Wednesday, September 24, 2014

art, war and the world...

We can all be so self righteous sometimes...
I know I can.
I am so certain of what works for me,
that I assume it has to work for everyone else.
While talking with a good friend the other day,
I heard myself telling her that
if everyone was able to express themselves thru art,
the world would be a better place.
She replied, with kindness:
"that's because you're an artist".
I wanted to scream:
we're all artists!
Some of us have just forgotten.
And then I thought: are we really all artists?
Does it matter what we call ourselves?
Isn't the real purpose of art more about
how it makes us feel vs.
what it looks like, in the end?
Art is about more
than just pretty pictures.
Think of the therapists who use art
as a way of communication
for children who were physically abused.
Most of these children
are too traumatized to speak.
So they draw with wax crayons
and much of the artwork is far from pretty.
But the expression of art itself
is the pathway to healing.
When I sat to paint earlier today,
I was not in the mood to paint anything happy.
Sometimes I am, sometimes not.
So i painted this sad looking orange man.
But it felt good to paint it
and I felt good about it after I was done.
It's not about pretty for me - 
and it saddens me that so many people
stop themselves from making art
because they don't feel good enough.
Because they don't feel their work
measures up to others.
Comparing kills creativity
as well as the spirit.
If you happen to love painting pretty flowers,
or beautiful birds,
go for it!
Paint that.
But if you get a day where you just want to paint black,
let yourself paint black.
Or blues.
Or grays.
Picasso's mood was obviously different
from this painting:
to this one,
during his blue period.
When I was in high school,
in Western Canada,
one of my best friends
was from Ireland.
His name was Eamon.
We were talking about our hometowns one day
and he listened more than he talked.
When I finally asked him about what it was like
to grow up in Ireland in the 60s & 70s,
he quietly replied that he and his siblings
spent a lot of time in the house -
to avoid the bombs outside.
He talked about the fighting
between religions
between soldiers,
and languages
and cultures.
And suddenly,
I felt very small...
and selfish
and sad for so much of the world.
Even if the fighting in Ireland
had nothing to do with me.
I wonder sometimes,
if Eamon had made art,
what kind of art would it have been?


  1. Powerful and profound!! Love the sad man too!! The wine glass is also amazing! When we know better we do better! I think many are raised to think of art in a conventional way in a perfectionist way and therefore we don't even attempt to express ourselves through art. Thanks for sharing so authentically!

    Hugs Giggles

  2. Amazing post! And I love your "orange man".

  3. Yes! If everyone expressed themselves through a creative medium, the world would be a happier place! I do not get at all evangelical about this. :) Thoughtful as always P. xx

  4. Beautiful thoughts and words and art. I want to absorb, 'comparing kills creativity' till it becomes the way I think and behave. Thank you Pauline:)