In a Land Far, Far Away…


Nova, 10 x 10″ Acrylic, Spackle on Illustration Board

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all sciences.”

– Albert Einstein

Is all beauty mysterious?

What makes something mysterious? Is it just that we don’t understand it? I think there is more to it since I don’t understand many things that I don’t consider mysterious (like why my teenage son won’t get a haircut). In addition to this lack of understanding there is some implied significant meaning to the object in question. There is a sense that if you do figure it out, you will learn something of value. This appeals to our yearning to discover truth in our lives and adds an important dimension to our perception of that mysterious object.

Mystery makes the beautiful more beautiful. It adds a quality of excitement, of greater meaning and potential. It touches our hearts in a way that something beautiful but without mystery does not.

Einstein groups true art and science together in their dependence on mystery. Most of us do not combine science and beauty or art in the same train of thought. And at some level, much of science deals with things without mystery, self-evident facts and processes which seem dry. Consider that there is a lot of art in the world of which the same can be said (I’ve made my fair share!). But at some level, both in art and science, true mystery is encountered from which emerges the true essence of both art and science. Perhaps each are equally capable of teaching us the same truths as we unravel their mystery.

This piece is the second of a series I am working on which I call “Universal Meanings”. In this series I’m exploring form and movement within the void, whether that is external space or our inner consciousness.

7 responses to “In a Land Far, Far Away…

  1. Bob– these last 2 pieces i find so powerful— mysterious starting places for my imagination to take me far far away– which is the best kind of art –in my world anyway! thank you for the inspiration! namaste Elis

  2. I am enjoying your series. I suspect you are having fun! I find the idea of mystery compelling. And I must say, I have worked with similar blue and white colors in the past and they remain a real favorite. Beautiful.

  3. Wonderful painting again, Bob!
    This series is so different from the ones you showed us before your “retreat”, all the geometry and beloved straight lines seem to have disappeared… I wonder in which mysterious place you have been… far away, this is for sure!

  4. Probably one of my favourite paintings of yours Bob. The winding path tempts me to step inside and wander up to that fortress up on the mountain ridge.

    Perhaps Mystery, and the uncovering thereof, is part of the engine that drives scientists to make those historic leaps, leading to discoveries. It is something to be peeled back, explored. In the arts, however, mystery is a veil unrevealing, a shimmer across what we do to give it that certain something, to add to the wonder.

    On another note – understanding your son’s reluctance to get a haircut, I think it still remains a powerful act of necessary teen rebellion. My son opts for the opposite. I want him to grow it long, he won’t. Growing up, my father religiously made me have a “short back and sides”. I never forgave him, and quietly told him that he would regret it, as, when the choice was mine, I would grow it as long as was humanly possible. I did, and still take a perverse delight in turning up at his staid British Legion club as his 50 year old long haired son!

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