Artists have the reputation for being moody, self-absorbed creatures who are prone to suicide. Yes, Vincent Van Gogh did cut off his own ear after an argument with another artist named Paul Gauguin.  Paul Gauguin did quit his job as a stockbroker, abandon his wife and five children and move to Tahiti to paint.  But does this have anything to do with the art they produced?  I mean, creativity doesn’t actually require angst, does it?  I sure hope not.

While I do not consider myself to be an artist (Duh!), I do enjoy a good art project.  So should you! Art is fun! Art is something everybody can participate in, and you don’t have to be an expert.  The reason a lot of adults shy away from their own creativity is because they are afraid that what they make won’t be PERFECT.  Forget that notion!  Art is subjective.

Above  is Claude Monet’s famous picture of water lilies.  It’s famous because so many people like it. Monet once said. “I want to render what I feel.”  Evidently, what he felt about that pond was successfully made visible to others.


This is another of his paintings, which is not so well-known.  Why is that?  Both were created by the same artist using the same techniques.  Weren’t we “feeling it”?

Another example?  Below is a famous painting by Paul Cezanne, who exclaimed, “With an apple I will astonish Paris!”


And, briefly, he did.  But where was the acclaim for his other works? Weren’t they equally lovely in their own way?


Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.  What one person adores, another abhors.  That is why you should never be afraid to try something yourself!  If even bonafide artists can’t please everyone, then you shouldn’t worry about about it either.  Just please yourself!

I’ll bet you didn’t know that many years ago Chesapeake Public Libraries used to check out artwork, just like they do books.  We recently did some cleaning and found two of those old paintings! They’ve seen better days. This is the back side where the little pocket was glued to hold the card telling you when to return it.

Sadly, I am surrounded by co-workers who cannot remember ever checking out a book from a library using this antique system because they weren’t born yet. Boy, do I feel old now!


Since I am now feeling a kinship with these old dinosaurs (Thanks, staff!), I decided that instead of consigning them to the trash bin, I would rescue them.

First, I had to alter them a little bit.


Do you recognize the original?

What about this one?

I’ve renamed them Fun With Art 1 and Fun With Art 2.  You can do the same thing yourself, or probably better, and have a bit of fun too.

Round up an old obsolete painting from a yard sale or thrift store and an old children’s book (because of the illustrations) that has been damaged.  Cut out the desired images with scissors, adhere them to the painting with Mod Podge and, once it dries, spray  it with an acrylic sealer.   Instant Art!  Wasn’t that easy?  Art is fun!

Paul Gauguin said, ” Art is either plagiarism or revolution.”  I think it could be both!


Born to read, forced to work.

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One thought on “Art A La Carte

  1. Fantastic post regarding art. A world without art would be so very dull. It was great seeing so many Impressionist era artists, that is one of my favorite art movements. I love the idea of taking old obsolete works and re purposing them. My only word of advice… make sure the work really is “obsolete”. One can find a great many valuable works of art at yard sales and thrift stores. Antiques Roadshow is living proof. I am still waiting for the day that I buy a painting for 10 dollars only to find out it is worth 10,000 dollars.

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