Every work of art created by every artist throughout recorded history, from caveman times to the
present, was created in the same art studio...namely planet Earth. Think about the implications of
this fact for a moment and consider the extraordinary assemblage of art which is included.
Every song or symphony ever written, performed or recorded. Every painting, photograph or
illustration. Every poem and every novel. Every architectural design. Every wood, clay or stone
sculpture. Every acting, dance, musical or comedic performance, and every motion picture or
television presentation. Every artist who dared to delve deep into their creativity did so on that
blue marble which has danced to the rhythm of the universe for eons.
Naming all the artists who have worked in this studio would far exceed the limitations of this or any
SPOTLIGHT feature. In fact, a list such as that would fill volumes of books. Therefore, my choices will
be limited to the following extremely short list. In addition, I will only include artists who have moved on
to another even better studio.
I recently featured Vincent van Gogh's painting, The Starry Night as the first ON THE FRONT PAGE
feature, and for good reason. It's mystery and visual emotion speaks to anyone who will listen.
When it comes to portraying the natural beauty of our art studio, the names Eliot Porter and Ansel
Adams will probably always be at the top of most lists. Their photographs of nature's majesty are
The films of Alfred Hitchcock are timeless as well. Vertigo is one of his greatest and is a cinematic
lesson in the seductive and hypnotic powers of film. A great way to escape in any time.
The comedic talents of Robin Williams, George Carlin and Buddy Hackett, to name just three, can
provide a humorous escape from the stifling effects of reality. And when it comes to laughter, let us
not forget the crazy antics of The Three Stooges. Their sort of craziness can actually be a refuge for
sanity in an insane world.
The literary achievements of authors such as J.R.R.Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe and Ray Bradbury are
fantastic ways to journey to other realities, and the writings of Henry David Thoreau are expressions
of his love for nature and the Earth.
So too are the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe and Claude Monet. Their impressions of the natural
world are as eloquent today as when they painted them.
All people, not just artists, need places to live. Frank Lloyd Wright managed to create some
architectural wonders to behold. Michelangelo also designed great architecture, along with numerous
great paintings and sculpture.
There are many other artists in my mind which beg to be included in this SPOTLIGHT. Names such
as Karen Carpenter, John Denver, Billie Holiday, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Gregg Toland,
Franz Waxman, John Barry, Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George
Stevens, Ludwig van Beethoven, Charles M. Schulz, and Benny Goodman.
Nat King Cole, Bernard Herrmann, Henry Fonda, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Harper Lee, Stan
Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Pablo Picasso, Jerry Lewis, Gordon
Parks and Edward Weston. Auguste Rodin, Jim Henson, Leonardo da Vinci, E. E. Cummings, Dr.
Seuss, Walt Whitman, Charlie Chaplin, and a canine performing artist named Higgins (aka Benji).
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't include Louis Armstrong and his classic performance of What a
Wonderful World. The sense of optimism this song conveys is something to hold on to, especially
An eclectic list? It sure is! But then, such is art. Creativity encompasses all genres and mediums,
and is only limited by the imagination of the artists.
In times of trouble, art can comfort us and shine a creative light of hope to guide our way. You might
even say that all the varied expressions of art are a Godsend. Considering the cavalcade of times of
trouble throughout recorded history, how incredible is that!
Perhaps one day, humans will sail to other worlds. To other solar systems. To other galaxies. To other
levels of consciousness. Those future travelers will, of course, include artists not yet born. Until that
day comes, however, planet Earth, in all its many expressions of wonder, is our only art studio. Let us
treasure it for all the inspiration it has shown us, for all the creativity born upon it, and for all the artistic
accomplishments yet to come.