What is Art?


Dear Autumn,

What is art? Is it something beautiful or something intriguing? Or somewhere in the middle? Art fascinates me. It inspires me. But why is art always thought of as visual, like a painting or a drawing? A piece of creativity that you can prove is art. When you think of someone who is artistic, you think of someone who uses colours and mixes them into their own representation of the world. Artists are creators, but not all creators are artists. Does that then mean that artists are superior? I concur, I think that art is subjective. Not everyone likes or dislikes the same work of art. I think that art is in almost everything, though, even in things that seem inherently uncreative like writing because everyone can do it. Not everyone can paint, draw well or take good photographs. You cannot argue, however, that there is not skill in writing.

You can only tell if a piece of writing is good or not if you actually read it, and reading takes more effort and patience than looking at something. Otherwise, to the untrained eye, it looks like a bunch of words. There is no room for error in a visual representation of art because mistakes are easy to spot. But I think that art is a synonym for skill. Art is a weird subject to talk about, especially when sometimes what is considered art, really shouldn’t be. For example, paintings of squares. A 5-year-old could paint that. And those paintings of squares go for a lot of money. I don’t know, I guess it could be considered #aesthetic, but I don’t really see the appeal. Paint it yourself if you really want different coloured squares up on the walls of your home. It’s ridiculous. You could splatter paint on a page these days and BAM *art*. I don’t understand. But maybe art isn’t meant to be understood. It makes no sense.

What is art to you?

Autumn, there is one thing I know for sure. You are art itself. You are the canvas on which nature can paint. The morning mist caresses the trees, blessing them with soft golden brown hues, vibrant purples and cherry reds where every leaf is a flower. But you are not just visual art, you are also felt by the senses and deep within our souls. Autumn, you are the scent of cinnamon on my morning coffee, the smell of rain on the ground and the sickly sweet taste of caramel. You are the sound of fallen leaves crushing under my shoes and the warmth of a coat as the cool breeze brushes against my skin. You hold emotional power, autumn, and it feels wonderful. It feels like a grand finale before the year is up. You feel like home. Maybe, after all, home isn’t just a place with four walls… it’s a sort of fondness and understanding. And I like it that way. It’s special. Autumn, you have been hiding away all year round and now you are free so don’t be timid about it. I find myself breathing you in more than usual, in an attempt to fill myself up with what seems like a dream.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Pendleton

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6 thoughts on “What is Art?

  1. Lovely! No wonder I found my own thoughts reverberating in your writing..most of the time it does. 🙂

    An artist friend of mine once took me to a Modern Art gallery. I was lost trying to make sense of those abstract spill of colors on canvas. And I questioned how could such meaningless things be lauded as great creations of art. My veteran friend explained me that art is not about finding tangible shapes in the canvas but rather feeling the emotion it conveys. Then he suggested that I let my over thinking mind take rest for a while and just feel the emotion that flows when my eyes look at a painting. So I stood near a painting and did what he had said.i felt the silence and calm and kept looking at the spill of colors on one of the paintings. After a while my friend asked me what was I feeling? I said almost involuntarily, ‘ I feel violence, destruction, death, and sadness’ He asked me why I thought so. I said ‘ see that red colour so carelessly brushed..it’s like someone was showing the insensivity towards spill of blood..see those strokes of grey color over it..it seems like scattered bones..see the dark black surrounding it’s all so despondent.’

    Then my friend asked ‘do you think everyone will agree to how you have described this painting ? I thought and realised that of course not everyone will not see it the same way. ‘

    Since then I began to perceive art in a broader sense. I think any thing that touches our soul deeply, silently, profoundly is art.. anything that gives us an opportunity to hear our inner voice more clearly is art.. any thing like writing or painting or playing music is an expression of our deeper self.. a reader of that writing, viewer of that painting and a listener of that music gets an opportunity to let his or her emotion come out and see it resonating with the art form he or she enjoys experiencing

    I found your write up extremely soothing and comforting. You are an artist of language! Thank-you for sharing this April 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! Thank you for that awesome compliment 😀 That’s a beautiful response to your question in the art gallery, you really do need to feel the emotion in the art you are seeing, because that’s what it was created for – to invoke emotion in the viewer and the reader… and of course every person sees and interprets the art in different ways and it has different meanings for everyone. You could say that the spill of blood in that painting was a portrayal of love being thrown away or putting your heart on the line, and the black being the soul that connects everything. It’s subjective and that’s what I love about it and you are exactly right – it’s what someone feels in that moment when they see, listen or read the art for the first time that counts. And then again, if you look at, listen to or read it over and over, you might feel different emotions each time depending on your current situation or mood.
      Thank you for the comment again, you made my day! Have a good day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I really loved your poem, it captured the spirit of Autumn so well and it’s also my favourite season ❤ Thank you so much for the comment, I completely agree with you on that, I think nature paints for the hearts and souls of everyone 😊

      Like

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