ART is.....the explosion of colors that saturate our blurring visual imagery when we open our eyes for the first time after we are born.
ART is.....the beautiful "baby's scrapbook" made for each new addition to our family by my Grandmother with photos cut by hand from her magazines and consisting of all categories of food, household appointments, holidays, plants, animals, toys and movie stars that a child could ever want to see...
ART is.....happiness at the tip of a crayola as we begin to interpret our world abstractly and express through line, our dreams.
ART is.....the comfort of the company of my dad and coloring in coloring books with him each night when he came to visit me in the hospital, after working two jobs and continuing his course work for school each day.
ART is.....the sheer joy of creating with my mom, huge colorful murals painted on white shelf liner paper stretched across two walls of our dining room, to illustrate our celebration of each delightful holiday of the year.
ART is.....the taste and smell of paste and the stickiness of brown glue amongst the wild volumes of paper and paint and embellishments and flying feathers and the children's safety scissors that hurt your fingers so much to use while crafting all those funny Valentines, and the little brother who asks when somewhat overwhelmed by it all, "Why can't we just buy some at the store?"
ART is.....the inevitable laughing critique of my "brown-lake-landscape" by the substitute teacher on parent's day at school, and when I cried, my mother said not to take it to heart as it was obvious that "that substitute teacher" had never visited any of the lakes we went to...
ART is.....the dozens of waxed crepe paper roses, in numerous vibrant colors, lovingly made by my Grandma's hands throughout each winter to honor the memory of our loved ones on all the Memorial Days of my childhood, at our family plot.
ART is.....having to suffer "art class" in 7th & 8th grade with our neighbor, the wife of the football coach and my mom's best friend, whose idea of teaching art was to send the class outside every other day in 30 degree temperatures to sketch bare to the branches trees while she went to the teacher's lounge to smoke. (Why didn't anybody believe me!)
ART is.....leaving all the art-doing to mom and skipping visual arts altogether in high school, while discovering alternative forms of art like music, dance and social networking...
ART is.....rediscovery in college and being told by the sculpture teacher that I am really left handed and having my work singled out for demonstration to the class after each assignment as a perfect example of how the folks with the backwards brains create...who knew!
ART is.....getting married, having kids and finding photography again.
ART is.....children's paintings taped to the refrigerator door.
ART is.....my son selling his handmade, stapled and illustrated books at school for a few cents each to earn enough money to buy the junk food from other students that I won't allow him to have in the sack lunches I pack for him.
ART is.....empty refrigerator door syndrome as my children grow up and abandon their childhood gifting of art.
ART is.....re-awakening to art.
ART is.....self-study through books, classes, workshops, art associations, art shows, art fairs, world-wide museums, galleries, festivals and the internet; happily absorbing like a sponge.
ART is.....quiet moments of solitude, walking through the botanical gardens with my camera and my walking stick.
ART is.....explosive moments of color and paint and the tearing of paper and the texture of modeling paste; the splat and tat of ink.
ART is.....my grandson's art taped to the wall above my computer.
ART is.....visiting my dad in the hospital with coloring books and crayons in tow.
ART is.....for me, and
ART is.....for sharing with my tribe.
ART is.....what connects us...what allows us to see parts of the world we have never seen before.
ART is.....what changes us...what allows us to see and perceive in a new and different way.
ART is.....always in the present tense.