of Learning    Art as a Means of Understanding Growth    The Importance of Creativity

Twig

Preface

Developing one's skills can be a maturing, clean and all right joy.

Art is also about expressing feelings and emotions; I would be delighted to hear from you as you find proper outlet for - uh - good emotions. (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:v, vii).

There is a joy in developing skills. We should be allied with that [see Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:v). ◊

An image and painting is usually a construction.

Increase in awareness of the environment, and the development of a sensitive, creative, involved, and aware person are some goal of this work [see Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:v).

"Understand the importance of creative expression and to realize that creativity and art are a vital part of the learning process. It is not the product that concerns us, it s not the picture or the properly executed clay piece or the construction made from wood that should concern us. Rather it is the value of these experiences to the child that is important." - W. Lambert Brittain (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982: v). ◊

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Some Meanings of Art Activities

Passively waiting to be teacher directed, what about it?

Recognize that the real values of a democracy lie in its most precious asset, the individual . . . (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:3).

Factual learning and retention, unless exercised by a free and flexible mind, will benefit neither the individual nor society (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:7).

Art is a dynamic and unifying activity — Every person may put thoughts and emotions into an art form (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:3).

It may be that one of the basic abilities that should be encouraged in our public schools is the ability to discover and to search for answers, instead of passively waiting for answers and directions from the teachers (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:4).

The development of the perceptual sensitivity, then, should become a most important part of the educative process — The task encompasses taking in through the senses a vast amount of information, mixing it up with the psychological self, and putting into a new form the elements that seem to suit the asestheic needs of the artist at the time (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:4, 5). ◊

Serious questions can be raised about how much we have been able to educate beyond the making and consuming of objects (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:3).

In a well balanced educational system, the total being is stressed, so that his potential creative abilities can unfold (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:7).

Selecting, interpreting, and reforming elements often gives more than a picture or a sculpture; the creator has given us a part of himself: how he thinks, how he feels, and how he sees — From the age of five or six to sexteen, eighteen, or beyond, growing individuals are forced by law and job requirements to spend ten, twelve, sixteen, or even twenty years behind school doors. That is a severe sentence for being born a child [see Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:3).

Emphasis on drawing a bit, favours many skills, and can also aid cognitive development.

Young children use art as a means of learning, through the making of symbols which capture and are an abstraction of the environment, and through the organization and positioning of these symbols together on one configuration — Mental growth depends on a rich and varied relationship between a child and his environment (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:3, 6-7).

Every society, from the most primitive to the most sophisticated, has expressed itself through art — Some mastery of memorization (or learning) goes along with art in very many cases (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:3).

Have we really put enough sane emphasis on human values? — It must be called tremendously important to bear in mind that, and that the process of drawing, painting, or constructing is a complex one that may enrich some, and favour many others still [see Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:3). ◊

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The Meaning of Art for Budding Artists

Aesthetic sensitivites should be fed, and fed well throughout a life.

TEACHERS AND ADULTS may prevent budding artists from using art as a true means of self-expression by suggesting proper colours and forms, colour schemes, proportions, and manner of painting and imposing such stuff on the budding artists [Cf. Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:8).

Try to encourage each developing artist to identify with is own experiences and help him to go as far as he can in developing concepts that express his feelings and emotions, and his own aesthetic sensitivities. We should never be satisfied with the stereotyped response or with the unfeeling or automated drawing (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:11).

Each growing artist differs even from his earlier self as he constantly grows, perceives, understands, and interprets his environment — It is the growing artist's process - his thinking, his feelings, his perceiving, in fact, his reactions to his environment - that is important (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:9, 7-8).

Whenever we hear growing artists say "I can't draw," we can be sure that some kind of interference has occurred in their lives. This loss of self-confidence in one's own means of expression may be an indication of a withdrawal into one's self (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:8). ◊

Through the process of art . . . art itself evolves (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:11).

The artistic standards of the teacher must be subordinated to the needs of growing artists in art education (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:11).

Occasionally we hear of a growing artist who is outstanding in art. This may be a growing artist who performs in ways that are neat and proper, who satisifies the artistic likes of the teacher . . . However, it may be a developing artist who is silent and withdrawn who most needs the opportunity for art expression (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:11).

Let growing artists express growing artists.

The mistake is made of evaluating growing artists' creative work by how the product looks, its colours and shapes, its design qualities, and so forth. This is unjust, not only to the product, but even more to the growing artist (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982: 8-9).

The teacher should realize that his or her own learning experiences will avail growing artists nothing, for it is the growing artists' learning that is important in the educational process . . . the growing artist's striving toward misses, one way or another. (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:11-12).

Use deeply rooted creative impulses with as little inhibition as possible — because expression grows out of, and is a reflection of, the total growing artist — and for a growing artist, art is primarily a means of expression (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:8, 9, 7). ◊

A growing artist is a dynamic being . . . as he grows his expression changes (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:8).

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The Senses As Basic to Learning

Having things amply and at hand suggests an affluent environment.

Our forefathers were in daily contact with their environment . . . they also made their own music and art (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:12).

Even a very young growing artist needs to be truly encouraged to see, touch, or become involved in his environment . . . It is not just a question of the presence of sounds, or of having things available to touch and see; it is the stiumulation of the interaction between the developing artist and the environment through the senses that makes the difference between the growing artist who is eager to explore and investigate that environment and one who retreats from it (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:13). ◊

Obviously, deprived developing artists can come from what might be called affluent surroundings (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:13).

Smelling and sniffing can be developed into quite an art; human wine connoisseurs know of it too.

Touching, seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting involve the active participation of the individual (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:13).

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Self-identification and Self-expression

There is a definite cause for discontent if basic needs are not met full well.

The term "self-expression" has often been misunderstood. Self-expression is giving vent in constructive forms to feelings, emotions, and thoughts at one's own level of development. What matters most is likely to be the mode of expression, not the content (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:19).

A study of the organization of the factory - an organization that made workers feel isolated, dominated, detached, and discontent - was made by Blauner (1964) — There is great satisfaction in expressing one's own feelings and emotions in art. Even the very young growing artist is expressing his own importance through his own means, and the satisfaction is self-evident (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:14, 20).

In a young artist there is definitely a need for the ability to identify with others (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:19).

To a great extent our educational system is geared toward measurable academic skills [through] defining learning in a very narrow sense (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:16). ◊

Learning does not merely mean the accumulation of knowledge; it also implies an understanding of how this knowledge can be utilized — Occupations . . . that entail a good deal of craftsmanship and personal involvement have more satisfactions to offer to workers than mere money. This dehumanization of the worker is of great concern to many, and one should allow for an increase in the quality of life for the worker (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:16, 15).

Production of stout producers is needed a lot.

The production of technically excellent art products may be far removed from the real expressive needs of the producer (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:20). ◊

Achievement is often tapped from being united to something larger and bigger, or one or more partners to draw from.

Achievement and self-concept are well related (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:20).

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TAO STUDY

The Meaning of Art for Society

LoArt work is predominantly intuitively made on its maturer levels

GROWING ARTISTS' creative works differ from one individual to another. Great differences can be seen from one stage of development to another (Cf. Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:30).

One method of looking at growing artists' drawings and paintings is called the psychoanalytical approach (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:24).

The art product becomes a record of the developing artist's preparation and his success in achieving certain levels of proficiency (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:28).

To examine the picture without understanding what the growing artist's intention was, to make assumptions about personality from one example of art work, or to assess compentence in art on the basis of what is uncluded or omitted from the product, does both the product and the growing artist an injustice (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:30).

Art can have meanings within our society other than as the highest form of expression (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:21).

True art is something that is cherished — Art as a projective measure in helping to understand the problems faced by growing artists and adults. However, there is much inconsistency in the method of interpreting drawings even by those who are supposed to be experts in the field. There is no standard system of scoring drawings, and much of the interpretation is intuitive (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:20, 24). ◊

The role of the art teacher seems to be that of providing the materials, developing tasks which will be executed by the growing artist in mastering certain artistic skills, and motivating the growing artist so that the drawing and painting continue — To understand the growing artist and give support for his expressions, find out how we can involve him more fully in life - that could be a legitimate friend and teacher purpose (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:27, 30).

LoOne may reap "the looking insignificant" from fine artistic development for a long time

A THIRD WAY of looking at growing artists' drawings is the developmental approach. Here the drawing or painting is examined from the point of view of seeing how the growing artist measures up to what is expected of him at any particular age (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:26).

One may get a broader understanding, which may feel like thin ice to skate upon for the best clinician (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:25).

One important factor to keep in mind is that creative work must be understood individually (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:29).

An insignificant and timidly executed work may provide insight for the teacher so that activites can be planned that will give the growing artist the opportunity to develop confidence in his expression (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:29).

Art is often considered the highest form of human expression (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:20). ◊

LoFashion gives stupid examples that surely are good for nothing, roughly said

FOR THE GROWING artist, the value of an art experience is in the process — The drawing or painting activity is also considered therapeutic — It may happen that the growing artist portrays an emotional event that has great personal significance. To the adult these may be ordinary paintings; they may even be ugly from an aesthetic point of view. Yet the work produced may be an important resolution within the growing artist's own life; to direct attention only to the painting and to be concerned only with technical abilites would be an injustice (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:30, 2429).

Each art work must be considered on its own merit, and this is true for all levels of teaching (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:29-30.).

A fourth approach to looking at growing artists' art is often relegated to an art teacher, and this method has the least amount of excitement in it. Here the basic assumption is that the growing artists need to develop a vocabulary, both verbal and pictorial, on which they can build their expression (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:27).

Art is also a reflection of the society that creates it — Thus, art can be used in the most crassly commercial fashion to advertise (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:20, 21).

Be that as it may, some art activites build on one another from the point of view of artistic achievement (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:27). ◊

It is also good and needed for many to be favoured to learn the mastery of skills, to be taught regularly how to how to use a brush, to clean off the excess paint and much else that could come in handy as the winds of interest change, for example (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:27). ◊◊

Gist

IN SUM
  1. Assess competence farily along with encouraging artistic skills.
  2. Broader understandings open up for better human endeavours, also in the arts.
  3. By trying to drop assumptions, we can improve or develop the skills that work.
IN NUCECompetence, understanding, and development of skills - let the three work together in any enterprise and you may end up surprised.

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Arts of Development

A budding artist should learn a lot in order to develop a lot. And what is more, artist contexts host embedded concepts, needs, and urges to become better aware of and perhaps express somewhat delicately.

The study of growing artists' art can be fascinating — It seems that some things cannot be taught until a growing artist is cognitively able to grasp the concepts — But all along it should be emphasized that learning takes place in the context of that which is known (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:33, 45, 47).

Good creative development may skip many stages and re-enter stages - it's of the creative process.

DRAWING and other art activities obviously are not merely the results of manipulative skills — Still, not a few young artists draw in predictable ways, going through fairly definite stages (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:45, 36).

  1. A Scribbling Stage - till ca 4 years old (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:36).
  2. A Preschematic Stage - ca 4 years old (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:36-37).
  3. A Schematic Stage - ca. 7-9 years old (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:37).
  4. A Stage og Dawning Realism - 9 years old (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:37).
  5. A Pseudo-Naturalistic Stageł the stage of reasoning. - ca. 11-12 years old - There is a great deal of self-criticism - a great deal of detail, attempts at cartoons - For some, this stage marks the end of their artistic development and we often find that adults, when asked to draw something, will make a drawing that is very typical of the twelve year old (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:38-39).
  6. Also: Ca 14 years old - angles and curves - it's a real interest (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:40).
These developmental stages are primarily for normal and growing artists — They relate in gross lines to Jean Piaget's stages: "Although Piaget's stages are for intellectual development, it is not surprising to find the same stages in art (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982: 43)." (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:40, 43).

Student knowledge may or may not be very much appreciated, not least because "Knowledge is usually thought of as flowing from the teacher to the student." (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:33).

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Art as a Basic Means of Learning

Writing is made into an art by some. It is feasible in many ways.

In some places, meaningless drills often are parts of how reading, writing, and artithmetic skills are taught (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:49).

The success of any remedial program can be seriously questioned (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:51).

Actually, there is very little known about how childen learn to read (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982: 49). ◊

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Art as a Means of Understanding Growth

LoHaving fun can be essential to the development of artistic skills and intimacy in general

Perceptual growth involves a growing sensitivity to tactile and pressure sensations (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:59).

One investigation, examining the drawings by growing artists from a variety of societies, indicated that group values can readily be seen in growing artists' drawings of men (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:61).

Those growing artists who have been inhibited in their creativity by rules or forces unreated to themselves, may retreat or resort to copying or tracing. They may quickly adopt styles from others, constantly ask for help, or follw examples of work that has been produced by their peers. Needless to say, the mere command to stop copying and become creative accomplishes nothing [Cmg 64).

Apply sound intelligence against that. Intelligence is usually defined as the ability to think in rational ways, to deal effectively with one's environment, and to learn the kinds of things expected in school (and further, after that) (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:56-57).

Aesthetic form is not created by the imposition of any external rule, but rather a creative work grows by its own principles (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:62). ◊

To have fun, pour coloured water into a large jar while growing artists watch . . . Ask the growing artists to draw the water level. Do not try to correct the drawings (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:65).

Physical growth in a growing artist's creative work is seen in his ability for visual and motor coordination, in the way he controls his body, guides his line, and performs skills (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:58).

Aesthetic development is certainly an integral part of education — Aesthetics is also intimately tied to personality (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:63, 62).

LoBe not distracted, but see well enough ahead!

The stereotyped repetition of a flower is repeated in a meaningless way without any involvement or new experience shown on the part of the developing artist. This may be an escape from facing a world of experiences and may in fact be satisfying to the individual who made it (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:55-56).

Education has been thought of as the cultivation of expression in an organized manner — But learn to observe things on your own. Every artist should. Why not observe a class of budding artists as they draw. Notice which ones are restless, easily distracted, uncertain, or asking supposed superiors for approval. Compare the art products of these growing artists with those of the developing artists who appear to be very involved in their work and self-sufficient. Look for stereotypes, inclusion of the self, simple objective reports, rich detail, action of the figures, and aestheic quality. What conclusions will you make? (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:62, 64-65).

The relationships between intelligence tests are reasonably high. Apparently, the development of artistic ability closely parallels a growing artist's intellectual growth up to a certain age level. — But: There are no set standards for aesthetics (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:57, 62).

A drawing can provide the opportunity for emotional growth, and the extent to which this is accomplished is in direct relation to the intensity with which the creator identifies with his work (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:54). ◊

The art process itself provides a means of social growth. As a means of communication, art becomes a social rather than a personal expression. The drawing can then become an extention of the self out into the world of reality as it begins to encompass others in the viewing of the subject matter (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982: 60).

LoEach art material may have many ingredients and many demands tied in to it somehow

The literature on creativity has grown tremendously in the last few years. This area is becoming of increasing concern (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:64).

Aesthetic growth is often considered the basic ingredient of any art experience. Aesthetics can be defined as the means of organizing thinking, feeling, and perceiving into an expression that communicates these thoughts and feelings to someone else (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:62).

Each art material has different demands in terms of its aesthetic use (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982: 62). ◊

Gist

IN SUM
  1. Intelligence includes the ability to think along rational lines.
  2. Up to a certain age level or level of proficiency, art is also a social relations activity.
  3. Let artful expressions be accompanied by nice enough evaluations, and also feelings, presumably: As an art critic, you may tell what you feel, what feelings are evoked in you.
IN NUCEIntelligence is shown by proficiency of handling things and other beings, and the artfulness of many things.

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The Importance of Creativity

LoBeing creative and being conform do not have to conflict a lot with one another

A CRUCIAL period occurs in early adolescence, when attitudes are formed that remain into adult life: feelings of personal worth and assessments of one's place in the larger world — Along with this, growing artists create with the aid of whatever knowledge they happen to have at the time (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:70, 69).
      Creativity dos not just happen. It is an essential part of the learning process (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:70). ◊

In an area of conformity, of mental conformity, good art may or may not be perceived to be of danger to the society; it depends on the content among other things. Gross mind conformity, however, often is much of a threat to our society (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:69).

LoDevelopment may be "portioned out" into sequences

PROBABLY the most crucial time in the encouragement of creative thinking is when the growing artist is beginning formal schooling (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:69).
      At one time distinct stages were suggested for the development of creative thinking. These consisted of an initial stage called Preparation, followed by a thinking period called Incubation, which was background for the next stage of Illumination, which was followed by a period called Verification. These stages were looked on as sequential. Now it is outmoded to think of creativity in so limited a format. Creativity is more closely related to thinking abilities and to attitude development (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:71).

LoGo for safety - also in the form of regulation matters

THERE IS real joy in discovery - which not only is its own reward but provides the urge for continuing exploration and discovery (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:71).
      Creativity has been considered the opposite of conformity, but this may not always be true. We have to conform a great deal in our society to rules and regulations that mean safety for ourselves and others (Lowenfeldt and Brittain 1982:69). ◊

Gist

IN SUM
  1. Growing artists usually need and benefit from fit conformity too.
  2. Development is often by stages such as preparation, incubation, illumination, follow-up and verification.
  3. Exploring and discovering things from a safe basis is a basic joy in human life. Little children show it too. It should be encouraged. (Svebak 2000).
IN NUCEArtists develop somehow by exploring.


Growing artist expressions, Literature  

Lowenfeld, Viktor, and W. Lambert Brittain. Creative and Mental Growth. 7th ed. Macmillan, New York, 1982.

Svebak, Sven. Forlenger en god latter livet? (Does a Good Laugh Prolong Life?) Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, 2000.

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