Man is by nature a creative being. Created by God, we in turn possess talents allowing us to imitate and interpret the created world around us. Sadly, many of these abilities remain hidden—the possessor never realizes he or she has them and therefore never cultivates or exercises them. But it is the creative impulse within us that in large part lends life its pleasant elements and allows us to flourish as human beings.
Edith Schaeffer (wife of the renowned Francis A.) urges her readers to discover their "hidden art" and develop it—not so they can become a great artist or critic per se, but so they can glorify and enjoy God by engaging in the creative life. By never saying "everyone is an artist" she maintains credibility—not everyone is or can be someone who makes the creation of art their profession or primary vocation.
But everyone can and ought to cultivate the talent God has given them, whether it's painting, writing, cooking, sewing or interior decorating. Beginning with a discussion of God's role as artist in creation and the nature of art itself, Schaeffer moves on to offer practical advice on discovering and applying your hidden art in twelve entertaining and informative chapters.
This is by no means a "how-to" manual. The writing is engaging and fast-paced, and while it will make you think, it will also encourage and inspire you to delve into the artistic life. Again, this doesn't mean you're going to move to Bohemian New York and wear a beret whilst quoting Rilke at length to a group of awed college freshmen. It simply means you'll learn to find the creative element in whatever you're doing and pursue it.
Don't let the title confuse you, either—this isn't just for housewives. By "homemaking" Schaeffer doesn't just mean doing housework and keeping the kiddos fed and diapered (though those aspects are certainly included). She means, rather, the creation of beauty that illuminates our often otherwise drab lives and fosters a sense of home in the midst of chaos and rootlessness. This book ought to be required reading for every member of every household.