Why Art?

A still life painting with the elements of communion.
A still life painting with the elements of communion.

Why art?  Many would say there are much more practical ways to spend one’s time and energy.  There are incredibly talented artists all over the world.  Does the world really need one more painting or other creative form of expression?

Art is many things, but for me in this season of my life, art has some special meanings:

  • Art is a catalyst to develop relationships with other people.  In the teaching of classes, interacting with other artists and participating in community events I have met a group of people who would not have crossed my path had I not stepped back into pursuing my art career.
  • Art is a vehicle for teaching.  It is wonderful, especially now, to interact with people and learn from them as they learn from me.  It’s definitely a two-way street.  I love hearing people‘s life stories, their ambitions, dreams and about their personal faith story which is intertwined with the art they create.

    English: an exercise of chest
    English: an exercise of chest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Art is a way to stretch, learn and grow.  Or as I like to say art provides, “push ups for the brain.”  Each work of art presents an algebraic-type equation with multiple variables that have to work out   for a convincing solution.
  • Art is an expression of my life view.  One cannot help but share their view of life and life story through art – it just comes out all over the place.  The greatest thing that has ever happened to me is to embark on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and He has given me incredible purpose and meaning in life.  Whether subtly or clearly, this reality has an influence in everything I create.
  • Art is a fulfillment and a responsibility.  I believe the greatest thing we can be in this life is what God designed us to be…if it is a butler, a baker a candlestick maker – whatever it is, we can be a part of God’s story as we follow Him and develop the gifts He has given to us.  What we are given is to be used for positive purposes.  It’s a gift.  It’s a responsibility.
  • Making Art is fun.  It brings my heart joy to creatively express the visual world as I see it through art.  When something I make is enjoyable to other people, then it brings great satisfaction and encouragement.  It is fun to share the process of art through teaching and to help give others tools so that they might express more fully the things in their hearts through art.

No, the world doesn’t need another painting.  But we each have purpose and meaning far greater than the tasks we perform, be it making art or anything else.  Those “tasks” helps us form bridges to other people’s hearts, and for that aspect, it is worth a great deal.

As a rule I start a painting by doing a detailed drawing.
As a rule I start a painting by doing a detailed drawing.

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