Despite its universal influence, art is ridiculously relative. Seriously! Think for a moment about whichever avenue of art that you’re fascinated with, be it painting, music, dance, poetry, whatever. Now in under a minute, try and explain the feeling that it gives you. Not in random wordy “terminology” but try to really really explain how it makes you feel. Why do you like it? What about it is powerful enough to give you an emotional response? What is art? How do we define something that can mean something completely different to each individual person? I decided to ask a writer, a minimalist, and a fashion illustrator their for help in my struggle to understand this, by asking a simply complex question: What does art mean to you?
” There’s no limit to what art has to teach us. Take a painting, for example: In the white space we can find a lesson in simplicity. In the colors lie a message of unity. In the composition, a lesson in organization and managing what might otherwise be an ugly mess of unwanted shapes and figures, events and people.
When I encounter art in any of its forms–a painting, a sculpture, music, film–I cannot help but focus on only that. It’s not that everything else disappears, but rather that it all fades gently into the background. It’s like the world and all of its problems, stresses, and troubles still exist, but that’s okay, because at the center of it all is this amazing piece of art. It’s grounding. It brings me back to the present, to “now,” and I do my best to take that with me when I leave.”
“What art means is more of a feeling than an objective opinion that can be put into words. At a glance, it tells the history of the artist, those who have influenced them and their state of mind. Art surrounds us on a daily basis, and can be found in anything — even the most mundane of objects.”
“The pure idea of art seems so complex to me that my brain scrambles at the taught of it. And whenever someone claims to understand it or tries to pinpoint it to one single point, I think how naive they must be. Result of this is that I have no idea what art is to me.
All I know are little images, kind of memories of feelings I have. Story my father tells me over and over again how my favourite book when I was 2 was a book on Picasso… how I used to stare for hours at Jean Louis David paintings… How I can listen to entire Carmina Burana numerous times…. How I felt overwhelmed first few times I came to Tate modern. Things like this.
I rationalize so many things in my life and this is one place where I want to stay completely intuitive. Of course I realize this might be a lazy way of understanding art, and if it is…then bummer. :-)”
Each response made me smile. When reading their words of description you can almost see their thoughts and inspirations in their eyes . But even after all of this, I’m not sure we answered the question I raised. How do we define something that can mean something completely different to each individual person? . . . In my opinion, we can’t really, and I think thats the point I’m trying to make.
Bob Dylan is an excellent example of this. When asked why or how he got to where he was as an artist, he seemed almost frustrated at people’s attempt to to understand and classify. I realize that by writing this post I might be going against that principle that I claim to try and abide by ha ha. But I do so not out of an attempt to define or compartmentalize. But in an effort to encourage the embracement of the art that we can find in our everyday life. The world we live in is constantly spinning faster and faster. If we take the time to stop at beauty and be inspired, art will enrich our lives.
I paint extremely unconventionally. . . and I feel free because of it. Its kind of like minimalism. . . just as a sense of freedom is attained by stripping the self of possessions, I feel that artistic “freedom” can be attained by creating whatever it is that you feel like creating, whatever way you want to create it! So here’s a list of random favorite rules to bend and break in no particular order. . .
– Prime Just say no! I like the way watered down acrylic soaks into the texture of raw canvas.
– Mrs. Prentice’s Classical Music Bjork is! appropriate for the classroom
– Work Alone Collaboration can help you find your identity as an artist. Network! Blog! Connect!
– Learn From The Greats There’s more inspiration on the street than in a museum
– Focus daydream. . . lots
– Brushes he he, so restricting
– Painting Clothes. . . nah, (my wardrobe hates me)
– Hobby lobby Canvas make your own!!!! And use random scraps of clothes, its green and cheap which is also green, but in an entirely different way
– Canvas In General– paint on ur walls!!!!
-photo by Dario
So the past week has been pretty crazy! Why? My girlfriend came down from Ontario to visit and well. . . I had a little surprise for her when she landed 🙂 Lets just say she answered a very important question I had for her and her answer was yes!!!!!!! So full of smiles right now its crazy ha ha. . . Its funny how much love influences art. Even if you hate love I would find it very foolish to deny its influence on the arts. The pursuit, the attainment, and the loss of love are timeless pillars of inspiration to everything from painting to poetry. . . any thoughts? And Dario. . . I give u permission to rant away ha ha
I have loved to paint for as long as I can remember. . . I specifically remember as a kid running my fingers along the paper and into the paint. Feeling the cool slipperiness contrast with the rough texture of the paper, in what seemed like an epic battle of good and evil, love and hate, rich and poor. . . for some reason feeling the goop between my fingers gave me a sense of lack of control, a sense that I absolutely adored. . . I could manipulate what couldn’t be manipulated in a sense, without manipulating it. Tame the untamable without taming it. . . u see by breaking the rules that didn’t apply to me yet I felt a sense of freedom. . . I’m not sure what it was or how to describe it, but it just somehow became my outlet. . . from a very early age. I could somehow take the complexity of my human emotion and translate it into something people could see. . .something visual . . . something not in my head, but out of my heart.
So today my friend who is about 12 years old came up to me smiling, and in his hands an abstract watercolor that he did just for me. . . I coudn’t help but smile, a very big smile. Because deep down I know that the painting thats now on my wall was as much for him as it was for me. I don’t know why he did it or what he was feeling at the time. . . but I know that he was able to take what was in his heart and create with it, and that my friends is something beautiful 🙂
Here’s a brilliant find @ a thrift store in Youngstown Ohio
“comfort zones” are a dangerous thing in my opinion. Not unlike a disease they seem to take over you life, what you do, and how you view things. My advice, travel : ) its a wondrous thing! You run into crazy situations that make you realize how awesome life is!
For example! the pictures below were taken in a crazy house of some irish family who through insanely collaborative musical efforts made their newfound american friends feel right at home (which also involved playing home on the range!) At points during the night I seriously got choked up, these people were so beautiful and so happy, However I wouldn’t have been there if I spent my money on $90 concert tickets every week eh. . . I find that especially here in America travel is given a “rich people only stigma.” What most don’t realize though is how travelling smart, frequent flyer miles, and going off the beaten path make it fit into almost any budget!
How do you guys travel? Any tips or hints?
This was on the roof of the Forum Des Halles in Paris, near Rue de Rivoli I believe. I loved the art up there, but then again it is Paris eh, I swear everything’s art.
and I liked this one cuz its my name ha ha
click on this one to see the detail
this was in some small small town in Ireland
Tell me this isn’t sweet! Its collage meets bob dylan!
As crazy as it seems, Youngstown Ohio is actually bustling with art! The city is dotted with little artistic treasures which require digging! (those are the best treasures to find, no I take that back the best would be those that entail actual digging, like with a shovel) Last year before I moved My sister and I found one of these treasures! Nestled in an old warehouse downtown is an art studio! Here many local artists have their personal studios and workshops. A few times a year their genius is open to the public where you can take part in the creative process! Here are some photos of the show! If you live in the area and would like some more info shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you with details!
I was in the shower tonight, somewhere between adjusting the psychotic water temperature (gotta love apts) and fumbling for soap and then bam! I had a fiery impulse to paint! That led to one of my many thought/rant/confusion sessions where I spend quite awhile at times trying to figure something out in my head that cant quite be figured out. Let me try to map this particular occasion out for you. It went something like this
-I don’t have time its an early morning, wait! ! ! No brown wouldn’t work with purple…..it might! hmmm why do I want to paint, maybe its due to the fact that this conditioner feels alot like paint. . . what if I painted in the shower???? hang on a sec,,, why do I always think of things in the shower? Where did this sudden inspiration come from? My surroundings? ….hmmmmmmmm Maybe inspiration is life, maybe its life coming out when we suppress everything all the time and then we get in the shower and finally have a moment to ourselves, a real moment where we can think or just not think……….woah
is inspiration simply “not thinking”?
I think it just might be 🙂