Serious Question: What is Art?

Art: What is it?

Over the years I have struggled with what art actually is. Is it something beautiful? Is it everything we make or do? According to Miriam Webster it’s a few things:

  1. a skill acquired by experience, study, or observation
  2. a branch of learning
  3. an occupation requiring knowledge or skill
  4. the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects
  5. decorative or illustrative elements in printed matter

Up until college I had always taken a conservative approach to art. If it was well-painted, beautiful and had a clear message, then I considered it art. And that does still hold some truth to it, but when I went to college, I had a professor who totally changed how I looked at art–and everything else around me. I remember a discussion I had with him on this topic: I was arguing that just because someone says something is “art” doesn’t mean it is because art is supposed to be beautiful. Art is supposed to be a display of skill and hard work; it’s supposed to tell a story. He countered by tossing the contents of a trashcan onto the floor and declaring it beautiful, so to him, it was art. I was appalled until my professor proceeded to explain the story this trash had to tell–a dirty paper towel cleaned the brush of an artist who was working on their masterpiece; the artist was hard at work and couldn’t break away so they ate the chips and drank the water for sustenance; the crunched up piece of paper was a rejection email they tossed because they knew that one day they would silence their critics by working hard and getting better at their craft.

Continue reading

Artwork that Leaves an Impression: My 4 Faves

As someone who works in the fine art field, I see all kinds of art on a daily basis. As things go, whenever I see a piece I might want to invest in, I look at the price tag and realize that my whole life isn’t worth that much. And it’s really frustrating when the piece is by an artist who doesn’t know how to price their work–which is a topic I’ll probably write on at some point. Most artwork is way beyond my budget anyways, but I still dream of one day having my own collection.

If you’ve had the opportunity to browse a museum like the Met in New York or the Louvre in Paris then you’ve probably seen some iconic artwork. Maybe it was better than you imagined it in person, or maybe it was totally unimpressive–like Baroque Italian art is to me. But chances are, you’ve laid eyes on a piece that has struck you in the soul and left you wanting more. Continue reading

Walking on History: Uncovering Graves Inches Under our Feet

Since I was a kid, I’ve had a mild obsession with the past–ex. hunting ghosts, digging for gold or other artifacts, collecting “valuable” rocks (I still have my rock and gemstone collection), Rach and I had a pirate phase and even drew a detailed treasure map based on historical records of shipwrecks. I probably should have wanted to be an archaeologist instead of an astronaut, but it’s too late for any of that now.

We used to dig holes in the yard looking to strike it rich. Pretty sure the only interesting “artifacts” we ever found though were coral rock–to be fair, that stuff has some cool fossils even if they aren’t prehistoric– screws and nails, and the odd penny. Nothing of note or value and we certainly never made it to the news with our discoveries. I always wanted to be the lucky bastard who found a wooly mammoth skeleton in their yard or an entire Native American village under six feet of grass but that never happened…until I moved out of Miami as a full fledged adult.

Continue reading

10 Things that Inevitably Happen when your Social Circle is more than Double your Age

I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m actually 75 years old. Ok maybe not physically, but mentally, I’m a grandma. Over the last roughly ten years I’ve spent the majority of my social (and work) time with people well over double and triple my age. Yes, I have friends in my generation but I don’t get to see most of them as often as I would like so I end up spending a heck of a lot of time with the older generations. Prime example, I went to a 70 birthday party last weekend and had a great time! I was the youngest adult there. Continue reading

Big City to Smaller Town…a change I didn’t know I needed

The typical move people my age and younger seem to make is to leave their hometown for an adventure in a big city. It’s a cliche of the American Dream and I of course, did the opposite. Having lived in a big diverse city my entire life, I never saw the “adventure” in it. I had tasted the rural life for a few years growing up–we lived on a large avocado grove and owned a yellow tractor and rode horses and never wore shoes (although, that might just be the Florida in me because I still don’t wear shoes)–but I’ve been a city girl my whole life. Continue reading