Life imitates art


“Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” -Oscar Wilde

When I saw my colleague’s handmade “Principles of Art” on the wall of the art classroom, I thought: Wait – couldn’t these be principles of life, too?

Inspiration struck; in fact, it dared me to try . . . so, here goes . . . .

How to Use Tools in Life


Let us step away from repetition; save it for rhythm. Think instead of a template laid before us, with diagrams and guidelines, a model to be examined before cutting to fit who we are and are becoming, always making the necessary alterations as we go. 


—isn’t easy, might be painful, but is necessary, for it makes elements that need to be seen stand out: the good, the bad, the ugly. It also makes better and best possible, for it is in differences that we find beauty, that we reach beyond realms that we know into those we don’t; this is how we grow. 


Find your focus. What’s WORTH emphasizing? Everything cannot have the same intensity or there’s no big picture, no real vision, and meaning is lost. 


—means stability. Not attempting too much or too little. Too much and we become oppressed, paralyzed, ineffective. Too little, and we become bored, listless, unproductive. Balance is achieved by planning for it, knowing that the work and the break from the work are essential, equivalent, and correlated gifts. 


—is about relationships. And perspective. It takes courage to see these as they are. Healthy relationships are in proportion. Unhealthy ones are not. A whole must relate to another whole, not to parts. The only person you can adjust is you. Use your power wisely.


Finding common ground, honoring inherent sameness, coming to a pleasing agreement or resolution, is finding our place of belonging, one to another.

Rhythm (movement)

—begins with the beating of our hearts. Humanity is meant to to make music, sing, to dance, to run; rhythm is exciting, reminds us we are alive. It is not random. It is structured. It is anticipated. It is a recognizable, repeated pattern necessary for order and flow. It’s all about the right timing.  


—is about overall clarity and completeness. It occurs only when all individuals, all pieces, are in harmony with one another. Clutter and confusion are gone.


Ah, the spice of life . . . intricacies, complexities, diversity, the delight of the unexpected . . . all that transforms existence from an interesting experience to one breathtaking adventure. 

Double challenge: Re-read as 1) Tools for writing and again as 2) Tools for teaching.


11 thoughts on “Life imitates art

  1. This is so beautiful! I love all the connections you made and that art chart is magnificent as well. Each of these stood out as wonderful mottos for living a great life–and you are right, they relate to teaching and writing too! Thanks for sharing this and daring yourself to make something spectacular.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Betsy; I believed it would work, I just wasn’t sure how! My art teacher colleague made that chart by hand. She’s immensely talented & a wonderful person who leaves beauty on everything she touches. 🙂


  2. Wow! I think I need to come back here and read this again tonight with even more time to ponder all your words! “Find your focus. What’s WORTH emphasizing? Everything cannot have the same intensity or there’s no big picture, no real vision, and meaning is lost.” This morning, these are the words that I will take with me to my PD day. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the connections you made and the power of your words to describe these connections. You are right, these can be life principles. I like the challenge to make the connections to teaching and to writing as well. You really get me thinking today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m on Spring Break, so I was reading this through the lens of the remaining items on my to-do list: spring decorating, decluttering, taxes, and schoolwork. I have found more balance and rhythm this week; the challenge will be to carry that on through the remaining days of the school year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes. Life principles. Interestingly, I’ve looked at a number of art charts this past month and thought of them as applicable in other settings. Love how you’ve done this. You know, this reads like an intro to a book… each principle developed in a chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the way you enhanced an already powerful, as well as colorful and decorative poster. Life and art are inseparable. So true that all these elements are needed in life, teaching, and writing. It was brave of you to take on defining them:} I always look forward to your post


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