WHAT IS ART?

I’m in a particular frame of mind at this exact moment that asks the question, “What is art?” Is it a painting, drawing, sculpture, woven cloth, insects mounted into a diorama, clay pots, hand-dyed scarves, zipper bags with whimsical sayings, hand-bound leather journals, basketry, carved gourds, collage, vintage purses embellished with jewels and lace……etcetera, etcetera, etcetera?

Of course they all include some element of “art”, but I am speaking about something deeper.; the way we live our lives, artfully loving, tenderly giving with a word handled in a sensitive manner, a hand that reaches at the exact moment when needed, or the sound of a friend choking up as they feel your pain. The curve of a mouth is a beautiful line that pulls the ruby-red heart closer when suffering feels ugly and dark. A knowing glance brings the contrast of light where darkness is pervasive. An arm enveloping you when feeling alone as it pulls you close shrinking the negative space between two, becoming one positive space. A playful hand that rumples the hair, or rubs your aching back sharing the physicality of texture as it notices the tense muscles relax or the soft, spikiness of wild hair. When grey days lie as cold, wet blankets are lifted by the first bloom of spring or a bouquet delivered for no reason is it shedding the spirit of color for healing? Shape comes alive under the gentle fingers of one lover touching the other. The elements of art are lived out daily as we move through the hours we’re given.

Is your “art” amateurish, clumsy, skilled, professional, intermediate, creative, boring, predictable, exciting, vibrant, memorable, and relevant to those who you come in contact with daily? Living artfully requires commitment and faithful diligence. Sometimes I want to throw down the brushes, close the paints, wash up and quit. However, the opportunity to create something of worth cannot escape me and hopefully, in the end, I will stand back and admire a true masterpiece of life. THAT is REAL ART.

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One comment

  1. I like your definition of art. I believe we can live artful lives, I just wrote something on poetry, and how it can be seen it every aspect of life too, much like art, or perhaps exactly the same way. To me poetry is an art form as well. And yes, even while I tinker at art-making, I stand in wordless awe at the work of the masters that move me.

    Like

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