Making art part of everyday life a gratifying habit
Madrid, Spain — King Philip II of Spain had it right when he created his palace/monastery in El Escorial, Spain, and filled it with art.
I know it was not necessarily a conscious decision. Ornate decoration was and is an integral part of royal life, especially in past centuries, and is therefore not just something to look at. The culture demanded it, but many rulers fully embraced it.
There was a wide variety of levels of décor and art in the court.
Although some rulers went all out with extensive flourishes, others — like Philip — stayed on the modest side. The amazing part of this modesty is that compared with any standard modern building, it is still amazingly gorgeous.
I have spent the past few weeks surrounded by art in various forms: in endless museums, on decorated manhole covers, the molding on the ceiling in my hostel and in the classroom. So when my professor told the class to make art a habit, it really made sense to me.
Royals were constantly looking at art from their enormous and minutely detailed wood inlay doors, tiled floors and beautiful tapestries. Artists make their own art daily and see the world in a way many don’t.
Being in touch with something you love on a daily basis is very important. I hope to remember that as I leave a situation where it is easy to be immersed in art when in a planned program guiding me through it. But once I return to Michigan in a couple of weeks, there are no royal palaces, famous art museums or centuries-old monasteries.
There will be, however, my own artistic ambition, a fresh perspective on art in East Lansing and a renewed drive to make art a habit.
Regardless of your interests, making joy a habit is a great way to look at your favorite hobby. Do something you love every day no matter how small the drawing is or how short of a walk you take. Do it, enjoy it and keep it up.