Such a title as “As I See It…” generally suggests that a personal opinion is coming. Don’t worry. You know that I don’t do that here. Well…OK, sometimes (as in often) I do but this time I’m referring to something different.
I often make much to do about the importance of “seeing”. I’ve mentioned it here before. For an artist, the ability to “see” is paramount. Now I’m not talking about having good eyesight, I’m talking about recognizing certain traits about whatever it is you are looking at. I’m talking about noticing an interesting characteristic about a view down the street or across the landscape or how the light is cast on that lady’s face sitting across from you in the restaurant or the way a wave rolls and crashes on the beach or the colors in the snow, or…it is endless. Of course sometimes there is nothing there to get very excited about. The light is flat, the shapes are boring, I’ve got a headache, I’m hungry or I’m just not interested. More often than not however, it is there. One just has to look for it. The light and the shapes. That’s what to look for.
Former students from the classes I teach relate that learning how to see was the best thing they got out of the class. You should try it. It is not that hard. You just need to be paying attention. My wife Kathy has gotten pretty good at it. Of course if your mind is on other things then it is like having blinders on and believe me it, is all too easy to forget to just look around, and like most things in life it isn’t always about the big picture. More often than not it is in the little things. If you can see the little things in your life, the bigger picture will come into focus.
A good customer of mine was in the other day to purchase one of my prints and pick up some framing I had done for him. He was telling me about a 23 day float trip he had just taken through the Grand Canyon. I thought WOW! We talked about the wonderful scenery he had drifted by and he made a comment that he wished he could’ve seen it all through my eyes. I gave him a puzzled look and he said “You look at things differently. You can see things out there that I would never see.” I have to admit that I didn’t know what to say. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me, and I mean that. He made my day. Thanks Richard.
This column appeared in the Scene Magazine of the Montrose Daily Press. http://www.montrosepress.com/