For those of you who did not read my first-ever column a year or two ago may wonder why the title is about an arts guild when I really do not write about art very often. I was watching Texas Country Reporter this past week when one of the guests said that he adhered to the Japanese philosophy that art is created in everyday life whenever we make or do nearly anything. I know that is a mighty broad interpretation of the concept of art, but I agree completely. That is why a column about an imaginary arts guild covers such a wide variety of subjects.
It is obvious that when we make something for our homes like a quilt or a floral arrangement, we are creating art. But how about when we make a meal composed of a pleasing variety of textures, tastes, and colors? When I was pregnant with my first child, I developed an aversion to yellow food. This is impossible to explain to anyone who has not been pregnant or who has not experienced it! Something yellow had obviously caused me to feel sick once, I think it was a raw chicken breast I was about to cook, then the nausea spread to EVERYTHING yellow. I was visiting the home of a family member and for dinner she had fried catfish (coated in yellow cornmeal), yellow squash, and corn. The only thing that was not yellow was the ketchup. As badly as I wanted to be polite, I could not eat. Now, this is a drastic example, but even for people who are not stricken with pregnancy-related food aversions generally find a visually well-composed meal to be more appetizing. The Japanese are on to this idea and make a pretty big deal out of making their food look good. Even if you do not like sushi, you cannot deny that a bento lunch is a beautiful, artful composition.
Once I read an account of a visit to a Greek Island where the women spent what little leisure they had time visiting and embroidering. The writer described how every household textile from aprons to kitchen towels was embellished with beautiful embroidery. The image that stuck in my mind was their description of every window fluttering with snow-white cotton curtains embroidered with white designs and pulled-work. I have one cousin in Tennessee and one female friend in San Saba who, like me, always have some sort of needlework in hand. And, like me, they make lots of crocheted potholders and washcloths. I have been the recipient of lots of snide comments and looks over my needlework, but the potholders and washcloths bring out the worst in the people who are prone to be snide anyway. The way I look at it, and I am sure my crafty friends would agree, is that I get to surround myself with beautiful and functional things, much like the ladies in Greece. Why have a generic potholder from the dollar store when you can have something made to order and beautiful enough to hang on the wall? Oh, it also works better and lasts longer than the one from the store. The real bonus is that I am never bored and always have something to look forward to,the next project and the next and the next.
Tell me about your everyday art at:
SpringCreekArtsGuild@gmail. com and check the blog version of thiscolumn for some pictures: