During the medieval times, art often centered on the paintings of religious icons whether it be saints or events found in the Bible. Everyone knows the famous paintings from the Passion of Christ and the famous structures of the different Greek gods and goddesses. Every person drawn always had a halo on their heads, they were always smiling, and they always looked perfect. That is until Leonardo da Vinci created the Mona Lisa, the painting of a lady with a mysterious smile. She was an ordinary woman with no halo on her head. Her smile was not one made purely out of happiness. She was not incredibly thin nor did she have an exemplary beauty that was often one of the standards when painting. She was not a nude model. She was just Mona Lisa. This was the start of humanism.
Why is painting fun? It is tiring really, waiting for colored water to dry on a white canvas. People will still make fun of their drawings, either way, no matter what one draws. But, art is the representation of one’s humanity. Art is raw- it displays humanity at its best and at its worst. Art is bold and it highlights the biggest feats and their worst moments. Art colors the pages of history books and makes seeing a whirlwind of dates, totally worth it.
Moreover, artists find happiness in painting because of the feeling of empowerment they feel. A painting is like a single drop of water that stimulates change within the waters they reside. A painting can empower someone or bring them to their knees. One can see it in various caricatures that either mock the leaders of the modern society or praise them for doing something. Art is unlike the sciences that deal with future events and creates mechanisms that serve as a preventive strategy. Art is a nonstop propaganda movement that serves as a proactive strategy that empowers the oppressed and brings the oppressors to their knees. It is a heavy task- to fix the problems of the modern day societies, but their power is just at the tip of their tongue, or should one say brush. It is difficult to be understood and most people will misunderstand what one is trying to say. But once they understand the pieces the artist leaves behind, they are able to solve the puzzle and fit all the missing pieces. Making art becomes incredibly worth it after they see the beauty of one’s work.
Most artists find art as a method of expressing themselves through the things that they create. They express their sentiment, ideas, and thoughts into their artworks. Like an author who puts his ideas into writing, painting does the same in a less specific way as the image can impact different people differently. It can look happy to one but sorrowful to another. Art shows a part of oneself that remains unfiltered but needs to be released. It relieves their stress that was built up from everything that had happened to them simply because they are doing the things that they love. It builds up their self-esteem as they are able to take pride in their accomplishments because they can see themselves improve and become better as artists. It increases their levels of functional creativity which is good for the memory portion of the brain. These things do not just improve one’s life skills but increase their creativity levels and help them in other jobs that they might take on in the future.
Happiness normally cannot be bought by mere things, but when one buys an artist a brush and a can of paint- a smile lights up his face. This is simply because one did not merely gift him with a palette of colors and a brush, one gifted him with a method to express their stand for themselves and for the present day societies. Paintings do not only make artists happy, but they also make the people seeing it happy.
As Agnes Martin would say, “People who look at my painting say that it makes them happy, like the feeling when you wake up in the morning. And happiness is the goal, isn’t it?” Happiness is everyone’s wish in life and for painters, happiness is when someone understands their art and empathizes with them.