Where Art Meets Life
The first communication tool man used was drawing and painting, the ancient cave drawings give us such a great insight into mans innate need for expression, creativity and communication. Itís a natural process and the starting point for transferring ideas, thoughts or feelings into action, through those drawings and paintings.
Iím always amazed at how many people tell me they canít draw. Anyone who can write or make a mark on paper or anywhere else for that matter can draw!
"A drawing is simply a line going for a walk." --Paul Klee
The alphabet is a simple sequence of drawings or small shapes, with specific meanings that we have been taught, that we go on to develop into our own style in our individual writing.
The interesting thing is, once weíve learned to put pen to paper write and draw, what are we communicating in that writing or drawing? As Iím writing this piece Iím conveying and communicating thoughts and feelings of what Iím thinking and expressing, but you have your own thoughts and feelings about what Iím writing that you may or may not agree with. The same could be said for a drawing or a painting, the author of that drawing or painting has something to express and wants to convey and express their thoughts or feelings. You might askí what pleases meí or not about the drawing and Ďwhy?í It might make you think about something that hasnít crossed your mind before, you might love it or hate it but what Ďdrawsí you in! How have you come to those conclusions?
All of our understanding and communication comes from a set of beliefs and perceptions passed on and taught to us as children. Our education moulds our thinking and beliefs which go on to form our perspectives. Some people have a very narrow view of these perspectives and others the very opposite, all of which influences their opinions and thoughts in every area of their lives.
These beliefs show up in everything we do, especially in our relationships. We are all in some sort of relationship, from our intimate relationships to that of work colleagues etc and communication is part and parcel of interacting in those relationships. Some work really well, while others are in conflict and out of sync, and others we are indifferent to. All the thoughts and feelings about our interactions stem from our beliefs and perceptions that influence how we Ďseeí or understand things and thus how we respond within those relationships.
What has this to do with art?
Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see. Art opens us up to seeing things from many different perspectives; it broadens our minds and allows us to expand our thoughts and feelings. The tendency is, through our programmed beliefs systems, is to believe and assume we know what something is with the limited information we have. From this premise we can jump to bizarre conclusions, form misguided assumptions that produces a fall out of relationships, which in turn can cause ourselves and others great unhappiness.
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. Picasso
Washing the dust off our souls is to step out of our conditioned blindness into the light of seeing. Of looking at Ďwhat isí rather than what we think it is, In understanding that at different times of the day the shadow moves around the tree, what was there in the morning has changed in the evening. Depending on where youíre looking the tree can look completely different, the colour changes, the shape changes, nothing is set in stone or stays the same. All is motion moving and flowing without judgement and conditions.
If we approach our relationships in the same way, casting away preconceived ideas and misconceptions how much happier would we be?
Our society stamps us with rules of what it says life should, must and ought be, never taking into account that everyone of us is unique and creative. We tend to get bound up with the everyday trivialities, stresses and strains, of work, family, money, deadlines and routine. Our natural creativity gets pushed further under the pile of challenges and wheel just keeps turning. Is this the life you want? Maybe itís time to see things differently
My passion is to encourage you to take a moment to stop for a few minutes in your busy schedule, take breath and get a pencil and paper. Start just doodling, let yourself just observe the shapes that want to be drawn, open up to possibilities and allow yourself to draw.
Take this one step further and get a Ďdoodle note book,í have it with you and whenever you can just start doodling! Sitting on the phone, on the train, watching telly, anywhere it doesnít matter. Donít think about it too much, just move the pen around it will soon take over!
Did you know that studies have shown that the creative process in making art and drawing is a powerful tool to combat stress. The rhythmic and repetitive motion of drawing helps synchronize hand and eye, body and mind, and can be used to elicit what Harvard cardiologist, Herbert Benson, has identified as the relaxation response.
Youíll find a new sense of connection and beyond all the shoulds, musts and oughtís, what do you really need and want? Happiness. Iíve never met anyone who has told me they donít want to be happy.
The visual arts can help you regain your sense of play as well as open your eyes to new ways of seeing, which automatically has a positive knock-on effect in every other area of your life. Your relationships will improve; you become more understanding, less judgemental and open to new possibilities, you can see things from a different perspective, and generally feel much more relaxed.
Bringing art back into your life and activating the creative self, can have a profound and satisfying effect, all of which is an essential part of our makeup as human beings. To me this is where Art and Life meet
If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. Van Gogh