WHY DO WE PAINT? - PAINTING IN AUSTIN, TX - ART BY THE HOMELESS IN AUSTIN
Painting is one of the oldest fine arts in human history. It was first done in prehistoric times, by people who created pictographs (i.e., petrograms), communicative rock and cave paintings that date back to the Stone Age. Painting allows for the expression of ideas and emotions in a visual way. As a fine art, it is the practice of applying one type of artistic media to a solid surface, to create an aesthetic image. The term “painting” refers to both the creative endeavor and the artistic product that is produced.
There are few things required for painting. Painting is simply the application of liquid pigments called paint mediums (e.g., watercolors, acrylics, oils, etc.) to different surfaces called supports; so, one of each is all that’s needed to get started. Painting supports include things like paper, canvas, fabric, wood, clay, glass, etc.; the choice of support depends on the type of paint media a painter chooses to use because some types of paint adhere better to certain support surfaces than others.
Applying the paint media to the chosen support requires a painter to use a specific implement. The most common implement used in painting is a paintbrush; paintbrushes range in size and shape (e.g., flat, round, fan, etc.). Each is used to create a different paint effect, such as blending paint colors or outlining different compositional elements. There are other tools fine artists use besides brushes, though. Other painting tools are flexible steel palette knives, scrapers, silicone wedges, natural sponges, airbrushes and spray guns, and more.
Creative expression is powerful. It has been found to benefit mental and physical health. There are many advantages that come from creating art through painting. Painting as a practice stimulates the mind and develops focus. It can boost positive emotions, bolster creativity, and help people navigate problems. It can help relieve stress and anxiety and improve one’s overall quality of life. These and other advantages of painting make it an activity worth trying. The benefits of painting can help people stay connected to themselves and to the world around them.
Art from the Streets is an Austin-based non-profit that was established in 1991 to give people living in homelessness a way to develop as artists; it offers a location for transient artists to create and a way to share their love of art. Art from the Streets (AFTS) gives its artists a chance to practice their artistic skills and grow in their creativity in a place where they can develop friendships and a sense of stability, while also providing them with opportunities to create and sell original pieces of art. The organization began by sponsoring an annual art show, which continues today, though it has developed other projects and partnerships over its 30 years in existence. AFTS is run by a board of directors, who volunteer their time to manage the website, promote the organization in the community, and provide the open studio space and high-quality art supplies for the artists it serves. If you would like more information about the program and the opportunities it offers, please contact AFTS any time. AFTS supports its artists in Austin with help from donors like you. If you would like to be a donor, there are many ways to give in support of AFTS. Reach out to the AFTS team to learn more.