Wow, sounds like my feelings toward chocolate!
I have been contemplating the word beauty for the last few weeks. What makes something beautiful? Is beauty merely physical attributes? Is it really only skin deep?
As an artist, I am always on a quest to find beauty. Like Ansel Adams and his quest to photograph scenes of great beauty I suppose. I want to paint what is beautiful to me. The problem is, I find people to be very beautiful. I've said this before, and if you know me well, I'm sure I've warned you. When you talk to me, I can get lost in your facial features. I'm probably having a hard time listening to you.(yikes!).My thinking switches to right brain mode and I start to consider the shadow under your nose, the colour of your cheeks, the direction of your wrinkles. But what is it that makes a face of great beauty to me?
It is interesting that in facial study, symmetry is what determines physical beauty. I even teach my students in the Portrait Workshops, if they are working from a photo of someone who has one eye higher than the other, or one ear larger than the other (it's okay, most of us have this oddity) the nicest thing to do for them is to even those out in the portrait. Make them balanced, symmetrical ... it makes the pictures more 'beautiful' if you will.
So is it symmetry then that defines beauty? What about the people that are closest to me. The ones that (like so many of us) are just average. You won't see them on the cover of 'Vogue' or in the latest music video. But they are beautiful to me. I know them. I know where they've been in life, and where they want to go. I know that they have hurt and that they have overcome hurdles. Why would my friend, with average features, and average clothes, and hair that may not always be clean (okay, taking it a little too far maybe) why is that person ALSO beautiful to me? Is beauty defined by relationship? I don't know.
I do know that I want to dig deeper into this beautiful puzzle, and see what pieces I can fit together. I am on a quest to paint beautiful people... physically beautiful? Possibly. Emotionally beautiful? Maybe. Spiritually beautiful? Perhaps.
I'm curious... how would you define beauty? What is beautiful to you? Share with me... maybe we can figure this out together!