The Art of Work

Imagine a world without art and artists.

They help us see the world through different eyes.

And artisans infuse our everyday lives with beauty.


Works of art come in many disciplines.


And on many scales…

 …some more grand than others.


My artist sister Constance’s painting, “The Poet”, celebrates the literary art of poetry through her visual art.

But I have great appreciation for people who would never consider themselves artists, and yet they make an art of work.

Some apply exceptional creativity to their work, like this fellow who rigged a bicycle to power a sugar cane juicer, to crank out a little work of art one cup at a time.

Some turn an ordinary business into something with a very personal touch.


In Ireland,  I was moved by the gravestone of a man lovingly remembered for his gift of turning his work into an art.

Be it traditional…




…or a treasured heirloom…


…art is all around us, and everyone is an artist in his or her own way, whether practicing with a paintbrush, chisel, camera, wooden spoon, plow, or scissors.

Art is in the eye of the beholder.

Also on the tongue…

…in the ear…

…the nose…

…the heart…

and the mind.

Whatever you do, wherever you go, party arty!

All images and words c2014Naomi Baltuck.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Travel Theme: Industry.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art.


  1. You are so right. Art comes in many forms – all we need to do is open our eyes to see, really see, and our hearts to appreciate. Love your photos and stories and your sister’s painting.

    1. Hi Carol,
      Thank you for your kind words. I love that painting too. Whenever Constance has a gallery show, she gives me first choice and this one was definitely the best of show. I painted my kitchen yellow to give it a proper background that would complement the colors.

    2. Thank you, Carol. My home is decorated with her art. She gives me first pick when she has a show, but now that she is getting famous, I can’t afford to buy a piece from every show, as I used to do. I wait for those special ones. I painted my kitchen yellow so that I would have a complementary background for “The Poet”. Thanks so much for the visit. I always love to hear from you.

    1. The only reason would be to appreciate all the more the light and color and life they bring into our world. Thank you for stopping by, and taking the time to comment!

  2. I hear so many people say ‘Oh- I’m not creative.’ But they are of course, just perhaps not in the fields we traditionally associate with creativity! I love your sugar cane juicer example. 🙂

    1. Hi Kasia,
      Thanks for the visit, and for your take on the post. The closest thing I have seen to the sugar cane juicer is an exercise bicycle that generates electricity for a small TV fitted to the handlebars.

  3. Agree art is in the eye of the beholder and definitely all around us. Thought this post was super in the many examples of art highlighted. Great job 🙂

  4. Naomi, I thoroughly enjoyed this and very much appreciate that you included every day work and workers like farmers in your definition of artist. Bravo! Linked to FB.

  5. Brilliant. Love all the photos. They are postcard perfect.
    You make a wonderful point, Naomi. Everyone is creative in his or her own way, even if it about laying a table in an appealing way. It’s the love and the passion of the work. ❤ ❤ ❤

    1. As for the dust piles you left the house to escape, you can run, but you can’t hide! We had fun playing with that. I don’t know why, but I just love art that depicts every day objects either on an enormous scale or a teeny tiny one. (Of course, I have a dollhouse, and I even let my children play with it!)

  6. I love the idea that art is more than what we usually think of it as; that it can be in our daily work. Today, I am baking cakes, which makes me feel like an artist (whose art is not going to last very long). 🙂

    1. Oh, Naomi! Products of the culinary arts are fleeting, here and gone so quickly, but definitely among the most appreciated! I love to picture you in a kitchen that smells of freshly bake cake. Maybe with a row of shining faces waiting to lick the spoon?
      Have a good weekend!

    1. Thank you, Elisa. One can tell by visiting your blog, and observing the beauty you capture with your camera that you have an eye for the art all around you.

    1. Thanks, Dianne. I wish I could show you how amazing he was. He had the puppet playing the violin, and when people dropped coins afterwards, it was into the puppet’s violin case.

  7. You nailed the challenge right on the head with this exceptional post Naomi! Your sister’s painting is amazing! And I admire the skills of your hairdresser 🙂

    1. Dear Madhu,
      Thanks so much for the great comment. I will pass your compliment on to both my sister and to Randy, the wonderful guy who does my hair. That’s actually my sister in the styling chair. She was down here for a visit, and I decided to treat her to new do on the eve of a trip back east. She really loved the results, and now when she passes through Seattle on her way in and out of Alaska, I will be making appointments for her with a different kind of artist!

    1. Hi Jo. It is everywhere. I think that you have done a beautiful job capturing that on your latest blogpost! (charming “golden” moments! Thanks for the visit.

  8. Quite quite wonderful, and really inspiring. I find that my eye so often goes jaded. My sensibility dulls. My spirits flag. What they need is art, just what you’re talking about, the gift of seeing what’s around us but all too easily remains invisible. Thanks for providing that gift of sight, Naomi!

    1. Dear Marion,
      Thank you for your warm and generous response. I hope you are well. I heard that you had connected with a great writing group up north. I hope that’s going well, and that your writing is too.

  9. Okay – so this is one of my favorites of the entry this week – in the top 3 – and that is saying much because I try and view as many as I can – and this one is a personal fav – the topic (work – yeah baby) and the artsy pictures – and the words – and the encouraging vibe – just so great – and like your other readers I need to come back to view some mo’!! Also, the variety has the cultural diversity and Naomi – the social unity feel is a gem – 🙂 okay – enough from moi –

  10. I think I love the art of nature best of all. And the art of humans when they’re not trying to be artistic is a pleasure to watch. Lovely post, Naomi.

    1. Thank for stopping by, Kate. I know what you mean. One of the coolest things I’ve seen was a street sweeper at Disneyland. With none of the fanfare, he was quietly going about his business with a broom and a dust pan, but with such style that it would almost qualify as a dance, and we followed him around the park, just to enjoy this quiet artist at work.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about this post, and your generous response. Hoping you are happily skipping through the streets of Paris right now!

  11. Such an insightful post, Naomi! Art is indeed all around us even in things we consider mundane. Your sister’s paintings are beautiful!

  12. As an artist who has worled in many arenas you’ve captured the profession in every photo and word.
    I have an original oil painting by a Vietnamese artist called ‘Le Poet’. ~~~ : – )
    Great post!!

    1. Hi Annika,
      I was just up in Alaska visiting my sister this week, and the kids and I went painting with her. It’s fun, but I tell her I just go along to make her look good (not that she needs it). She is an established Alaska State Artist. The Alaska State Art Museum has purchased some of her work for its permanent collection, and she has done residencies in several of our national parks and overseas. She has lots of work posted on her website (
      Thanks so much for the visit!

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