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Put Your Heart Into It

I have discovered in recent years that I am an artist. This was news to me. I did not think of myself as an artist and yet it is obvious when I look back over my life that I have always been an artist. My artistic expressions have taken many forms and I can trace my artistic exploration clear back to my most distant toddler memories.

I have learned to express myself artistically in several different media, paint and canvas, clay, wood, steel, electronics, writing, storytelling, and now; most recently: music and composing.

At first glance, one might not see a connection between the first 5 of those media and the last three. The first 5 are tactile or manual type arts, and writing, storytelling and music are intellectual arts. Superficially, there is not much connection except that when one looks at the group as a whole. My approach has always been more of a quest at problem solving and discovery. In which I always take the “nuts and bolts” of a task and break it down to achieve a desired goal. So, for instance, there is not much difference between asking the question of, “how does one turn a vase out of wood that is 12 inches deep?” and how does one turn a phrase to stimulate the imagination of a listener so that they experience an emotion or insight that connects them with what they hear and what they know?” In my mind, storytelling and wood turning are connected.

Some persons just naturally seem to have more artistic ability then others. What I have discovered is that all of “art” is really a combination of left and right brain activity. It is always a mixture of technique and intuition. Persons who are genuinely called “artists” are the ones who have mastered a particular technique or media. Usually this happens by natural proclivity, but every artist goes through the process of learning technique. The degree of success in artistic expression is determined by natural talent mixed with diligence, focus, and fascination with the craft. Practice, Patience, and Passion.

So, in music one learns the mechanics of playing but it does not sound like music until they are able to put feeling into it. Music is a perfect combination of right and left brain thinking. It is math on the one hand and emotion on the other. This is not new to most of you. Be patient with me. I have just discovered it and I think it is neat.

Gary Bell


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