Life Imitating Art…Letting Creativity Flourish at Home

Dear Reader:

I had two green mountain apples the other day and was just about to place them in a hanging fruit basket in the kitchen…when suddenly I remembered how pretty the shadows were on the side garden fence with the outdoor hanging flower baskets.

I gathered and placed them on the ledge running along the faded wooden fence and loved the results! The beauty and charm of summer flowers, green apples, and a weathered-beaten fence just made me happy. (As simple as that!)

I have become conscious in the past few weeks… that I am drawn more and more to discovering beauty from the mundane, ordinary “art” scenes in my daily life. With a little research I have located many European and American artists who are feeling the same way…they have developed a new art form called Quarantinart.”

Social media today is filled with our friends’ photos of old family recipes including stews, soups, casseroles,  homemade breads, and makeshift masks crafted while staying home due to the coronavirus. But if we keep looking… it is easy to find another layer of at-home concoctions: “Scenes reenacting famous paintings and photographs in creative ways.”

For many viewers these creative reenactments from the Masters paintings are soothing feelings of claustophobia and, instead, anchoring “comfort and joy.” Here is an example from one artist.

  (Vermeer “The Milkmaid.”)

Meet Italian artist, Chiara Grilli, a teacher at the Università di Bari in Macerata, Italy. Grilli, like many in Italy, has been working remotely.

This gives me plenty of time — too much, actually,” she told TIME. She lives in a two-room apartment with her boyfriend — “no balcony, no garden” — and after two weeks, she says she felt “asphyxiated.”

But then she got several ideas from just scenes of shadows and sunshine falling differently in their small apartment…and watching pictures of people making bread again and performing simple tasks to make basic meals on Facebook.

The idea was born for re-creating Vermeer’s  ” The Milk Maid.” It caught on rapidly and now several famous museums are displaying the creative re-enactments of the famous Masters artisans of old.

For those of you who have followed the blog for awhile…you know I am always taking photos of shadows and light in my home and outside in the garden or neighborhood. Here are just a few from the past and present….

What got me pondering all the beauty of art around us…was when I opened the shutters the other morning…the window screens were dotted with raindrops from another powerful thunderstorm.

As the rising sun hit my bushes in front of the window…it looked like a bright, beautiful abstract “lime” painting to me…It was just something about those rain droplets, stuck to the screen, sparkling in the morning light…What a way to start a day!

So until tomorrow…Isn’t life always about finding beauty and peace in wherever we are with what we have…not what we don’t? For whatever is lacking in reality can be made up quickly with our imagination and creativity!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

What a way now to “end the day!”


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Life Imitating Art…Letting Creativity Flourish at Home

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    ♥️♥️♥️ the blog entry and the pictures…love your shadow pictures…I enjoy the many different shades of green. Please lift my sister up today. She ended up in the ER in Charlotte early yesterday morning and they admitted her. She will have a series of tests today…5tj round and her 4th stay in the hospital with 1 surgery and lots of tests…procedures and bloodwork since mid March. Hopefully today they will find the problem. Thank you for prayers.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Oh no…poor Suzy! She has been put through the wringer…without any substantial conclusions…how terribly frustrating…especially when she continues to feel so badly. Hope and Prayers for an answer coming soon!


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