The whole world is full of unworked joy mines. Everywhere we go we find all sorts of happiness-producing material, if we only know how to extract it.” -Orison Swett Marsden
Continuing on with the series of posts about the arts and our hearts.
Next up is Art.
“You must look at pictures studiously, earnestly, honestly. It will take years before you come to a full appreciation of art; but when at last you have it, you will be possessed of one of the purest, loftiest, and most ennobling pleasures that the civilized world can offer you.” – John Van Dyke
When we see ordinary things we see only with our eyes, but, when we see works of art we see with our hearts.” -Charles Caffin
“Never lose an opportunity to see anything beautiful. Beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Charles Kingsley
In thinking about art, here are some ideas that we try to incorporate into our home:
- Appreciating good and beautiful art that has already been created
- Creating art using different mediums
- Crafts, drawing, painting, textiles, foods, etc.
- Appreciating the beauty that surrounds us
- Memorizing good and beautiful artwork
My kids love to look at statues anytime we see them.
We can use art as a means to express our feelings.
A few weeks ago, Evelyn got out her Book of Mormon and flipped to a random page. She was trying to read a few verses all on her own… or at least some of the words. She also was “marking tender mercies” with little hearts in the margins like I have been doing. One verse that she put a heart beside was Alma 26:11
“But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.”
She read (with some help) it out loud and was really proud of herself for being able to read most of the words. She especially liked the part that says “my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.”
A few days later when we were having home church, it was fast Sunday so we had testimony time during our little Sacrament meeting.
Jershon and I both bore our testimonies and then it was quiet for a little while while we waited to see if anyone else wanted to bear their testimonies.
Evelyn got up, went to the front of the room, pulled her Book of Mormon off the shelf, and opened it up to this verse, which is quickly becoming her favorite. She read part of it out loud: “my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.” Then she said “In the name of Jesus Christ, amen” and she sat back down in her chair. 🙂
…well, a few mornings ago we were doing scripture study. She pulled out her Book of Mormon, turned to Alma 26:11, and read it out loud. She asked me what the word “brim” means. I told her that it means full or about to overflow. So she got out her little whiteboard and wrote the words “yea my heart is brim with joy”… And then she added a few more words… “I Lov (love) God”…then she drew a picture of a kid holding a heart that was spilling out.
It’s been 5 days since then and she still hasn’t erased it from her whiteboard because it is so meaningful to her. 🙂
Art is a part of our Morning Menus so we spend time with a painting every morning.
We usually keep the same painting for a week or so. I set the timer for one minute and we look at the painting with that day’s quest in mind. The quest topics are:
- Find something in the painting that you notice.
- Find something in the painting that you wonder about.
- Find something in the painting that reminds you of something else.
- Make up a story about the painting and share it with us
- Jump into the painting and imagine who you would be / what experience you would like to participate in within the story
- Look at the painting for one minute, then flip it over so you can’t see it and I’ll ask you questions about the details of the painting to see what you can remember about it.
I’ve never thought of myself as much of a crafts person. I don’t consider myself to be a crafty kind of mom… as far as paper, glue, glitter, etc. kind of projects go. But I do really enjoy doing handcrafts with my kids. Usually, these have been tied to family history which makes them even more enjoyable and meaningful for all of us. I see these handcrafts as a form of art.
I’ve also come to enjoy making certain meals and food experiences beautiful. I consider that to be art as well.
For even more about Art for warming the heart, this is a great resource.