Thursday, June 21, 2007

Looking but not seeing

I'm not a Bible scholar, (my wife and I are Baha'i's) but there is a verse that says something like, "you hear but do not understand, you look but do not see." It got me thinking about how that relates to painting. We all know how difficult it is at times to understand driving directions, how to accomplish some task in a new computer program and so on. We accept that fact quite readily. However, we have been brought up to think that "seeing is believing" but it is not the case at all. Seeing a landscape is a very tricky situation and for an artist to paint a good landscape, he or she must be able to see in ways that others do not. The artist must have a keen ability to detect subtle changes in color, form, values, and edges and put them all together selectively to convey the essence of the subject. No easy task and one that takes years of constant attention.

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