Art as a necessity of life?

by Oak Hill Studio

My latest artistic pursuit has been brewing in my mind for several months now.  I am quite smitten with a particular type of embroidery called Jacobean Embroidery.  Its roots go back to 17th century England under the reign of King James 1, where designs rich in stylized exotic plants and animals would adorn everything from bed and window curtains, to clothing and cushions.

The materials used are typically two-ply wool yarn and linen.  The combination of shapes and colors as well as the rich texture of the yarn and linen really appeal to me.

The top photo shows the design that I am just getting started on.  It will be my second Jacobean piece.  I “finished” (still needs to be sewn to make  a small pillow) my first test project a few months ago, and had begun another embroidery project, a table runner with a pretty design running down the middle using regular cotton floss, but I just couldn’t get into it. My thoughts would travel back to the Jacobean designs.  Finally, I set it aside and decided to do what I like best—life is too short to finish something  just for the sake of finishing it!

So, last week I ordered a few supplies for this project and here I am today, tracing out the pattern onto the linen.



I ordered these Evertite stretcher bars that I learned from my online research many people really like.  Having the entire project stretched out without having part of the design crushed in a hoop frame will be very nice.



It felt so good to finally get this going!  I was pondering today how important creativity and artistic pursuits are in life.  I know it’s been written about somewhere, but I’m starting to think that to create it is an innate need of every person living.  I believe it is part of our inheritance of God’s image.  Coming to terms with this has helped me to change my thinking.  There has been this nagging sense of guilt recently whenever I have considered taking time out of my busy day to do this, which explains why is has taken me nearly a year to get serious about this.  Because there is ALWAYS something that needs doing in the home (or out), doing embroidery has gotten knocked down to the bottom of my priority list.  Perhaps it is ok to push it closer to the top?  Might art be considered a necessity of life?



And so here it is, all ready to go.  Don’t you just love the color palette for this piece?  So rich and typical of the colors in nature.  (Well, maybe not quite the blues– but maybe in some part of the exotic world?)

What are your thoughts?  Do you consider art/creativity to be a necessary part of your life?