What Is Art?

Updated: Sep 5

Some searching on the subject elicited this definition; "The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination". That leaves things pretty wide open! However, it does go on to say; "typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power." #whatisart


I had a debate with an artist once who was strenuously defending another artist who displayed dead fish pegged to a line as art. Personally I don't think this falls into the "appreciated for their beauty" category, however, "emotional power" yes, probably!


Adding the word "Visual" is not really narrowing things down much, as visual arts cover an entire gamut of specialties. #visualarts But let's give some thought to the really wide picture, "What Is Art?" #whatisart I don't think that many people would argue that painted images in various media, like oil, acrylic and water paint, pastels, charcoal etc are to be included. Of course there are those who say that water paint is of significantly lower value than oil paint, but that is another discussion entirely, personally I think that water color is an extremely difficult media to master really well and I have only the deepest respect for those who have this ability! I own some truly beautiful water-color pieces that are strong and powerful in spite of being quite ethereal! But oops, so easy to get sidetracked! #watercolor #oilpaint


How about the art work that goes into, say animated movies. Sure, there is masses of computer generated work around these days, but there is still some gorgeous bits of skill to be found. We accidentally watched an animated movie the other day that turned out to be far cleverer and entertaining than expected, where a character depicting an ageing rock-star as an old, leather jacket wearing lion, complete with scar on the nose, was brilliant! #animation


"Beauty" it is said, "is in the eye of the beholder." Makes sense, the sunset that takes my breath away may leave you totally unmoved. We can talk about truly creative fashion, the couturier that charges thousands of dollars for a dress and the customer who pays it, can't be wrong! How about something even "wilder" (sorry, couldn't help myself), garden design. There are many famous gardens and garden designers, Capability Brown comes instantly to mind, his gardens are still much loved, admired and emulated. He certainly has brought joy to millions of people. Is that the secret, is art the ability to bring joy to people? Not an original thought I am sure, but possibly a good start to a definition. #couturier #gardendesign



One must then consider architecture, be it the design and creation of a single home, or something much bigger and more universally viewed like an opera house, a bridge, a skyscraper. Something to consider! #architecture


But enough for now, this could easily turn into a novella! I will end this here with a "to be continued" sign and invite your comments!



A really bad pic of a tiny, but much loved watercolor that I am lucky enough to own!

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