"Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul."
Whatever dwells in our hearts will naturally reflect in our personas and can simply be perceived through our appearances. If we hold and nurture genuine love in our hearts- and since God Himself is Love and the epitome of beauty- then true beauty will naturally radiate from that. This form of beauty is not fleeting or merely pleasing to the senses, but is lasting and pure because it is grounded in Beauty Himself, and is therefore captivating because one cannot ignore the Beauty of God.
This piece, whose title in Latin simply means, "Love is Beauty," attempts to showcase the result of possessing love in one's soul. An almost unnoticeable golden cross in the center of the neck represents the love that is "within" this girl. The cross is minimalistic and obscure to allow the girl's beauty to stand out first, as this is usually how it is in life: we tend to notice others' beauty first before understanding where it comes from. Further, the flowers, leaf earrings, and leaves as a substitute for eyelashes all emphasize the idea of love and beauty "growing" within her. As this girl nurtures this genuine love, she also begins to resemble God's nature. This is subtly captured in each area where the leaves and petals overlap her face; those areas are specifically painted gold, which illustrates how she has begun to reflect the purity and richness of God, just as gold is pure and valuable.
watercolor & colored pencil on paper
29.5 x 23.5 in (framed)