I had a conversation with my son recently about abstract art. He has a difficult time understanding its purpose and why some painters like Jackson Pollock made so much money on paintings he thinks he might have been able to paint himself. We have a favorite Mexican Restaurant in Syracuse where several abstract paintings are hanging on the walls and they consist primarily of bold colors and straight lines, with a few splashes of paint mingled in. The entire table ended up in conversation about those paintings, with just about everyone shaking their heads and giving up trying to understand. He's not alone in feeling disconnected from the language of abstract art, but he would be remiss to simply dismiss it, in my opinion. Attempting to understand other perspectives is always a good exercise.
As I pondered that last night, I realized... this is something I love about humanity. We all have such different gifts and speak such different languages to the world and to each other. The beautiful body of mankind looks like this to me. Some of us are the thinkers/philosophers (brain), some are the do-ers (hands and feet). Others are the arms... oh the arms! How beautiful it is to fall into those, whose job it is to hold. (I hope you all have arms in your life). The shoulders... a place to rest. The eyes.. those who are visionary. And then we have those organs which you cannot see. The internal ones. The heart and soul... the artists and musicians. Imagine if we took that away. No more movie scores. No more paintings on the walls. No more family portraits. No music on your ride home from work.
I read a book once about how we all speak and respond to five different love languages. I always thought that was so interesting. How if we speak our language without ever learning the languages of those around us, then we'll struggle forever to connect and never truly do so. I believe abstract art is a kind of language. It's the language of emotion and I speak it often in my own work so it is easier for me to understand it, than it is for my logic-minded son.
This morning I wanted to create something that conveyed the abstract language of laughter. I wanted to hear it and to feel it, bubbling up from my spirit because laughter is good medicine and I could use a high dose of it today. I didn't expect to find it in the color blue. I associate blue with melancholy and sadness most of the time. But it is also the glorious color of a spring sky, or a new egg in a robin's nest, or the color of my hydrangeas which will be in full bloom in only a few months. And this morning... it is the color of my laughter.