One of my Christmas gifts to myself is the memoir Eat. Pray. Love. by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m finding it more entertaining than spiritually uplifting, but one of Elizabeth’s experiences resonated with me and I haven’t been able to forget it. During her stay in Italy, she experiences the Italian notion of l’arte d’arrangiarsi – the art of making something out of nothing. She says,
“The art of turning a few simple ingredients into a feast or a few gathered friends into a festival. Anyone with a talent for happiness can do this, not only the rich.”
Then Robert Glenn’s weekly newsletter appeared in my email inbox this morning talking of making and selling art in tough economic times. I think it’s even more important to make art when times are tough, as it uplifts both the artist and the public. Some of Norman Rockwell’s most beloved art came was inspired by a speech by Franklin Roosevelt during hard times in World War II. People remember the paintings much more than they remember the speech.
I’m inspired to create beautiful works of art during tough economic times, making something from nothing. From humble beginnings of old ripped jeans, sketch paper, and fabric scraps, I made prayer journals:
A tiny expression of beauty, not necessarily for materials that went into the journals, but for what will grace their pages.