Bonito Living: everyday beauty

Beauty is everywhere, we just need to “see” it… Take some bunches of onions, carrots or beets, and there you have the basics of the “still life”, their vibrant colours, their shapes and volumes are all beautiful, enticing. That shopping load that we carelessly throw in the fridge, can actually provide the actors for an scene of riot and drama: the intensely pink beetroots with the coral green of rhubarbs like sparkling jewels… they are there for us to admire, to be inspired, to dream…

Version en español, podcast: LivingBeautifully:

Original photos and paintings by Beatriz Acevedo Art. All rights reserved. Copyright 2017


At this time of the year the harvest of the many gardens around come to its full bloom. Because England is basically a nation of gardeners: everybody cultivate either flowers or work intensely in allotments, while wild food is available for knowledgeable foragers. I go around my village picking the fruits and vegs that people leave in their front gardens, sometimes for free, some others in exchange of a voluntary donation to one of the many charities the English patronise. I also have some nice produce, little miracles that occur despite our inexperience!  Last week we got our first cucumber from the mini greenhouse, and this week we have been enjoying the fiery red of a swiss chard. All summer I have been sipping herbal tea, combinations of fennel and mint, lemon verbena and lemon balm, or decorating my breakfast with edible flowers bergamot, calendula, pansies and nasturtiums. Even just to put fruits for breakfast can become a performance, a ritual, a work of edible art…

Original photos and paintings by Beatriz Acevedo Art. All rights reserved. Copyright 2017

Because all those simple things (veggies and fruits) can become main subjects in art. Not in vain, botanical drawing, flower painting and still life are regarded as basic tenents in painting. The arrangements can be varied and diverse, but what about if we link both the beauty of such subjects with our everyday life and experience. Last sunday, for example, I had a big haul of veggies from the allotments around, and instead of trying to accommodate them into a huge pile or in the fridge, I decided that they would deserve special treatment: like beauty queens in my fruit and veg pageant they became an “installation”, a “tableaux”, and such simple combinations were so effective to please the eye. I spent lots of time, playing with them, accomodating them for a better combination: I took pictures, made drawings and at the same time tried to think what to cook with them (yum!). At the moment of sharing them in social media (@BeatrizAcevedoArt) the “likes” came quick and fast, and I think that part of the success of such posts is that they are not showing off a lifestyle that is unattainable. Those pics of perfect holidays can be quite disconcerting and confusing, indeed, as one article suggests, social media present such an ideal world, that people grow dissatisfied with what they got because there will be a nicely curated picture in Instagram showing how the “other half live”!  But we are actually surrounded by beauty: our homes, our quotodian objects, that favorite mug for the tea, the plant in the sill, the colourful cushions are all part of the way we decorate our surroundings and decorate our life. It does not need to be posh or expensive, it is not only about antiques and designer stuff, but even humble objects can be celebrated and appreciated.

Original photos and paintings by Beatriz Acevedo Art. All rights reserved. Copyright 2017

This is all part of an idea that I have been developing for a good while, on “Bonito Living” or “Living Beautifully”.. a way of merging ethics and aesthetics in the daily life: the aim of being good with living a joyful life: a caring, generous, optimistic, healthy life. A life where all around us speak of beauty: from our manners to our thoughts, from the way we talk to people to the clothes we choose to wear; from keeping a tidy house (or not) to paint, draw or cook. It’s all about beauty. Unfortunately, we have equated “beauty” with “art” and “good art”, being such considerations silly ways of excluding and denying the democractic and free aspects of everyday beauty. Do we need a VIP seat to contemplate a sunset? Are clouds being separated in 1st and 2nd class compartments? Are good thoughts the priviledge of only few? Can we buy generosity, politeness or compassion? We are all made of such a wonderful material, the stuff of dreams, stars and galaxies, and we carry in ourselves that possiblity of transforming what we touch, it is up to us to make it beautiful.


So two little challenges:

  1. Make a tableaux of the things you carry on your bag, or your desk, or your shopping? Take a picture, upload it as #bonitolivin

2. Make a list of nice joyful beautiful things today…  how do they make you feel?



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