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Beauty in the Ordinary

Figures: Wondering, Pingyao


Have you ever had a moment when everything seemed to stop and time was frozen? When everything around you seemed to become quiet, even if the room was filled with people? This painting was inspired by a moment I experienced that was just like this.

I was in a restaurant in Pingyao, China, and had just ordered lunch when I looked up and saw this person on a staircase across the room. Her gaze caught my attention, and it was at that moment that everything stopped. For just a few moments, the crowded room disappeared and my awareness was focused on the figure who was gazing through the window at something outside. I wondered: what was on her mind? I began to see the entire setting of where she was standing: the stairs, the bright red lanterns, the hanging plant, the light from the window above her all at once—seeing the gestalt!

It it so memorable to be present to these moments of artful awareness. Have you ever had moments like these? Perhaps this painting in your home or office would inspire such moments of memorable seeing?

Wondering, Pingyao, original oil on canvas, 17″ x 12″

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Original oil painting by Seamus Berkeley