I've just finished reading a stunning Jeffery Overstreet essay about the Martin Provost film Seraphine. Read the essay here.
I mention the essay because Overstreet, who confesses to being "astonished to tears by a painting", beautifully relates what art means -- both to those who make it and those who can't live without it. He writes:
"Art, if we look closely, can fine-tune the undisciplined instruments of our minds and hearts, thus helping us see life-changing revelations beyond the canvas."
He concludes by weaving into the inspiration that art is Emily Dickinson's words about "stand[ing] ajar to welcome the ecstatic experience".
Art. What we experience, after all, is God's own creation.