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April 19, 2018
Art Inspiration in Lancaster
Christine Halliday is the creator of Wild & Precious Now. A video series about making the most of every moment.
It mystifies me, all the ways that we have found in this world (and especially in our little city) to express ourselves, all the avenues available for us to share our expressions with our communities and the world. It occurred to me recently, that I’m constantly surrounded by artists. Although many of them don’t embrace or recognize that they are such, I’m convinced that it’s true… ALL of us are artists in one way or another.
Some of us feel compelled to make, create, and share some form of our craft, and others just do it naturally like breathing out, and only realize they’ve made something beautiful when those of us who are walking behind them, scoop up their exhale and tell them how it moves us.
Most of us vacillate between both forms, at times creating art intentionally, other times spilling it out without design. Sometimes we hang our art in galleries, post it to YouTube, or plate and garnish it for the masses, and sometimes we keep our art to ourselves.
We’re also all art enthusiasts. In our own way, we revere the expressions of formal and informal art that speak to us, that moves us, that calls to something inside of us, that resounds a gentle hum somewhere between our hearts and the bones that cage it in. We love and venerate the art, poetry, music, dance, movies, books, fashion, architecture, that speak to us and make us feel something.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I feel the ache to make something beautiful, at times, it frustrates me. I feel incapable of actually giving life to the ideas that swim in my head. I don’t have the talent, the resources, the fortitude to bring my wildest musings to life in some vivid and tangible way that would appeal to the masses. I’m no artist, I tell myself. I’m a thinker, a writer, an amateur philosopher and so instead of taking a paintbrush to canvas (again) just to be excruciatingly disappointed by how vastly incapable my hands are at translating the art in my head, I ponder the why. I explore the call. I find myself thinking of the many art forms that move me.
I consider the books I’ve read that swallow me into the pages and spit me out changed. The films I’ve seen that take me somewhere I’ve been, somewhere I’ve longed to go, open my mind to new ideas and perspectives, and make me feel emotions that aren’t mine but are… somehow. The photographs I’ve seen that etch themselves on the inside of my eyelids so that I can still see the way the light dances on the image when I close my eyes hours later. The music I’ve heard that makes my bones ache or heart catch in the opening of my throat, or that makes my shoulders sway and shimmy until the ripples of them wash a smile over my whole face. Art.
Following this line of thinking, I start to see those artists all around me again. The way she wears her clothes and puts herself together, the way he throws out metaphors that so perfectly fit each situation, the way she tells a story with perfectly timed pauses and passion causing an audience of friends to lean into the words to be closer to the action, the way he crafts a perfect cup of coffee each morning. Bedtime story-tellers, Sunday dinner-makers, good-deed-doers, all of them: Artists.
I realize then, that what calls and compels me isn’t calling me to create something new. Originality is a broad burden to bear. The call is in me to capture something real, something beautiful, something familiar, something here and somehow make it mine. We all do this in different ways, all of them art. I try to capture the things in this life that leave me wonderstruck, with words on a page. When words fail me I grab my camera and look at my world through a lens of gratitude and awe, hoping my trigger-finger can keep up, relying on chance not craft to help me hold on to the moment somehow.
I wouldn’t want anyone to appraise my work as art. I doubt I could ever be a traditional artist by trade. I don’t need someone to look at what I’ve made and affirm that it’s good.
What is good?
I create because I was created to do so. I create because I recognize the allure and resplendence of the art that is every moment of this life, every person, every sunbeam and every shadow; It all inspires me and it is in my nature to want to hold a piece of beauty in my hand; to translate it, capture it, or explain it in a way that captures how it moves me and then share it in the hopes that it moves you too, and in this way, we keep the art movement flowing together!
I’m grateful to live in a city teeming with artists and makers and innovators of all kinds. I’m humbled that so many of them choose to share their art with us on stages and in galleries, in shops and at tables. It fuels me to fill my world with appreciating and elevating the art of others and to keep creating art of my own.
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Explore more Wild & Precious Now videos here!