“One eye sees, the other feels.” Paul Klee
Moonlight Mist, mixed watermedia, 29 x 21″
In teaching art, it is hard to teach folks to listen to both sides of the brain. Paul Klee’s quote really speaks to the dichotomy of what we pay attention to as we paint. Both the seeing (left brain) and the feeling (right brain) are at play in the best work.
After wearing bifocals for a few years, I got tired of having my vision clouded by smudges, dust, etc. and decided to try wearing contacts. Vision is one of an artist’s most important senses, and I felt like I was always struggling to see clearly.
My last attempt to wear contacts was before I even needed glasses. My sister wore them in high school and allowed me to try hers on. I felt like I had a rock in my eye. I really didn’t understand how she could wear them all day!
But having these new lenses has made me much happier. They are comfortable and give me great views both up close and far away. I don’t need much distance correction, so the optician suggested that I try mono-vision. One eye sees well up close reading, and the other eye sees well at a distance. After some initial adjustment, my brain has learned to pay attention to the correct eye. I am combining the two corrections without even thinking about it.
Just as in mono-vision, the successful artist is able to to synthesize both the sight and the feeling of a subject.
What I often observe is that artists translate what they see through the language of art:
Emphasizing one or two design elements helps create mood, feeling and meaning from sometimes simple subject matter.
It’s not what you look at that matters- it’s what you see. – Thoreau