Thursday, April 19, 2007
I thought these paintings were interesting because of part of the bio of the artist (see the end). Isn't it interesting that ordinary housekeeping could also be the subject of an artists brush? I mentioned something like this when we had the online broadcast about homemaking, saying that it would be a very good influence to surround our daughters with good posters of women doing worthwhile work at home, cast in a favorable light, instead of letting them be constantly exposed to posters of rock stars, and other stars that have contributed very little to making marriage, home and family, more secure.
(Painting: "Sun, Moon, and Flowers" by George Leslie)
However, if women want once again to have domestic life portrayed in a lovely way and promoted by the culture, they must get back to acting the part more seriously. Every thought and every action must be analyzed as to whether or not it is worthwhile or beneficial to the woman and the family. Women can spend decades in retail work, and yet lose their families. Women can be successful in show business, and yet leave a trail of grief around them because they did not spend the time necessary in the home to secure the loyalty and love of their families.
You may wonder, "What does neglecting the home and housekeeping have to do with a broken home?" The house being neglected is a very serious problem, because people do not want to stay in a place that is too disorganized or unclean. Making a bed up in fresh sheets and adding a pretty cushion, or ironing a shirt and hanging it up, shows love and consideration for your own people in your own home. Families tend to be more irritable when the home is not in order. They aren't as optimistic or healthy or happy when they can't find things and when nothing is clean.
There are now shows on television that show before and after's of people's homes where the trash was not disposed of for months and years. This is a shameful reflection on the homemaker. This can also be the result of trying to work outside the home, and neglecting the inside. There are also jobs that women take upon themselves that take up the time they need to keep house.
We have said before, here, that a woman needs to have the time to concentrate on her home, and if she is distracted by other projects that have nothing to do with housekeeping or homemaking, she will find it harder to really do a good job.
(Painting"This is the Way We Wash Our Clothes" by George Leslie )
It would be great if everyone had a mother that was a good example, and had good homemaking habits bred into them from an early age, but there is still no excuse. Today, we have available to us many wonderful books and films, and even classes that we can attend, that show us how to care for our homes and families. Even online, there are a great number of video clips which demonstrate everything from washing dishes to baking bread.
There are also some nice sites that show the inside of real people's houses, to give you inspiration. I like the current home on this site http://theoldpaintedcottage.com/cottagemonth.html because I noticed the floors were bare, and that is one of the lessons we learned in trying to streamline our homes (see the article below called "The Streamlined Home." "Mantel of the Month" here is nice http://www.enchantedtreasures.com/mantel-of-the-month/?month=4&year=2007 is inspiring because, if you don't want clutter around you, there is a way to have those little things you like to keep, all in one place that is up and out of the way, if the collection is on a shelf or mantel.
(The above paintings were created by George Dunlop Leslie1835-1921. The London-born son of painter Charles Robert Leslie achieved his aim of painting "pictures from the sunny side of English domestic life". His speciality was bright paintings of girls doing household chores. He studied at the Royal Academy where he exhibited his work annually from 1857. In 1868 he became an associate of the Royal Academy, and eight years later an academician.)
The Dover book company has many books about the interiors of the Victorian era. Two particular books, Victorian Ornaments and Designs , and Architecture, Interior Design, Period Style Photographs of New York Interiors at the Turn of the Century, show real photographs of the rooms of various homes of the period. It is interesting to see how they used various things to embellish the home--things like panels of lace, scarves, plants, and such.