Are we all artists?

 

Are we artists

Most of us, when asked, “are you an artist?” would be hesitant to answer with an unqualified “yes.”    After all, that label applies to the great ones:  Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Cassatt, Picasso, Monet, O’Keeffe and the list goes on. How can we dare compare ourselves to that brilliant assembly?

That was the question that I have been asking myself these past few months.   How do we define art, talent, beauty, if we do not have some form of art within ourselves? The definition of “artist” covers a huge area, the essence being “a person who creates art.” Five simple words that do not include any measurement systems.  An artist is an artist simply because he or she creates.

33 Comments

  1. leapingtracks

    Oh, my dear, what a question! 😀 I think we are all artists and that anything is ‘art’. Sure, there is the traditionally narrow focus on the creative arts, but what about cookery, teaching, saving lives, caring for the elderly, tending sick animals, preserving the environment, building a car, programming a computer, inventing a vacuum cleaner, serving in a restaurant when it is the very last thing you want to do, smiling at a stranger when you pass them on the street……. Yep, we are all artists 💫💕✨ High five, by the way, to have you back 🙋❤️

    1. Clanmother

      It is so good to be back!!! How very well said: there is so much to creativity that to limit it is to limit humanity. You are so right – I just had to repeat it once more:

      cookery, teaching, saving lives, caring for the elderly, tending sick animals, preserving the environment, building a car, programming a computer, inventing a vacuum cleaner, serving in a restaurant when it is the very last thing you want to do, smiling at a stranger when you pass them on the street

      Your words are a benediction to this post!

  2. Ms Frances

    I commented on the Face Book page but I think I will add something here. It is easy to give up on the little things we make/paint/design thinking they are not worthy. It is in the joy of creating/making little things for ourselves, friends and grandchildren. We need to abandon ourselves in the things we love, we don’t need to be “one of the greats”. Thank you for this lively discussion.

    1. Clanmother

      Oh, I do like your thoughts on the joy of creating. We forget that those things that we have made with love may influence those who we may never know. I treasure a fine crochet needlework of a peacock completed by my great-grandmother, who I never knew. If fact, I am able to see it from where I sit at the computer (I had it framed to preserve its elegance). I can only imagine the hours of work that went into this project. There is a connection with a past that is remembered through her creativity and need to express beauty.

  3. Dina

    This is an excellent way to start my day, dear Rebecca. After having read all the inspiring comments I’m now ready to go for my daily walk in the woods and I’ll give the subject my thoughts. Blogging is a way of expressing ourselves. I often ponder on this subject. What for?
    Have a wonderful day, a big hug coming your way.
    I’m packing, on my way to the Bookfayrieland of Norfolk,
    Dina

    “When Debussy was seeming to get nowhere with an opera he was composing, he put it this way: “I spent my days pursuing the nothingness -le rien – it creates.” My job is to create that void, that rien.
    Hunting knife”
    ― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

    1. Clanmother

      What a marvelous question: “What for…?” That is the opening of a grand discussion, one that speaks to the heart of art. I am learning that Art, at its foundation, is all about connecting. We apply terms such as: beautiful, insightful, meaningful, challenging, frightening. Those are merely descriptions. Here’s a thought for consideration: The artist expresses using a medium whether it be writing, singing, dancing, painting, etc. We connect at some intuitive level. Even when we do not particularly like that creative expression, we have been influenced by it simply for having come into its presence. It is a powerful force.

      A big thank you to the Fab Four!!! I have really enjoyed your discussions on colour and symbolism because it has added depth to my understanding of this “artistic” connection. Safe trip to Norfolk – hugs to all.

  4. Deb

    I think there are many people who are truly artists yet do not consider themselves so. Unfortunately there is a dark side, the politics of art, that keeps many from feeling that their creations are worthy. And then there is the broader discussion, art versus craft. It would be nice if all creatives could stand up and say “I am an artist.”.

    1. Clanmother

      I agree wholeheartedly! I think that when we embrace art, when we say that we are artists, we change the conversation. Rather than curtail creative endeavour, we build a community that fosters a deeper understanding of the human experience. My mother loves crafts as her mother before her. I treasure her gifts as object d’art. Now you have me pondering the broader discussion of art versus craft – thank you!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      1. Deb

        I am not sure if you have done any research on the history of women in art, but you might find this interesting. A while back I was watching either a BBC or a Channel 4 documentary and in it it was discussing how certain art forms, primarily ones women were drawn to, were shunned by the male art community. In a way it seemed a bit like the point in time where art and craft divided. I will have to see if I can find the doc and send you the Youtube link. It was pretty interesting and had many “a ha” moments when you look at it regarding present day biases.

      2. Clanmother

        I first became interested in the Arts & Crafts movement because of my research into the Industrial Revolution. It is a huge subject, with wonderful narratives filled with drama, joy, hardship and grief. I started with William Morris and John Ruskin, Pre-Raphaelites. I am especially interested in the story of Jane Burden. Alas, so many books, so little time. I tried to locate the documentary that you suggested, but cannot locate the link. It is a very interesting thesis, one that I would like to explore! 🙂

      3. Deb

        I’ll keep looking for the documentary. Worst case is I get to watch a lot of art history docs, which is great as I have a ton of knitting to do.

      4. Clanmother

        Thank you Deb! I’m am so looking forward to viewing the documentary. The link works. And I have located the DVD at our local Vancouver Library. I have placed and hold and am in 10th place, which is a strong indication of its popularity. Thank you again!

    1. Clanmother

      When does an action become art? Is it when the artist creates or when the viewer sees and understands? My thought is that art occurs the moment it becomes a reality, however there is so much to creativity that is unknowable. Is the artist’s internal visualization art, even though it is held within his or her thoughts? I have felt the same kindred spirit – there is a connection between between the view and artist. Thank you so much for stopping by – it is good to be back blogging again. 🙂

  5. Letizia

    What a thoughtful question. It’s true, so many of us are hesitant to apply this label to ourselves. Although I paint, sketch and write, I feel more comfortable saying that I create rather than that I’m an artist (perhaps because I’m not an artist by trade?).

    1. Clanmother

      You make an excellent point, Letizia. We are defined by our work and our work titles because this is how we we make a living and sustain our well being. There are so many other titles we can have: writer, reader, musician, poet, chef, mother, father, sister – all of which entail creativity. Even our life’s work, no matter how objective or linear, involves some form of artistry. Going along with Gallivanta’s comments, our definition of artist may have become too precious, too exclusive. Sir Ken Robinson’s idea on human creativity has prompted me to reexamine my thoughts on art and the creative spirit.

      “Human resources are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep. You have to go looking for them; they’re not just lying around on the surface.” Sir Ken Robinson

  6. ernstblumenstein

    Ich finde Kreativität und Engagement in irgend einem Freizeitbereich oder im Beruf stärkt unser Wohlbefinden und trägt zur Balance und Zufriedenheit bei. Es ist nicht mal entscheidend, was man macht, sondern – dass man es macht!
    Ich wünsche Ihnen eine frohe Woche. Ernst

    1. Clanmother

      Ich stimme voll und ganz. Begrenzen wir unsere Erfahrung und Freude, wenn wir zu begrenzen Kreativität.

      Gerhard Richter one said: “I’m still very sure that painting is one of the most basic human capacities, like dancing and singing, that make sense, that stay with us, as something human.”

      Thank you so much for adding to the dialogue!

    1. Clanmother

      I love this definition and the link which I will continue to refer to on other definitions. I included the actual definition below taken from that site:

      artist (n.) Look up artist at Dictionary.com
      1580s, “one who cultivates one of the fine arts,” from Middle French artiste (14c.), from Italian artista, from Medieval Latin artista, from Latin ars (see art (n.)).

      Originally used especially of the arts presided over by the Muses (history, poetry, comedy, tragedy, music, dancing, astronomy), but also used 17c. for “one skilled in any art or craft” (including professors, surgeons, craftsmen, cooks). Now especially of “one who practices the arts of design or visual arts” (a sense first attested 1747).http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=artist

      I especially thought your words, “precious about the word artist” is very well said. We have limited the definition. There is much to celebrate for we are surrounded by artistry and creativity.

    1. Clanmother

      I agree wholeheartedly, Martina. I think that we limit our passion for creative thought and action simply because we do not consider that what we have inside us is important. Daily routines and responsibilities need our attention and the end of the day comes too soon. I am learning (and I do continue to learn) that even 15 minutes spent on creative thought adds dynamics to other areas of our lives. Thank you for adding to the dialogue – very much appreciated.

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