Art is for everyone!


After five years of art school and seven years teaching, I can say the one thing every person should know about art  is “you are right.”

So many people lose out on experiencing art because they feel that they have to “know” something before they can go to  a museum or participate in a discussion and this simply is not true.

There is something to be said for knowing historical, biographical and art style in formation. But most artists create their work to be enjoyed, to make a statement or move the viewer in some way.

Every artist knows the moment their art is displayed or released into the public arena  that their particular meaning is gone and will be replaced by images and ideas that are particular to the viewer at the moment that they see the work.

Let me give you and example. Take this Cezanne to the right. I look at it and I see southern France, not because I know this is the location of the painting but because I have been there and there is something reminiscent in the painting for me. The colors are soft and it has interesting texture and contrast.

I hear you saying “I wouldn’t say that.” Do you see the different brush strokes in the painting? Smooth and ruff? Do you see how the blues and reds seem to fight but strengthen one another? Even if you did not have the “art” vocabulary to express fully what you like and don’t like your interpretations are completely valid. You need only to trust your self.

I would always tell my students, “it’s not enough to say you like or don’t like it you have to add because.” The because makes all the difference. When you tie your thoughts and feelings about a piece  it gives reference and authenticity. It is also helpful to ask is it successful.

Many people fear they don’t have the “authority” to make a statement like that but each of us is more than qualified.

Each person has their own set of aesthetics – likes and dislikes. This is based on your personal life experience. Some viewers might find this painting to the left to be boring and uninteresting, others might find in calming or motivating.

When we ask is it successful there are several ways to go about it:

From a technical stand point -its well painted, color/ shape choices, complete and seems to have an over all idea.

From a historical stand point -what did this artist do that was important? is this work particularly important or ground breaking?

From personal aesthetic -does it move me in any way? pleasing or revolting?

But in the end it all boils down to your personal interaction with the work. There are millions of pieces of art out there go and find the ones that resonate and challenge you, make you cry, laugh and want to jump into action.

Art is for everyone!

The art work in this blog page are paintings by Paul Cezanne


3 responses »

  1. I agree Amanda. art can take you out of yourself, give you moments of reflection, joy, sadness…depending on your reaction to what you’re viewing.
    And most of us can be creative, if we just stopped measuring ourselves against others. Art is for all, a very human form of expression we should all be able to indulge in from time to time.

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