What is it?

There is a quality in certain art I really, really love.  I call it the “What is it?” quality.  I just love to approach a piece of art, small or large, and NOT know immediately WHAT it is.  I love to be taken in by the colors, the shapes, the textures, the value pattern FIRST…and then have the image begin to form in my mind as to what it is.  This is a quality I feel I can sometimes achieve in watercolor.  In fact, I would rather sacrifice technical correctness in order to maintain or achieve this “What is it?” quality.

The uncropped version may actually enhance this feature I enjoy so much.  Those lovely edges give the brain yet one more place to prance around before having to settle in on “What it’s a painting of”.  It reminds me of that dreadful question so quickly asked of a child who has brought his/her artwork to show us.  If we ask right away, “What is it?”, we completely disregard the line quality, the colors, the emotions and intentions of the young artist.  Delaying our cursed need to “make sense” of art, is actually a beneficial thing:  we learn to seek and enjoy art for it’s vast array of beauties contained in places other than the literal translation of it.

I’ve been thinking about this very thing in my own life recently.  I have an incessant need to “make sense” of my life…of the circumstances, worries, difficulties that come my way and continue to come my way.   What is this?  What is it for?  Why is it here?  These types of questions do NOT allow me to see the beauty that is EVERYWHERE in my life.  What I need to remember is: No matter whether this day’s events make any sense, no matter whether I can SEE the purpose of it all, no matter whether it may seem like a mish-mash of color and shapes…there WILL be a day when it will all come together and I’ll see the lovely WHOLE, the beautiful painting of my life.

For now, I need to learn to see and revel in all the beauty that surrounds me, the gifts and blessings that are truly abundant…if I stop asking, “What is it?” and just BE.

0 thoughts on “What is it?

  1. Ann says:

    I have really been enjoying this series of works you are doing from your yard, those small, familiar landscapes. The lively colors and shapes are so appealing to me. I struggle with some of the same feelings, and do try to remember to take that very Zen approach that this is just what is, without judgement.

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