Between the Lines: Art is all around you

Many people believe that an artist is someone who takes a paintbrush and uses it to apply paint to a canvas to create an image or uses a pencil to draw a picture.

Is this the only way to be an artist? Not really. Art is actually about self-expression, and there are as many ways to express oneself as there are people.

Music, dance, writing, drama are only a few creative outlets. Many people feel that they are not creative, but this is simply not true.

Practically everyone has a bit of creativity somewhere inside themselves. The trick is to find it and enjoy it. Cultivate it and revel in it.

What is art, anyway? In the broadest sense, it is using the imagination to manipulate something in the environment to create a pleasing effect. The end product might be for the masses, or it may be solely for the enjoyment of the person doing the creating.

Children do this without a second thought. With no inhibition whatsoever, a child might draw a purple cow, dance around a room, or sing at the top of his lungs. To a child, the pure joy of self-expression is the whole point of the activity.

Adults can be creative as well, and sometimes ordinary, everyday activities can be very artistic. Anyone who has ever arranged furniture in a room or objects on a table is being creative.

Arranging a store window or object in a showcase can be creative as well. While choreographing a dance can be artistic, so can arranging athletes on a playing field and planning out the movements of the players.

Decorating for Christmas can be as artistic and creative as anything an artist does in a studio. Choosing colors, textures, and object and arranging on a tree or a mantle can not only be artistic, but fun.

One could tour homes all over town, and not see two Christmas trees exactly alike. Why?

Because the trees are an expression of a family or a single individual. And people are as individual as snowflakes.

So go ahead! Express yourself and be as creative as you like. Try not to worry too much about what others think, but simply enjoy the act of expressing yourself in whatever you choose to do.

Most of all, try to enjoy the journey as much as you do the end product. You might just be surprised at yourself. Go ahead and be an artist!

Lynda Ray is a local enthusiast of all forms of art. Her column, Between the Lines, will appear periodically on