Tag Archives: seeing differently

Seeing differently

There are some who see a great deal and some who see very little in the same things’.  T.H. Huxley

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If we could time travel back to our earliest formative years, when our world was a kaleidoscope of colour and shapes, we could regain our natural curiosity and love of colour and form.  

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After the formative years, we begin to see the world through the narrow definition that our culture has imposed upon us.

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Our heads can be filled with reasons why we should not, and cannot do something!

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Given the fast pace of our lives today, and the fact that most of us are plugged into technology of one kind or another, our collective senses have been deadened. 

Just as dancers and athletes exercise their limbs,  our eyes need to be exercised….so that we can begin to see the world around us in our own unique way. 

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The photographs in this post are of an old wooden table I used to do my water-colour painting on….Added to the wonderful paint stains are the lilies and their shadow play. 

‘I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive….’  Joseph Campbell. 

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When the answer is revealed….

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Another tutorial and reminder of the importance of observational skills.   I

This exercise is all about observing the whole picture, –  the subject and the area surrounding it, which is referred to as the negative space.

I sometimes see people struggling with one area of a painting that they keep going back to time and time again….adding and removing paint,  when quite often all that is needed is a shadow or some colour thrown into the negative space. 

Using  yellow ochre, I have sketched out the rough form of a Calla Lily

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It’s much like life when we are trying to solve an ongoing problem.  We tend to keep going back with the same solution, which doesn’t work!

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It’s not until we look in another direction, in this case into the negative space surrounding the Cala Lily, that the answer is revealed. 

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As we approach paintings and life from a different point of view….new solutions and answers are revealed.

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For this image I used a mix of colours that happened to be on my palette….and then scraped out some colour with a knife, which gives energy and breaks up the background space.

Note that all the white you see is dry white paper. 

I used the same dark tone/value in the back ground colour as I did for the dark shadows on the lily, and just a touch of Winsor & Newton Green Gold and cadmium orange to pull the image together

I never use black when watercolour painting….it deadens the picture.    Instead, I mix Burnt Sienna and Prussian Blue….or other combinations of browns and blues….which produce a beautiful rich dark.

A Colourful Magical Hummingbirds for the day.

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Tutorial 10: – Seeing Differently

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an apple?

It could be the iconic Apple Mac symbol…or the shiny red apple that children take for their favourite teacher:)

What The Apple Exercise demonstrates is that the apple, along with everything else in life, can be seen in a myriad of different ways. 

Upside down and inside out…..

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If we were able to time travel back to our earliest formative years, from 1 to 3, when our world was a kaleidoscope of colour and shapes and our young minds were full of wonder, we could regain our natural curiosity and love for colour and form. 

If we are able to see the apple in many different ways, we will begin to see everything else differently. 

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A collage of apple exercise sketches. 

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This week along with a couple of watercolour demonstrations and more information about brushes and paper,   I will talk about the imagination, and how we can encourage it to blossom. 

Think left and think right and think low and think high.   Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.’   Dr. Seuss. 

A Bientôt