Friday, April 30, 2010

The Why of Art

I find questions about the what and why of art silly; what does it matter? We have been doing it since we could scratch on a cave wall with a rock. I do have some thoughts about my own why and wherefore so stay with me if you are interested.

My question is why the need? Why do I feel deprived when I have to give time to marketing my work, going out for groceries, dealing with a plumbing problem or anything that steals the time I want to be in my studio? I feel robbed and unhappy. What is that about?

My answer is that while I love my life and the world around me and the people in it, none of it is perfect. Far from it. I cannot control much nor make my life or anyone else's happen as if I were directing a movie. But in my studio I can create perfection. To my own standards, of course. Whose could be better? I can make a painting that has all the characteristics that I hunger for. Today it will probably be something in flawless balance and harmony, heart-stoppingly beautiful. If I can make something that fits that description, I am momentarily complete and probably more than a little tired. If I can't create that to my own satisfaction, I will try again. And again and again. So I get up every morning wanting and needing to create perfection and am mortified if life gets in my way with a leaking water heater, a power outage, or if business matters require my attention.

Aristotle said: Art completes what nature cannot bring to finish. The artist gives us knowledge of nature's unrealized ends.

The image above is Moss ©2008, Acrylic & Mixed Media on Museum Board, 17 x 12". For information about any of the paintings on this site, please email Joan.


  1. nice quote by aristotle.
    love your work!

  2. Thanks, Randel, same to you!

  3. We are all in our own little studio directing our life movie. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Beautiful and compelling thoughts in this post, Joan. I am sure they will continue to softly echo in the "studio" of my mind for a good long while.

  5. Thank you, Lorenzo. Nothing like a pat on the back to begin the day.