The ARTS - what are they?

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The ARTS – what are they?

Butterfly Quilt Photo 1Linda's Butterfly Quilt Photo

graphic design,
performing arts –
film –
and even quilts to name a few.

Written by Soul Alive Woman: Linda Marley

The arts are communications beyond the language of words. They are creative expressions of self to self and to others. They illuminate our humanity and our depth of soul, our joys and sorrows. The arts leap beyond time, cultures, religions, and nationalities. They mirror our lives – the fun and fanciful aspects, as well as the deep castles of our existence. We must allow ourselves to be open and take them all in!
The arts ask us to explore their beauty and meaning, to drop into tears of inexplicable feelings if needed and discern truths of our own. Visual images may evangelize us to the glory of God and challenge us to continue the ultimate transformation of becoming exactly who we were designed to be.
We explore the intent of their works – do they offer fruit for our inner castle? With an ever maturing inner eye, we must discern their messages; do we agree with them? Can we learn something? Some are tools of persuasion; the true fruit that is life-giving must be sought beyond the surface, but it may not be there. Travel on!
In my retirement, I have taken up dancing and quilting; both are fun and community-oriented. There is a genuine philosophy of love and support within these communities and for the extended community. Friendships bloom, charities are supported, and all is done in a playful spirit that celebrates life.
Yes, dancing and quilting are both creative expressions; in both we make something from nothing. I learn things about myself causing me to sometimes laugh and sometimes not! I keep learning patience (a lifelong challenge); let the creative thing happen.
The photos you see above are a sample of my current creativity in process. The one on the left is a purchased quilt pattern. The one on the right is the result of let it happen – a wall hanging design. I wanted to capture something outside the box – an expression of my own. I constructed 12 appliqued butterflies like the pattern. But they didn’t speak to me! Why not? I guess I needed to create! So, I arranged five different quilt designs with these butterflies and other fabrics. And the fifth was it!
The new companion quilt block design emerged when I constructed bold fabric strips & then appliquéd them onto the background block, celebrating bold fabric graphics and mimicking colors in the garden. Sometimes bold simplicity works.
The wall hanging design is not finished, but measures 48” x 48.”  Again, a lesson in patience. The borders will emerge by experiment or perhaps just a light bulb of an idea.
My quilt communicates to me that luscious colors make me smile and that I appreciate all of nature as God’s glorious works of art; and that I’m included in this Divine tapestry. The quilt’s message for you might be “wow, that sure is bright,” or perhaps the elegant butterfly represents a symbol of hope for you. No matter, enjoy the fun of creating and the freedom to accept that every artistic expression may not be earthshaking, but who cares?! The joy is in dancing with the flow of creation.
Look around, over and over again; see that God loves to create and communicate. Made in the image of God, we carry this same life-giving impulse within us. We are designed to create. Try it! Take nothing and create something! See what happens!
The final soul message from me to you is to enjoy the arts and enjoy creating. Say something to the rest of us. We are ready for you. Sincerely submitted to my friends at Soul Alive Women.
Linda Marley


  1. Susan A. Purnell

    Susan A. Purnell

    June 24, 2013

    Thank you, Linda, for sharing your thoughtful words and insights. I am finding I am looking through the lens of ‘The Arts’ more often these days. And ‘Yes’ God’s handywork is everywhere.

    We went to see the movie Gatsby last Friday. The original story – first captured in book form with its author’s pen is now made into a movie by a whole group of ‘artists’ [producers, actors, editors, etc.] re-expressing the story in another Art Form – Motion Picture. The dynamics of its characters’ Souls displayed for all who view the movie. The thought occurred to me – Every ‘piece of the whole’ movie influences and touches our Soul in one way or another – sometimes a positive experience, sometimes negative. Also, there are many Art Forms within the one Art Form – i.e., the music, the scenery, the costumes, dance, singing, writing of script, etc. And this was just a 2 1/3 hrs. experience of one afternoon.

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