What is Art?

The definition itself is that art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

It is encouraging to see that many artists have embraced their creativity in their retirement years.

Many of whom have gone on to be very successful and produce some fine award winning pieces.

For many, the thought of being artistic was never on their radar or was never an option.

Though it is true that the average age of creativity is young, this is not a reason to avoid being an artist.

Philip Hans Franses of the Erasmus School of Economics has been working for some years now to quantify human creativity to determine at what age people, like writers, painters, and musicians are at the peak of their careers.

He determined that the average peak age, across the entire dataset of artists, is 42 years old.

The beauty of art, however, is that there are no hard and fast rules on when someone is “allowed” to be creative.

Take American painter Edward Hopper. His Chair Car was painted when he was 83. It subsequently sold at auction for $14 million in 2005, making it at the time the priciest Hopper painting ever sold.

If anything, age can give a lot more perspective in the creative process.

Even the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa, was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci when he was in his 50’s, an old man in those days.

Art can also be an outstanding pursuit to many who are no longer tied down to a 9 to 5 rat race.

Whether it’s painting, photography, poetry, crafts, or music…the options are truly endless and determined by the artists themselves on how they want to express themselves.

I would urge all budding artists, regardless of age or even in spite of it, to take a chance and tell your own story through creativity, use whatever art form you are drawn to. You may have talents you were never aware of.

It doesn’t need to be The Last Supper, just remember that saying, “Art is in the eye of the beholder”.

A typical example of how art can manifest could start with a very innocuous walk on the beach.

In my case, I noticed some beautiful shells and coral washed up from the tide while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.

One object caught my eye, it was a piece of coral that had an unmistakable woman’s shape to it. I picked it up, and actually held onto it for a year.

A year later, on that same beach I found a small uniquely shaped piece of wood.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do and produced my own piece of art that I love to this day.

Sure, it’s not the Venus de Milo and may not fetch $14 million at auction, but I made it with my own hands, it’s significant to me.  I remember my wife being by my side on a beautiful sunny day when I found it.

It truly means something to me.

And when you come to think of it, isn’t that what art is supposed to do??

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