What is Art for?

With so much going on in the world, it’s difficult to write about and make art. The news of war and flood weigh heavily and donations don’t seem enough. 

But having offered Drink and Draw’s since the early days of covid, I know that so many people find release in art, and that’s something I can offer.

Back in 2020, one American woman from one of the first heavily affected covid areas told me the only time she stopped crying was to draw in our Saturday night Facebook Lives. Many people I know turn to art to help process and give respite from grief. Art making can help you relax, find focus and enter a peaceful state of flow. A wonderful artist I follow, Wyanne, has feels “each brushstroke [is] like a prayer for the world”.

I love this article from The School of Life, which suggests 5 answers to the question, “What is Art for?”

A Make Art Not War billboard, and Monet's Japanese Bridge painting1. Art gives us hope
The most popular works of art show happy things. The most popular postcard in the world is Monet’s bridge artwork from MOMA, New York.

2. Art makes us less lonely
It reassures us of the normality of pain and other important feelings.

3. Art rebalances us
When you’re moved by a work of art, it’s often because it contains something we lack in our lives. Peaceful sunsets and relaxing music, anyone?

4. Art helps us to appreciate stuff
Even the smallest things are important and appreciated in art. Albrecht Durer made grass look glamourous. Gratitude for the smallest of things keeps the flame of hope alive.

5. Art is propaganda for what really matters
It’s a tool for all the nicest emotions and attitudes in the world. It’s a platform for the best sides of human nature. The rose photo is of a billboard in Berlin, a city covered in art as it processes extreme grief.

Essentially art is a constant source of support and encouragement for our better selves.

Just as I sincerely hope you are safe and well, I’d love to know what you think. Drop me a line if you’d like to share what Art means to you.

About Anna Battle

I’m an artist, guide, mother and a very handy Art Friend! 

My life’s mission is to share the joy of drawing and painting.

In 2011 I started offering in-studio guided Paint Alongs, and my first online course, 15 Flowers, went live in 2015.

In 2016 my book, Painting Party, was published (it’s still available on Amazon).

I now offer online Paint Alongs and workshops so that you can reconnect to the creativity inside you. Gift yourself the time to paint, and the guidance you need to improve your skills and your confidence. 

I invite you to join me and see the world through the eyes of an artist!

If not now, when?