Henri Matisse: terrible lawyer, brilliant artist

Art doesn’t have to mean painting, or sculpture or writing. Art is how you live your life

Henri Matisse craved calm and beauty. He wanted to make art using the pure colours and inspired by the bright Mediterranean light. Like many of us, he didn’t want to sit in a drab office all day and punch numbers or write in a ledger. He felt compelled to do this; it was his life purpose.

We all want to live a life of purpose. Henri did something that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone these days: he put his family in financial hardship to some extent to pursue his art. They weren’t as badly off as the Monet’s or some of the impoverished artists who remain semi-obscure to this day even though their works hang in major museums the world over, but they struggled until he received an inheritance. I don’t know about you, but I’m not expecting an inheritance any time soon so I have to create meaning (and income) in other ways.


What is your art? I mean, how do you make meaning in your life? Contrary to popular belief, life doesn’t have a meaning other than what we GIVE it. So, how do you give life meaning? Not everyone has to make paintings. There are so many ways to make “art”. Georgia O’Keeffe once said that a first-rate cake is more creative than a second-rate painting, but for me, creating is creating! If you make a picture, hang it on the wall. If you get sick of it, paint over it! Or give it away. If you want to make a cake, grab a recipe because I’ve had a cake that was ‘just thrown together’ and it’s not always great eating. Creative, yes! Yummy, not so much.

Here are some ways to get creative and make some meaning. Do something every day, even if it’s just 5 minutes of singing in the shower!

  1. Bake a cake (get a recipe first!)
  2. Write a letter to someone. Send it through the post. At the very least it will confuse the hell out of the postie!
  3. Make up a poem using your child’s or pet’s name. I’ve found the pet is usually less critical an audience than the child.
  4. Sing in the shower.
  5. Clean out the plastics drawer in the kitchen. Recycle things you no longer need.
  6. Do some lunges. Nothing gets the blood flowing like lunges.
  7. Plant a garden or a patio/indoor plant. Succulents are fun and very hard to kill.
  8. Watch something on Youtube that you never have before, something positive.
  9. Have a browse around an op-shop.
  10. Buy a different type of fruit than you are used to. Eat it.
  11. Go for a walk. No phone, no music. Just be.
  12. Have a picnic lunch.
  13. Ban phones and TV from dinner at least one night a week.
  14. Play board games.
  15. Read through any old books you have read and remember liking.
  16. Learn some new words.
  17. Read some poems. I like Maya Angelou, Emily Dickenson, Rainer Maria Rilke and Rumi.
  18. Make some homemade soup. If unsure see number 1. Use a recipe 😉
  19. Go to a meetup! http://www.meetup.com
  20. Dance in the living room
  21. Meditate.
  22. Watch the sunset.
  23. Get up 10 minutes early and do some gentle stretches. I like Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube.
  24. Time yourself on social media. Don’t use it for more than 10 minutes at a time.
  25. Write down your goals.

That last one is a doozy… Tomorrow – Writing your Goals!!!


Good reading over at http://www.theartstory.org/artist-matisse-henri.htm and that lovely quote came from them too.

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