Right away I have to admit to you that I am not an artist….at least in the traditional sense. I mean, I can sketch trees pretty nicely and grasses. I can even come up with some interesting water color composites but I wouldn’t try to pass myself off as a good sketcher or painter. And don’t even get me started on things that I am unable to make by hand (although I can still put together a little board with nails and thread strings through to make a dang good bookmark or pot holder!). Even with all of these things that a traditional kind of artist can do very well that I can’t do, I still know when I see something that is beautiful, well-made and has that extra oomph to it and I bet you do as well.
I love watching Project Runway because of the gorgeous and unusual clothes the designers make. I can barely sew on a button much less hem long pants but I can really appreciate a beautifully designed and well-made outfit. I’m amazed at the ideas that the designers come up with and make in so little time. Reminds me of a student in my boarding school who was a year behind me with such a gift for designing and sewing clothes. For one of our balls, she made the most extraordinary dress. It’s so many years later I can barely remember the gown I wore, but I can absolutely remember the gown she made because it was unique and it was stunning. Of all the “pictures” in my mind’s records that could have been held on to her dress is permanently ensconced in the archives.
The point of all this is to say if you’re an artist, fantastic, you’re already aware of how to look at everyday things differently. But if you’re not an “artist”, like me, you can still have an artist’s eye. I suppose back when our bodies and minds were being put together we somehow did not come with that piece that helps our brains and bodies carry out what we “see”. Still, you can use your gift of artist’s site to see the world differently.
Take today for instance. I’m driving down the highway after class at lunch time so everyone else on the highway seemed to be hungry and agitated or in a rush to get to their next meeting plus on top of that a good portion of the stretch I drive has been in various stages of construction for what seems like f o r e v e r! I could have gotten myself into a state of impatience and frustration by numb nut drivers, admittedly I was almost there, until I happened to catch a beautiful scene out of the corner of my eye. A flock of pigeons was doing that unison flying thing that they sometimes do weaving back and forth, in and out of each others’ paths right above a La Quinta Hotel where the sunlight just happened to ricochet off as it peaked in and out of the clouds. There was such harmony in the colors (gold of the hotel, gold of the sun, gray of the sky, silver and black of the birds) as well as movement (strong solid object of the hotel, puffy Cumulus clouds, intricate flock pattern of the birds in flight). It’d probably have made a magnificent short video.
As a result of that one brief moment that I saw through an artist’s eye, I forgot to be upset with the guy in front of me driving 55 mph in the fast lane. Instead, I spent most of my way home replaying what I had just seen with my mind’s eye and hoping to catch something else equally as beautiful and unexpected.
It really is how we look at things isn’t it? Do you ever have these experiences of catching the wonder of life? And more than that, the unexpected beauty? I suppose many of us, especially Americans, have been steeped in looking at the negative aspects of our world so that we can be aware in order to keep ourselves safe, that we don’t spend a whole lot of time considering that instead we could look for the beauty that’s happening around us all the time.
Love the discussion that has begun on this blog site and encourage you to jump in with your experience and comments! The water is warm!