Value is an interesting concept when it comes to art. The monetary value of art is subjective and determined by supply and demand, like most collectables. Additionally, value is somewhat intrinsic to art because it has a cultural history and somehow documents the evolution of humanity. Then there is the technical aspect of value in terms of color, or its vibration. Such as a brighter color having a higher value than a darker color, correlating to the grey scale. Yet most importantly, in my opinion, is the emotional value of art, as an experience. Art invites the viewer to experience themselves in a new way, or to see a new reflection of themselves. It connects us all on an intangible level through personal experience. Sometimes I wonder if we looked at all experiences as art, what value would we give them?
This month I had to let Spike, my dog/best friend/loyal companion/guardian go, which felt like a part of me died as well. Not only am I mourning his death because I miss his physical presence; I am also mourning the loss of what he represented, or that chapter in my life ending. It is quite synchronistic that he departed as my second and last child is graduating from high school and leaving home as well. My job taking care of others seems to be morphing into something new. Looking back on his 10 year life span gives me an interesting perspective on everything I have created in the last decade. Life has flown by so quickly that it took his passing for me to stop and see the incredible value of the last 10 years of my life. My growth as a person and artist is mind-blowing when I look at it from an outside perspective. As I held Spike in his last moments, I saw life through his eyes- and the job he had as my co-creator. I thanked him from deep within my heart for his unconditional love and support. There was a moment that I will never forget, that I will value for eternity, and that is when I felt my heart open to hold him. The experience of allowing him to rest in my heart, is beyond words. It is a personal experience that has increased my value to myself. Increased my value- to myself… I write it again because it’s so important. Now I know to value something is a personal choice. It was a conscious choice for me to give the experience meaning and make it a part of me. It is a brushstroke on my self portrait or a commitment to have it affect me. It is quite possible that the vibration of my heart just increased in value as well, as I am sure it got brighter on the grey scale.
In the present moment, I have a deeper appreciation for the concept of value. Value is illusive until it is expressed or stated. That’s the interesting part… value is just another creation. In the artistry of life, value is invaluable, a true paradox, because it is what we make it.