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In Lake Oswego art in everyday life is dispersed all around us.

The Gallery Without Walls has proven to be a great idea; something we find easy to critique or just enjoy. However art isn’t just sculptures or pictures on the wall. It can be applied to all our surroundings — the buildings, the landscaping, the clothes we wear and the cars we drive. As we observe the beauty around us, art actually becomes part of our life and personality, not to be set apart for occasional enjoyment but rather to be sought and enjoyed in everything we do and in everything we select.

However, if you haven’t already indulged in your favorite art project, creating your own version of what pleases you, is bound to be rewarding. What you can do will undoubtedly surprise you. The creative energy in all of us is there to explore. Whatever art project intrigues you will activate your brain, will ensure a good mood; it is the road to good health and happiness. Being creative diverts your attention away from inevitable life problems that are not quickly resolved.

A quick trip to the Lake Oswego Library and the reference department led me to the story of Vincent van Gogh and how he became motivated as an artist. He did not begin painting until his late 20s, completing many of his best known works during the last two years of his life. He observed that real painters do not paint things as they really are.

They paint them as they themselves feel them to be. It seems to me this technique was generously exhibited at the recent art show at the Lakewood Center.

Although artists, like everyone else, thrive on praise and financial rewards, many artists are drawn to their work even more by satisfactions that come from expressing their creative ideas.

We can ignore that Van Gogh’s works are among the world’s most expensive paintings ever sold, exceeding $100 million; success came too late. Satisfaction is ours right now just for trying. Beautiful Lake Oswego and warm, sunny days can motivate those who choose to paint.

Helen Oredson Mahle is a member of the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

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