Each of us is drawn to a work of art for different reasons. Some feel the call of a discipline – glass, ceramics, metal. For others it a theme – modern, abstract, floral. For many it’s difficult to define what draws us to a piece. What is it about any piece that speaks to our soul? Because that is what art does – it speaks to our soul, and calls to us to fall in love with it.
It would be easy to say that pieces simply remind us of a time or place. Spending your childhood summers at the ocean shore may draw you to works that feature ocean themes – fish, sea creatures, the ocean waves. Spending time in the southwest could make you crave works that feature desert landscapes. Days on the ranch may draw you to works that feature horses.
Memories may be part of what draws us to a piece but there is much, much more. Each artist uses his or her work as a voice. The story is different for every artist and every work of art but there is still an unwritten and unspoken narrative around a piece. It may tell of a dream or a wish or a hope. It may tell of a place in time. It is a way for an artist to express without explicitly using words. It’s this voice of the work that speaks from the artist to us. This voice that pulls us back to the pieces we love. The artist is telling us something that we may not be able to fully comprehend or put into words, but our soul understands the story.
Because we can’t often put into words what it is that draws us to a piece, it can be difficult to define what we love. You’ve heard the phrase, “I’ll know it when I see it.” Because the moment when we lay our eyes on a work of art is the moment we will know if the story the artist is telling resonates with us.
Perhaps you’ve had an experience like this: you’re walking through the artist booths at your local art fair and suddenly there in front of you are pieces you’ve never seen before…but that you can’t take your eyes off of. If you’re like me, you’ll spend the next half hour in that artist’s booth enjoying each and every piece. And, if you’re like me, the work will draw you back to it at least once more before you leave the art fair. It is the unspoken story that is drawing you back.
You may have noticed the pieces I’ve included here. These are some works that genuinely speak to me and seem to share their story with me. Over the years I’ve started to understand that I’m not drawn to specific colors or disciplines. I’m drawn to organic, elegant work that often has some connection to nature and has a simplicity to it. The simplicity of these pieces can offset the complexity of the artist’s work. On the most basic level the Nicolas Bernard vessel is a simple form rendered in clay. But Bernard’s use of a bright, unexpected color for the medium along with the graceful textured slip elevate the piece from a simple ceramic form to a work of art that calls me back to it again and again. You can see similar threads in the other pieces. On some level do they harken back to a childhood spent appreciating nature? Absolutely. Do they bring a calming escape from the business of day to day life? Of course. But beyond that I feel in all of these pieces that there is some part of the artist that is speaking to me on a level that words cannot convey.
There are so many pieces that speak to me that it is impossible to share them all with you in this post. We share incredible pieces of art on Pinterest. Feel free to share your thoughts on each piece. If one of these pieces speaks to you, let me know what it is that draws you to it, what story it tells you. Or share with me the pieces that speak to you – either post in the comments below or tag us (@artfulhome) on Pinterest. I would really like to read your comments and see how your life is impacted by living with art.