Aasof on Artistic Bent
This week on Facebook: Occasionally at my monthly meeting with an ex-colleague we talk about art, he paints watercolours (as far as I am aware they are restricted to inanimate subjects) and has what I would call an ‘artistic bent‘. We may all understand what is meant by an artistic bent, but an internet search for articles that may relate to artistic bent (be it a colloquial expression or an idiom) were difficult to find, as were related terms that could have the same meaning or inference (for example: artistic flair). I frequently claim that I have no artistic bent at all, especially in terms of art (painting) or in recognising a photographic image worth capturing.
I was surprised to find that a general description for artistic bent outside of the arty world turned out to be somewhat challenging. There were a lot of books on recognising or developing the ‘gifted child’, it would seem that parents wish to develop or find their child’s artistic bent. Parents (at least those who can afford it) apparently imagine that they have been blessed with a gifted child and perhaps they have. Although it is more likely that the child’s parents are indulging their own unrealised fantasies of being a child naturally gifted with a creative skill.
Am I grateful that the development of any naturally gifted creative skill that I may or may not possess appeared to be of no concern to my parents? That’s a hard question to answer! Perhaps the fact that my parents encouraged my reading¹ was their recognition of my devotion to it. A reflection of their encouragement, even to the point of my developing a naturally gifted creative skill, but this was at a time with no television, video games and mobile phone distractions. Having a child who buried his head in a book was more than likely a reflection of their relief from my inquisitions — so perhaps not.
Many years on, those disparate individuals who now frequent the internet (including myself) often give expression to their own notion of any naturally gifted creative skill that they assume to possess, the internet has enabled this. Of course some don’t recognise the creative skills that they possess and some like Malvika clearly do. Malvika posted a blog with the title, ‘An artistic bend of mind’, which for those with an artistic bend of mind is well worth reading (click image below).
On Friday I was going to resort to cheating (of sorts), but transferred the excerpt² taken from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll³ to a footnote. An homage (perhaps) to my parents, but more to my belief that reading did lead to me to possessing a modicum of artistic bent. What follows are five articles that I think are related to how people interpret an ‘artistic bent‘.
Exploding the myth of the scientific vs artistic mind: We are increasingly learning that convergent and divergent thinking styles need not be mutually exclusive, researchers assessed 116 final-year UK arts and science undergraduates on measures of convergent and divergent thinking and creative problem solving. The study found no difference in ability between the arts and science groups on any of these measures.
The Lighter Side of Science: Two weeks before the onset of the APS March Meeting in Seattle, the city was rocked by a magnitude 6.8 earthquake, cracking sidewalks, toppling building facades, and even cracking the capital’s dome in Olympia. Fortunately, major structural damage was less than expected, since the quake was located about 30 miles below Earth’s surface. The meeting took place without a hitch. But further north, in the sleepy settlement of Port Townsend, Mother Nature offered striking visual evidence that earthquakes have an artistic bent as well.
Creative Ageing — The Emergence of Artistic Talents: Our ability to communicate relies primarily on the use of verbal and writing skills, which are then lost when cognitive skills decline. But, creative arts like music or painting can bypass the “verbal pathways” and access other pathways that become available for communication.
Are some people born creative? The enduring question with creativity has always been whether the defining factors come from nature or nurture. Everyone can learn to be creative to some degree, but new research has revealed that the extent to which we’re born creative may be greater than previously thought.
‘Find Your Passion’ Is Awful Advice: What Dweck asked her students is a common refrain in American society. The term “Follow your passion” has increased ninefold in English books since 1990. “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is another college-counselling standby of unknown provenance. But according to Dweck and others, that advice is steering people wrong.
Referenced Articles & Books: A book or pdf (usually free), or simply a url that may sometimes link to a download that is also usually free. Sometimes a link to JSTOR is used, this lets you set up a free account allowing you to have 6 (interchangeable) books stored that you can read online.
¹Is technology producing a decline in critical thinking and analysis (url)? Reading for pleasure, which has declined among young people in recent decades, enhances thinking and engages the imagination in a way that visual media such as video games and television do not.
²A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale: They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the bank–the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable.
³Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversations?’
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