ART BLOG: Rumi

I started with a sketch inspired by the life of Rumi, the Sufi poet. Nearly 7,000 years after his death and his words are STILL popular. His quotes dominate the internet and social media. (over 10,000 tags with #rumi on Instagram alone). What is so timeless about his messages?

This sketch shows how Rumi brought back truths from the mountain (symbols for a higher wisdom) and communicated them (the blue lines). Much of his poetry talks about transforming the self, losing the ego in the love for the divine. This is shown in the fire and ash.

This sketch shows how Rumi brought back truths from the mountain (symbols for a higher wisdom) and communicated them (the blue lines). Much of his poetry talks about transforming the self, losing the ego in the love for the divine. This is shown in the fire and ash.

I thought I’d try to translate this to painting. The first attempt was semi-successful...but a little too “circus-y” looking for my taste.

I left this to sit for over 6 months. I thought it was done. I had also run out of canvases. I was concentrating on colored pencil, and was secretly avoiding paint. Painting is hard for me because it forces me to let go of control. Because paint is wet, painting is dynamic and I have to both plan and react in the moment. I can’t take my time because the state of the medium is always changing. I do use blenders that slows down the drying time, but it’s not as controlled as pencil.

However, one day I couldn't avoid it any longer.Something said, "You HAVE to paint," and I decided to make the painting better. However, the first day I got a little emotional and carried away with proving that I could let go.

I liked the textures but the colors were a little harsh. I also wasn’t crazy about the right side. It seemed both overworked and unrefined.

I liked the textures but the colors were a little harsh. I also wasn’t crazy about the right side. It seemed both overworked and unrefined.

Back to work.....

Solution….cover up the right side with white. This opened up the design and allowed me to get crazy with the lines coming down.

Solution….cover up the right side with white. This opened up the design and allowed me to get crazy with the lines coming down.

And finally.........I was happy.

I LOVE the toucan colors coming down. It seems I’ve deviated quite a bit from the original sketch and I am not sure the message of the painting is the same. Now (and here we come full circle), it reminds me of a Rumi quote:

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you love. It will not lead you astray
— Rumi

The original is for sale. If you are in love with it, please contact me and name your price. It is 20" x 24" and comes ready to hang.