Vector8 Journals

Friday, November 26, 2004

Life is Art

The world is only art
painted by the eye of the beholder
all things are just colors
and shapes on a page
some view it as peaceful
some view it, and are outraged
in the eye of the beholder
the weight of your beliefs
are carried only on your shoulders

(From: "The World is Only Art" by Shyloh)
A while back, I took my mother to see an art collection at Kenwood House in Hampstead Health in London, which holds works by Turner, Rembrandt and others.

When we came out of the House, we went for a walk around the woods. I compared the picturesque surroundings of the woods, the lake and visitors with the paintings we'd just seen. My mother agreed. We could very easily have been moving in an interactive painting.

I believe life is like art appearing in innumerable shades of light. I like Turner's paintings because there is a fluidity to his work which suggests creation is in constant motion. I guess it is how I perceive the universe - a constant flow of shapes and forms emerging from and merging into masses of light. Here's a picture I like by Turner called Shipwreck, which illustrates the movement of creation.

I see my life as art in motion. I, the Artist, create what I would like to experience from what already exists as formless Energy/Light. I, the Artist, am the source of all Inspiration. Every moment I, the Source of inspiration, am pouring out ideas. Inspiration needs an instrument to work through, which is my personality self. I believe it is our personalities which give art its diversity, dimension and depth. If everyone thought the same way, all art would be the same. There wouldn't be any point expressing art. It is my personality, my way of seeing, which makes me love Turner's paintings.

How do you see a painting? Are you into analysing art? Do you put the art into a historical and cultural framework? Are you interested in what was going on during the period the painting was produced? How did that particular epoch influence the artist? What does the art say about the artist? Does the art stand the test of time? How does your view of reality influence the way you see the painting? Is it good or bad art?

One can analyse one's life experiences the same way one does art. Do you blame yourself for your experiences? Do you accept your choices because you know you're doing the best you can? Do you judge others or are you accepting of others? Are your experiences steeped in regret? Do you believe your past affects the present or future? Do you believe every experience is new and self-contained, and bears no relevance to another?

Does it matter what the painting looks like? Why not enjoy the art for what it is, as Art seeking expression. I see Art as Energy which is forever seeking channels of expression. How Art is expressed depends on the instrument/personality. It, therefore, shouldn't matter whether the personality was feeling anger, fear, shame, or joy while painting because one's emotions help give the painting depth and authenticity. Remember, Art is pure Energy pouring through different chalices without judgment. Whatever is in the chalice is what will be manifested on the canvas of life. It doesn't mean the painting is good or bad.

If you apply the principle of "enjoying art for art sake" to one's life, does this mean you shouldn't change your life paintings? Trying to change a painting on a canvas is like trying to change Turner's Shipwreck because you don't agree with the theme. Why bother? Why not enjoy the painting for what it is, as a representation of what was in the artist's mind at the time? If you want to produce a new kind of painting, fill your chalice with the relevant thoughts and your next life painting is a new expression.

One thing I've never understood is the value placed on certain paintings over another. I've heard of paintings sold for millions of Pounds, while others don't even get a look in. Since all art is coming from the same source and only different because of the chalices (personalities), why should one painting have more value than another?

This is what happens in life, where professions are not given the same value. Actors and performers are paid exceedingly more than, say, a doctor or a teacher. Maybe, entertainment is considered more important because it gives you temporary freedom from whatever reality you find yourself in, which people value over, say, a politician.

It still doesn't explain why one profession is given more value than another. Do we not all emanate from the same source? We do but our motivations are different. Let's say, a teacher gives out an assignment to her class to write an essay about the same topic. The teacher grades the essays according to standards set by the local educational authority. She ends up giving top marks to a few pupils. Let's say I am an external examiner asked to give my unbiased opinion. I may very well agree with the teacher's assessments. Why have a few pupil's essays been judged "excellent" while the majority are considered "mediocre?" It is possible that the pupils who excel are encouraged to be the best they can; and there are those who are not encouraged or who believe they are not good enough. A pupil's mental attitude is bound to affect his performance.

When I was at secondary school, I had two friends who were the top students in my year. One friend's parents expected her to be the best. She was also very intelligent. She was only allowed out on a rare occasion. Her parents believed she should stay home and study.

My other friend's parents believed she should go out and have fun, but encouraged her to do her best. She always had top marks in her tests. Not only was she very generous and loving, she was also one of the most popular girls in school. I couldn't believe it when, in our final year, we became best friends. She taught me that love was about not judging anyone.

Now that I have read the essays and judged them according to human educational standards, am I saying one essay is better than another? Certainly not! Just because Turner appeals to me doesn't make Turner more arty than Dali. I wouldn't call Turner's paintings "art" and Picasso's "houses." Art is art is art. It's up to individuals to appreciate art for art sake, or judge them as good or bad. In an ideal world, a teacher will appreciate all essays as examples of different styles of writing essays; not good or bad essays. Just as there is no good or bad life, just people choosing to live in different ways.

In a reality of choices, is it possible to experience a reality where people are paid the same money or are equally appreciated for their contributions to society? Can a Rembrandt painting be given equal value to a Turner painting? Of course! This is already happening among people who judge nothing as good or bad. Whether this view will become the norm for the majority is based on choice.

It would seem that life, like art, is already perfect. We appear to live in a reality where people are not equal, but that is only because of people's perceptions of reality.

Life is art. How one experiences art is truly "in the eye of the beholder."

I am Life-Art,

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