Monday, November 18, 2013

Acknowledging the Gifts of Art and Great Artists

Life is Good: art is all around us


Month of Gratitude, Day Eighteen

On Mondays, our two-year old has art class. Today, as I watched him dive into paint and printmaking with exaltation and bliss, I said a prayer of gratitude for art.  Oh, how I love it. I'm a writer by trade, but my true love is art. I love making art and I love viewing it, too. I am so grateful for the colors and the textures and the creativity behind it.

 "Turtle" by our two-year old. Media: oil pastel on paper.

Art has brought me such joy in my life. It is both centering and calming and invigorating, too. It has given me confidence. It has taught me to trust my ideas. It has been empowering and therapeutic. And while I still question my own work, I delight in the journey.

"Mommy" by our then four-year old. Media: Collage paper on paper.

I am grateful that my children each have a love of art. I love to watch each one of them draw. They are so focused and intent. I enjoy watching them in process (especially choosing colors) and then try to figure out their motivation. I treasure the sight of the twinkle of glee in their eyes when I praise their work.

"Baby Brother" by our then 4-year old. Media: tempera paint on paper.

I am grateful for Matisse and Picasso and Michelangelo. For Fauvists and Cubists and Outsider Artists alike. For the Impressionists. For artistic groundbreakers like Warhol and Pollock and Chuck Close. For self-taught artists who bring a new definition to the word, "art". And for their bravery and courage in presenting their art to the world and undeniable need to make art. This courage applies to all artists, indeed.

"Man" by our two-year old. Media: oil pastel on paper.

I am thankful for those who have encouraged me to keep making art. To my high school art teacher, who fished my work out of the trash at the end of the school year and put it on display in our little town's "art gallery". For the people of Atlanta and Tallahassee who bought my pieces and the gallery owners who encouraged me to keep on creating, I am deeply appreciative. That was a turning point for me.

I could go on. But this is not about me, this is about the art. So all encompassing. Absolutely everywhere. Paintings and photography and sculpture that moves and inspires us...

For all its many shapes and colors, sizes and forms, I am so very grateful for the gift of art. Today. All days. And for the One who created all of these blessings for us, the greatest creative of all, our God. I continue to be amazed at His ingenuity and originality. It's baffling and humbling.

Here's to photographers and painters, sculpters and seamstresses, architects and gardeners. Here's to makers of things and the boldness to dream, create, and place it before the world.


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