Thursday, June 17, 2010

What is Art?

Creative self-expression in various art forms is quite subjective. Each of us has our own opinion of what we consider “art”. Is it real “art” only if the piece is displayed in a museum or gallery? Is “art” the crayon drawings of our children? Some may say so. I have seen paintings in art museums that I believe a toddler could have created, and I have also seen beautiful colored drawings my young niece, Corinne, has made that I most certainly would consider “art”.

Quilting is my “art”, my creative outlet. Above is a photo of my current work-in-progress, a quilt I’m making for my father. But, art takes many forms – paintings, drawings, pottery, clothing design, iron work, glasswork, landscape design, cake decorating, etc.

What about houses? I think a house can also be considered a work of art. My husband, Gene, and I enjoy driving by old houses and pointing out the features we really like. I’m amazed at the creativity involved in the planning and building of large, old homes. So, while continuing our 1st Anniversary Celebration, Gene and I kicked off our Sunday morning with a tour of San Antonio’s King William Historical District.

Just south of downtown San Antonio, the King William Historical District showcases some of the oldest, most beautiful homes in the city. Many successful German immigrants settled in this district in the mid-1800s, building mansions using various architectural styles, such as Victorian, Italianate and Greek Revival.

Later that day after lunch, we stopped at The Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum. When she died, Mrs. Marion McNay left an endowment to transform her beautiful 24-room, Spanish Colonial mansion and the surrounding 23 acres into the first museum of modern art in Texas. She donated her collection of more than 700 works of art to display in this exquisite showplace.

While many of the paintings and works of art were thought-provoking and beautiful, the courtyard and grounds of The McNay Museum are what really captivated us.

The courtyard of The McNay with its colorful tile peacock wall, statuary and lily pond was enchanting and made me feel as though I was in the Mediterranean. The palm trees, in every shape and size, were a brilliant, gorgeous green, and the large magnolia tree provided ample shade.

It was so relaxing just to sit under the trees and take in all the beautiful colors and contrasts, pondering how we might incorporate some of the same ideas into our own backyard oasis.

The water lilies, still and tranquil in the heat of the summer afternoon, captured my imagination and interest as I took a closer look. I can see why Claude Monet, whose famous work, "Waterlillies", is featured at the McNay, felt compelled to paint them over and over.

Gene and I explored the vast grounds of The McNay, discovering a secluded bench amid a shady grove of trees where we could rest a bit and discuss the lovely landscape we wanted to incorporate into our dream yard.

Overall, we shared a spectacular day, appreciating the creativity of so many artists, landscape designers and architects, culminating into such beautiful works of art for us to enjoy.

Create Your Own Work of “Art”, Y’all!

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