Year’s End Thank You

WM17

The Painting Pundit started out as a blog for art commentary. As I soon learned, there are many bloggers out there. Instead of shunning a new comer, these fellow bloggers have willingly lent a helping hand. They very quickly jumped right in with encouragement and feedback. I have learned so much from each one. And a funny thing has happened for me. I have found a community of like-minded, yet diverse people. These talented bloggers are friends now. I may not meet them on the street. I may not see them at coffee. But they are friends, none-the-less. We may live in other cities, other states, other countries, and other continents but we meet daily, weekly, monthly. We share stories, we share art, we share life.

As the blog goes out, I meet more friends. Comments, shares, likes, tweets, all have come to mean so much. Each represents a new friend. From them I experience life and art in new ways. I learn what other artists are doing. I see what new and exciting things are happening to artists, writers, photographers and other creative people. Once upon a time, artists had to go to the centers of art happenings to see what was new and developing in the art world. Now one simply has to click on a web site, a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter timeline and all the wonderful things artists are doing open right up. It is extremely exciting, this bold new world of art and creativity.

Who knows where the creative world goes next. The creatives have always blazed trails, opened new doors. Anything is possible. One thing is for sure. Bloggers will be on top of the journey, chronicling all developments as they happen. Bloggers are the new town criers, informing, entertaining, illuminating and keeping up with life and art. I am very grateful to have been able to learn from this happy group of voyagers.

All the best to each and all for a very Happy New Year!

Cloudy Thinking

The arts have an extraordinary ability to enhance our lives, to help us heal, and to bring comfort in times of great stress.”–Dana Gioia,  NEA Chairman, 2003, (from Creativity in Healthcare.com)art_heart23

How would you like to sit before a painting of what looks like bleeding clouds while waiting to have medical tests? My friend, Sue, related this story to me from her personal experience.  Do artists consider the potential audience when creating?  Does it matter?  Do designers consider the audience over whether or not an art piece works on a wall?

It was an issue that came up in The Art to Heart Project, (more here).  Artists were given selection criteria for art based on the research of Dr. Roger S. Ulrich and others about the effects on patients when viewing certain types of art.  As we measured the effects of the art on patient ambulation in our project, we didn’t want negative responses to the art to influence the outcome.  Once artists understood that reasoning, they created on these guidelines with very little difference in their process.  All the artists described the experience of creating for a patient population to be gratifying.

If the bleeding cloud artist did not know where the painting was going once sold, then the designer made the choice.  In either case, did anybody stop to think of the potential mindset of the viewers?  Bleeding Clouds might be interesting in some places but probably not in a doctor’s office.   Which would help you relax while waiting for your medical test results: bleeding clouds or a forest of green trees?