We are all Artists. It’s that simple. Let me tell you how. Every individual has multiple modalities of perceiving the 3-D world. For those with eyes there is a conscious vision of the infinite present moment. These perceptions have been aggregating in our minds since our eyes first opened. They are the inventory with which we make sense of our external world and construct our memories and imagination.
Many have incredible memories. They can recall much of what they have seen. No one can recall everything. Have you ever thought of what you recall in your memory verses what was actually there? If you do, you will begin to understand how you are an Artist.
If you stand anywhere and describe what you see, this process would help you understand which elements are most important to your perceptive mind. The bits and pieces, colours and shapes that you describe, are the same as the elements that artists choose to put in their works.
Everyone has an individual way of filtering the input of the infinite world. If you are with a group of people staring at the same place, each individual will have a unique memory of the place derived from identical input data.
What you have read above will help you come to an initial understanding of any work of art by a critical analysis of what elements an artist chooses from their environment. The first step to understanding the infinite in art is that we all perceive the same way. We all artistically choose the foci of our world.
There are two distinct types of paintings: those that are derived from real vision, and those that are derived from imagination/memory. The next blog will investigate works that are made by the artist directly from his environment.
In the Traditional Light
courtesy of Francis Luis Mora
We now must think about the Artist and what he sees.
All sight is based on light… but which light? From the egocentric perspective of the Artist, there are several types of light. If an Artist is placed outside in Nature, there is the light that enters the eye directly from the Sun and the light which is reflected off of objects. If an Artist is indoors, there is the light that enters directly through windows and doors, there are artificial light sources, and there is the light which is reflected off of objects.
These are the obvious sources of light. These are not all possible sources, but for the basis of this particular blog, they are sufficient. It is interesting to consider possible differences between paintings that can be created using these light sources: indoors, outdoors, or both.
We generally consider Artists using light that is absorbed and reflected off objects. In traditional Academic painting, objects are chosen and painted in techniques that allow the painting (in a simplistic way) to mimic how light is acting in the Artist’s immediate subjective view. The Artist applies combinations of paint materials that offer various amounts of absorption and reflectivity to alter relative speeds of light as it strikes the painting, thus using the varied chromatic densities in the painting to create a similar but artificial environment.
If the Artists wish to accentuate a reflective quality of an object, say a shiny flower, they will use thick paint that itself will reflect light more quickly. If the Artists wishe to accentuate the soft nature of an object, say skin or shadow, they will use paint thinned or suspended in a medium that will allow light to be absorbed and reflect less quickly.
These are the basic, traditional painting tools from which one can explain much of Art through the 19th Century. I have supplied a good example above.