Week 1 Blog Entry (Melia)

The “Artistic Impulse” was something that specifically stood out to me in the reading. Going into Elementary Education, I’ve been around many small children and seen the artistic impulse on display. Children make art out of almost anything (depending on what you consider art). Like it said in the text, young kids create images/pictures and build before even learning to read or write. This goes to show those people who say that they “are terrible at art” or have no artistic abilities, that we actually have a natural impulse to build and create artwork before we are even aware of exactly what we are doing. Art is in our blood.

The intrinsic value of art is most interesting to me because it gives hope to all pieces of artwork. Even though a viewer may not give value to a work of art and it may be ignored or just seen as mediocre at first, it could possibly be celebrated as high in value many years later, like Van Gogh’s Mona Lisa. The interpretation almost always comes down to the aesthetic preferences of the viewer which is a part of intrinsic value. What may be seen as valuable to one may not be seen as valuable to another with a different pair of eyes and in a different time or place.

The methodologies of approaching art and art history were interesting to learn about but also added a level of complexity to the interpretations of artwork. Each method is like a different lens on a camera and each lens is vastly different. Feminism makes assumptions about the discrimination of women in the “male-dominated art world” while iconography focuses more on the content of the art and the underlying text of the image. I can see the arguments from the more controversial methodologies like Feminism and Marxism, but it was easier for me to understand and relate to the simpler approaches like Formalism and Biography/Autobiography.

The image I chose was the Giovanni Bellini, San Giobbe Altarpiece which was found in Chapter 16, on page 298 (Oil on Wood).

Made in 1487, the religious meanings in this painting keep it true to its time period when a lot of paintings focused on religious values. I liked this painting because it shows balance, textures, shapes, light/color, and a good composition. The vibrant blue of the fabric around Mary’s body brings the initial attention to that point. Also, she is seated higher than the other people, so the viewer’s eye first lands on her and the through the movement principle, the focus moves to the baby (Jesus) and then to the left and right on the other people occupying the space. Bellini uses a darkness behind Mary to emphasize and bring out her presence and character. The textures of the fabrics in the painting display another successful formal element. The shape and space elements can be seen in the architecture of the building surrounding them. There are repeating shapes on the ceiling which creates a sense of unity and precision. Lines with curves and angles along with shading techniques give the structure depth and dimension which adds to the realistic perception of the painting.


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Hi! My name is Melia and my passions include teaching, art, and adventure. In pursuit of my biggest dream, I moved to Japan in March, 2022 to teach English. I am currently teaching kindergarten, exploring new places, trying new foods, and learning new things! Check out my blog to read about my journey and experiences :-)

9 thoughts on “Week 1 Blog Entry (Melia)”

  1. I really like your analogy of the different camera lens serving as the different methodologies. The piece of art is still the same, but depending on what lens/methodology you use, the view of it is different.

    I also agree with you that the biographical/autobiographical approach have a simpler approach and are less controversial.

    Looking at the image you chose, I agree that the vibrant blue clothing does draw the viewer’s attention directly towards Mary. I like that symmetry is kept throughout the painting. The repetition of the ceiling does bring in unity like you said. I also noticed that the artist used the balance of figures. There are 3 people on either side of Mary, and the three musicians are also positioned with balance in mind.


    1. Thank you for your thoughts! I appreciate that you noticed the balance in figures on the sides of Mary because it is an important artistic element that I neglected in my initial blog. Symmetry is very appealing to the eye 🙂


  2. I also found the artistic impulse very interesting. I never really thought about it in the way that it was framed in the book.
    I also like what you said about the intrinsic value of art giving hope to all pieces of artwork. It really goes to show that the value placed upon a specific piece of art is really about the culture surrounding it at the time. Some things that we call art today would have been ridiculed and laugh at in the past.
    Good response!


    1. I’ve always been intrigued by the different opinions surrounding different forms of art. Everyone sees things differently and one person’s aesthetic could be completely the opposite if someone elses. It’s a good thing to remember before criticizing a piece of art. Thanks for your input!


  3. I totally agree with that artistic impulse. I learned thatin 3rd grade, nearly 100% of students consider themselves artists, by the time students reach college, only about 3% of them identify themselves as artists. I find this impulse to create interesting, because while we have a desire to create things–even adults play with legos if they’re there–but no one really identifies this as “art” anymore. I think it would be interesting to see how the definitions people have for “artist” change over the years of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ONLY 3 PERCENT??? So sad to hear but also so interesting. It’s funny how most people associate the word “artist” with paint brushes and sculptures yet there is so much more to art! It’s everywhere around us!


  4. Ahh the artistic impulse, and as Jacqueline pointed out, the decline of those of us who consider ourselves artists or even just artistic, as life goes on. I think that as Stephen and a few others mentioned in another post that rather than completely die, we often utilize that artistic and creative impulse in other aspects of our work and play but we are not quick to recognize it and foster it for what it is.

    I believe creating teaches us so much, how to learn by trial and error without calling it failure, how to creatively solve problems and work out solutions, how to observe, how to contemplate and take time away from distractions, how to engage others and their work respectfully, the list could go on and on.

    I spent a few years teaching elementary arts before moving on to teach high school (and eventually now university). I’m a huge fan of requiring arts courses because of the perspective they can offer, I believe (if they are taught well!) they can enhance your ability to recognize and find again your own creativity and artistic edge in your own medium or focus areas and ultimately make you a better…. (insert your future occupation).

    I suppose that is the beauty of the liberal arts education, The ironic thing is that some of you are likely enrolled in this course because you didn’t want to take an art class where you’d have to make work! 😉

    I hope that this course can fulfill some of the same attributes as a making course might in allowing you to tap into another aspect of your humanity and ultimately create a more well rounded individual.


  5. “trial and error without calling it failure” is such an important part of the creating process. When people look at their small missteps as failures, they give up, which explains the 3% statistic that Jaqueline pointed out. I think its super cool that you once taught elementary arts; that must’ve been fun. Thanks for the awesome comments 🙂


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