Monday, December 27, 2010

Being Sharply Aware

Can you remember color?

Do you recognize scents?

Can you visualize the room you had as a child?

Can you call up the taste of your favorite dish or the taste of something you didn't like?

I think artist's brains are 'wired' differently, that we have heightened sensory abilities; a heightened awareness of their surroundings; a fuller reception, better connection and recall of the senses.

Maybe that makes us artists in the first place.
Maybe because we have the sharpened tools, we naturally develop into artists.

How many far-sighted artists do you know? Most of them I know either have very good eyesight or are near-sighted.

Could it be that because of the physical make-up, we DEVELOP differently? Nature creates nurture?

Think of Leonardo for instance. He must have had exceptional sight to have been able to observe and then draw birds in multiple positions of flight. He had to have a heightened understanding of this movement to then interpret THAT into a mechanical example of flight.

His studies of the movement of water are a revelation. He 'saw' what was going on within the motion of a transparent medium.

Not only could he observe acutely, he could interpret and produce visuals of what he understood.

Along with heightened senses, we also must have tactical skills as well. We must control the movements of our hands in concert with how our brain works in order to command them to produce what we want or conceive in our heads. Not everyone can do that either.

Take a look at his visualization of the local landscape AS SEEN BY A BIRD IN FLIGHT. In Leonardo's time, there was just no way he could have actually seen this.

Many of us can visualize a piece before we make it.

One of the early frustrations I had as a child was that I would 'see' what I wanted to make, but what I made didn't turn out like I 'saw' it in my imagination.

No one I tried to talk about this with understood what I was trying to convey. I would get very puzzled looks.

It was because I was trying to describe, analyze and work through a problem that just didn't exist in their scope of experience. And it probably never would.

My assumption was always that everyone had the same perceptions and conceptions I did. I was buffaloed by why they didn't get what I was trying to describe or understand why I was frustrated.

I have since learned to live with a blending of the vision in my head and what progresses and develops as I work and to be conscious to seeing the avenues that open up during that process. To make the choices of which way to let the flow take me and explore the possibilities that are presented.

That's what is so engaging, so fascinating and so mysterious about making art. No wonder those artists who have gone before talk of the Muse.

Do you have a Muse? Several Muses? Museses? Musii?


Liz said...

Thank you. You have put my brain function into words that make perfect sense.

Clay and Fiber Artist said...

Yes, it has taken me years and a lot of reading to realize that what I assumed was normal for everyone was only normal for me.

It also helped to discover the Myers-Briggs Personality Temprament Sorter test. Great insight into how you approach, analyze and react to the people and the world.