Photos in this post are my sister’s, Melanie Thompson, whose paintings are available on her website. I love her work, because she provides a way of seeing this amazing arid desert that we call home as beautiful, when it is despised by many as barren and ugly.
This post is part of Cindy’s Hidden Art of Homemaking Book Club for chapter 4 on painting, sculpting, sketching, and the like.
In this chapter Edith explains how someone with a talent for drawing, painting, sculpting, etc. should not tuck that talent away because of pressing practical concerns like a “real job.”
But, through the whole chapter, I felt forced to ask, “But what of those who have no talent?” She says we can all sketch on our daily to-do lists to personalize them and help them appear more compelling and attractive. I feel like my own such marks only make it appear even more like trash. I am more a “use a clean sheet of printer paper rather than the back of an envelope to make your list look attractive and compelling” than a “sketch a border around the list” person.
I am clutter-averse, and that includes doodling.
Not too long ago I was watching a video about how one’s doodling can give insight into one’s personality. As I listened and folded laundry I thought, “Hm. What do I draw when I doodle?” and I couldn’t really think of anything I’d doodled. How could I find out what my doodling said about my personality if I didn’t even doodle?! What would I doodle, if I doodled? Sometimes I practice my handwriting and making letters different ways in the margins. Is that doodling? I don’t absent-mindedly sketch or doodle.
Turns out, there was a personality category for people who don’t doodle, so maybe I’m not totally defective.
Certainly I encourage my children to draw; they need little prompting. I can see how it is a valuable expressive outlet. But, is it one I should take up now? Should I add it to my should do in my lifetime list, when I don’t really care to? Does this chapter only apply to those with talent or desire?
Then I recall a little pile I have in my craft area. A box of special pens. A box of special markers. A pad of special paper. Two books, of course.
An artistic outlet on my “someday” radar is calligraphy. I might not doodle, but I write. I might not be able to sketch, but I love words. And, even if I never get good enough to make anything worth hanging on a wall, an attempt would surely improve my day-to-day handwriting.
Yes, even simply improving my handwriting and taking time to make it neat (and maybe even attractive) rather than an uneven scrawl is a way to express creativity and beauty in the mundane.