Saturday, October 24, 2009

Art As Life

It is easy to see that Art is a personal definition and that good Art is truly in the eye and ear of the beholder. I tend to bend toward the most inclusive definition -- perhaps the equivalent of the "universal field theory" of forces and gravity which Mr.Einstein tried to define. That which is true for all and true everywhere in the universe, were we there to witness it.

It could be a watercolor of the Orion Nebula but it is the real photo by Hubble telescope of the majestic astronomical assemblage. Few could argue that it is not art -- meets my criteria: "A presentation which is experienced through one or more of the senses and creates an emotional reaction as the result of it's intrigue or beauty". (I patiently await Art through the sense of smell!)
This is my working definition and includes presentations made by human or nature.

The trim at the top of these flying buttresses exists only as weight in the functional sense. The buttress holds the walls vertical on this church since the angular roof tends to push out on the walls causing an imbalance. These beautiful carvings in stone, to me, are an artful addition to the building even though they serve the function of weight. Thus art need not be "non-essential".
To quote a definition in the OED (Oxford English Dictionary): Art can be "The skillful production of the beautiful in visible forms" -- even if the universe produces it.

I will concede, though, that as music drifts through my mind and raises spirits it has no other purpose than to exist and flow through.

A definition which intrigued me though is as follows: "Art is a revelatory expression of a supportive nature that balances human tendency for logical criticism". Pretty much catches it if we could just watch and witness.


  1. No one could argue that it is not art? You underestimate this reader! If I have time, I'll argue.

  2. Graham loves images from the Hubble telescope, as well, and now I'm addicted. They are super for meditation or journeying. When you blow this one up full screen, I can imagine the worlds out there so easily!

    I like your definition...this photo does stimulate one or more of MY senses. And it's both intriguing and beautiful!

    Have a super day, Goatman!!

  3. I actually thought it was a painting.. it looks surreal ..

  4. I don't know what dictionary you have consulted, Goatman, but I just looked up the online Oxford English Dictionary, which gives twelve main meanings to "art" with a lot of sub-meanings within those; and every single one refers to skill or study.

    Not only this, but throughout literature there is the comparison between Art - man-made artifacts - and Nature. So Shakespeare for example will poetically question whether a certain woman's beauty is more by the grace of Art (make-up, corsets, hair-dye etc) or Nature.

    So I think you are saying that in some instance a photograph from Nature looks rather like a certain kind of abstract painting?

  5. Actually, I think there are a lot of Autumn colors in this. It looks very dreamy and psychedelic to me. I love it!

    Did you see my "Celestial Butterfly" post yet? Its down a few post.


  6. Every day I check out the "Astronomy Image of the Day" on the website below. They are normally full-size photos so it is often that I make them my desktop background.

    There is an archive going back a long time and you can go backward and forward from each photo.

  7. You know when I see a picture of a nebula, a galaxy, or some other object that can be seen across the lightyears I wonder what other creatures on faraway planets might be looking in awe at the same thing.

  8. Wow...amazing. This is just one of the reasons why i love science when i was a kid. Nebula, constellations, planets, endless list. They are absolute emblem of intelligence and art. And when I say art, I don't mean studies. I mean CREATION, of SOMEONE great, that even Shakespeare could not argue with. I know Goatman, you don't define all things by dictionary, you define it by your keen perception and the passion for it.

    I love it.

    You have a great day! :)

  9. that creation of someone great, Iriz, is known as Nature.

  10. yeah,your right, i agree. just let me see nature as an art. :)

  11. Yes, it is a lovely idea to view nature as the creator's art; which of course includes ourselves, as creatures.

  12. Goatman, I appreciate your additions to the post. I suppose "art through the sense of smell" is perfume.

  13. Goatman thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. have you seen my artwork at the two blog listed below. most of it is computer art

    thank again for stopping by


  14. That defintion is a great one!
    Great post!


  15. Vincent: Or the scent of an heirloom rose? (nature as art)

  16. Or maybe even the scent of rotting leaves, which is what I'm smelling right now sitting outside on the back deck. I find it a very pleasant aroma, a nice annual fall scent.

  17. Hi goatman,
    I have day of the dead photos from last year too somewhere in my archives. It is a big deal celebration in Ca since we have millions of folks from Mexico here.

    I am working on a novel for November; aspiring that is. Take care

  18. oh... yes... all these are art...
    art is healing too... the way it helps us to use our senses in a new way... the way it helps us to think in a new way, it makes us a better human through catharsis...

    man's microcosmic creations are associated with the macrocosmic creations of the world...

    just we should be willing to observe...

  19. Hi Goatman,
    Thanks for visiting my nanosite. I'm not able to get emails via it for some reason. I think they have too many wannabes on it. lol Anyways, I am bashing away and don't know what the quality of the writing is. -but have got going. I have an idea for another project I will take several months to work on.

  20. Nature is Art,
    everything else
    must be Art-ificial ;-)

  21. it is very lovely

    i like your criteria of emotional reaction to intrigue or beauty
    (the final definition you quote is too intellectual for me early on a sunday morning...)

  22. Amazingly said. Art has no limitation, even something the may be shapeless to someone else can be a piece of art in the eyes of someone else ... I love how you brought different qoutes in here



  23. Hi Goatman. I keep checking back on your blog here for a poem or two that you've written. Not yet?..:o)

    I've got a song on my blog that I'd like to share with all my dear blog friends for the Holidays. Hope you'll drop by and give it a listen.



  24. In my estimation, a work of art is something that evokes emotions, and a sensory reaction, in the beholder. Therefore, “art” needn't be a picture, a painting or a sculpture. It can be a natural setting, such as a mare nursing her colt, your Hubble photo below, and yes, a natural view of the moon rising over Half Dome.

    When we see someone else slicing a grapefruit, we can taste the tangy sweetness in our own mouths. If the juices flying from the fruit are caught in the sunlight, our sense of taste is increased due to what we are seeing.

    As for smell: When I’m looking at a beautiful natural pastoral setting and I breathe in the sweet floral and earthy scents, those smells become a part of the whole picture. They enhance the pleasure of what I’m viewing. And without them, part of the picture would be missing.

  25. You said, "I patiently await Art through the sense of smell!"

    You should smell my homemade bread as it bakes - edible, eatable art ;)

    I agree that nature is an eminent artist...