I love it when my kids come around. They still brighten up my day with their smiles, even as adults. They make me laugh and somehow my heart is just a bit lighter. One of my daughters came over to take my husband out for breakfast on Father’s day. She comes out of the bathroom with bright red lipstick. Now my daughter has a fair complexion, so she was donning the stereotypical “Snow white” look. She says, “Well, It was just sitting there so I tried it!” My oldest daughter asked if she read the instructions and it was soon obvious that that she hadn’t. (Now to be fair, I wouldn’t have read the instructions either, in fact, I did not realize that there even were instructions.) Evidently, it was an ombre lip color and there where indeed written instructions on the tube. We laughed for a while and it added simple delight to the day.
There are so many things that have changed in the world just in the short half century that I have been here. It delights me with wonder at what I will see, should I be lucky enough to live through another half century. I marvel at the creativity that vibrated through the receptive person who decided that they could market an ombre lip color. I shake my head in wonder at the depth of creativity found in the marketing department of a typical health organization or a telephone company. I find myself eating a duck egg, cradled in succotash next to a perfectly braised pork chop and I wonder why I didn’t think of this combination. I am so aware that artists are everywhere and in every profession.
There was a time in the past when I thought that art was an exclusive club made up of graphic artists, sculptors, musicians, and actors but that is simply not true. I think that art pours out of every human. My maternal grandfather polished rocks that he found. He made belt buckles and necklaces. I remember how he caressed the newly polished stone as he decided which setting in which to mount it. My paternal grandfather was a poet. He wrote beautiful poems. He was never acknowledged or published but he was a poet never the less. It is in these “little hobbies” that my grandfathers found their artistic expression. My mother quilts and although she would never call herself an artist she is most definitely just that….an artist!
I am a musician and a writer. No poetry does not roll off my tongue like it did for my grandfather, but I love writing. I think that each of us have an artistic expression that flows through us. What is yours? I would like to start thinking of art as that thing that brings delight, be it gardening, hiking, jogging, or biking. I would like to widen my definition of art to include creative problem solving. You know the elegant solutions that are not obvious but are generally so simple and beautiful once they are discovered. I would like to think of creativity and artistic expression as that which isn’t necessarily financially profitable but adds so much joy to life that they are an absolutely essential.
Do me a favor. The next time you put on lipstick or find yourself in front of a plate of perfectly cooked food. Think about the artists behind those things and start recognizing creativity in yourself. Maybe together we can change the narrow definition of art.