Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Art is Celebration and History in the Making

Original Photo of Anhinga at Lakes Regional Park

 When I sold my painting “Broken,” the buyer said it reminded her of the people she saw in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic. The woman and child in the painting inspired her and renewed her compassion for the people there and for their hardships.

There are as many reasons to buy art as there are people. Some people buy a work of art for the tranquility it gives them in a chaotic world. Some choose something humorous that makes them smile. Others walk on the dark side and select something provocative to jar the sensibilities and promote conversation.

Anhinga in Paradise -- watercolor

Art arouses in us the unspoken words of the heart. Yet, there are those who view art as frivolous and unnecessary; an added expense we could probably do without. These people absorb like sponges, unaware of the affects that art produces in their lives.

God is the master painter of the universe. To be unappreciative of art is to deny the beauties of nature that surround us. After all, it is God’s world we artist’s try to capture, with all the emotions and feelings that life evokes. For centuries man has tried to conquer time and space; to mold it and bend it in our own image. Nature inspires us and challenges us. People reach out to us in a way that deepens our appreciation for the inevitable pain and suffering life brings and for the joy that sometimes bears fruit.

Sand Crane Dreams -- mixed media

Art reminds us of who we are. It’s a looking glass into the past and the future. Like the painted pictures on cave walls, art records history and events. It enlightens our journey and reminds us of what has been. It was the sketches and notes in the Lewis and Clark journals that record their discoveries and experiences. It was the stories and drawings in war diaries that illustrated the horrors of war. It was the diaries of pioneer men and women that teach us who they are and about their struggles and sorrows as they built a fledgling nation.

"Americana" mixed media -- The way it was

We must never forget. Writers have written countless pages to record these events and the sacrifices incurred by our predecessors. On the other hand, one canvas may capture in a visual setting those early warriors; their struggles surpass imagination.

The Arts have the potential to degrade us or uplift us. The Arts provide broad commentary on the state of our nation and world; and yet is minute enough to focus on individual character and perspective.

We must keep the arts alive for future generations; to offer hope and light, and to record history and monumental changes in society. Artists are witnesses of and recorders of the present. We must participate in life and celebrate the process.