The Art of Seeing
By Graham Norman
If you asked me who my favourite artists are, I would probably say David Hockney and Antony Gormley. That’s today. Tomorrow, it might be Gwen John and Rachel Whiteread. If you asked me what my favourite painting is, I’d probably say, oh, I don’t have one, there are so many I love in so many different ways. The truth is that the painting I love the most is the last one I painted or rather, the last one I painted that pleased me.
Yes, great artists give us great experiences, move us profoundly sometimes. Even change our lives. They share their work with us, but they cannot share the experience of creating their art. Luckily, we can have that creative experience even if we don’t share their talent. Yes, we have to learn a bit of technique as any parent knows as their child daubs everything but the paper. And we have to pay close attention to the object of our artistic endeavour, an act of concentration and devotion. We have to finish it before we ruin it or get bored with making it. It has to be created and brought into the world.
The result will be an embroidery, a sketch, a carving, maybe a painting, that pleases us – and pleases God. Because God always says, well done, that’s good, nice orange face Mummy’s got!
The hardest thing about creating art is to decide what to create. Who can choose when there is literally everything to choose from? Thank you, God, you’ve made that bit really difficult!
Tip of the Day: find an artwork that you really like, that is speaking to you today, a sculpture, a poem, a building, painting, piece of music, photograph, anything that moves you or gets you thinking. Then make your own creation from that artwork but in a different medium; a painting from a piece of music, a poem from a photograph. Don’t try to copy or overthink. Launch off. Take wing. Fly (but not too close to the sun if your wings are stuck on with wax)!
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