The Art of Art - By Tom Brady

There is so much art to see that it's hard to keep up. Not only is there a lot of existing art, but there is more created every day. To complicate things, there are many kinds of art. There is drawing, painting, sketching, singing, photography, graphic arts, graffiti, writing, sewing and many more forms of expression that qualify as art. 

Trying to keep up with so many creative expressions is an art too. I can’t possibly stay abreast of the art in my own town, let alone other local towns, major cities, counties, states, nations, continents, cultures, and spiritual and religious belief communities. All create art.   

Then there's the history of art which is also art. People go to museums to look at art and there are thousands of museums in the world. What we don't know is how many worlds there are in the universe and that's a good thing because that would really complicate keeping up with art challenge. 

I was talking to a friend this morning by text, which has largely replaced verbal communications in my life. Texting can also be an art or simply a tool. It's up to the users to determine how text messaging is shaped. 

This morning’s texts were mostly a form of straightforward communication, but I admit, there was some art of discussion involved. After all, we were discussing art, folk art by artists from Spain and France.  The French artist discussed was Paula Rego and the Spanish artist was Manuella Chevrel. Rego paints and Chevrel sews. 

My text partner, Luzia, whom I’ve known for two years but never actually met, started things off by texting me a link to Chevrel’s Instagram posting of a quilt which depicts a bird creating stars, and the dark blue sky was filled with small, bright, new stars. I skimmed down in the Instagram post from this quilt to others. They were fascinating and depicted nature scenes that were realistic yet fanciful. Bears and other animals were living underground along with flowers and grasses, and the bears reached their paws through the surface of the ground and had plants sprouting from their paws. 

Her work emphasizes vertical lines and movements from beneath the earth’s surface to the heavens. It all becomes one flow of line and life. The colors are deep and rich and there were no humans in any of the quilts that I viewed. On the quilt that included the bear reaching up from underground, there was also an Infinity symbol sewn into the sky above the bear, indicating the continuity of life. 

The artist may be well known, but it's hard to tell that from the Instagram site, as she only has 80 followers and has only posted 30 comments herself. Luzia said the artist was an adolescent and that might explain her lack of exposure to the world. 

New talent complicates trying to keep up with art. If new artists are emerging faster than I can keep up with the existing ones, not to mention all those who've lived in the last several hundred years, then I really do have a major challenge. There are art schools all over the world and many artists never even go to art school but simply learn from others or their own experimentation. It's hard to know how Chevrel learned her quilting and the stories told through her quilting, as there was no information about this on the Instagram site or the web. 

This was not the case for the artist named Rego. She is well known, and in fact Luzia heard her speak when she was at Cambridge University. Ann Rego came there to give a presentation on her work. Unlike Chevrel's work, which is inspiring and lighthearted, Rego’s work is dark, but not depressing. It's actually somewhat amusing in how she depicts human interactions and miscommunications. 

I have not had the opportunity to explore Rego more than I did when Luzia was on the other end of the text line if I can call it that.  I will explore Rego more later, after I've finished the chores around the house, which I have conveniently put off in order to write down my thoughts about trying to keep up with art. 

Of course, I wouldn't be in this predicament if I hadn’t put off cleaning the kitchen floor to respond to Luzia’s text to me about the Instagram post of the Chevrel quilt showing a bird creating stars in the sky. The morning might have gone as planned, meaning the floor would now be clean, but I must admit, that is not always how things work even if I don't hear from Luzia. Sometimes other forms of art, such as a book, can serve as a distraction.   

The point here was to talk about keeping up with what is going on in the world of art. Now that I have friends who are artists, I have a stronger interest. The more I learn about art, the more I realize I don't know, and the more I realize I don't know, the more I want to know. 

There is no question that I will never keep up with everything that is happening in the world of art. Keeping up with a small percentage of it keeps me busy, and I’ve been inspired to start drawing. Now I have even less time for those bothersome chores. 

Tom Brady 

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