31 Days of Ponderosity

Welcome to 31 Days of Ponderosity, where weighty, witty and wonderful quotes will be mulled over, thought through, and reflected upon.  My dear departed grandmother left me a wonderful book, published in 1938, called "Familiar Quotations - A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature" by John Bartlett.  I'm browsing the book, and using some of the quotes as food for thought.

Scroll down for Day 1. "Art is man's nature; nature is God's art." ~Philip James Bailey

Day 2  Are you a gardener?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/31-days-day-2.html

Day 3  Are you a "foodie"?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/31-days-day-3-food.html

Day 4 Are you a diplomat? http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/diplomacy.html

Day 5 Do you like French? http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/french.html

Day 6 Are you free?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/31-days-day-6-freedom.html

Day 7  Do you think about death?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/31-days-death-day-7.html

Day 8  Do you persevere?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/perseverance.html

Day 9  Are you a poet?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/poetry.html

Day 10 Are you a dog lover?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/31-days-day-10-dogs.html

Day 12  Are you Thankful?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/31-days-day-12-thanksgiving.html

Day 13  What is beauty?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/beauty.html

Day 14 Do you like a glass of wine?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/31-days-day-14-wine.html

Day 15  Do you understand pain?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/31-days-day-15-moods-pain-and-sorrow.html

Day 16  Are you a musician at heart?  http://irrepressiblestones.blogspot.com/2014/10/31-days-day-16-music.html

Day 1       Are you an artist?

"Art is man's nature; nature is God's art." ~Philip James Bailey

I'm no artist.  I'd be the first to tell you that, if you asked me.  I do not draw much more than little doodles on the page to illustrate the words of my journal.  I marvel at the incredible drawings of serious artists who have taken the time to hone their skill, and I appreciate looking at the paintings of the masters and the creativity of modern artists who can take something as simple as fingerpaint and make it into something worthy to hang on the wall.

Yet, I'm an artist, I tell you, because I love to bring beauty out of chaos, and order out of messiness.
This year, I'm enjoying a Latin desk calendar.  The quote for October 1 is this:

"Ars est celare artem."  Real art conceals its artfulness, or literally, it is art to conceal art.  In other words, the beauty of art is in the entire work, not in the technique, the brush strokes, the colours, or precise combinations of oils or watercolours or pastels or fabric.  The art is the finished work.

We're all artists, one way or another.

Observe the gas station attendant as she pumps the gas, washes the windows, rings in the till and answers the customer's questions.  She's an artist, bringing beauty and order to her little corner of the world.

Observe the farmer as he cuts and harvests the beans, then tills the field to ready it for winter wheat.  The rows are precise, brown against yellow, row upon row.

Observe the mother as she chops the vegetables for a salad and mixes the oil and lemon for the dressing.  She arranges the food on the plate, making it just so, feeding her family and reflecting the beauty of nature, of God Himself who created it.

"Art is a human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen." ~Count Lyof Nikolaye-Vitch Tolstoi

An attendant's diligence.  A farmer's precision.  A mother's love.  This is art.

"Art is a jealous mistress*, and, if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband, and an ill-provider." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Art can consume us.  I am the proud owner and user of a planner - no wait, make that two planners... one for my desk, and one for my purse.  I have a third planner, I admit.  That one is used to record the days of our lives, the events of our family, the appointments and outings and visits with friend and family that we enjoy.  I get carried away with those planners.  I doodle and paste and print out pictures to insert on special days.  I use stickers and washi tape and coloured pens to make those planners visually appealing.  I can be a "bad husband", forgetting to complete some tasks because I'm too busy filling in pages.

It's a wonderful thing to be an image bearer, to be made in the image of God.  Because He is the ultimate Artist, we are all artists, too.

Ask yourself:

How am I an artist?
Can I improve my skill and reflect more of God's beauty in my art?
Do I get carried away and neglect my duties to pursue the joy of creating?  Is that always a bad thing?

 The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.


(*Blackstone's confession of his own original preference for literature, and his perception that the law was "a jealous mistress," who would suffer no rival in his affections.)

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