Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Chapter 2

Definitions are important.

That's the reason for focusing on the short title of our book club selection.  Hidden Art.

Author Edith Schaeffer knew what she was doing, when she chose those pregnant words.  Aside from the obvious stated at the beginning of chapter two and which declaration is my mantra (see masthead), I am challenged to look more closely.

Most words have more than one meaning.  Context governs both denotation and connotation.  So, further examination of Mrs. Schaeffer's choice should improve our ability to apply her message.

Straight from the dictionary ~

Art is the exercise of human skill (as distinguished from nature).  It was such a relief when I first finished reading Hidden Art years ago to see myself as an artist.

Hidden means concealed, but not in a secretive sense, or out of sight, but in a foundational sense.  Like the basement walls in my home:  hidden, yet crucial to the structure of my house.

Again, what encouragement I felt as I read example after example in each chapter of how to tap into what was already there.  The atmosphere (intangible) of a home jumped to the forefront.

Furthermore, when Mrs. Schaeffer referenced discipline - the time, energy, practice, and routine all required to produce art.  Those words defined my life, especially when our children were very young.  For a long time, knick-knacks were non-existent.

All this to say that I began to realize that the orderliness that was so important to me, that which made my day go more smoothly, is art.  The First Artist is orderly.  That is the art of pattern.  That must be His Image in me!

Now that the meanings of hidden and art are fully defined,

the real training can begin.

Let's shed the cast and exercise.


  1. "Let's shed the cast and exercise" -- love that. :) I'm in the "knick knacks are non existent" phase right now, and my favorite moment of beauty in my house is when tables and counters are *empty*. To me, that means peaceful rather than barren.

    1. I was thinking of your stage of life when I wrote that Mystie. Blessings on your and your precious crew ~

  2. "I began to realize that the orderliness that was so important to me, that which made my day go more smoothly, is art. The First Artist is orderly. That is must be the art of pattern." Oh -- I like that VERY much! Thank you. Not everyone is "orderly" and patterned in their thinking and living, but it's so refreshing to think that just orderliness is a creative act. We often have it drilled into our heads that creativity, in its essence, is disorderly, chaotic, disheveled. Creating order is lovely. Thank you again!

  3. I can relate to the need for order. Thanks or reminding e that our homes need not be showplaces to be artistic.

  4. Well said! I would never be able to find my creativity in the midst of the chaos that some "artsy" people live with. I also feel a great accomplishment when I am able to create a clear space. I want to be able to see the nice wood of the tabletop, or have the freedom and space to start a new project!

  5. Yes, I have always felt that I was not creative because I have never enjoyed the mess it can create. I like to work though something messy straight through. Very creative people seem more comfortable with messes and I honestly think that is good only it stresses me.

  6. Wonderful thoughts, Dana. I especially loved your insight on the definition of "hidden." I've never really thought about it that way before, that it provides a foundational structure.

    Right now my biggest goal is to get my home back in order again. We lost a lot of storage space during the reconstruction of our home, so until we rebuild our shelves and closets, we have boxes everywhere. My challenge will be to find a way to create hidden art in this environment.

  7. Thank you for the word study, Dana. It really is helpful to step back and think about the meanings of the words we choose to use.