Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why Artists Do What They Do

Before I started this blog I posted some of my thoughts and experiences on a family blog. So, for those of you who are related to me, these next few entries will feel "recycled" from past years. But when I stumbled across these older posts this week I knew they needed to be part of this blog!
Auguste Renoir Girls at the Piano 1892


The general noisiness of life has been getting to me this week. So, yesterday while I was out doing errands I noticed a cd collection of piano music and I immediately tossed it in my cart. There is almost nothing in this world that calms me down like piano music. When I got out to my car I put in the first cd and started listening to Beethoven's "Adagio Cantabile from Sonata Pathetique." I almost had to pull the car over to the side of the road. I'm not musically literate, not even a little bit, but the music was so pure and beautiful my eyes filled with tears. It was kind of embarrassing.

I've never studied music. Growing up my family didn't possess a particular zest for the piano, although my dad and a couple of my sisters play quite well. I remember listening to my younger sister play while we were in high school, and sometimes I would stop in the hallway and just stand there listening. I suppose my tenderness for the piano must have started back then and has been dormant all these years. Recently there have been other times, like in the car yesterday, when I've surprised myself by how affected I am by the music.

One of the things that I find most inspiring about music and art is that their creators have all the same responsibilities of living that the rest of us do. Artists have to eat, sleep, pay bills, and trim their hangnails. Yet amid the chaos of everyday living they find time to create something, to bring beauty into our world. Why is it that artists do this? Because they inherently need to, want to, are encouraged to do so...or do they simply feel the void and put pen to paper or brush to canvas in order to fill it? Whatever the reason, I'm grateful. It used to be that only aristocratic, ticket holding patrons could participate in the arts. Today we live in a different world. We should all, in our google search and youtubing way, take advantage of that.

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