As we move along in the first few weeks of this New Year of 2011, I’d like to go beyond my oil portrait paintings and charcoal drawings and share my thoughts with you on a grander scale. Let’s stand way back and consider the whole subject of: Aesthetics! It is worshipped, loved, appreciated, basked in by all levels and sections of all human cultures is part of the human experience in more ways than one might imagine. A work of art can communicate to presidents, clergy, tax men, teachers, lawyers, mothers, repair men, criminals, editors, street urchins, retirees, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, children–people singly and as a whole. Good-looking people are said to have an easier time in the world. The majority of successful people pay attention to their wardrobe choices. When a person gets a better job, he moves to a more aesthetic neighborhood and gets a sleeker car. People who feel they have no taste look up to those they feel do. When you have company over, you clean the house and put it in order. When you feel good, you pay more attention and put more energy into making things look good. We take vacations to beautiful locals. Our places of refuge to “get away from it all”, calm down and recharge our energies are aesthetic. Cities that attract visitors have pleasing landscapes, buildings and gardens. A place with no aesthetics is termed bleak and a person feels less than wonderful there.
The power of aesthetics is very strong and innate to us as human beings. Whatever lifts the human soul is in the class of aesthetics, whether it is a bronze sculpture, a hand-woven wall hanging, a piece of blown glass, a cello recital, a pianist’s rendition of Chopin, an Italian opera, the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe, the works of Shakespeare, oil portrait paintings of your family, a Broadway musical, a ballet, a book, a simple tune, a delightful meal. Even massage, when administered artfully, gives an aesthetic impression.
Why does the human soul feel good around aesthetics? Could it be because their energies are kin to each other? The soul creates an energy. You know that when it leaves a body, that body doesn’t move on its own any more. You also know that when someone is sick, there is not much energy. When a person is sad, there is low energy and when a person is enthusiastic, there is a lot more energy there. Aesthetics also create an energy. It may be different from a spring rain, but it has a definite effect on you, just the same. It may not warm your body on a cold day, but it will please you so that you feel good and are more likely to add some joy to your next communication. Then your recipient feels better too and communicates positively to the next person. This ripple effect is noticeable with good or bad moods.
Naturally, if people feel better, they become more extroverted and they are able to interact more sanely, work harder, solve problems, etc. Extroverted means that you don’t just have to think, think, think and worry, worry, worry. Extroverted means interested in your environment and handling things to make them better… and more aesthetic.
You can’t have a quality life without aesthetics for very long. When you increase the aesthetics in your life, it goes better. Thus creating aesthetics is important for each of us to do on a daily basis. Supporting others who create aesthetics is also vital. Flourishing as an individual and as a society can only happen with aesthetics. It may seem as if life can go on without it—what does it really have to do with the basics of clothing, food and shelter, with the mechanics of transportation, computers, and oil rigs. I’m telling you that if that’s all you have, the bare basics, then you are living the life of an animal, a pack of dogs, a hill of ants, a school of fish—a life that has nothing to do with the human soul, who with its dreams fashions a civilization to be proud of.
Here’s to an aesthetic year, 2011. My wish for you is that you can create and enjoy a little more aesthetics every day. If as a human race of people, we also put our attention on this quest, we will have the resilience and spirit to face and handle challenges, and to create a better world for our children to grow up in.
Do you have any thoughts to add? Please let me know!
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• Norman Rockwell’s Legacy
• New Year 2011: Beyond Oil Portrait Paintings?
• Portraiture Artist Celebrates 2012 with the Bird of Happiness
• Portrait Painting Artist New Year’s Card for 2013
• Portrait Artist New Year’s Card 2014
• Master Portrait Artist: Spring Greetings 2015