Home Is Where The Art Is

If you are an artist, a lover of art then I hope that I can inspire you to do what you love.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

How Do You Look?

An away day and the thunder it boomed and the rain it fell. Rubbish, and now I am back the sun is shining. Woe is me!

I have been sharing the insider knowledge recently and it would seem that many of you found it useful. Today, I want to tackle looking and seeing.

When you see a beautiful landscape, sunset or flower..

Do you....

  • Take a photograph?
  • Think about what it is you like about what you are looking at?
  • Have words fill your head to describe what you are seeing?
  • Think I want to capture this moment in paint?
  • React emotionally and revel in the moment and allow yourself just to be moved by the beauty?
That'll do for now. 

If you take a photograph, what do you intend to do with it? Will you leave it on your memory card/phone and look at it at a later date and the memories of that exact moment will come flooding back?
What do you do with the thoughts about what you have seen. Keep them in your head?
What do you do with the words? Do you write them down?
Do you get out your paints and capture the image there and then?
Or do you add the experience to your mental diary and possibly never think about it again?

Wow, that's a lot of questions I know. But I am intrigued about peoples processes. What can a painting convey that a photograph doesn't do better? Is transcribing an image from a photograph a technical exercise that shows competence and mastery of a medium? What can your audience bring to the work?

I find that I am more likely to engage in reflection way after the act of actually seeing something. I'm going to call this retrospective reflection. By doing this it allows me to have a more emotional response. The bits that I remember and actually draw, must be the most important aspects of what I have absorbed. This means that often the images I produce are very abstracted. It then feels like I have produced an honest version of whatever it was I had seen. Needless to say that it might be quite a stretch for people to 'get' what I am referring to visually.

I am trying to teach people (via tutorials) about the importance of looking, seeing, recording and reacting. What is it you are trying to say? This is an age old question for all artists but not necessarily that easy to answer. Definitely worth posing it to yourself when producing work. Don't worry if the answer is I want to make something pretty, it's as good a reason as any.

To be continued......

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