Today I was having lunch with a friend who homeschools her two kids, 7 and 4. She was telling me about how they are studying art and great literature all the time. She’s excited about taking them to a Monet exhibit because they are studying him.
I should say something about my friend, like me, she’s crazy about art and still remembers art in books she had as a child. She also spent much of her youth in art museums. In these things we are very alike.
This got me thinking about something unusual in our upbringings that has shaped us — we always had art around us. Sometimes it was great art, sometimes it was very middle-of-the-road but it was always beautiful. Unconsciously we absorbed it all and came to know, love, and understand art in a very natural way.
The key is in seeing, and seeing often, beautiful things around you. If a child’s picture books have beautiful illustrations they may instill a life-long love. A Charley Harper book did this for me.
So why is this important for us as needlepointers? Because as we stitch we are engaged in making art. The conversation we have with the designer of our canvas adds another dimension to the work. The needlepoint is not really complete until it is stitched.
But stitching is a mostly solitary pursuit. In order for the art we produce to be fruitful in the minds of others it must be seen. It needn’t be this way. Make an ornament, finish a pillow, inset needlepoint into a box. With every piece you finish and put on display you are adding to the beauty of the world!
How much art do you have in your home waiting to be finished and put out where it can be seen?