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Thursday, May 9, 2013

See Where You Are.

That's The Title Of My Book.

Click to zoom into cover

If you have seen or read my book you know the title refers to observation and my belief that we should all take a good look at our surroundings to actually see what is there.  Many years ago I received the gift of a child's crayon drawing with the words, "Be Where You Are" written in primitive, child-like block letters, across the bottom.  I was captivated by sentiment, so this framed drawing hung in my home for many years.  I attempted to live the sentiment and found it inched its way into my art theory and practice, with a small twist.  No only, Be Where You Are, but SEE Where You Are.

Caught Again
Acrylic on Canvas

We look at things every day, from the moment we get up in the morning until we go to sleep at night.  We look at everything around us, but do we actually see these things?

Back Side of Caught Rock
Acrylic on Canvas

Observation is not a passive activity.  You must engage to be aware of your surroundings.   It is frequently helpful to carry a notebook or sketchbook to record what you see, to note the details.  If you prefer an additional mental challenge you might engage and challenge yourself to remember.

Three Birds
Acrylic on Canvas

What should you record?  How about the variety of color, as well as lights and darks, the values,  in the clouds.  And pay attention to the height and width of those clouds as well as the shapes. Are they billowy and puffy, flat and thin, wispy, towering?  How do they compare in size to the earth below?  Do they cast shadows on themselves and the earth below,  and what about the details of that shadow?  Get it?  Just apply this observing to everything around you.

Big Flowered Euphorbia
Acrylic on Canvas

All the while, be where you are and engage so that you can see where you are.

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