Thursday, September 16, 2010

Up Close and Personal - Artistic Vision

I’m going to leave the ‘up close and personal’ sketches until tomorrow. I feel the need to expand on some of my comments yesterday. It seems I misled when I stated fundamental sketching skills were inherent in people with an artistic spirit.

I did not mean ‘you either have it or don’t as an artist’.  My apologies if this is what I implied

.An event to clear this misconception. I took my aging mother on a trip from Northern Ontario forests to the Atlantic Ocean. I was so excited. Firstly, taking my mother to see what she hadn’t a chance of seeing before and second for being on the ocean. “Look mom, the Atlantic”. Hmmf said she….”it’s just water”. Knocked the wind out of my sails I must say.

But you know, to her it was just water. Didn’t matter that the inland lakes she had seen never experienced the rise and fall of swelling tides, that the ocean spanned the world and joined continents, not merely shorelines, that a giant wave on the Atlantic could overturn and sink a sailing vessel or that iceburgs floated on the surface. Never mind that the texture of the water was different…it was salt. That the colours of the ocean were so different from those found in inland northern lakes or that the light bounced back differently than that on forest lakes. An artist would inherently discern the difference.

Or moss on a tree or rock, or rooftop!. On my last visit to Timmins to visit mother, I noticed the moss build up on the old garage roof and became quite enthralled with it taking pictures. Those pictures are part of today’s journey. Notice the colours of the moss, the sparkling dew drops….and if photographed from a certain angle looks like a landscape. My brother on the other hand is concerned about tearing the structure down, my mother about the cost of replacing. They missed the beauty the artist instinctively sees and feels.

I once pointed out moss on the trees to a fellow traveller. Their remark…”so, its moss”., and moved on. But look, just look. It is not just moss; a botanist would tell you it was Spanish moss and describe why it was here, its composition. I saw, the colour, the texture, the way it floated in the wind and clung to the branches. I saw a thousand possibilities in that moss. See it clinging here to a birch tree.
Only one other instance here….love the possibilities of a foggy day as am I certain all of you with artistic skills do… the lighting, the way it subdues outlines and shapes and engulfs all around. These are the inherent instincts I meant to define and they do not need fundamental formalities for description They are part of the artists vision; free for interpretation however we each may envision.

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