I think mostly because I have no artistic talent, I have long been fascinated by those who are able to create art in its myriad of forms. Of course, it is one thing to see a work of art (like a painting or sculpture) and wonder how it was made. Years ago, when I took an art history class, I got a chance to see a wonderful documentary film by Paul Haesaert entitled Visit to Picasso. There’s not much to it: Picasso paints live in front of the camera. It really does not give a detailed insight into the process of creation, but it is one of the rare opportunities to watch a true master at work. In some cases, Picasso paints on glass with the camera on the other side. It is remarkable, as you see here, in this excerpt:
What prompted this? What prompted me to remember this experience was an e-mail from Seattle about an artist in the Ukraine who is apparently becoming a hit worldwide, thanks to her appearance on Ukraine’s Got Talent, with a form of art that I was not wholly familiar with. Using sand in art is old, especially in the Far East. Sand painting is a part of Buddhist art, and has traveled with the spread of that religion. This artist’s name is Kseniya Simonova, and it is very difficult to describe what she does. It is best to simply watch.
I’m not sure if it is proper to call this performance art or not, but there are other YouTube videos of this woman’s fascinating work.
edit: Here is the original video I got to look at today (which Elizabeth notes is her favorite … it is a tribute to the Ukraine and its suffering at the hands of Nazi invaders during WWII.