Is It, Art?

What defines … ART?

In the words of Thomas Merton,

 “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

With this philosophy as our main criteria of how we define and perceive Art, much of what we do in our everyday lives could quite possibly, be seen as a form of artistic expression.

And if we began viewing these common things in such a light, then in so doing, we are are led towards living each day…… artistically.


Gardens of Perth Western Australia. UWA Sunken Gardens is a delightful and romantic tucked away space near the CBD. Magical. Calming and inspiring.

Zen Stroll

Yesterday’s adventures included a work related excursion first, to the UWA campus Sunken Gardens in the morning. Later on in the afternoon, a visit to Queen’s Garden was fun.

While in the Sunken Gardens, the small group and I sat under the shaded canopy of a large flourishing, grove of trees. It was, Lovely.

The concepts presented to the group had three major points.

  1. The subduing of stress and fear of working ‘outdoors.’
  2. Moving towards peace and harmony with the surroundings and self.
  3. The patient, listening and sensing the specific ‘mood’ of the space/place we had chosen as our subjects.

As we progressively lose these fears, finding more peace and harmony – we are in essence doing what Thomas Merton stated… finding ourselves and losing ourselves in the most wonderful ways.

Perth Gardens, UWA Sunken Gardens an oasis of lush foliage and pools, waterlilies and sparking jade emerald greens.

Pause ; …. and Reflect

While in the gardens the thought crossed my mind about having preconceived ideas. Its so easy.

In my mind, I may have muttered, “ALL these greens!”

I realised I was closing my mind off to the possibilities, that ALL those greens could present.

I concluded that I was being … ‘judgemental’ in my own way, of what I will or will not accept. As art.

And that maybe, by being more open….I could find an infinity of possibilities waiting for me that I’d never suspected, within The Greens.

I should at least, try.

I think, in the photo image below of the pond, I managed to capture some of the many possibilities of All Those Greens.

I lose myself, and find myself…Within The Greens.

Pausing to reflect, by the waterlily pond - Perth UWA Sunken Gardens. Beautifully calm, transcendent. These gardens are a hidden treasure!
Within – The Greens

Yes, Its Art

Art has thousands of variations, nuances.

Flavors, if you will.

As individuals we each have our own particular preferences. One person’s preferring vanilla ice cream over strawberry ice cream doesn’t nullify that the vanilla is still … ice cream.

Isn’t it odd how we never think to debate about someone else’s different food preferences?

Art may be rock n roll to some, opera to another. Some may view Andy Warhol as THE Definition of Art; another rave Rembrant.

It is all art, in every one of the myriad forms it takes. Cooking, music, writing, video, screenwriting, hospitality, textiles….

And, we actually require the seemingly, chaotic diversity of each and every one of these forms.

It stretches us. We grow. We learn.

We. better. ourselves.

SOLD Abstract Landscape Watercolor

2019 I’m conducting a year long course with the title “Watercolor, Loose and Easy.” It sounds like A Plain, Ordinary, Watercolor class.

Doesn’t it?

However, I’m enthusiastically passing along information on 3D, sculpture, and any other art form that presents itself, as an opportunity for the group to expand their knowledge base.

UWA Sunken Gardens, Perth W.A.

This month has been busy. Leading excursions to galleries and venues with various art forms: video, sculpture, ceramics.

The last week’s course home project…. was the creation of a 3d sculpture, in yellow.

Yes, I know.

The course title, is Watercolor. Loose and Easy.

Yet, I strongly feel that now is the time for us to try on a new pair of glasses. It’s time.

We need to expand our world.

Our perceptions. Our vision.

forest grove in watercolor, using Daniel Smith zoisite and cobalt teal blue. Zen like, calm and peace filled.
Forest Grove – zen

Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

29 thoughts on “Is It, Art?

  1. I used to have a ‘discussion’ very similar to this with one of my art teachers from many years ago. She strongly believed that art was ‘art’ only if it had value–usually monetary–to an outside audience. I disagreed–art is definitely more a exercise of spirit and experience, as you’ve explored so beautifully here!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. thank you! we each have our unique perceptions. I think as one progresses, that we evolve and mature in our views. I hope so. :). thank you for your thoughts and reading the post today. cheers, Debi

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Sorry I missed the day. Sounds beautiful.
    Thank you Debi for your inspiration, enthusiasm and sharing the magic of art.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Your posts always soothe and inspire. The photo of “within the greens” really inspired me. We’re supposed to do an abstract in a class I’m taking tomorrow, and I may use that as a prompt.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Sherry, thank you😊 I have drastically cut back time spent on posts and on all devices, focusing more on my own art. But I still feel strongly about sharing too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. In answer to your question – Is this art? , I post this silly opinion on that topic. All of nature is art. Nature is one of THE most beautiful things on earth, beginning with the most beautiful human beings called, ‘babies’. And never ending because all of nature is art and endless, thank God. And as far as other things , on canvas, near canvas, under in and around and not on canvas, labeled as “art”, to me, art is any piece in any form, (video, photography, still pictures, oil, acrylics, clay, wood and other materials, that has or gives or relays a specific message that might be different to each and every beholder. It’s all in the eye, the vision, the mind and in the person’s experience. Life is art and art, sometimes is life, depending on the artist. Oops, apologies, yes, the question is huge, and the answer is even more huge than anyone’s imagination can grip hold of. Art is a gift that God gave and gives us to help us wander through this magnificent earth in the most magnificent ways possible. It is a gift that God gives to every child and every adult, though not many take advantage or use this gift. Yes, it is art. And sometimes it only begins to dull or fail as art when the critics or viewers decide that it’s only art if it has a huge price tag. Ahh, hey, life happens , and thanks to a cool Creator of Peace, everyone, every age, every place, has the opportunity to create art. Oh, and sometimes writing is art, and sometimes art is made even more wonderful when one can add words to it. Key here is to never, ever listen to the critics that are negative. Listen only to one’s heart, mind and soul and keep on producing art …. Do what you love to do, simply create. It’s in your nature, and now, it’s your time to sparkle. Good question! YES! It’s art. — artfromperry

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