Quick! What came to mind? Chances are there was a variety of responses both positive, negative, and everywhere in between.
Personally, I have thought for a long time about art, what it is, and who it belongs to. Before we try to answer these questions I think it would be helpful to go back to the beginning, the very beginning.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God created. Not only that, but, “God created man in His own image…” Up until this point we only know a few things about God, one of them being that He creates. In addition, we know that He created us in His image. This truth tells us something about our powers to create. Edith Shaeffer in her book Hidden Art of Homemaking says it this way:
And so – So our creativity is not on God’s level at all. His creativity is unlimited and infinite. Nevertheless we have been created in His image, so we can be, and are made to be, creative. Man has a capacity both for responding and producing, for communicating as well as being inspired. It is important to respond to the art of others, as well as to produce art oneself. It is important to inspire others to be creative as well as to communicate by one’s own creative acts.
She then asks, “How is man’s capacity for creativity, for art, to be used?”
I think David Hicks gives us some insight into what could be the beginning of a great answer:
The paideutic man’s attitude toward such activities as painting, drawing, violin playing, dancing, and acting is amateurish, not professional. He knows that one cannot learn the culture defined by these activities passively. Since culture is the unique property of the participant, not of the spectator, the classical academy resists the modern tendency to select only the most talented for participating.
He loves art and culture and plays in one area after another. Each time he encounters another craft his skill grows along with his delight in himself as a creator and in his created works.
So then, “How is man’s capacity for creativity, for art, to be used?” I used to think I knew the answer to this until I married a man who seemed to play with everything artistic that piqued his interest. At first I balked at it, thinking “Seriously?! Stick to one thing.” But then as I watched him over the years and read what David Hicks had to say, it dawned on me that my husband is the paideutic man. He loves art and culture and plays in one area after another. Each time he encounters another craft his skill grows along with his delight in himself as a creator and in his created works.
I had to change my perspective.
If you are interested in hearing more on this subject, along with practical ways you and your family can begin playing with the arts, be sure to visit my blog, Expanding Wisdom, in October, for our “31 Days of Playing with the Arts” series.
What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.