Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Best Thing About Being an Artist

'The Magic of Art'           9x12          pastel         ©Karen Margulis
purchase painting here $145
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see"  Henry David Thoreau

There is nothing more satisfying than taking something ordinary and transforming it through art into something beautiful or unique.  There are many things that I love about being an artist but none are better than the opportunity to see the world with a sensitive eye.  To be able to look at an ordinary empty lot filled with weeds and to be able to see it as a place of beauty is a wonderful thing. 

This ability to see with a sensitive eye can be developed. To many it comes naturally and for others, it isn't second nature but it can be nurtured.  We can train ourselves to look at things in a new light, to slow downs and notice the little things, the light, the shadows, the subtle things that we might overlook when we are in a hurry. 

Being able to see rather than just look at things will go a long way in helping us become better artists. Seeing more sensitively can help us make paintings that go beyond copying what is in front of us. Take today's painting for example. I started with a reference photo of a big weedy field with some trees in the distance. To LOOK at it, you wouldn't think it was anything special. Maybe not even worthy of a painting. But I tried to SEE the field with a fresh eye.  I could see hints of reddish pink weedy flowers in the grass and to me they transformed themselves into a meadow filled with beautiful wildflowers.

Often we can see the beauty but our painting skills aren't yet able to capture our vision. Don't despair if this sounds familiar. Just keep painting and seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary, it will all come together in time.  


9 comments:

Sherry Schmidt said...

Love this Karen!

Sharon Whitley said...

A great post - both the painting and the words!

Karen said...

Thanks Sherry!

Karen said...

Thank you Sharon, I appreciate it!

Shane Davis said...

One of my teachers told me that we have to learn to see before we can learn to draw. It's a great approach to take, thanks for the insight!

Kathleen said...

Beautiful painting and very thoughtful post!

Karen said...

Great Advise Shane! Thanks for sharing!

Karen said...

Thank you Kathleen!

Vanessa said...

Such a great post! That last paragraph really hits home it's something I have to keep reminding myself of over and over. Really encouraging to see that other artists pass through these stages.