Ars est celare artem.

Art is to hide the art.

Pron = ahrs ehst kay-LAH-ray AHR-tehm

Comment: 22 years ago, we were living in a small town in north Alabama. There was a woman in the community who taught painting lessons in her basement every Wednesday evening. I had always wanted to "take art", but for a variety of reasons, never had the opportunity. This opportunity was just 5 houses down the road from my house, and so, for 2 years, I began offering to myself the weekly delight of packing up my box of paints and brushes and going down the street to paint.

22 years later, I am still painting. Over the years, my painting has changed, hopefully for the better. One thing has not changed. On that very first night that I ever put a paintbrush to canvas and attempted to make art, I found that all sense of time disappeared, and for 2-3 hours I could be completely caught up in the making of art. That is still true. Picking up a brush and selecting colors to work together on a canvas or a piece of paper lose me from my self-consciousness. This is what the proverb means for me as a painter.

Really good artwork does this for those who view it, too. The viewer gets lost into the artwork, and is lost to the thought, even if momentarily, that this is something that someone created on canvas, or paper or in clay or concrete and steel. In fact, I think that this proverb is descriptive of anything that humans do that they love to do. The art of the thing they do is that they do it without self-consciousness, and the result of what they do invites others inside it to experience its beauty.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day Archive