Saturday, October 22, 2011

Random Thoughts on Art

Last night I enjoyed an evening out with friends at a local "Ladies Night Out" event. I ran into an artist friend who shared with me her recent adventures in creativity, chatting briefly about a painting she recently sold and about the commissioned piece she is currently working on...I reflected on our conversation this morning while I was performing my own personal work of art magic tricks - applying makeup, an act that always conjures thoughts of  the transformation from caterpillar into butterfly. Thinking about my artist friend, her career, and the relaxing elements of painting, I remembered a piece I had seen on display at my neurologist's office. One he had created himself - literally, a large glob of bright green paint smeared across two canvases, hung side-by-side and bearing his name in the lower right corner. This led me to the desire to pull out a fresh canvas myself and smear some paint around - a hobby I love to engage in, but rarely find the time and even now must continue to postpone. All of these thoughts left me with the same summation...that art is relative.  The style that each of us finds pleasing can vary greatly from fine detailed landscapes, to portraits, to large globs of paint carefully placed to look as if they were thrown together. I love to look at paintings - initially at a distance to take in the overall picture and then up close, very close, so as to see each brush stroke. The tiring thing about living in my head is how quickly my train of thought can race away from me, finally settling on a new realization or a brief meditation.  All of this pondering resulted in a fresh awareness that a mediocre piece of art could easily yield great sums of money if created by a widely renown individual, artist or no.  If Steve Jobs had been inclined to push some paint around I feel certain a number of his faithful fans would step right up to bid on a piece created by him, if for no other reason, simply to have something he had touched. Don't misunderstand...I love my iPhone and Steve Jobs definitely shaped society as we know it. Simply amazing. Yet I can't help but recognize my possession of the greatest creation ever given to man and how grossly undervalued it has become. Many never touch it or look at it, let alone have it on display in their home. While I don't habitually present it to my guests as my proudest acquisition, still it continues to change the world. Anyone can acquire this work of art in a variety of price ranges, sometimes even for free. Hmm...the Bible. Why isn't it more cherished? Why do Bibles stay covered in dust, sitting in the corner or on the bottom shelf of the bookshelf? Why haven't I examined it up close, taking in each brush stroke? Wasn't Jesus way cooler than Steve Jobs? Aren't his miracles more worthy of display than a Van Gogh? The item that should be my most valued possession is frequently the first thing I pass over, the last thing I show off. is relative.