What’s the big deal about art?
I’ve been asking myself that a lot lately getting ready for Open Studios. Why is it important to create art, to see art, to appreciate art?
I think art communicates who we are, what we are drawn to (and away from), what we are thinking, feeling, going through, touched by, confused by. It expresses things words can’t… and it’s direct. It can hit us right in the gut or the heart. Art creates questions. Touches and triggers emotions. Helps us feel alive and attentive to our environment. Helps us see beyond first impressions.
Art asks us to not just look…but to see. To cop a feel (sculpture particularly). To realize without studying art formally how much we all intuitively “know” balance, order, shape, line, integrity, and spontaneity. It shows us we know what we like and I think that’s a good thing.
In today’s crazy world I am always asking myself is art important? Does it help create more peace in my life, in anyone’s life? My answer is to direct my attention to where I want it, towards the true, towards that which enhances life, towards that which is authentic in me. To love the process of what I am doing. And to know that what I “produce” or think or am bowled over by might not be right for you.
And that’s ok. Because art like life is oh so personal. Subjective. And then there are those exquisite moments you say, “Hey, I love that” and even want to own it, and of course I’m happy and all puffed up that something I like you like too. Because art expresses my life--my past, what’s up now, and maybe what’s coming from who knows where (the creative muse(s)?) who inspire me to capture them in creative expression. And--when the going is good--when the juices are flowing, when something says, “you’re on the right track”, to continue with infinite possibilities to keep creating.
As a Yoga teacher and student of Buddhist meditation for over thirty years I try to refine my ability to pay attention to the right things, and to respect and take care of the great artistic and creative gift we have all been given--our bodies, the houses we live in. So I am jazzed, awed, perplexed at the miracle of our human form, the face, our own personal expression. So you will see that in my work.
Art (yes! I capitalize it) for me is a joyful spiritual practice that helps me stay in the present moment. I work in clay, mixed media, monoprints, collage and painting, and I’m constantly exploring new realms. It’s a continued long journey of learning technique, developing skill, getting to know a medium--its strengths and weaknesses…and my own. I acknowledge the dark side, the shadow, but ultimately I try to look for the good in art, in yoga, in life, in others.
One of the most powerful and transformative tools we have, as I see it, is any method (ART, YOGA, MINDFULNESS are mine) that helps us access imagination, wisdom, love, compassion, connection with something bigger -- anything that can help us move towards peace and clarity inside ourselves and in the world.
I would love to connect with you at OPEN STUDIOS here at my Namastay™ Studio, October 8-9 and October 15-16. And I will be here for early open 10 am to 5 p.m. Can’t come? Call me and I will arrange a private viewing for you!