Posted on | Thursday, August 18, 2011 | No Comments

Do you remember drawing or painting as a child? Do you remember simply creating because you liked the color or the shape? I know that I haven't thought of my childhood for a while - especially the artistic aspects of it until this past Saturday. 

Last Saturday a few artists gathered outside of Athens Arts Gallery to create. A few of us painted on the sidewalk, literally with chalk. I grew up in a rural area without sidewalks and you know what? I had never done this before. Sure I drew lines for hop scotch once or twice in my life but that was the extent of my sidewalk chalking experience. So, at age 45 I set out on a new adventure. Another youthful spirit decided to create along with me and we joyfully chalked in the sun. How simple this was yet I couldn't help but think that I wasn't that child of 5 who simply creates because she likes the color - there was more to it. I wanted my picture to make some sort of sense and I even solicited another artist to give me tips on shading. She asked me "where is your light source?" and honestly, I don't often think of where my light source is. In a way I may be more childlike than I thought, which I believe, may be a good thing.

Too often the attached responsibilities, rational thinking and creating art to "sell" makes artwork a little stale at times. Don't get me wrong, I desperately need to know where my light source is and the technical aspects of creating something correctly is needed. It's just every once in a while,

I would like to take art 

It can and is serious business especially if that is our only source of income and even when it's not, we can become so serious in projecting the meanings of our art that we lose the joy of creating. 

We can become intimidating to others and feel a need to explain in terms of articulated rhetoric that ends up just sounding silly and rather fluffy. I read in a post by Keith Garrow "…it's not an essay it's a painting. It encompasses and expresses things in a language that is unique to the medium of paint."  

Maybe we should let our art speak for itself? I go back and forth on this concept. I do believe that the creator of the art has a purpose whether the purpose is to convey a deep, emotional hurt that hasn't healed or just to show a new color that they mixed that looks lovely against another. Complex or simple it still has a meaning but let's focus on the simple for a moment. Just a short moment. Simplicity - like a child not tainted by life - creating art for art's sake.

I love that a child can tell you the reason they created a painting was simply because they wanted to or that they liked the color. There is a joy to the simplicity of creating for beauty. Beauty for the one creating. For the artist.

As we grow "up" we start knowing when things are "not right" technically and we even question - "is that art?"  We then create with a mind set of too much knowledge instead of trusting our own intuition and simply expressing our emotions and thoughts. We try to create something correct or what may "sell". 

But every once-in-a-while we should just create's.sake.

Picasso said it best I think…"it took me four years to paint like Raphael but a lifetime to paint like a child."



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