Thomas W Schaller: Finding Beauty in Unexpected Places

After years of detesting – then merely resenting – them, I have finally begun to make my peace with the relentless jumble of overhead wires and poles that define much of the skyline here in Los Angeles.

In large part – because of the risk of earthquakes – such utility lines cannot be buried beneath streets and sidewalks as they are in many other major cities. And so, we are forced to co-exist.

But at last, I began to see them not as just an inevitable plague, but also as vessels, capable of transmitting their own kind of expected beauty, as they carve and divide the planes of sky in constantly surprising , abstract, and unexpected ways.

Featured Watercolors
French Ultramarine,
Lunar Violet,
Cobalt Teal Blue,
French Ochre,
Cobalt Blue, and
Imperial Purple

And in that realization, came another sort of awakening in me as both a person and an artist. Beauty is not always to be found in the obvious or expected places . And the same can be said for people, or ideas, or ways of being for that matter.

Beauty is not content to be so narrowly defined. And moreover, it cannot actually be found in what we see – but in how we choose or learn to see.

In other words, beauty does not so much exist within our subjects, but in how fully we are able to see and to feel them. And only then, can we – as artists – turn our attention to how we are able to interpret those feelings on our paper or canvas.