Sunday, January 22, 2012

Art is life, life is art.

My father gave me one of the best gifts I could ever hope to receive this Christmas.  He's an artist, and does everything from drafting to painting, from photography to lettering.  When I was growing up, this picture hung in our living room.  Being the horse crazy girl I was (and still am), I'd spend hours looking at it,  wishing I was in it.  Go on, take a look.  See if you can't hear the thunder of hooves, smell the sweat of horse and rider, or feel those powerful muscles flex.  I dare ya.

Painted before I was born, but still no less powerful.
These pics really don't do the colors justice.

Some days I appreciate it for its raw energy.  Some days I appreciate it for its soothing nostalgia.  I'm always priveleged to see it every day. 

My dad has a gift for seeing certain colors in unexpected places.  However, I find that when I look for that color in those places, there it is.  A shade of purple in a shadow.  A trace of blue in the grass.  And when you think about it:  what you look for, you will find--and not only in a painting.  If I look for positives, if I look for beauty, I can find them in the smallest things.  If I'm looking for negatives, I'm sure to find them, and they'll take over my head and be the biggest things ever. 

Music is a no-brainer.  True music, played by people passionate about what they're playing, is a soul-moving experience.  But you know, there's also art and beauty in someone learning to play an instrument. I know you parents out there will be wincing about now.   An old friend of mine is realizing his childhood dream and learning to play the violin.  Yes, Chris, I mean you.  I'm sure there will be some screeches and clinkers at first, but the beauty lies in making the dream come true, and the enthusiasm behind it.  I'm sure the beauty of his music will sing out before we know it.  I just wish I could be there to see his face the first time he plays a song, no matter how simple, the way he wants it to sound.  I'll probably feel the radiation beams of his grin from here.

The simple act of talking is art and music combined.  The rhythm and cadence of speech.  The arpeggios of an old friend's laughter.  The visceral connection to another living being--sharing joys, sharing sorrows.  The brushstrokes of your lives merging into one glorious whole, even if only for moments.  The utter joy of rediscovering someone every time you talk to them.  (Yep, Linda, this one's you!)  Think about it--when you talk to someone you love, your heart sings.  Whether it's a major or minor key makes no difference.  When you perceive beauty, your heart sings.  That, my friends, is art.  PURE ART.

I'll leave you with one last pic that's been an inspiration to me.  The artist really knew how to find beauty and help us see it too. 

by Vincent Van Gogh, photo from Wikipedia

See the world differently, and even the smallest things become art.  Let the small beauties speak to your soul, and your life will become art.  As Terry Pratchett wrote " 'taint what a horse look like, 'tis what a horse BE."  Be yourself.  Be art.

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