What is Art?

Why shouldn't art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world. (Pierre-Auguste Renoir)

When I was at art school I was fascinated with the whole question "What is Art?" The tutors weren't interested in exploring it. They wanted each of us to find our own answers in our own art and then develop, change, mutate. Fair enough. We learned a lot. We grew a lot. But I still love to think about the meaning of art.

Seems to me it's different things to each of us.

But for many - and for me - it's about a beauty that we somehow, mysteriously, relate to. It's when we look at a painting and it sings to us. It has a wonderful power to uplift us and, often, that moment of magic has a positive effect on our whole day.

At art school the tutors wanted me to get away from the colours I loved and from the form of the horses and other animals I loved to draw and paint. They wanted me to do ugly and dark.

But my spirit wouldn't be squashed and distorted. I held firm to my truth.

Just now when I came across Renoir's words I said "Yes!" aloud and the dog looked at me enquiringly!

There is so much beauty. All around us. If we choose to see it.

Let's choose beauty and joy. Yes - art is subjective and it's rare to resonate with a painting and think "Oh - I love it!" and have that instant uplift feeling. But when we do let's not quash it - let's appreciate it to the full. It doesn't matter what's currently on-trend or what the art cognescenti dictate.

It's what sings to you.

When a painting sings to you, feel the uplift. Love it, live it.

That's art.

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