Art is an area of life that adds greatly to the quality of our existence. I have always appreciated art talent in others. I say in others as art is one area I am not talented in. My stick figures look sad. One reason my art grades were so low when I was young; as I could not stand my art so I would often throw it away rather than turn it in to the teacher.
Appreciating art is a different story. One of my favorite past times in Chicago would be to go visit the Art Institute of Chicago. I even had a yearly membership. I could spend hours walking through the various collections. In front of some of the major works they had benches were you could sit and soak in the visual expression the artist had created. I enjoyed going over the details in my mind and then expand to the big picture so as to capture the emotion and story the artist was trying to communicate. My trips to the art museum were times to de-stress or times to quiet myself within to think more clearly when I was going through difficult issues. Art has that cathartic value in our inner healing.
Recently on our vacation to Niagara Falls we met a gentleman, Don King, who was showcasing his mother’s artwork. Her name is Polly King. I bought a print entitled “Sacre Coeur” that she had painted in France. It is a picture of a sacred church in Paris. I purchased it as my wife has always wanted to visit Paris and I thought this could be motivation for her to reach her goal someday. Her paintings had such a variety of colors and I could understand why by a short poem she wrote that was listed on the back of the painting.
God must have loved color very much
-he created so much of it
Vast skies with their ever changing bluse
-the silver greys
With their sunsets of
Oranges, pinks and purples
The mountains now green, purple, blue.
The grasses and flowers of limitless colors
And trees with their stark lines
In plumes of green, pinks and yellows
And now orange, scarlet.
What a wonderful world he has created for us.
I thought it wonderful that her son is keeping her art story of the beauty of art alive. You can see her art work at www.pollykingart.com
For me art is gifted people reflecting the beauty of God’s creation as can be seen in Polly King’s statement above. I understand there are other definitions of art, as some in the post-modern realm feel art is all about shocking people. I will grant they have a point that art can be communication of sometimes shocking issues that need to be addressed. Yet I feel sorry for those that stay focused on the shock value and miss all the beauty God has for us to enjoy so we can flourish in our life journey.
If you have had the urge to be creative in the physical arts of drawing painting, pottery or interested in computer graphics take an art class at a local community college. You can also see if there is a local association of artists that may offer classes in art. Don’t take the “I’m no good at art as an excuse not to try” (I am the only one allowed to do that—believe me if you saw my stick drawings you would agree!).
You can also learn to appreciate art by visiting a local art museum or when you are visiting a major city visit one of the major art museums as in Chicago, Dallas or New York City. You may also want to take out a book on art at your local library. Take some quiet time at home to reflect over a collections book of a famous artist and enjoy their talent and the message they have in their paintings.
There are also many resources on the internet to learn more about art. Here is a listing of a few art links you may wish to explore:
Enjoying artwork can help relax you from the stresses you face each day. Art can help you slow down the pace of your life and build up skills of savoring the good things in life. Artwork can inspire you to reach your dreams and goals. As I mentioned that is one reason I purchased a print of Polly King’s work “Sacre Coeur” for my wife’s dream of visiting France. Tap into your creativity today!
Take a book of artwork by a famous artist out from your local library or find some artwork online. Spend some time reflecting over the art. Choose one painting to focus on and spend 15 minutes looking at it. In a journal write down what was the artist trying to say in the painting. How did the artwork speak to you in your present situation. Did it help relax you? Did it inspire you in some way?