art is always real

We were in Julie’s room one night, my eldest daughter and I.  I wanted to show her how the canvas painting she had carefully labored over for Julie’s Christmas gift was framed and hung on the wall.

I said, gazing at her masterpiece with no small amount of motherly pride, “Now it looks like a real work of art”.

Bella looked at my quizzically, wondering yet again how her mother could possibly understand so little about the world.

Mama, every time you make something, or draw something, or paint something, it is already real art. There is no such thing as art that is not real”

And so I said that she was right, and didn’t it look nice, and once again, daughter became guru and mother became willing student.

Which is, I sometimes think, the way it was meant to be.


{art is always real. all of it.  even the stuff you don’t understand.  even the stuff you don’t like.  even the stuff that you made that you would be embarrassed to show your best friend}

that photo that you took when you first got your DSLR, when you captured her spirit perfectly but the focus landed on her shoulder?    still art.

the painting you did last year the first time you picked up a brush, the one your mentor critqued to death?  it’s art.

the story you are holding in your heart and so desperately want to tell the world?  definitely art.

the scarf you knit for your son with the funky messed up rows?  art. art. art.

the poem scrawled on your dry cleaning receipt at the red light.

the dress you want to sew. the song you want to sing.

the clay you’ve not yet molded.

everything you have made

or will one day make

{it’s all real, every last bit.   because there is no such thing as art that is not real. bella said so}


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