I have come to the personal realization that whatever you do that you love is art.
I always considered myself an amateur artist, since I do my best to express myself through writing. I have dabbled in painting and drawing a bit, but I'm not as talented as I'd like to be, so I stick to writing. For the longest time I considered this to be true art, and that it was, indeed, the ONLY art. I was also under the impression that not everyone was artistic. How very very wrong I have been, for art is all around me, and everyone has the talent for it.
My mom loves to quilt. Now, given, this is basically already considered an art form. But when you sit down and look at all that she does, it's truly amazing. In the case of a hand-made quilt, every single stitch is laid out with such careful precision that it makes me antsy just watching. Those women who quilt are most nearly the most patient women in the world. Hats off to you.
My father, on the other hand, loves to hunt and fish. Now, silly me, I always thought that this was just some random little hobby. How wrong I was. When you sit down with someone like my dad, someone who really, truly knows and loves what he's talking about, you learn that fishing is, in fact, an art form. In it's own way, that is. I was talking with him tonight and somehow the conversation turned to fishing. He started out telling me what an idiot my cousin was, and in the process he let me in on some of the little tips he had learned. For example, a spoon that flops back and forth is less effective than the ones that spin when you reel. And don't worry if you didn't understand that, it's not common knowledge. My point is that to him, it's not just throwing the line and catching the fish. For him, it's all about figuring out what the fish like and don't like; finding out where they bed, what kind of weather they like, what lures are more effective and what times of day are better to go out. The effort that he puts into it astounds me.
It is because of this that I have come to realize that art is no longer confined to merely writing, painting, dancing, acting. Art has now reached across the world and become a universal word. Well, it has to me anyway. Art is no longer the aforementioned acts. Now it is simply what you love and what you do. Art is, essentially, you. It is your expression of your self.
Art is the soul.