Sometimes I’m grabbed by the heart when I look at art. In those times, I don’t look for “meaning” in the painting, I don’t do anything but feel: pleasure, love, excitement, sometimes a physicality that is like melting or merging with shapes or color or line. It’s like falling in love.
“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” — Henry Ward Beecher
I’m not wild about Monet’s art. But I am wild about what he had to say about seeing, producing, creating. He, an art master of great renown, expressed so perfectly that with which I have been unsuccessfully flailing about. Namely, the importance of SEEING. Not just looking at things, not just naming them and moving on, but slowing down, actually removing yourself from thinking, and seeing what you are looking at. Continue reading “Forget the Name of What You Are Seeing”→
A recent experience attending an exhibit of “Outliers,” self-taught artists, reminded me how the act of observation, of really seeing, is a form of communion. Communion, meaning: the “sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.” Like the Christian religious ritual, really seeing is a profound, deeply meaningful experience. Continue reading “Communion; The Art of Observation”→
Only after looking closely at the pallid women on their sofas would one think they must be ill. One of them wears black–not a good color for her. She has interlaced her long fingers together, perhaps to steady her nerves. Her gaze is steady but untrusting, almost a little fearful. The other woman is less interesting, less defined, one dimensional. Something seems very off about her; her forehead is too short, perhaps. Her lips are pressed tightly shut. She looks angry. Maybe she resents being stared at?
In early 2014, I took a weekend painting course with the goal of overcoming a painting block. I really missed painting, something I used to do quite a lot, but which I had stopped doing over the course of a deteriorating marriage and in the aftermath of a bad divorce.
I was relieved to learn that I am not damned by my life-long fear of being discovered to be less intelligent than everyone else. According to “Wired to Create,” by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, a cognitive psychologist, and the scientific director of the Imagination Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, and Carolyn Gregoire, a Huffington Post writer, you don’t have to have a high IQ to be creative, to be an artist: