I think that all of the values are important, as the summation of them is what makes real art. However, the psychological value of art is what resonated with me the most. I am not much of an artist, but I find artistic qualities in a number of things that aren’t particular artistic. For example, I worked in construction for several years, mainly doing dry wall work. When I see an exceptionally beautiful wall, taped and textured by someone who really knows what they are doing, I see art, while others simply see a wall. Its not necessarily art because of the intention behind it, it is art because in that wall is the entirety of the hard work and life experience of the person who built it. Similarly, as an aspiring accountant, you can see a lot about a person from the spreadsheets that they make, because accounting is that person’s passion, and it is a part of what makes them who they are (I know this is all really odd, but whatever). All I am trying to say, is that art makes people see and feel things that are not necessarily evident on the surface, and paintings and sculptures aren’t the only things that can do that.
The methodologies for approaching art and art history were very interesting, and served to illuminate some of the works previously presented in the text. However, it seemed to me that each of the methodologies were based on what a critic hopes to get out of a piece of art, not its intrinsic meaning or purpose. To compound this, some of the various methodologies conflicted with each other, further clouding the actual meaning behind a certain piece. To me, many of the methodologies should be used in conjunction, and some must be thrown out completely if one is to truly understand the intention behind a piece of art.
The piece I chose to analyze is Albert Bierstadt, Sunrise, Yosemite Valley. I chose this painting because of its psychological value. Bierstadt uses bright and warm (not hot) colors to convey a sense of serenity and happiness, and contrasts them with the blue of the sky to make the painting feel like a cool evening. The texture of the painting is fine and soft, which contrasts the actual texture of the jagged landscape. To my untrained eye, the image is painted in a naturalistic style, meant to convey the landscape as a human would see it, but not in a photo-real manner. The leading lines of the image carry the eye of into the fading distance of the landscape, but the contrasting colors of the much closer riverside draw the eye back to what is near.