Find Ourselves and Lose Ourselves

Ink on watercolor paper – Words: Thomas Merton

Art is a very subjective topic. What some people call art others think is mediocre. What one person values as priceless another person lets collect dust in their attic. Be it color, topic, style, size, shape or even medium, not everyone is going to agree on what is or is not art. Some people only like the old masters and others won’t call anything art unless it is abstract or contemporary. Making, selling and buying art is more personal than we care to believe.

Most artists will tell you that creating is the process of revealing themselves through the process of putting their ideas out there for everyone to see. Which takes courage to learn, try, fail and then try again to get what they think or feel onto the canvas or page. These words reminded me that art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. It is a journey of self discovery and security. Once you put your work out there for others to see not everyone will like it or be kind with their comments. Some people will become fans and others will become critics.

So why create if it is such a subjective topic? Ask someone who creates and they will tell you that what is inside them cannot be contained any longer, it needs to come out to express things and to help others experience their own thoughts or emotions. The lucky few who dare to bring their art to life have a unique perspective; however, that perspective is not always popular, respected or even able to be monetized. Not every artist does it for money, and not all artists are good at what they do. Art is not made because people will like it, it is made in spite of the fact that not everyone will like it. Art takes courage and silence, time and energy to perfect the art form or methodology.

What a bland world it would be if artists did not give us the gift of finding ourselves and losing ourselves at the same time. Take time today to look at something created by an artist and find what your day needs and lose what is no longer important. Then gives thanks for that artist who dared to created and share it no matter what everyone else thinks.

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