Doing Beauty


Shoji 1, 6 x 6″ monoprint

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”

– Rumi

I’ve always loved this quote from Rumi – actually had it on my website homepage for years. What great words for an artist to live by. We “do” beauty, which makes the word more than an empty adjective.

Now beauty is a term which isn’t all that popular in the art world these days. Considered a bit trite. But Rumi gives us some guidance – he talks about the beauty of “what you love”. In other words, when you are passionate about something your expression of it will contain a beauty that flows from that love.  This is why a beautiful painting must have passion behind it which helps to distinguish it from just a pretty picture. And this is why there are so many different paintings and photographs which are beautiful, for they represent the range of human passion.

The next time you encounter a beautiful piece, contemplate for a moment the love that inspired the artist to create it. Share in their passion.

2 responses to “Doing Beauty

  1. Well, bob, Picasso kind of spoke of that passion as “the sun in our gut” (le soleil dans le ventre), reffering to himself (of course) but also to his friend – and rival – Matisse… And Cezanne also spoke of his little sensation and had an expression (which I just don’t recall right now…) similar to that of Picasso… And sure there is something true in what you said (and Rumi)…

  2. Beauty or passion or sublime — if it comes through, we must pause and acknowledge its presence, or we fail to acknowledge our own insignificance, and thereby deny our insubstantial mortality.

    It is by this encounter that we can feel more alive, and our life is part of something great, something worthwhile.

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