Friday, July 20, 2012

Beauty Rose

Value your instinct for beauty.
Take time to look deeply into whatever nourishes you.
Create small touches of beauty wherever you are.

~Stephanie Dowrick

As I was sitting at the dining room table yesterday, coloring and painting with my two children, my six year old asked me the question, "Mom, why is there art?"  It struck me as such a philosophical question for a six year old. But then, in a world where our children are so over-programmed, rushed from one activity to the next, it makes sense that the process of slowing down and creating, simply for the sake of creating, would raise an awareness in her.

I only had one clear answer for her...Art makes the world beautiful!  

Of course, this simple little question triggered an avalanche of thoughts in me, and I could take this post in a number of different directions; over programming children, a fast and competitive world, driving ourselves toward higher paying jobs, the politics of funding for the arts etc. etc.  But I found myself focusing on what I see as the necessity of art.  Without realizing it, looking at something beautiful, like art, has a very calming, positive effect on our minds and bodies.  Although I have no research to back it up, I believe instinctively that beautiful art, and beauty in general reduces stress, improves our mood, and helps relax.

If looking at beauty can have such a positive affect on our mind and bodies, then what does that say for creating beauty? The process of carefully and gently creating something of beauty, whatever it is, is more profound that anyone can imagine.  I know I become very aware of my state when I am deeply moved by something beautiful.  But my question is, are we allowing our children to discover their own source of beauty, or are we trying to program that into them based on our our bias??  I believe we need to teach our children to honor their own sense of what beauty is, help them embrace it as a part of who they are.

But the real issue for me here is not so much about what beauty is, as it is about taking the time to recognize it, appreciate it, even create it.  I could go on for hours about the biggest issue of the 21st Century being the lack of time.  Everything happens in fast forward and so much of what is important gets left behind...including the appreciation of simple beauty.

I believe so strongly in the importance of slowing down, emptying our minds, and stopping to smell the roses. I believe that quiet creativity and reflection should be a part of every child's day. I also believe that art and artists (in whatever form) are as important to the beauty and balance of this world as sunlight and air.  

So this rose, which is the second in a series of four I am calling "Beauty Roses", is a study of twinkling color.  You can see the first rose here.  It is on 5"x5" watercolor paper and lovingly created using Twinkling H2O's.  The white space of the design allows me to create tone and depth using the mica properties in these beautiful watercolor paints.  

Mastering Twinks, my online class that teaches you all about luminescent watercolor technique using these beautiful pots of shimmering watercolor, begins on July 26th.  There is still time to register, and Joggles give a 10% discount to class participants on all their materials purchased through  For more information, or to register, click here.

Thanks for checking in. xx