Art and a Few of Its Various Forms

While photography and digital compositions are often argued to be valid art forms, I hold to the belief that classic art is much more.

Classic art is created by hand alone. In the case of visual art -- as examples, watercolor and oil painting -- it involves a wide array of papers, canvas and other textiles, wood and other substrates as the typical surfaces to accept the application of colors or cuts to convey the artist's (hopefully) intended result. Color applicators are varied and include brushes, special knives and scrapers, pens & pencils; chalks; various paints in solid, semi-paste or liquid form; graphite, charcoals and more.

As to "more," I have occasionally used actual plants like grasses and flowers as the source of my desired colors. This has always been great fun when working with young children. They often become energized by the fact that a flower can be roughly pressed into paper or smeared over a hand drawn line -- and the color stays behind! The potentials for inspiration are far reaching, perhaps even inestimable.

Colored art tissue paper is another source of easily controlled color for drawings and simple art. Basically, you just tear or cut the art paper into whatever shapes you wish to create, hold the paper to the background substrate, add a light touch of water and viola! the color becomes part of your project in the shape you chose.  I may explain the process more clearly here someday.

As to appreciation of arts in general, I'm a much better collector than creator. But I enjoy the process and keep trying to improve on the things I have learned. My watercolors, sketches and such honestly aren't very good. But to find a piece created then stored away or lost in my travels and accidentally rediscovered always gives a kind of surprising satisfaction. Simple minds, simple pleasures -- right?

As has similarly occurred with the bulk of my writings, time and circumstance have sometimes conspired to relieve me of the burden of my art's storage and maintenance. Though I can still imagine pieces, sometimes a few at a time, there is no desire to try and recreate them. The possibilities for new artistic endeavors demand that no time be used for recalling yesterday's output. The temperament of an artist is not easy to explain and more difficult to understand, yet virtually all art is invaluable to society and culture in general.

There is a high probability that you have artistic talent, yourself. Simply having read to this point is one definite indicator. Your occupation would be another. To imagine how wild an idea that might be, consider these occupations: Are you a contractor? Do you operate heavy equipment, do any landscaping or outdoor maintenance? In whatever way you make a living, art in some form may be part of that occupation. Have you realized the possibility that you may have unrecognized artistic potential? Express yourself!

I often find in talking with people who may have undiscovered or suppressed artistic ability that they sometimes feel that "art" is in the realm of intellectuals, homosexuals or people with questionable (read: under suspicion) character traits or occupations. That's roughly akin to believing that people who have red blood and take pleasure in music, a child's laughter, a colorful sunset or a good meal are few and far between. God Almighty created the incredible arrays of the heavens and earth with the eye and touch of an artist no mere mortal can comprehend, and we are created by Him in His image. God gives us the ability to create and appreciate beauty in our own ways.

So why do some people downplay their own creative talents and aspirations? Consider these few words penned by Beatles founder John Lennon in his song titled "Working Class Hero," and try to comprehend his meaning:

"They hate you if you're clever, and they despise a fool."

It is important to note that early in life and especially among school chums, we are encouraged to "fit in," appearing like the majority of our peers. "If it looks, sounds and walks like a duck, it must be a duck" -- that is to say, someone fits in and is accepted, because he or she resembles those in the majority. That "encouragement" is actually negative reinforcement and is evident in the mainstream of life everywhere. How, shall we say without obviously untoward innuendo, truly perverse is that? If you dare, live your life as your truest art.

Anyway, if you would like to see samples of my own art, send email and ask -- I'll reply with a link or two.

All portions of and related websites © Leonard L. Hamilton Jr. Background image taken at dawn on Lake Bonaparte, NY, October 2008.