I asked my friend Beth of Red and Honey what inspires her to creativity throughout the day and I am delighted to have her share her thoughts here today!
10 Ways to Make Art at Home:
If you think yourself to be the furthest thing possible from an artist, then this is for you. There is a certain rhythm to the quotidian tasks that I carry out day-to-day. There is the potential for these mundane bits of my day all strung together with diapers and toilet-scrubbing to be uninspiring and unappreciated, and there is potential for them to be the very canvas on which I create my art.
I believe that everyone is an artist. If you create, then you are an artist. If you have eyes to behold and express the beauty that is all around you, then you are an artist. Your children probably have no inhibitions whatsoever about creating and following their artistic instincts. It comes naturally to them, but when we grow up and become adults we sometimes lose that ability. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like an artist in your day amidst the grown-upishness of it all, but I believe it would be a great tragedy for my children to grow up and lose that sense of wonder and creativity. My solution? To model it. To live it. To teach new ways.
Here are ten ways that you can make art at home:
I like to keep a camera handy to document the moments that stand out in the day. Take photos of things that strike you, things that you see as beautiful, whether it’s the brilliant colors of your fruit basket, the sun’s gaze in your living room, or your child’s hands as he plays. I try to capture all things beautiful, not just the typical memories for posterity.
2. Breaking the rules
My three-year-old has recently been introduced to “big boy lego” (the small regular-sized lego blocks). Today we built a lego house together, and as I showed him how to do it, I reminded him that he could build it however he wanted. I made the first layer with all blue, then told him to add whatever colors he wanted for the next. “An orange piece!” he said with excitement. Then, “and a yellow piece here!” We added pieces and followed no “rules”, ending up with a beautifully colorful house with a funny looking roof, two doors, and a window. He loved it.
I don’t want to ever tell my kids they have to color inside the lines, and I certainly don’t want to miss out on unique and beautiful art because of expectations that squash creativity.
Perhaps it’s because I love food so much. Nonetheless, I find ample opportunity to make and observe art in the kitchen. When I get out the camera to photograph the meal I made simply because it has an array of beautiful textures and colors, they learn to see art in the everyday things. A bunch of carrots becomes a vibrant joy for the eyes, and a bowl of lemons a photography-worthy sight. If you’re not as camera-happy as I am, then simply observe the beauty out loud, which leads me to my next point…
4. Observing the world outside
Most winter mornings bring soft pinks and oranges painted across the sky right outside our front window. I have a habit of exclaiming, “oh, what a beautiful sunrise/sky/cloud/day it is!” and I’ve been delighted to find my little guy joining in the spirit. He sees the beauty all on his own now, and I often find him peeking through the still-drawn curtains as the light fills the sky exclaiming, “Mommy, the sky is so beautiful this morning!” As we venture outside for walks and such, I often exclaim over the beauty in the things he points out – the colors in autumn, the buds in spring, the ice droplets in winter, the dazzling sunshine and flowers in the summer. As we observe beauty in creation, he learns to make art in his soul, by having eyes to see it.
With music playing more often than not in our days, there is ample opportunity for toe-tapping and head-bobbing. When I see the kids move their bodies to the beat of the music, we bust out into a full-on dance party. By allowing myself to let go of inhibitions and dance however the music moves me, I teach my kids to be free to express themselves through their movements. Hopefully I will teach them that their bodies’ movements can be a beautiful form of art – from the way that they carry themselves around others, to the way they express their physical selves. Whether they are as uncoordinated as their parents or not, dancing freely in your living room is surely an art form that is most honoring to the One who gave you that body with the ability to hear and express the music in your soul.
6. You are beautiful because…
Make art by speaking love into someone’s life. Say why they are beautiful to you right then and there, whether it be an appreciated aspect of their character, a particularly lovely act, or simply a sparkle of life in their eyes. I see my son as a masterpiece work of art, and I love to tell him so.
7. Special Art Projects
My kids love to do what we call “special art”, which is any artsy-crafty project that involves more than just crayons. Add in some glitter or stickers or glue, and they seem to be infused with an extra dose of inspiration. It helps when Mama is willing to sit down with them as they create, giving personal commentary and interaction as they work.
8. Sit in the quiet and pray
Sometimes art can be made simply by sitting quietly for a few moments. It can be tough to do with the preschooler and under crowd around, but it’s possible. Glean those little moments as you are able, and just sit. Look around you, let your senses take in the gifts of beauty all around you. Let your eyes see things that you’ve looked past all day long, and breathe deep with gratitude for your many blessings. A moment as such is a thing of beauty, and a work of art. Share your thoughts with your children to teach them to do the same.
9. Sing while you work
As you go about your daily mundane tasks, sing songs that make your soul sing with passion and inspiration. Dare to make art by saying yes to the music and pressing it deep into your soul, allowing it to leave behind its messy palette and paint. Show your children that even the most drudgery of moments can be made beautiful by the attitude you are cultivating in your heart.
10. Say a dream out loud
Say it out loud (or write it on a blog!). Tell people what you are dreaming about, what makes you giddy with excitement, and what makes you come alive. Tell your children that dreaming is mandatory in your household, and that true art requires a certain letting go of inhibitions that typically hold people back from ever creating a masterpiece of their lives. Don’t be afraid of dreaming massive and crazy things. Be afraid of sticking yourself into a box and shutting the lid. Show your children that beautiful things can happen when you step out on a limb and walk toward a goal.
What are the ways that you make art? Would you call yourself an artist? Why or why not?
Beth is a natural redhead, wife to a pilot husband and mama to (almost) 3 little ones. She is passionate about missions, motherhood, and finding the beauty in everyday life. She blogs from the Canadian prairies about the art and soul of audacious homemaking at Red & Honey.