all those years homeschooling, one thing i couldn’t teach my children was art.
we finger painted and colored with chalk and played with clay. but there was no formal teaching going on.
my youngest struggled to find himself.
What color popsicle do you want?
What color do you think i should have?
this sort of thing happened all the time. i prayed and longed for him to first know how he felt or what he wanted, and then have courage to express it.
last year we (he and i) decided to homeschool one more year. he just didn’t feel ready yet to join his brother at our neighborhood public school. so i was in the bookstore buying some materials and i ‘stumbled’ upon an Art curriculum. It looked like something i could actually be successful at using. i stood and prayed and pondered for a bit. i had enrolled my daniel in a ‘thursday school’ where he would take electives like art and spanish and pe. but the Spirit nudged and i bought it.
lesson 1 was going along great until it was time for him to do the art. the book didn’t tell him specifically what to draw or how to draw it “here’s how to draw a bear-now you draw a bear.” no, it taught a concept and gave freedom in applying that concept at the childs level. “Artist’s compose, here’s what it means to compose. now you pick a few things to compose into a picture.”
he sat and sat and sat and cried and begged me to just tell him what to draw.
but i wouldn’t.
and i grieved watching him struggle so.
but finally he drew something.
and learned that he could.
and all year long this art changed him.
no…. not it changed him.
it drew him out.
and he grew in confidence and opinions and expressing of himself (and so yes, we experienced more conflict in the home)
but that was so worth seeing my guy develop more into who he actually was.
and it was the art that facilitated it.
something in me began to look. listening to a friend describe what she is learning about herself from taking an art class. watching my daughter and i and what comes out in the pottery class we take. what happens inside me when i choose to begin to write here.
that same year of daniel and this art ‘class’, i did a year long study in Genesis and right away at the very beginning i see these words:
in the beginning God created….
and i look around and take in the art of the first Artist.
i listen to the freedom that brings a fellow studier; “i’m an interior designer. when i create i am acting as His image bearer. i never saw myself that way. i always thought my job was fluff compared to ‘things more spiritual’
over the course of the year this thing with art shows up everywhere.
an old Jars of Clay cd is put in the player and this song fills the car.
my understanding of art broadens beyond paint and canvas, and i begin to appreciate God’s creation and creativity in the world all the more.
i begin to see how art can draw a person out-the person creating the art or the person experiencing the art another has created.
my son’s favorite subject now in school is art.
and my vision has been refined and re-focused
to see the Art in Almighty God
and see the art in me