Sunday, October 17, 2010

Got Art?

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one. Stella Adler, actress, acting teacher
Music gave me the door, or the key to open the door of expression, to express myself and to free myself… Christoph Eschenbach, pianist, conductor

I think fiction is unbelievably important - one of the most important things in my life and I think in the lives of a lot of [people]. Brock Clarke, author

Everything you can imagine is real. Pablo Picasso, artist

Just think about these quotes. Art sustains the soul, facilitates expression and is a means of personal expression, it is among the most important things to people, and inspires imagination in a way few things do.

You don’t have to be a creator of art to benefit. Think about the feeling you have reading a really interesting, moving or creative work of fiction. How about the experience of seeing a painting in a museum that you’ve perhaps only admired before in books? Do you sometimes reread a novel or revisit a painting you’ve already seen?

Then there’s music and film about which I could go on for decades. Is there anything like seeing one of your favorite films for the first time? Or even the second, third or fourth? I can’t even begin to talk about how important music is to so many of us. It brings us up, resonates with us when we’re down and is inspiring to see performed.

What’s my point? Like spending time outdoors, art is often a solitary pursuit that we put on the back burner. I’d rank it high among happiness increasing activities. When I ask clients about hobbies and interests, I often hear about the painting, writing or reading that they haven’t had time to pursue lately. Resuming the activity can be a real positive.

So if you don’t have enough art in your life, get some. It’s not that hard. Read, write, paint, draw, go to a museum, see a play or a film. You know what you enjoy. Make a little time for it and notice the benefits.

A fun cross-pollination literature anad music: Wuthering Heights, Pat Benatar

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