Observation is Invention

July 1, 2016

There are many artistic quotes that inspire new ways of thinking, but in particular one has continued to resonate with me over the years. This quote was from the great film theorist and perceptual psychologist Mr. Rudolf Arnheim, "All perceiving is also thinking, all reasoning is also intuition, all observation is also invention." Mr. Arnheim's uses his vast knowledge to describe the process that takes place when people create or look at works of art.

Many of us artists grow up with a desire to draw things exactly the way they appear because this tends to be an impressive skill especially to non-artists. Unfortunately the craft-aspect and it's training can cause confusion between craft and art. After devouring several of Mr. Arnheim's books I became enlightened with bigger questions that lead me to a better self awareness. I am grateful for his insights that expanded my comprehension beyond the typical rote technical art-memes. We don't have to look far to see the plethora of photo-like images of so-called drawings that flood social media, where the image is traced and filled in with the finest detail and patience. When a drawing or painting makes you come back to view it again and again it is not the exactness that creates the fascination. However the ability to observe accurately is a part of the technical skills needed in proportioning for artists interested in realism. Without getting too deeply into the problems of recipe-art teaching I will get back to the creative skills of perception. Perception and thinking are not separate, they're a part of our cognitive activity that we all use. However artists become aware of and expand on these inherent human mechanisms.

What interests me is seeing what an artist has to say about a particular thing, I look for his or her fingerprint in a work of art. Through their personal aesthetic sensibility they abstract, modify, simplify, accentuate and delete and use a subject as a platform for expression. When we look at an artist's work we are looking at another persons consciousness.

 

 

 

 

“The more perfect our means of direct experience, the more easily we are caught by the dangerous illusion that perceiving is tantamount to knowing and understanding.”
Rudolf Arnheim

 

 

 

 

See attached art- Hope you enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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