Thursday, May 04, 2017

What is Art?

I don't tend to think of myself as artistic. People who can take pen, pencil, paints, canvas, or other art material and create something that other people can see the beauty in, those people are artists. artwork People who can sing, perform Shakespeare in front of an audience, write poetry, crochet blankets, make jewelry, or knit a sweater are artists.

The first definition of art on is:
the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
"Of more than ordinary significance" I like that. Art should lift us above our daily existence and show us something special.  It's possibly the best way to share how we see, hear, feel, or otherwise experience the world in a way that others can (hopefully) understand.

And this is where I think, "But I'm not an artist!" I have some very talented people in my family, people who draw and paint, write poetry, and play music. I have a very talented son who can make Shakespeare understandable. I love to watch him on stage! And my daughter can crochet an amazing blanket in an unbelievably short amount of time. I have absolutely no idea how she can take a bunch of string (yarn) and create such gorgeous things. I'm not sure where my kids got their artistic talents, because their dad and I have none of that. It must have skipped a generation and come from their grandparents, though that doesn't explain my musically talented brother and the serious photography skills of my youngest brother. (I'm sure my other brother has some great skills with that truck he drives, but I'm not sure that's art. Or is it?)

Another definition under 'art' on reads:
the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning: the art of baking;
So truck driving absolutely can be an art. We already know that it takes some serious skill, and most of us would never dream of driving one of those big trucks, let alone trying to back one up. In fact, I know a truck driver who does not back up. She lets her partner and husband do that. But she's very skilled in all kinds of other artistic things.

But let's get back to that last definition of art and the example used - "the art of baking" - I bake! And I cook. And apparently that can be viewed as an art. Which would mean that I am artistic after all. I may not be able to take a blank canvas and create something you'd want to hang on your walls, but I can definitely create something you'll want in your belly!

It's not quite the same as this video I saw on Facebook the other day, but in a way it is. The artist takes the sounds she hears, and sees as colors, and creates gorgeous pictures. I can usually read a recipe and know what it's going to taste like before I've even tried it, which is why I'm always changing recipes instead of actually following them. They're more like guidelines, anyway.

So now that I know I actually am artistic, what am I going to do? Oh yeah - feed people!

What will you do with your artistic skills?