Claudia Lady Bird Johnson is quoted as saying: “Art is the window to man’s soul. Without it, he would never be able to see beyond his immediate world, nor could the world see the man within”.
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It has been rightly pointed out that imagination is the most important and most intriguing characteristic of human beings. It is the link between the conscious and subconscious, permitting an exploration of the inner being to satisfy the craving to see beyond the ordinary in an effort to comprehend the ever-changing human body/mind as well as the exterior world (Fortunecity.com). Art is easily the most important and intriguing manifestation of human imagination. It is a universal medium used by human beings since time immemorial, right from cavemen telling stories via pictures drawn on cave walls, to later year artists passing along historical events via drawings, paintings, sculptures, and architecture (Seminole Community College). It has been famously saying of the great artist Rembrandt that when he drew a picture, it was as if his inner spirit or soul was actually moving the pencil (Fortunecity.com). Artists are gifted with the ability to self-expression. They represent their feelings, thoughts, and experiences through their works. By spawning the creation of such art, artists permit others to see the world through their eyes (Seminole Community College).
When artists make drawings or paintings, it is not only to bring into existence a picture but also to create a feeling or mood that is more than just a mundane moment in life, which spawns some sort of emotion within artists that they hope will be replicated in the viewers of their art. Their pictures outwardly represent aspects of the immediate world, but inwardly portray the emotions and thoughts that well from the depths of the artists’ souls. Good examples of this statement are the paintings of American painter Maxfield Parrish and Spanish painter Joan Miro, as well as a famous painting of the incomparable Dutchman Vincent Van Gogh entitled ‘Starry Night.’ Parrish utilized tube colors to painstakingly paint his costumed models, meticulously varnishing every layer of color thereby providing phosphorescence mixed into a fantasy world never visualized before or since. The works of Miro reflect the intuitive and unconscious impulse that spurred him to merge both abstract and figurative symbols in all his works that include murals at Harvard University and the UNESCO building in Paris.
The 73×92 cm oil painting ‘Starry Night’ was created by Van Gogh in June 1889 while he was an inmate of the Saint Remy-of-Provence psychiatric hospital. Van Gogh was put into the psychiatric hospital because he sliced off his friend Gaugin’s ear in a fit of rage following a heated argument. ‘Starry Night’ expresses all the drama of an artist eager to commune with nature and integrate into it. The nocturnal picture mirrors the extreme emotional torment of the artist. Painted at night by candlelight, it is characterized by forceful strokes and resonant colors of the stars against the background of a dark blue and black night, all of which depict the desperate seeking of a despairing man for hope in the midst of a black night. ‘Starry Night’ is a battle between the artist and his anguish, a desperate cry for hope, light, and love. The real excitement of the picture is that Van Gogh was not satisfied by merely communing with nature to comprehend and paint his subject, but fought to go into the most important element of the natural world in order that his painting can exude the intricately beautiful and haunting tale from within.
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“Art Is For Everyone: The Benefits of Art.” Seminole Community College. 2008. Web.
“Claudia Lady Bird Johnson Quotes.” Thinkexist. 2006. Web.
“The Meaning of Art.” Fortunecity. 2008. Web.