Art completes what nature cannot bring to finish ~ Aristotle
I knew I had to use an Aristotle quote, or else I would’ve failed the entire classical community. 😉
Art. Poetry. Storytelling. Music. Creativity. Color. All of these concepts have been swirling around in my head for a couple days. I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly it means to be an ‘artsy’ person. How much of the ‘artsy’ stuff do you have to love to be considered an ‘artsy’ person? Do you just really have to disdain math? *coughcough* And how good do you have to be at said ‘artsy’ stuff before people will consider you an ‘artsy’ person? Is storytelling art, or just an art? And of course, last, but not least, am I an artsy person?
All of these thoughts eventually came to fruition (aka, ended up on the blog) after I finished watching something on the news. Apparently there’s a whole division of the FBI devoted to Art Crime. Their job is to hunt and arrest people who steal, well, art. According to FOX, over $6,000,000,000 worth of art is stolen EVERY YEAR!
Something I cannot understand is why a canvas with various paint strewn across it can cost so much more than the cost of the canvas and the bottles of paint. And what is the big fuss about Picasso? His stuff was kinda creepy…
I guess I can’t answer the above questions until I answer one question. What is art? I’m not sure about Aristotle’s answer. When people see the word ‘art’, they think paintings. They think DaVinci. They think Van Gogh. They think Michangelo. But is painting and sculpture all that art is? Doesn’t art encompass a lot of different things? If it does, what is the common denominator between them?
A wise man once told me that poetry is ‘a glimpse’ or a ‘snapshot’ of a thought or idea. So I guess I can work with that definition for now. If you think about it, that’s exactly what poetry is. A glimpse of something that’s on the poet’s heart. With poetry, you get a 30 second peek into another realm. For 30 seconds, you’re whisked away to this world, thinking about this new idea that you never would’ve thought before. And you can see the glimpse trickle away as you near the end of the page. Words have an intoxicating strength. Reading poetry can change you in ways that hours of debating, and sometimes screaming, could never do. And because of it’s brevity, it’s sweetness is slow to fade as compared to a longer glimpse, or story. 😉
I like to think that poetry is a type of art. So then, art could have something to do with a glimpse. So… if poetry is a glimpse, then what is music?
I like to think that music is a glimpse too. It might be a slightly longer glimpse, depending on how fast you read poetry, but it is a glimpse. For 3 minutes instead of 30 seconds, another story is told to you. And the amazing beautiful paradox of it all is that music is universal. No matter what country you’re from, what color your skin is, or what language you speak, music can still speak to you. And what’s even more amazing about that is not only can it speak to you, it speaks to you in a way that is unique only to you. No one can listen to music and appreciate it the exact same way you do.
So then, if poetry is a glimpse, and music is a glimpse, could that mean they’re both the same thing? I don’t think so, but I believe they’re part of the same thing. The same family. For me, some pieces of music, piano especially, are like poetry to the part of the heart that doesn’t speak with words. “Music is well said to be the speech of angels.” -Thomas Carlyle.
To me, music is poetry with notes. 😀
Now, I know there is some really bad music out there. And there’s also some rather scary poetry out there too. But regardless of how mediocre we might think it is, it’s still an expression of something, right? You don’t condemn the entirety of the canine race just because a single dog bit your hand, right? So that means, we shouldn’t yell and scream and throw hissy fits when someone doesn’t agree with our taste in music. Even if they like screamo…. *shudders*
You might be thinking, “Well, if you love poetry and music so much, then why do you not like painting?” And my answer is this: I’m not an artist. I cannot paint or draw to save my life. Thus I don’t appreciate it as much as music, seeing as I am a musician. Or am aspiring to be a musician eventually. 😉
I think another reason I don’t appreciate it as much is because painting can be too abstract. I know artists pour their heart and soul into painting. And the unfortunate truth is, no matter how long you stare at a painting, no matter how long you take in all the color and vibrancy,(or lack thereof) you’ll only see but a drop of the artist’s soul. You can’t grasp what the exact thoughts of the artist are. What exactly the artist is trying to tell you. The human brain doesn’t work that way. We can’t comprehend thoughts and concepts and ideas without words formed in a linear sequence. Even now, you can’t understand what I’m trying to say in this post without words. You think if I posted some pretty picture, you’ll understand everything this 13oo word post is trying to convey? With poetry, you can see the poet’s soul. You might not be able to see every single drop of emotion that went into the poem, but you can see a lot of it. I do realize that this concept is not the same with music. But in a way, it is. Just a little. You can hear very stacatto notes in the minor key, and you can feel in your soul that you should be afraid. And you can hear soothing arpeggios crawling up a piano and know you should relax. I don’t know about you, but I would have to stare at a pastel blue for hours on end before I felt that same kind of relaxation. But that’s just me.
Now, I do NOT mean to convey that I don’t like paintings. I do. I wish I understood them better. I wish I could draw and paint as well as some of my friends. And I live an hour away from the art capital of the world, for gosh sake! What I do mean to say is that even though a painting can be incredibly amazing, I don’t understand why you have to pay a bloody fortune for something that doesn’t speak to your soul as well as other things can. Other things you don’t have to pay so much money for. 😉
That brings me to storytelling. If music and poetry are art, and art is a glimpse, then if storytelling is NOT a glimpse, does that mean it’s not art? For me, it depends on the story. A novel, for example, to me, is not a glimpse. A glimpse is like what I said earlier: it’s like a snapshot. Coming from a writer, I know that a novel is not a snapshot. It’s a whole complex world with different factors that mold and change it. You have to get into the story and stay there for awhile to understand it. That’s not the case with poetry or music. But you can have short stories that give you small peek into another world. Does that mean that short stories are art and not novels?
If you feel differently about painting, if you feel that paintings DO speak to the soul as well as music and poetry does, or if you think novels and storytelling ARE an art, then please speak up!! Help me revive a dying blog. 😉
Sigh. Now that I have such a long rant out of my system, I can go to sleep now.
P.S…. PLEASE COMMENT!!