SunShine DixieLand Company
The Elucidation of Art
Art is expressions… musical, visual, and lingual… which, by
their existence, should strive to uplift, and better, the human
spirit, and condition. It is our opinion that true art can not
be of, or among, the following purposes; the demeaning,
degrading, or damning of humanity. Works of those
purposes are not art, but something else, that we would not
even care (or attempt) to define.
Good artistic expressions (in all Fields) are concepts of the
individual human mind, creations of individual style, fluently
communicated to, and easily interpreted by other individual
human beings. The extreme abstracting, and over
complicating of any work (however meticulously, artistically
done) may receive critical acclaim and praise from the
“professional” critic; but, the public at large is far less likely
to respond. Art is, after all, a communication between artist
and audience – even if the audience is limited. The better the
communication of the theme, or idea, of the work – the
better the work of art.
A good artist will strive to reflect, in his works, all the
different facets of his own personal experience. A good artist
will continually aspire to create images of expressions across
the wide spectrum of human emotions, feelings, and intellect
– always relying upon his own experience. Thus the adage,
“Write (compose) what you know”.
Most all human beings (artist included) encounter, and
hopefully deal with, certain opposing forces in life; the good
and the bad, the productive and the unproductive, the moral
and the immoral, the beautiful and the ugly, the lovely and
the hateful, etc,,tc, etc. Those opposing forces are the facets
of life. In those facets we find – darkness, shade and
shadow, and light. The good artist forever strives to ascend
through those facets in his life’s work. A few among the
good will become masters in their field; those masters who
have the God-given gift, the genius, to define the darkness,
allude to the shade and shadow, while they forever lead to
Why must one first define the darkness? It is only in the
darkness that one can begin a passage, through the shade
and shadow that will lead to the realization of the exactness,
and the purity, of the light.
Darkness was, and is, of itself, the beginning – the great
contrasting contradiction from which all of life’s facets ebb
and flow. Somewhere out there in that great expanse of
seemingly infinite darkness, is the quintessential source of all
that humanity seeks to discover, all that humanity strives to
truly, intimately know.
For further study of this concept, we suggest three examples
in three different fields of art; William Shakespeare’s
“Hamlet”, the works of Pablo Picasso, and Handle’s
“Messiah”. There are other masters, composers of other
works, who have made the passage from darkness to light,
but the three above are my personal favorites.
As an artist, Stephen Wayne Hampton is a child, a child who
would emulate the masters, and the Poet of all Creation –
The Great I Am. We have made a beginning in our passage.
We do not know what we can achieve before our death.
However, we do know that no man, or woman, can die
better, than to die striving for the light.
Stephen Wayne Hampton
Copyright SunShine DixieLand Company 2003