By in Art

What is art?

As I pondered an answer to the question What is art ? I quickly arrived at a very simple answer to my pondering. Rather, my definition of art.

Art is beauty.

Yet with that definition came the rebuttal: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." (According to Molly Bawn by Hungerford .)

Ah! how true!

Perhaps because I believe art is born of heart and soul, my mind meandered to the greatest loves of my life. Some are dead and buried, some are living still.

From the breath of life of love, I reached for my keyboard and penned my definition of art.

ART is naught but beauty
beauty held in mine eyes
eyes have seen yon glory
glory gleaned from on high
high on loved and loving
loving true in each breath
breath the ultimate ART

My creative wish is to create art that lives and breathes love.


Picture, poem, and prose are copyright Ruth Cox . All Rights Reserved. Do not remove.

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soupdragon wrote on January 9, 2015, 12:30 PM

Art is very difficult to define as we all have different ideas about what is and isn't art. I think an art form is anything that inspires an intense emotional reaction in those who experience it.

Kasman wrote on January 9, 2015, 12:31 PM

Not all art is beautiful. Some of it is downright gruesome yet it is still art. Check this site out:

Kasman wrote on January 9, 2015, 12:32 PM

soupdragon - that is as good a definition of art as I have ever heard - and one I agree with wholeheartedly.

BeadDoodler wrote on January 9, 2015, 12:49 PM

True art comes from the very soul of the artist and you'll find that putting yourself into your art, what ever form you choose will speak to many people, though they may not see in your art what you felt.

RuthCox wrote on January 9, 2015, 12:52 PM

Again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and while some may see Hagens' body art as gruesome, others (including myself) find his artistry of the human body a work of beauty.

RuthCox wrote on January 9, 2015, 1:03 PM

I agree, art is certainly difficult to define and we each have our own interpretations of a piece of art, as viewer and as creator of the piece. I do not agree that there must be an intense emotional reaction to a piece of artwork, though, in that just because a piece does not evoke that response in me does not mean it is not art.

RuthCox wrote on January 9, 2015, 1:06 PM

Absolutely agreed! Art is born of the artist, not of the viewer.

Kasman wrote on January 9, 2015, 1:07 PM

RuthCox - surely art is about emotion? That emotion may not be particularly strong on occasion but it should still be there as a response, either positive or negative.

Kasman wrote on January 9, 2015, 1:11 PM

RuthCox - and yet if the viewer sees no art there does it still exist? As in 'I may not know anything about art but I know what I like'. If i don't like it is it still art?

RuthCox wrote on January 9, 2015, 2:51 PM

Kasman It is possible for me to have a cognitive appreciation for an art form and the process the artist used in his or her piece of art without having an emotive reaction to it at all. And, as an artist, there are times I may create a piece of artwork strictly because someone requested it or I'm confident it will sell, in both cases not being at all emotive about the object I create. So no, I do not feel art is in itself about emotion. Art CAN be cause an emotional reaction, either by artist or viewer, but I do not feel emotion is necessary to deem something a work of art.

RuthCox wrote on January 9, 2015, 3:43 PM

If I create a piece of art for myself and not another person ever sees it, the object of art still exists. And I believe that like it or not, yes, art it still is.

jackfrank wrote on January 9, 2015, 3:55 PM

I tend to stick to first principles - and ask - why did the cave people paint animals and human hands? Why start to express what was in the mind and heart on the wall of a cave? Why not simply carry on being a physical creature, eating, hunting, multiplying, surviving? Perhaps Art is the act of escaping from Death by taking us into new realms of Life.

RuthCox wrote on January 9, 2015, 5:08 PM

I like your thought in regards to escaping death through art. Sometimes my writing works of art allow me that thought as I travel beyond. As for the cave man drawings, another interesting thought you share... Perhaps they wanted their life here to be remembered through their cave art.

BeadDoodler wrote on January 9, 2015, 6:07 PM

It's still art whether it appeals to me or not. Some people's spirits just aren't in tune with mine. emoticon :smile:

BarbRad wrote on January 10, 2015, 2:04 AM

I like your definition. I'm not sure it would apply to all the art I've seen. Your art reflects your spirit, and so is beautiful. Not all who create art are so positive when they express themselves and it is often their lack of love that they express in art.

Renda wrote on January 10, 2015, 7:51 PM

I love your definition of art. Your poem explains it so well. I think when a sculpture, painting, photo, or any other piece evokes emotion...then it is truly art.

arthurchappell wrote on January 14, 2015, 12:13 PM

nicely defined but a great deal of art is intentionally non-beautiful, such as, art capturing the horror of captivity, or Picasso's Guernica (about the Spanish Civil War)