Monday, March 10, 2014

So This Is Art

So this is art. You set up your camp stool in a lovely garden, right in sight of a flowering vine. A little shade overhead helps because you will be in one spot for a while. 

First you sketch to catch the line and spacing of the plant. You plan the perspective and composition that that you will record on the page. Close to the plant? More distant? Blossoms in the center? More leaves? Less leaves?

Your eye, an eye that is used to seeing and taking in a lot of cues at once, now has to filter out unnecessary detail and distill what is three dimensional into pen lines and dabs of paint, all set onto a sheet of paper. 

The drawing takes shape. You see the details. The slant of a petal, the wisp of a stem, the turn of a leaf. 

Now you turn to color and find that the depth and brilliance in front of you that is not contained in the wells of the paint palette. The flower has reds that are scarlet and velvety. The green of the leaves shines and glistens, unlike anything you mix. 

Finally you finish. The work is done. But you are not satisfied. Somehow the essence of the plant stays on the vine. You close the sketchbook and know that you have tried. 

Another day, perhaps the next day, maybe a week later, you open the page and are surprised by how the moments and colors have been captured.  You feel the warm breeze moving across your face, just like that day when you thought the colors were elusive and the line was scattered and weak. 

Looking at the page, you are reminded again. This is art. This capturing of focus and attention. This time away from the cares of the day, now enshrined on a crinkled page in a banged up sketchbook. Those moments. That hour. One afternoon in a pleasant space. 

Once again you know that this is art.

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