What is Art, and Can Anyone Create Art?

A few years ago, I spent fifteen days in Italy, a city of striking architecture. The city is home to world-renowned works of art like Michelangelo's David, The Vatican, The Sistine Chapel, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 

The beauty of the culture is evident in the vast museums in Florence, handcrafted inlay wood music boxes in Sorrento, and the quaint hillsides of Tuscany with the idealistic al fresco dining and house-made wines flowing bountifully.

This staggeringly beautiful country is so stimulating that it is almost too much for the eye to comprehend. Of course, Europe is filled with dazzling cities and incredible works of art and architecture. So how does one dare to contemplate picking up a paint brush or a piece of clay?

I believe that art flows from the soul. I believe that it so encapsulates your spirit that you can't catch your breath without creating. Art expresses raw emotion and while we may tremble in fear of even attempting to create, because we are in such awe of the talented artisans and the natural, breathtaking beauty of the world, we have many artists to inspire us to step outside of the lines of convention and do whatever we feel.

One needs to look at the childish etchings of Picasso, the splattered paint of Jackson Pollock or the black strokes of Motherwell to see that art is in the eye of the beholder.

 Head of a Woman in a Hat, 1962 by Pablo Picasso

Head of a Woman in a Hat, 1962 by Pablo Picasso

Certainly, techniques can be honed and studied, but you'll never know the thrill of creating if you don't give it a try. So yes, I believe an artist exists inside everyone. Fear holds us back. But, if you watch a child hold a brush, grab and mold Play-Doh, and you see how boldly they embrace coloring outside the lines, painting a purple cow or moulding the dough into an unidentifiable object, you see the creation of art in its most unhindered state. This is art. Pure, innocent art.

 Play-Doh art created by my granddaughter.

Play-Doh art created by my granddaughter.