Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Quotations and art - Ways of seeing

Today, here are a few more favorite quotations, paired with art.

"There is, at the surface, infinite variety of things; 
at the center there is simplicity and unity of cause."
Ralph Waldo Emerson said this, and these are my three favorite, very simple tiles. Less can be more. I particularly appreciated this quotation when I was focusing on mandala imagery, considering the center and the perimeter.

"The ability to create beauty is God's greatest gift to man. 
And the appreciation of beauty - whether man-made 
or natural - is not only a joy but an active call 
to something much greater than oneself."
The quotation is from Painton Cowen in the book Rose Windows which I greatly enjoyed years ago, again, when I was researching and creating mandalas. This ATC I made has found a new home. The hummingbird is a transfer print; the rest is pen and ink on eco-dyed paper.

"See the extraordinary in the ordinary."
I'm sure I heard this somewhere, but I'll take credit for it. 😉 I'd brought this pine cone home because something about it appealed to me. Later I was looking at it and it struck me that there was a pattern of triangles at the ends so I did this drawing focusing on those triangles. 

"It is time for parents to teach young people early on that 
in diversity there is beauty and there is strength."
Thank you, Maya Angelou. It's time to stop seeing black and white, men and women, old and young, as opposites and in conflict, and instead know that they are complementary. Let's grow up.
These two pieces were created by cutting tiles in half - in an irregular line - and sticking the opposite halves together. There is another black-and-white and another black-and-tan tile somewhere.

"If thou wishest a discerning eye and seekest for a hearing ear,
 set thou aside that which thou hast heard 
from fathers and ancestors, for such things are imitation."
We mustn't believe everything we hear. We have a rational brain; let's think for ourselves.
These "pages" are drawn on eco-dyed paper. Looking for hints of subject matter in the dye markings, I just couldn't stop seeing eyes at the top right of the one page, so even though I almost never depict people I went with the flow and discovered this man. The quotation seemed to go well with it.
From The Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha

Want more? See A few favorite quotations... (and art) here.


  1. Awesome!!! Your art never fails to be wonderful and so uplifting, which is much needed during these very trying times! I love the piece of illuminated art quote and the composition on the eco-dyed paper. The rich color of the man's face reflect the lines of wisdom and he has such kind eyes. Love it!!!

  2. Love this post. I also do quotes with drawings and enjoy the process.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. DANG Brenda! I meant to Reply, not Delete. And apparently there's no wat to retrieve it. :(
      I was going to say thank you!

  4. Beautiful art and beautiful quotes, it is always a pleasure to discover your posts. Especially your work on eco dyed paper is my favorite. Thank you Margaret, I have learned so much from you.

    1. Thank you Ria! Did you know that you can sign up for email notifications of new blog posts? Check the right hand column here.

  5. All of this is spectacular. I am always in awe of your journeys through zentangle

    Maria Thomas

  6. Margaret,
    Just found your manificent illuminated quote from The Tablet of 'Abdu'l Baha. As a calligrapher and tangler, I am repeatedly drawn to your work. It is always a feast for the eyes, but these quotes nourish the soul. Thank you!