Birds add beauty to my world and especially birds in marsh land. Their long necks twist and turn and their heads are in and out of the marsh water catching food. Their long legs and strides lead them as if they knew exactly where they’re going. The birds flying, soaring, catching the thermals often in groups of hundreds or even thousands in the with swallows put on a show and it’s like watching a playground in the sky. Beauty is everywhere if we look and I carry my camera with me trying to record the memories.
What gives pleasure and exalts the mind and spirit, then, is nature in all its varied moods. As a painter I strive to capture scenes where light is focused in a particularly moody way: a sunset, a cloudy Northwest day on Rattlesnake Ridge, a turbulent sea.
Beauty is delicious and healing, a feast for the eyes or the heart or the mind. One of my favorite verses from the King James version of the Bible reads, “And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.”—Isaiah 28:4
…beauty is recompense for being human in the face of God’s love, which surpasses my little understanding. Beauty shows the connection between inside and outside, the possibility of human wholeness in the indifferent world…
Beauty, it’s Eternity glanced. It’s the opposites meeting, it’s the chance meetings. It’s Shadow and Light. It’s Symbols language, it’s Silence. Beauty remains in all things. It’s the covered pomegranate seed : a ruby under the rind.
Regardless if the medium is a poem, a dance, or a photograph, the intention is the same; to capture the beauty of what may otherwise be lost. It’s attempting to distill the essence of something so fleeting and preserve it; to give its voice agency by choosing from a variety of containers.
Beauty is meant to delight the senses, but to artist and audience it means so much more. Like art, beauty should not only be something aesthetically pleasing, but also a tool to communicate ideas and evoke feeling. Beauty is in everyday life, as we as a human collective are creating art through our interactions with the world around us.
“Beauty is dynamic and built on context and relationships, we find it fascinating and elusive, the flashes of fire in an opal, the way the words of a beloved character remind us inexplicably of a grandmother, the shimmer of reflected cypress trees in a still lake.”
Beauty is startling, but also somehow hauntingly familiar. An instantaneous recognition that’s not entirely analytical resonates through the mind and body. Suddenly, the smoothness of a thigh, a falling snowflake, an empty nest, the taste of a summer peach, the poignant lines of a poem all capture the attention almost like a spell and cause one’s awareness to be concentrated into an expansive experience: a moment of unanticipated growth or turbulence or transformation.
Beauty equals light, and vice versa. To capture sunlight in motion as waves in bodies of water bounded by sand, shoreline, island, spit, or any number of other natural boundaries, provides a strong motivation for the act of creation. The process of a painting is driven at first by experimentation with colors that mimic the rep shot.