Monday, 15 April 2013

on making art

Last Thursday I was asked by two separate people how my art making was going. 
Exactly that "how's your art making going?".
To both I responded what particular art making are you wanting to know about?

While I know they were both being polite and wanted to say "how's things" in a more personal manner, and neither of them know me really well so perhaps forgot what my art making particularly was (umm - what is it again??!!); I thought it strange. And it's sent me off on tangents of art making thinking. 

What is art making?
What does it mean to me? What does it mean to you?
Is every day living art?
Do my children make art?
Can I make art with my children hovering around me...!?

Ah-ha there's what I'm probably most curious about solving at the moment. That last one. 

But firstly. Art making? Really we all know it's a totally personal and subjective thing. That art thing. Making art. Experiencing art. Exploring art. 

What is art?! 

I think that making a cup of tea is art (and in some countries is a complete art - think of a Japanese tea ceremony). Cooking dinner is art, or setting the lunch table for friends. Writing a letter to a loved one. Digging in your garden, planning and then planting new beginnings of art and beauty. Tidying up your home - straighten the shelves, arranging flowers in a jar. Brushing up your hair into a knot on top of your head. Getting dressed in the morning. Reading stories with your children. Having a conversation.
All of these things can be art. Can be expressed in an artful manner. Can be considered or thrown together, with some semblance of creativity and "art". I think there's an art to walking through our days and experiencing only the beauty and joy. 

It's true I haven't done any screen printing all year, or any drawing or painting for months, or any crochet for the past week. Instead I have spent time my days enjoying the sunshine glowing through the flower water (and documenting). I have planted lettuces with my children. I have read stories every night. I have folded snippets of fabric. I have washed up, and then stack the clean dishes away in the cupboard. I have put the clothes away in the drawer, in neat and beautiful piles. I have read about Pluto and the Moon, and talked about verbs and adjectives with my children at our home-school table.

Each day I am living an artful life.
How about you?
How's your art making going?



  1. Anonymous8:59 am

    art making. hmmmm. i got my girl going on cutting out some pretty intricate paper dolls. i arranged our supper food in an eye -pleasing way. i'm also stitching by habd with colorful thread on a quilt. i always am arranging things on tables - plants and books and such. and i'm making earrings to sell and to give away. (visit my blog and give me some ideas?)

    i always love seeing your bits of art making. :)

  2. I love this Ellie. I am not at all talented in the paint, draw, sculpt type of way. But I do like to think that I live an artful life. I seek out beauty and honour it when I find it.

    My garden, my home, my interactions - all the time I am trying for some kind of beauty and calm. To be mindful and aware and truly live our experiences. I love the idea of calling it an 'artful life'.

    Such a great post - thanks!

  3. Hi. (I've just discovered your blog). I really needed to read this. I've been feeling so off balance, and needed to remember the 'art' in my daily tasks and rituals and take pleasure in these. I certainly am not doing any drawing or painting or sewing right now ...


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