Tuesday, June 10, 2014

An Ode To Art & Artists

Anyone who follows this blog should know the close association I make between the aesthetic and the spiritual. I just wrote about it yesterday on this blog, in fact. One of the great joys of my life has been the degree to which art has become an ever-increasing part of it. When you grow up on the lower end of the economic scale, you are unfortunately less exposed to truly great art. I was lucky in that I became interested in comic books and fantasy, both of which included a heavy artistic aspect. But my exposure was thus filtered and limited.

As an adult I have more discretionary funds and so I have more ability to spend time and money on art. My musical tastes have expanded, and that is just a normal part of aging. I love all kinds of music, from heavy metal to classical, and with money and time I have the ability to get devices like Ipods and to download music of all kinds. This also speaks to the raw power we all enjoy nowadays with the internet. I've written many times about how powerful we are and how unaware of it we are, the ability to access art of all types, especially music, is one example.

I also have gotten to take dancing lessons and that is the main form of art I engage in myself. I'm an okay dancer, but I get to improve under the tutelage of a fantastic dance instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. I love the form and creativity of it all, not to mention the thrill of physical exercise. My fiction writing is first-level at best. I can write a good comic book about a friend that is funny and pretty good, but I'm not great at fiction. My writing is about what I know, which is theology. I can write good jokes, and so I get to be creative there, but I haven't gotten to do stand up in years. My real artistic talent lies in dancing, and I love it. I owe so much to my dance instructors for helping me encounter what is for me a religious experience.

Finally, and this is as important to me as dancing, is visual art which I've gotten to encounter at sci fi and related conventions. I go to cons mostly for art. I look and look and look and then I buy. I just love soaking up the raw, multifaceted talent of the artists who attend conventions. I get hours of joy from the pieces I've bought. Walking through my house is like walking inside a fantasy novel and comic book. I am in awe of what these people do, and am thankful that God has granted this world such great talent. This, to me, is real magic. The ability to put light and dark, color and space together to create something that is truly unique. To take classic characters and put them in a whole new context or to approach them from an original vision has the ability to say more to me than much of what passes for art in the modern art world today. The only way I get close to feeling what that is like is through dance, which is putting music and motion together in a similarly creative way.

But with painters and inkers and pencilers, what you produce has a permanency in this world that is lacking in dance. Dance is much more like sand art, which is created and in a moment wiped away. I love art that really lasts. One of the cool things about the modern world, and if you are not doing this you are missing out, is being able to keep up with artists you love on social media. I am Facebook friends with many artists from whom I have gotten commissions.  And I'd say that with at least a couple we've become truly friendly. I love seeing whatever projects they are working on and just to hear about their lives. Art flows from the soul of a person and so getting to know these people helps me better appreciate what they create. And I can say with confidence that the relationship is, at least in some instances, two way, since some of them have made money off of my promotion of their work, and we've had some edifying conversations through the months and years.

Yes, it is a wonderful age we live in, if you use the tools right. And one of the greatest examples is the way art has expanded to dizzying heights. If only we could get some of that creativity operating in fields like politics and religion, eh?

No comments:

Post a Comment