Thursday, January 4, 2018

Seeing what we are looking at.

Reading How-to books about painting and drawing, they always tell you to paint what you see, not what you know.
So I try, but
It’s hard to turn your mind off and see something, especially something familiar, without turning to formulated techniques and standard approaches as to how to paint things.

But then, we are not looking.
We are imposing our preconceived notions. There is nothing new. At best we are only reinforcing conventional ways of seeing and painting
To really offer artistic insight we have to create outside the box, which starts with appreciating that there IS an outside to the box. 
And then we have to risk trusting what we see there.
Rather than rely on accepted depictions, we commit time and effort to discovering less familiar interpretations of the thing we see in front of us.

How does this apply to the world of stone ?
Maybe all it means is not loosing sight of what working in stone is all about.
Technique should be a means to allow others to see what it is that we see in the material and why it is we are passionate about it, not a formula or a mindless fabrication.
It should involve an element of risk, and even desperation, if we are really probing the material’s potential.

If we can use stone as we see it, we won’t let it become standardized.
We won’t create boxy stereotypes, nor will we allow ourselves to become too familiar with it.
We will avoid taking the accepted route as much as possible and explore approaches that make for vitality and creative individuality, appropriate to the wide variety of shapes, textures and sizes this wonderful material comes in.
We have to see before we make. 
We have to SEE stone.

And we as professionals, have to be humble enough to not think we 'know' what we see yet.

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