|One of Caed's "Mister Pieces"|
"I like art the most of everything. When you see it, you just know it means stuff. And like, sometimes the pictures just remind you of things, like cool things you already learned about or maybe you saw before." - Caed, Age 6
I'm not much of a visual artist. I don't draw, paint, photograph, design, doodle or sculpt. Though thanks to a PBS Kids activity print-out (designed for a 5 year old), I did recently learn to sketch a pretty good Hundley. And Dani appreciates my crayon-cast castles. But yeah, not much of a visual artist.
And my son, though just days ago he labeled his abstract colored-pencil piece "my first mister piece", he's not much of a visual artist either. (Please don't tell him I said that. I do think he's delightful and amazing and naturally talented in several areas. Visual artistry just isn't one of them.)
And that's okay. When it comes to the art for the eyes, we might not be the creators, but we are most definitely the appreciators. And doesn't art need both?
When I think about how we are made in His image, the Creator's image, my first thought is that of course we would find meaning in creating. Whether we create music or art or books or order or scarves or buildings or spaces or curtains or meals--of course we find meaning here. Because He made us that way, because we bear His image.
But my second thought is that He also made us to appreciate. I could be wrong, but I don't think the seagulls perch for hours on the rocky shore just to drink in the majestic beauty of the ocean. I think that's our job--the ones made in His image, the ones who are aware--unlike any other earthen creature--of the intricate beauty, of the art that surrounds us.
G. K. Chesterton said, "All we can say of this notion of reproducing things in shadow or representative shape is that it exists nowhere in nature except in man." Monkeys don't paint landscapes. Mountain goats don't stop to gaze on valley sunsets. Seagulls don't gawk in wonder at the escaping tide.
No, that's our role. We were made to create and to appreciate what has been created. Art needs both. And of all the gifts, these good and perfect gifts that rain down from the Father of Light, these might be my favorite--these abilities to create and to appreciate the creation.
Yes, I have to agree with Caed. I like art the most of everything.
Credit to Emily of Chatting at the Sky for getting me thinking about the subject of art. She's written an impromptu, beautiful and thought-provoking series on art over the past few months that's so worth the read.
Linking up for Imperfect Prose with another gorgeous writer named Emily (who happens to also be a gifted visual artist--try not to be too jealous).