Creating an Oasis. Or, Why I Make Art
I've been thinking about the question "Why I Make Art" for some time now. It's not an easy answer, as what I create can be for as many reasons as there are images. And I don't want to sound like a cliche´. Or, too arty and unrelateable.
But somewhere recently I came across the idea of an oasis. And the notes I wrote included the above definition, with my addition of "from the negativity in our lives".
Why I Make Art - A Beautiful oasis to experience and to share
I create two dimensional oases (looks weird, but yes, that is the plural of oasis) as my retreat from the negative around me. My negatives are varied, in content and complexity, from the simple "I'd rather not be doing laundry" to the more complex idea of wanting to add to the world's bucket of positive energy. Creating my images takes me to my happy place, or at the least, a happy-er place. The world around us is beautiful. But I think we all forget from time to time.
I share my oasis for those who need one.
Why I Make Art - You Become What You Surround Yourself With
I still believe in the power of things good and positive. If you surround yourself with ugly (using "ugly" as a category for all things negative—nasty people, things, thoughts; I'm not referring to how people look), that is what you become. But art can chip away at ugly. And even if your world is ugly and out of your control, this one thing is IN your control.
Why I Make Art - Brighten A day
Which leads me to the next thought I had that I still believe in the ability of an image to change someone's day. My one little bit of art can brighten a day, even if just for a moment. Even if it's just for one other person besides myself. Otherwise, I'd just keep all this to myself, with no blog posts, no website, no art fairs.
Why I Make Art - meditation
The act of composing and taking photographs sometimes turns into an almost meditative experience, where the only thing that exists is me, the camera, and the subject I'm photographing. Time disappears. People disappear. All that is left is what appears in the viewfinder. It's not something I have to think about. It just happens. I don't realize the loss of time until I look at my watch. This is a wonderful experience!
In the end, I think my "why" is summarized best with the one word "oasis". All the rest is just bonus material to fill a page and to expand on the concept. :) In an earlier blog post I spoke a bit about my Process.
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~Barb Kellogg, photographer, tea drinker, and dark chocolate lover