Ok, so I’m not a big resolution person when it comes to a New Year, meaning that I typically don’t wait till January to make a change in my life. On the other hand, with the major holidays behind us, it’s a good time to get back into a healthy routine. I guess that’s what my artistic goal is for this year.
Recently I joined a Facebook group designed to encourage its artists and crafters to work on (and finish if possible) one piece a week. I don’t know that I’ll finish one piece a week, but I do want to be purposeful about creating regularly. I have been feeling many new ideas burning in me these last few months, and sense my art will be taking a new direction in response to my musings. Many of these brainstorms revolve around the theme of Hidden Beauty.
I have a lot to say on this subject, and have written about it a few times before while studying dill, visiting Longwood Gardens and while on a retreat. I believe beauty is deeply important in this world because when beauty touches our hearts, it touches the part of ourselves that was made for eternity. I believe we can appreciate beauty, and long for it, because it was sewn into us from the beginning by God.
Biblical scripture describes God as being beautiful (Psalm 50:2). Indeed, if one believes Him to be the Author and Artist of this world, it makes perfect sense that Nature is often breathtaking, deeply life-giving, refreshing, peaceful, lovely… for God has tucked a part of Himself into His Art, and the spiritual part of us “hears” Him calling to us through it, even if our physical ears do not.
These whispers of God are the Hidden Beauty that I feel myself drawn toward. They are for everyone – meant to be uncovered, revealed, celebrated… But it takes a quiet heart and open mind to discover these wonders. They are easy to miss in our noise and busyness, staying hidden because of our endless activity. We are just too distracted to be still… and listen… and observe the world around us. But beauty is there – in everything. Amidst the simple and common, amidst the struggle, amidst the heartache and pain, amidst the imperfect, amidst the joy and the celebration. Sometimes it’s easier to find, and sometimes it hides, awaiting discovery – a gem to the individual who will look below the surface.
It was this idea that inspired the mixed media collage Beauty Awaits Discovery. While driving down a bumpy back road in July, I stumbled across clusters of leggy Queen Anne’s Lace, growing around a telephone pole. I knew these should appear in a collage, and drying them between the pages of old high school yearbooks, began to render in my art what would be beauties to the senses… A song of dreaming in the air, turquoise skies, white fluffy clouds on a summer breeze, the brilliance of a sunset, the scent of wildflowers (though perhaps regarded as weeds to some)… In all of these, I discovered beauty.
What if you slowed your pace, turned down the volume of life, paused in stillness to look and listen… I dare you to delve more deeply into the world around you, no matter how dark or dull it seems at times – there is beauty awaiting discovery there. Find it… share it.
This mixed media collage, crafted from layers of vintage storybooks and sheets of music, tissue paper, paint, Promarker, oil pastel and dried flowers, is available for sale at my shop. Beauty awaits discovery.