There are many ways of experiencing art, depending on many things including personal experience and preference; and experiences of art – both general, and in relation to education and the exposure one will have had to art (cultural, environmental, bias, etc).
For every person there is a difference in the sense of how something looks, feels, tastes, etc. So, it follows that the process of making art is going to amount to each person making something individual, personal and meaningful. Everyone will have a different set of thought processes and outcomes to bring to any art they make. It all depends, I suppose, on your ‘wiring’!
Consider too that there are plenty of examples of artists work being affected by their mental or physical state. For example, Dadd had significant mental problems. El Greco’s work looked elongated because of his astigmatism.
If we throw in cultural norms, and the perceived value of the arts in education (or not!) immediately one can see that there are huge variations in perceptions of how to make and look at art.
There is much that can be said about art in education. One is lucky if one has good experiences of making art while in school. This experience can be a bit ‘hit and miss’, and certainly a great many people reach their adult years with only a narrow sense of what art is and, more notably, what it can mean for the individual. (Sometimes it seems as though art is regarded as a ‘luxury’ that ‘doesn’t matter that much!’)
Making art and talking about it requires a whole vocabulary that might not necessarily be useful in every-day-speak. The more often we involve our selves in creative activity, the more often we extend our range of vocabulary. Experiencing dance, music, painting, etc. allows the individual to express themselves in a personal way and consequently, to develop vocabulary and ways of expressing ideas that fit those experiences. At the outset, children are often likely to express their ideas more freely and creatively if that expression comes out of experiences such as dance, music, etc. (There is a parallel with art. If one wants to justify art in education, it can be said that the value of art is that children emerge, from these ‘multimedia’ processes as more fluent, confident and, very importantly, involved in what they say. Also, the quality of written work that children produce is frequently more vibrant, expressive and bold as a result of creative experiences).
Much of the vocabulary that creative people use is ‘process’ led. Processes that might include thinking in some, or all, of the following ways: Emotionally, imaginatively, creatively, expressively, poetically, qualitatively, technically, analytically, observationally, physically, critically and so on.
The use of language in art can also have it’s reference in history and science, etc.
Engaging the body in a physical sense is central to making art whether that refers to holding a paintbrush, chiselling rock, beating a drum, dancing, etc. So again, new vocabulary is used throughout the making process.
Our use of language, and particularly our vocabulary, can be as simple or as extended and detailed as we wish. In truth, as soon as we are taught to speak, that very human characteristic becomes our companion in life. We talk to ourselves and to others and vocabulary we choose is what colours our life in all we do.