Day 4: River Rock Studios
“It is not our job to criticize our work,” says Jonathan Talbot, our instructor. “It is our job to do it.”
Art is a way of seeing. Of knowing beauty in the world and expressing it. Art is man’s nature. Nature is God’s art, or, as Aristotle wrote, “things come into being either by art or by nature.”
The discussion of what is art stems from a comment Barbara, one of the other student’s shared about the beauty of the sunset the night before. We had been speaking of women artists. Discussing how few have been recognized throughout time, yet how many there were. “We’ve forgotten the greatest female artist of all,” said Barbara. “Mother Nature.”
And immediately upon hearing her comment, Jonathan asked the group, “What is art?”
Art is language to me. It is a way to communicate with each other, to connect, to share our unique expressions through creative works and ideas and expressions. Art inspires. Evokes. Creates meaning. It liberates our inner voices, opens us to the true essence of being human. Art is the language of our human greatness, from every perspective, whether we judge it good or bad. Art makes room for us to ‘speak’ of our aspirations, to express our dreams, our yearnings, our heartbreaks, our fears and sorrows. It raises our awareness from the mundane into excellence. The horrific into beauty. It is all possible realities expressed through the being of its creator.
What is art to you?
Every morning, Jonathan invites the group to gather outside as we light the candle to honour the artists who have come before us. We are all connected. Through time. Through our creativity, through the collective nature of the muse.
And each morning, he asks me to create the space for us to connect.
Here is the story I wrote for the group this morning.
And The Moon Beamed
Patience dear ones, the moon whispered to the stars. It will come to pass. The sun will slip into dusk and your time to shine will come, but first, you must learn to shine in the light of day believing in your own magnificence. one night, the whole world will see the brilliance of your light. But for now, you must practice patience.
And the sun shone, and the moon beamed and the stars twinkled knowing their night would come.
And then, it came to pass that the sun fell into night’s seductive embrace and the stars came out and played Twinkle, Twinkle upon the velvety blanket of night delighting in the lightness of being all that they were born to be in the light of day.
And they shone. Bright.
And the world turned and the sun slept and the moon beamed down upon the earth wrapped in eternity’s embrace.
See my dear ones, whispered the moon to the glittering stars. There is no need to be anything other than what you are born to be. Brilliantly bright and magnificent.
Shine dear ones. Shine.
I love your description of art. I can’t add a single thing because it is son on-point and heartfelt. As far as women artists, I’ve recently watched a movie about Seraphine deSenlis…..fascinating story. She is an artist after my own heart, using nature as her subject.
Paint on my dear friend. Your beauty shines.
Thank you dear Willow — I shall look up her movie! I love that we can shine together! Hugs
Louise. I think you have a childrens’ book right here with your beautiful story about the stars and of course your illustrations.
What is art? Wow! I am going to put that question out to my art group tomorrow at lunch and see if they are as taken by this question as I am. For me it is about evoking emotion both from within and from others.
Oh yeah Pam! Can’t wait to hear what your art group has to contribute!
And I love your ‘evoking emotion’ so true!
Lovely, Louise! Any discussion on ‘what is art?’ can take us to many places. I love your poem. Keep burning brightly!
Thank you Lisa — yes it can take us many places — and all of them are enlightening!
I love your definition of art. I would say: Art is that which we feel compelled to create or express even if it does not seem to contribute to our survival. That is the beauty of art, that it’s purpose is so unclear, yet it fulfills that place within that some of us call a soul. All humans create art, so there is something vital there, even if we cannot find a singular explanation for it.
Hi Cara — I agree — and as I read your words I thought — yes, and without that expression — I feel like my soul is dying — and even though I know my soul doesn’t die, I know I am suffocating its expression when I do not set it free through creating. Very vital as you say! Hugs
Beautiful and inspiring. Art started off as a way for me to express myself in a new way … and others found it pleasing. And then it became an escape for me. Something I did to nourish myself and get validation when times weren’t easy.
Now my life is in balance and I feel wonderful, I’m tentative to go back to it.
Perhaps because I see it as going back.
Your love of art and its gifts are stirring me again!
I’m so glad gifts of your artful expression are stirring Val — I can understand the hesitancy — as we both know though….. we can’t go back to what was — we can only live in the here and now….. 🙂 I look forward to your exploration!
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Simply beautiful! ❤
Thank you Lorrie. 🙂