Connecting to Nature's Hidden Beauty
“Unfortunately, in our days under the influence of an extreme rationalism and self-centredness, man has lost the sense of sacredness of creation…” Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios
I'm on a mission to create a 'Selah' space in your home or office with my art. A quiet space for you to relax at the end of a busy day, to expanse your soul and elevate your mind. A space to connect deeper with your true self and the Divine. Creating that space of rest is becoming more important than any other times with our fast-paced lifestyle.
When was the last time you went out for a walk in nature or on the beach? Maybe last weekend, last month or yesterday?
Our society has stopped seeing creation as bearing the beauty, love and the energy of the Creator. We see the material world and nature as an accumulation of material objects that have a monetary value only. For example, when we think of gold we think of its monetary value only and we don’t see it as a symbol of the Divine.
Across different cultures, gold has been seen as a symbol of God’s divinity, the eternal, heaven and incorruptible. Its physical qualities of unchanging colour and permanence reflect the gold’s inner essence, beauty and true meaning. Our planet reflects the beauty and love of God. That’s why I use hand made paints.When I discovered the techniques artists used to paint before the turn of the century, I I found something of great value. It started when I attended an icon painting workshop (the sacred images of early Christianity) and learned how to make my own paints using earth and mineral pigments and how to use gold in a painting using special technique called water gilding.
This techniques reveals the utmost beauty and essence of gold. I fell in love with the materials and how simple pure materials from earth are transformed into a painting that can evoke emotions and bring peace and healing. These same techniques were passed on to the Early Renaissance artists such as Cimabue, Fra Angelico and others in the 13th century.
All the materials I use come from the three kingdoms of our planet: the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom and the mineral kingdoms.
Let me expand more on this beautiful idea:
In each painting I use materials from the three kingdoms that represent creation. So the wood for the painting (I paint on wood and not canvas) is from the plant kingdom, the glue and egg yolk come from the animal kingdom and the pigments, gold, clay and chalk are from the mineral kingdom. All creation is united together in the process of painting. So the painting becomes a microcosm of the cosmos; a prayer, an offering to God for the gift and beauty of our planet.
There are different steps I take to create each painting: preparing the boards, making the gesso from glue and chalk, sanding the boards, cracking the egg, mixing the paint, preparing the clay, laying the gold leaf and many more. Some times I have to wait for the next day to be able to move on to the next step. This is a good antidote for living in a fast pace society where it’s difficult to wait anymore.
This kind of ritual of preparing the materials, requires me to be still and slow down. It's not only time to prepare the materials but also to prepare my soul so to connect with my true self and with the Divine. This whole process is felt and sensed by my collectors in the painting.
I’d encourage you to find one moment this week to connect with the beauty of creation.
Why not take a 10 minute walk and pick something and take it back with you. It could be a leaf, a twig, a shell, bark from a tree. Put it somewhere, look at it with fresh eye and try to see the beauty of the marks, shapes, colours. It’s an exercise training us to see in a different way and notice beauty daily in the simple things around us.
Share below what you picked up, and if you have noticed any thing you haven’t seen before? I’d love to hear from you.