Yesterday, the kids and I went to the Frist art museum. They are having an exhibit there about the birth of impressionism. It takes the viewer from the very strict portraits and paintings of the Salon's stringent rules on through the troubles of the early impressionists not getting selected, to a time when impressionism was accepted as an authentic art style. It includes works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Whistler and many more. It's an excellent exhibit, and I would encourage everyone in the vicinity of Nashville to visit. We went on a special "free" day - given to the people in Nashville to honor the inauguration of our new governor, Bill Haslan. Because of this, it was EXTREMELY crowded, with lines at least a half hour just to get in. Then the people moved at a snail's pace once inside. It was not the best situation, but if not for the lines, I wouldn't have been witness to some true art.
The room was packed, with at least 5 or 6 people around each piece. The low tones of mumbled "How did they do that?" and "I don't really like this one" were punctuated by some higher pitched sounds. I listened closely. It was singing! I turned towards the sound. A small girl of about 3 years of age was dancing back and forth, twirling her skirt, and watching it as it billowed out. Around and around she went, oblivious to everything surrounding her. Although there were priceless works of art all around her, she found her OWN art, not something that someone else SAID was art! Bravo, little one!
The rest of us can take lessons from this tiny voice. First, find the "art" all around you! It doesn't have to cost a dime. A pile of leaves, beautiful sunsets, strange cloud formations, or a child laughing can all easily bring you "the peace that passeth understanding" if you let it. Stay in the moment and enjoy life! In addition, those of us who profess to be artists should remember that art is what you make of it. Don't let naysayers sidetrack your need to get your creativity out. So what if they say "you can do better!" Your art is there to please YOURSELF first. The impressionists, Picasso, Pollack, Warhol and others were told their work was not accepted art, but they were true to themselves, and others have since changed their minds. Find your own path, spin in circles if you want, and enjoy life.