The Art of Seeing

Montreal Latin Quarter Art Exhibition,copyright Ellen Wilson

I told my eight year old daughter to turn off the TV, because too much TV was bad for her. She replied that she would eat carrots while she was watching TV; because carrots are good for you , and they therefore negate the bad effects of the TV.

That was pretty damn funny.

It seems we do this to ourselves a lot, though. We spend too much time online, digesting silliness. Or watching junk TV. We waste ouselves and do not give ourselves time to recharge. Instead, we divert our attention towards media goodies.

Of course we aren’t perfect. We just want to relax and not think about anything sometimes. But our society keeps us on hyperalert, claiming if we pay attention just a little bit longer, we can have it all.

It’s all an illusion. And I believe it! I for one am caught up in this online addiction. I think, oh, my, what does she say; what is he saying; I just know I’m almost on top of it all; and please, I must keep up!!!!

You really can’t. But because I am all new to this I throw myself into the delusion with gusto.

What a fool.

When I was little I learned the Art of Seeing. My dad is an artist and he used to take me to art shows and galleries. I used to go into his studio and push my hands into paint – stick them onto canvas and rub them all around.  I would feel, see, smell, and hear, the paint.  Hear the paint?  Yes, it would make popping noises when I squished it though my fingers.  I did refrain from tasting the paint.

The art of seeing is three dimensional. You have to soak it into your entire life, by using all your senses.

So, I say, turn off the damn TV. Go to an art gallery. Art will teach you much about life. Learn what an artist is thinking through her paintings. Feel what he has to say through the observation of his work.

But it is not passive observation. And that is the point. The artist is transmitting something extremely important to you.

We can look at photography and writing the same way – the Artist’s Way – the way of seeing. But that is for tomorrow.

Photocredit:  Ellen Wilson

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