Thursday, September 9, 2010

more art post

I know this probably seems academic, but I think about these things, not just for myself, but because I want to train the children I am raising as well as they pursue their artistic interests. Also, it bothers me that we Christians really seem to have abandoned the arts. I think in a way we distrust beauty. We know that appearances can be deceiving, and we also know that in our culture the young and beautiful have been elevated to be far more important than everyone else. So, I think we have abandoned beauty as a virtue. I know that at times in my life I felt like if I tried to beautify my home and things like that I would feel like I was being materialistic. But does beauty have value itself?

Well, we look to the attributes of God we see that He possesses beauty. 

One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4

God says that holiness is beautiful.

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.  Psalm 29:2

God beautifies His people.

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.  Psalm 90:17

God takes away beauty as a rebuke.

When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man [is] vanity. Selah.  Psalm 39:11

So obviously God sees beauty as something He values. It can be deceptive, it should be handled carefully, but we should not throw out the baby with the bath water.

I know that I am inspired by beauty. I used to feel guilty about that, like it was worldly of me maybe. But I think actually it's just part of who God made me to be. But I used to be troubled as I would seek out beauty. As I traversed the internet, I really enjoy blogs where the author has taken time to make their blog beautiful. But you know, MOST of the most beautiful blogs out there, the ones that celebrate daily life, take the ordinary and give it back glorified are NOT by Christian women. Or, if they are, it seems that Christian women are only comfortable with two types of beauty-Victorian and that sort of quilty country look. And those who are more in the other areas of beauty, more contemporary styles, are kind of... quiet about their faith... well, they might let it peek out every so often, but often they seem almost apologetic about it.

Can I be honest with you? I'm not so much into Victorian. I used to wonder if maybe I lacked some aspect of femininity because I wasn't. But, I don't know. I'm just not. 

I wish Christian women were more at the fore front of the women's arts and craft movement, which is really exploding right now. As I look for inspiration in magazines like "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" and all the Somerset magazine, "Quilting Arts" etc. I see very little Christian voice. That may be the editors, but I don't completely think so because when I look at the really good stuff on etsy it kind of seems the same. Very little Christian artistic voice. Why?  Can anyone explain this to me?

The painting below is Winslow Homer by the way. I forgot to label it so late at night...

And I'm not targeting any particular blog or person in these posts. This is stuff that just kind of swirls around in my head and I get all wound up in my own head and... well... that's why I have a blog.


  1. It's been a while since I read Edith Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking but she talks about the desire for nice surroundings. Women like to be in places that are pretty and nice, don't we? It's not a bad thing. Well, it can be bad I suppose. Idol-making and all that.

    I am laughing about the Victorian or "quilty" blogs. I hadn't really noticed that but I'll be watching out now.

    I've been complaining for years that there aren't any nature books written by Christians. Well, except things like the Christian Liberty Nature Readers which my kids liked when they were little.

  2. Marbel thought of the same thing I did as I read your post. In the Hidden Art E.Schaeffer talks about how Christian homes should be more beautiful and she even tells a story about the message missionaries sent when living in a home that was very austere. I do not think beauty has to equal spending lots of money or having a lot of stuff.

    My tastes are not very Victorian either, and I consider myself very feminine. My blog reflects my tastes and which doesn't much include lace, hats and lots of soft mauves and pinks. :)

    Christian marketing has had too much to say about what Christians ought to think is beautiful, I think. But that is a whole other can of worms. :)

  3. Victorian or quilty...hmm.. so where does my blog fall in Kerri my friend. Bwahahaha! You are funny! I have never given art a thought whether it is christian or right or wrong. The only kind of art I bristle at is the artist painting the naked body.

    If God didnt like beauty then he would have made the world in black and white. End of story!

    I havent thought about Christian art but I have thought about christian writers. Where are the great insighful writers of our time? The writers that can overthrow a dynasty like Rome? I dont think our writings have the impact they use to either. Its all kinda sad.

  4. Maybe you aren't reading the same blogs as me but what has struck me when I go blog hopping to home reno and re-purposing blogs...the majority are professing Christians. They have homes they are making beautiful, doing amazing crafts and cooking great meals and they are giving praise to God.

    Sometimes it is hard to tell if they are Mormon's or not :)

    I'll try to get a list of the blogs that I love soon.

  5. Yeah, Amy, it may just be me. I don't go to a lot of home reno blogs. They kind of depress me. :/ I tend to go to more like knitting blogs, sewing, crafty sorts of things.

    But the fact that Mormons really seem to leading this area has kind of struck me.