In kicking off this blog I though I would share a bit about what art means to me and how art has added value to my life.
Art plays an important role in my life and I truly believe that art has helped me to become a better person. Engaging with art, and by that I mean making art, viewing art or participating in an art event, has helped me to become a more patient and thoughtful person, has opened my eyes to different perspectives and has helped me recognize things that I have in common with others. Art has added value to my life in so many ways, both big and small, that it is difficult to express all of what art means to me.
I thought I would start by sharing 4 ways in which art has added value to my life. If art has enriched your life or if what I post raises ideas for you please share your thoughts.
In my life art has often been part of a shared experience. Growing up I spent a lot of time in my home town museum with my Mom and my sister. This was not because my family was into the arts, no, this was mostly because we were poor and the museum was free. I remember talking with my Mom about different colors, looking closely at paintings with my sister to see small details that only a child might find interesting and laughing over the paint splattered Pollack painting. I am really thankful that the museum offered a place for this shared experience.
For me art has been a great storyteller, often offering me a message or history lesson in a way that made me feel as if I had discovered a meaning beyond the simple joy of the art work. As a young girl I think Dolly Parton’s song “Coat of Many Colors” was one of my favorites and the first songs that I can remember having a message. As a child, this song helped me to understand how it could feel to be picked on and helped open the door to my comprehending bigger issues like classism and poverty. To this day I appreciate a good story song.
Finding, Creating and Preserving Beauty
I do not think it is a stretch to say that humans are drawn to beauty, what we define as beautiful may be different, but it is human nature to be attracted to people, places and things that are beautiful to us. Art has helped me to find or create beauty in my every day life. When scouring the thrift store I look at old end tables and ask myself, “How can I repaint this? Does this have good lines?”. Art has given me the tools to make my world a more beautiful place, and once my everyday objects became more beautiful to me I was more inclined to care for them, leading me to waste less and appreciate more.
Time for Thought
Through the years I have come to use the art making process as a way to create time and space for myself to be alone. Making art or crafting has been my way of quieting my mind and focusing my thoughts. I should acknowledge that I am far from a skilled artist, my art making usually involves colored pencils or, if I’m feeling really brave, charcoal. Really, it’s the process that is important. The letting go, the focus, the creative energy – those are the elements of art making that are meaningful. My end product, eh, not so much.
These are just a few of the ways that art has been meaningful in my life. Now it’s your turn. What does art mean to you?
Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it