What IS Art, Anyway?

“It's so beautiful”
“You’re such a good artist."
While I always appreciated (and still do) comments such as this, I always knew that what I was going for with my art was more than a pretty picture.
I wanted people to connect with it.
I wanted people, as a dear friend of mine said yesterday, to feel it.
I believe true art encompasses and gives space to the full spectrum of human experience;
Joy, sadness, grief, anger, happiness, peace, agony, excitement... and a million other emotions we don't even have words for.
If art only expresses what’s comfortable, politically correct, or "safe," what purpose does it serve?
To me, painting has always been a tool used to ride emotion, much like the breath.
A glorious expression of our humanity, and our capacity to feel.
With that said, I also believe a common misconception is that we have to be “good” artists to make art.
I often hear "good art" as an expression used to refer to art that is skillful, compositionally pleasing, and follows various traditional rules of color and design theory.
That's all wonderful, especially if we're trying to create work that is desirable for purchase, pleasing to the eye, and even work that more effectively communicates its emotional intent. Skill is important.
But it's not everything. And you don't need it to start.
And, you certainly don't need it to express.
Skill can be taught with the logical mind.
But emotional expression must be felt and practiced.
We ALL have the capacity to be artists in the human sense of the word, which simply means to create with our minds, bodies and hearts in unison. Whether it be through painting, dancing, singing, building, gardening, cooking, writing, speaking, teaching, mothering, fathering, loving, acting, and/or a thousand other mediums.
And it doesn’t matter how “good” it looks, or pretty of a painting it is. Rather, when it comes to using art as a healing modality, it's all about how the process feels.
This is why I like to define art as a process, and also why I like to define art as anything we create with the engagements of all three parts of ourselves:
· The thoughtfulness and intention of our mind
· The emotion and expression of our heart, and
· The physical skill of our bodies (be it voice, dance movement, hand-creations, or other).
Based on this way of understanding art,
· What are some ways you have created art?
· What are some ways you’d like to create art?
No doubt, if you’ve never dabbled on a wide-open blank canvas or dared to create something outside the lines of a recipe or other pre-set instructions, it can be a tad intimidating, to say the least.
But, it can also be incredibly liberating—and feel fantastic.
If this all sounds intriguing to you, I invite you to check out our membership program, where we create a safe container to explore creativity and this three-faceted art-making process.
And, we just plain have a lot of fun in the process!
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