Gratitude for Art/Art for Gratitude

Gratitude for Art/Art for Gratitude

(Originally published November 14, 2020)

A wonderful thing happens while you’re making art: Transportation to your own universe of ideas and what-if, of diving-in, problem-solving, doing-over-and-over-and-over. Plasticity. Bursts of urgency. Joy. Stillness. And all that luscious paint.

A wonderful thing happens while you’re looking at art too: Transportation to a world of quiet reflection, jarring sense-memory. A new thought. Discomfort. Something you can’t quite name. Beauty. A laugh out loud.

Isn’t it interesting during these quarantine times that so many people have turned to creative projects - old and new? Picked up coloring books, knitting needles, tablesaw, piano, puzzle, bread-making, gardening, sewing, meditation, writing, reading…again?

Making art is like breathing for me. It’s how I respond to the world and interpret what’s happening around me, how I cope. It’s a balm to my soul and offers stillness when I am anxious.

Still-life painting has 17th century roots (or, more probably, roots unearthed the first time an artist painted the objects of her daily life): rich symbolism, intimacy, spotlight on everyday objects. Everything I paint resonates with still-life sensibility - a sunflower, a cat, crashing oceans, rolling flint hills, a pumpkin or a pie.

Bandwidth is consumed by noise, suffering, vitriol and uncertainty right now. But better parts of us prevail in innovation, kindness, sacrifice and beauty. Through my art I strive to be part of the solution.

Gratitude for Art. Art for Gratitude.

Peace and safe days to you this holiday season!

Laura King

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