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Diary

Rome Watercolor ~ What are Ruins?

Sophia Khan

watercolor on Arches paper ~ painted without a pencil sketch  

watercolor on Arches paper ~ painted without a pencil sketch  

copyright © Sophia Khan

Do ruins stand as testaments to our eternal or our mortal selves?

I posed this question to accompany my photograph of the ruins in Persepolis, onto my private facebook a while ago. It was somewhat rhetorical, but to my delight, moments later I received a response from a former colleague. Someone I consider a mentor, in ways, who often inspired me with his incredibly vast and thorough knowledge of architecture and it's history. He wrote:

"Ruins provide the incentive for restoration, and for a return to origins. There has to be an interim of death or rejection before there can be renewal and reform" ~ J.B. Jackson

It was one of those passages layered with so much meaning. If one wants, what is literal can be taken away from it, and if one so chooses, one can read into the many layers and depths of what is being said. That in mind, I will refrain from commenting too much about these powerful words as they do speak for themselves, and I hope you enjoy what they seem to imply about the journey of our lives.

The photograph that inspired the sketch above was one that had been in my mind for quite some time. The structure appeared to me as something powerful, not because of anything highly elaborate, but simply because of the way it carries itself.  Through the years, through the ages, through its formation, through its decay, it holds a certain glory that its crumbling stones are both humbled by and in celebration of.


"Dwell on the beauty of life.  Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them." ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. Rome

On another note, I am excited to share that I have recently launched my Design Trade Program for Interior Designers and Architects, which can be joined at the below link: