Art and the Heart

“In art,
the hand can never execute anything higher
than the heart can imagine.” 
Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

I did not know this national day existed. Although the day has come and gone for 2015, Patience Brewster contacted a select group of bloggers, including me, asking us to share ways in which we celebrate and enjoy art--inspiring our hearts throughout the year! She wants us to tell the positive impact art has on us and how we incorporate art into our daily lives.

I had to investigate this special day. National Day Calendar verified that, indeed, there is such a day. The website it says,
“Inspire Your Heart with Art Day is a day to ponder how art effects your heart. Art is valued and appreciated for all sorts of reasons. This Day’s title does suggest that you inspire “your” heart; however, you may also use it to inspire another person’s heart.
You may choose to admire a beautiful masterpiece, go to a special concert, dance, paint, take photographs, create a sculpture, visit a museum or any of the thousands of forms of art.  Whichever you choose, enjoy this day and pass it on.”

An article from Examiner.com tells the reader,
While the origins of this annual "holiday" are unknown, Inspire Your Heart with Art Day celebrates art of all shapes, sizes and varieties. Whether it's a trip to a local museum, watching or acting in a play at the local theater or tapping your toes to a rockin' concert, today celebrates creativity with an artistic flair as well as the positive effect it has on our lives. Art inspires us to get creative and appreciate all different forms of art.”

Art can and should inspire us every day. I know that doing something artistic (or as I call it: creative) is satisfying to me and relaxes me. At times I get lost in what I am doing, which usually isn't a bad thing. As Pablo Picasso said, "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." Which is probably why I feel so much better after having spent even a small amount of time on some creative project. 

As a child I enjoyed making things. My parents fostered creativity as much as they did academics. My mother taught me cross-stitch, how to sew clothes, paper crafts, baking (yes, culinary arts inspire the heart), and the love of music and performing. My father enjoyed photography and was a talented woodworker who showed me how to make all kinds of wooden things. I gained an appreciation of various woods that is with me today. He also hooked me on rock collecting! 

Every child is an artist. 
The problem is how to remain an artist 
once he grows up.” 
Pablo Picasso 

Watercolor 1973
I took 3 art classes in the final years of high school. I gained the confidence in making art that I had lost in my early teens. In college I lost the confidence again with Art 101. Luckily for me I had to take Industrial Education for the Elementary Teacher. Woodworking was like riding a bike. I ended up taking an extra semester of Industrial Ed. classes for certification. 

It took me a while as an adult to realize that I was able to make things and they did not have to look like the patterns. That is what I enjoy today--making what I envision in my mind. And that process sometimes involves throwing out many of the attempts.

6" clam shell jewelry box with lid 1986

Heart shelves and quilt hanger made of wood

One Stroke Painting Technique 1999

So what are my creative projects? How do I inspire my heart each day? 

I enjoy looking for ideas for things to make or try to make. I find inspiration from magazines, the internet, blogs, Pinterest, library books, television shows, DVDs, craft sales, and the local Art Council exhibits as well as. Sometimes I replicate, then I change and alter what I have seen. This helps me to grasp how a piece was constructed. From there I try to modify in my own way to make something different that I feel is mine. Paul Gauguin said, "Art is either plagiarism or revolution." I like to think of it as imitation or evolution.

Quilting is my favorite form of art. I try to sew every day. I have a bit of a messy sewing area, but I have 2 or 3 things going at once. I like to sew my quilt tops by machine and find it much more relaxing than sewing clothes. I do some handwork while I am listening to the television at night. I enjoy designing quilts using the Electric Quilt program. I find that getting together with my quilting friends is good for my heart, too. We share ideas, fabrics, magazines and books. We work on common projects. I take classes whenever I can. We take trips to visit quilt stores I have not been to. 

I garden in the summer. I think that is artistic. Choosing colors of flowers and laying out the garden area is creative. 

I enjoy going to museums, local theater performances, concerts and the ballet. 

I make decorations for the house and greeting cards to fit the seasons. I gift some of my quilted items to others. I enjoy teaching young and old to make some of the crafts I have created. I have donated scrappy quilts to various causes and organizations. I have written some patterns that are sold through two vendors.

The impact of art in my life has been in making many friends, traveling to many states, gaining confidence, allowing me to relax more, learning about business, and having added beauty to my life and home and hopefully those of others, too.

I thank you for taking the time to read about my art. Share with me and the readers how you inspire your heart with art each day. Leave a comment; I will get back to you. 

1 comment:

Catherine said...

What an interesting post - I like your distinction between "plagiarism and revolution" and "imitation and evolution" - a few artists manage the revolution bit, but more often we take what we find and develop it further into our own work. Your watercolour is beautiful - it makes me happy to look at that blue glass! I think the more one thinks about art (in any form), the more beauty one sees in the everyday. Hooray for fathers like yours who teach their daughters that they can DO things!