Essay Book Review, Affect in Artistic Creativity: Painting to Feel


  • Benjamin Andrew Tellie The George Washington University


Psychoanalysis, Affect, Creativity, Art, Art Education, Curriculm Studies, Art and Aesthetics, Philosophy


The present essay book review is on Jussi Saarinen's (2020) book, Affect in Artistic Creativity: Painting to Feel. The book makes profound connections between philosophy of emotion and aesthetics and relational psychoanalytic thought considering the dynamic relationship artists have with their painting work, focusing on the wide range of feelings generated. Many connections can be drawn and are relevant for curriculum theorizing in teaching and curriculum work. I believe Saarinen's book to be essential for scholars working in curriculum studies, whether working in visual arts education, general education, or theorizing about creativity due to the rich interdisciplinary nexus between psychoanalysis and philosophical thought of affect and creative experience. I encourage the reader to make links between Saarinen's theorization of the 'artist and painting' and the 'teacher and curriculum.'

Author Biography

Benjamin Andrew Tellie, The George Washington University

Benjamin Tellie is an Art and Design educator at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD. He teaches elective courses in Art and Design and Graphic Design in both middle and high school. He holds a B.A. in Studio Art and a minor in Art History from the Tyler School of Art of Temple University and an M.A. in Art & Art Education from Columbia University.

He is currently a doctoral student in the Ed.D. Curriculum and Instruction program at The George Washington University. As an academic scholar, Ben works in the fields of art education and curriculum studies. His research interests include art education, social trauma, autobiography, and psychoanalytic theory. His work is published in the Maryland Art Education Association Gazette, School Arts Magazine, and Art Education, The Journal of the National Art Education Association (NAEA). Ben is the NAEA 2020 National Middle-Level Art Educator Award recipient.