For centuries artists have gone to great lengths to create their art.... but why? Why go through all the hardships and challenges to create something?
Art began as a way to document the lives and activities of early people. It was a way to leave a mark for future peoples to understand and learn from. Which evolved into intentionally telling stories with the use of images. The early church ministered to largely illiterate people and the way they communicated their teachings was by way of painting the story through images. Those images were often used to influence the viewer, perhaps frightening them to behave a certain way, to donate gifts to the church etc. The creation of art was then adopted by patrons, wealthy landowners, nobility, and clergy, to present themselves in the best light, to show their place in society, their stature, their wealth. When patronage died out artists were forced to find their own patrons in the form of gallerists or private collectors who would fund the production of their work. This is largely the environment that we still find ourselves in.
Irregardless of who commissioned the artwork whether patron or artist driven, art is a way of saying something that words cannot convey. To invoke emotions, to stir ideas, to create a mood or reflection about something meaningful, to make a political statement that goes otherwise unheard.
With the advancement of cell phone camera technology, why not just take a picture, manipulate it with a filter and use AI to enhance the image and call it a day? Why even bother creating a handmade piece of art?
The answer is in the handmade. Artists make a mark that conveys emotion and intent by the very materials they choose and the way they apply those marks. I mean no discredit to photographers - their form of art is simply a different medium.
As a fine-art oil painter, I have something to say with my art. With my HEart. The handmade, personal process of creating my art, navigating the myriad decisions that need to be made, means I get to put my unique stamp out into the world. Which is a bit self serving and egotistical because I have the belief that what I have to say is important. My work has an impact, a positive, beautiful impact. Never before in my life have I felt so on purpose with my creativity.
I know this must be true for the artists that have gone before me because they created their art in often dire conditions. Why the tenacity? Why continue when the challenges are many?
Art matters. "Art fulfills something in us that we lack" - Richard Serra. France, the most visited country with Italy a close second, are so sought after simply because of their history, art and beauty. The value of their art is immeasurable. Art is unbelievably worth it - Jordan Peterson. Katerina Gregos said "Art is the unnecessary, necessity. Without art the banality of reality would be intolerable."
For me personally, I understand that creating art is my purpose. This is what I am gifted to do and I intend to do it to the best of my ability. I have something to say with my art. With the current state of the battles going on in our world today, I know that our nervous systems are on overload. If I can bring some peace, a moment of beauty to restore a sense of calm, I'm all for that.
As a certified life coach, one of my past clients faced a two hour commute from her home to get to any park or natural spaces and once there, she had to share it with thousands of people. This is a type of poverty that seems intolerable. The disconnection with mother nature.
We need art. We need beauty. We need a connection to mother nature.
If you are feeling disconnected, over stimulated, and need a bit of peace, it is my hope that one of my paintings would help sort that out for you. You can see my art at www.cielellis.com