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.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Chapter 1

Art/Artist was a bad word for me for a long time, conjuring up unorthodox images and anxious feelings. Edith Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Ideas for Creating Beauty in Everyday Life resolved my hang-ups.

As an elementary school student, I squandered much of my art class-time by wringing my hands over what to draw, paint or mold.  In middle school, I got kicked out of art class because I couldnt draw a picture of pollution.  I sensed manipulation and political-correctness in the assignment.  That was the last time I ever took *art.*

The first time I ever felt artistic was May 9, 2003 (age 45), even though I was creative before that.  I just didnt recognize it.  Here's a link to that story.  It's my very first blog entry, after coming up with the title for my site.

Before that, in the mid 1990s, I spearheaded an art appreciation program at the Christian school where our daughters were attending.    It was called Picture Parent and there was a 2-hour training program for volunteers.  I was called upon by the museum-trained docent to select a painting from a stash of prints on the table and explain why I liked it.  A mild panic attack set in.  I couldnt think of anything to say.  Thankfully, I spotted two prints, both head studies of young girls.  In front of the group, I held them up, stating that they reminded me of my own daughters and what type of artistic expression I wanted them to emulate.  That's why I wanted to be involved.

What did Edith write and I read years ago that cleared up my view of art and artists?

Chapter One, The First Artist.

Specifically, the Amos reference ~

For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind
And declares to man what are His thoughts,
He who makes dawn into darkness
And treads on the high places of the earth,
The Lord God of hosts is His name.

Therefore, because God (The Creator, The First Artist) knows me (called me), I must be artistic.  By definition, I can create and be creative.  Look for it.  It's there.  He tells me what to think.  That's how I know what to do.

Furthermore, the first chapter is an appropriately-placed apology, a defense of doctrine that is Truth, vital to daily living and worldview.  It lays the groundwork for implementing the practical aspects of the following 13 chapters.

Schaeffer's reference to Isaiah 61 is the call to action.

What would Edith have us do?

Let's get busy.

Artwork Credit:
Acrylic on Canvas
10" x 14"
signed *DJ*
Sunday, April 28, 1968

Link to related blog entry

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sue Lucey Cookies

Cream together:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar

Add to creamed mixture:
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together:
 1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, stirring to combine.

Then add:
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Drop teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake in preheated 350 oven for 12-15 minutes.

Cool  on racks or brown paper.

Makes 3 dozen