The Hidden Art of Homemaking Book Club: Chapter 2: “What Is Hidden Art?”

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It’s Week 2 of  The Hidden Art of Homemaking Book Club hosted by Cindy at Ordo Amoris where we’re discussing Edith Schaeffer’s book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, a chapter at a time.

Chapter 2 is “What Is Hidden Art?” Edith defines it as art found in the “minor” or “everyday” areas of life rather than art as one’s occupation or profession. Because we have different gifts and interests, the “hidden art” in each of our lives might look a little different. Because we have multiple demands on our time, no one can do it all. But incorporating some degree of artistry and creativity will require some discipline and prioritizing:

“All art involves conscious discipline. If one is going to paint, do sculpture, design a building or write a book, it will involve discipline in time and energy — or there would never be any production at all to be seen, felt or enjoyed by ourselves or others. To develop ‘Hidden Art’ will also, of course, take time and energy – and the balance of the use of time is a constant individual problem for all of us: what to do, and what to leave undone. One is always having to neglect one thing in order to give precedence to something else. The question is one of priorities” (p. 32).

But the discipline and prioritizing are worth it.

“It is true that all men are created in the image of God, but Christians are supposed to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognize the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for us” (p. 32).

That doesn’t mean we can or should “drop everything to concentrate on trying to develop into great artists” (p. 32), nor does it necessarily mean we need to take courses in Art, which can sometimes discourage, making us feel “‘outside’ the magic circle of the talented” (p. 33). But we begin to develop an eye for seeing the artistic and then incorporating it in everyday ways.

I loved this chapter on many levels. I liked the encouragement to seek the beauty in everyday life as well as the acknowledgement that we’re limited in what we can do, and that’s ok.

In the “middle age” of life I’m in now, those limitations actually help provide focus. For instance, I’d love to learn how to play an instrument. I know I could take lessons even now in my mid-50s (I know an 84-year-old who takes lessons!) But I’ve sometimes said I have enough things I want to do to keep me occupied til I’m over 100. The time it would take to practice and learn an instrument well enough to begin to enjoy it is time I’d rather spend in other pursuits right now (though sometimes I’m still tempted!)

But though lessons of some kind can be beneficial and enjoyable, the focus of this book is more on little touches and everyday ways to incorporate creativity. I’m looking forward to the next chapters!

There is a Hidden Art of Homemaking Pinterest Board where members have been posting some of the everyday beauty in their lives, mostly outdoors shots so far. Here are some from around the house (some current, some past):

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You can find others’ thoughts on Chapter 2 here. Normally the link-up post is on Tuesdays. My Tuesday this week was taken up with hubby’s surgery for a detached retina, but I hope to be posting these chapters on or before Tuesdays from here on out.

9 thoughts on “The Hidden Art of Homemaking Book Club: Chapter 2: “What Is Hidden Art?”

  1. Absolutely love the beauty in those flowers. That’s the kind of “art” I like.

    Continuing to pray for Jim and his eye. I can’t imagine dealing with that. 😦

  2. I’ve had the same thoughts about starting piano lessons some day and came to the same conclusion. I love the idea of playing the piano, but not the idea of practicing all those hours. 🙂 I’m with you – I’ll focus on the little touches and everyday ways to incorporate creativity.

    Roses and hydrangeas are among my favorite flowers. These are gorgeous!

  3. I have had similar thoughts as I’m approaching my mid-50’s. I think I’ll work on enjoying and mastering projects and skills I’ve already started, though I’ll be on the lookout for opportunity to learn a little something new now and then.
    I’m definitely weak in the discipline area, and this chapter has challenged me to work on that.
    Thank you for sharing your flowers with us – started my day off with a smile and visions of beauty!

  4. These are some beautiful thoughts Mrs. Harper! Encouraging to me as I wrestle through what “art” to pursue and what to leave alone. Thanks 🙂

  5. Lovely flowers! Good point about deciding not to take lessons because you DO have to choose what to do with your time. I sometimes get motivated to do learn something I really don’t have the time to learn. Learning to find joy in everyday things can help us prioritize and not just seek those big accomplishments.

  6. Pingback: The Hidden Art of Homemaking Book Club, Chapter 3: Music | Stray Thoughts

  7. Pingback: The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Chapter 4: Painting, Sketching, and Sculpturing | Stray Thoughts

  8. Pingback: Book Review: The Hidden Art of Homemaking | Stray Thoughts

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