There are many different beliefs and opinions about what art is, or even what it should aim to be. It seems to be as many of the subjects that are discussed in Philosophy and English class; open to continuous discussion.
The painting above was done by my grandmother. She told me it tried to make it resemble the sunsets she saw in Mozambique. She said that they always had these fantastic, vivid colours clashing against each other that she did not find in the sunsets in Portugal.
Now, how to categorize her painting?
Even just in the small nucleus of my family there are many different opinions about what is good art. Some of us strongly believe that it must have a point to it. Perhaps it is pleasing to the eye, or maybe it is gruesome. Yet, it was made with an intention in mind; there is a message behind it, just waiting for every viewer to understand it. No piece of art without an intent can be considered good art.
My view differs. I do not know if my grandmother had any other objective besides reliving an old memory when she made this painting. Did she need to? I recall loving it as a child. Looking at it I would imagine the bottom being molten lava just starting to cool down. I would picture my grandmother painting it the way she loves. Starting with the paintbrush to get the base, then when she felt ready she used her own finger. Mixing the paint and adding movement much faster than with the brush. Naturally she would also never have to worry about the brush strokes showing.
She made it for her own enjoyment, to me that is enough. Furthermore since then its use has grown. Now, decorating the living room of my mother’s house, it is often source of praise of those who come to visit. Though it may not have a clear message it affects people in a certain way that causes them to ask or comment about it. To me it is a source of memories and a bit of jealousy, as the ability to use paint seems to have been lost in me..