Homo sapiens have always made art. It's one of the first things we started doing once we were able to balance on our hind legs, freeing up our hands for projects galore: hunting, farming, building -- and making art. Even way back then we were complicated beings, trying to find meaning. Making art was never frivolous! We require art!
Actually, so did the Neanderthals. They were doing cave paintings in Spain long before our species arrived in Europe. Many things have been written about the value of creating and looking at art. It is so important.
I've recently come through a major bout of spiritual healing. It has been a profound time of revelations, intense work in dreams, and most valuable to me: letting go of long held resentments I didn't even realize were still there. It's like that in the human psyche. There's so much stuff inside us, we don't even know the half of it! Coming into a place where it's possible to shed some of it is glorious, and I do mean that in the truest sense of the word.
As a part of my process, I created a therapeutic painting/drawing hybrid. While I worked on the canvas over the last few weeks, I listened to music and let my mind wander. I learn so much in this way.
Now that it's finished, I'll put it away, pull it out now and again and remember this time of healing. I'm sure I will continue to learn from it, and will be glad I took the time to make it. This kind of work is not meant to be gazed at all the time. It will never hang on my wall and I doubt I'll even post a picture of it. It's crudely rendered, not to mention very personal. It's like a tarot card that tells the myth of this healing. I don't need to see that all the time.
We go to the caves in Europe and look back through time at the ancient paintings. They tell a story. As I worked, the thought came to me that I'm telling my story the same way humans have done for two hundred thousand years, at least. This canvas and the materials on it will degrade fairly quickly, returning my story to the earth long before it would qualify as an ancient painting,