Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Golfer and the Art of Seeing

A golfer was playing the last hole of his local golf course. The hole wasone with a long fairway that ran alongside a fairly busy road. He teed up his ball and took up his stance then  played his shot, but unfortunately he hit the ball off in the wrong direction. The ball flew off to the left over the fence and towards the road. Just at that moment a car was climbing the hill, the ball struck the front pane and the driver in shock swung to the right far too sharply. The car rolled over and another car coming down the hill could not avoid. There was an almighty collision. Both drivers were injured.

The golfer ,made his way clubhouse a very worried man. He saw the club captain and approached him to speak with him. He explained in detail what had happened and asked the captain what he should do now. The captain thought for a minute and then said, “If you just adjust your grip a bit further round the club handle that should solve your problem.”

Is it not amazing that two people looking at the same situation,or for the artist the same viewpoint, and yet both see it completely differently. It never fails to amaze me how the same scenery can be depicted in so many different ways. There are those who strive to show every blade of grass and those who hardly show anything at all yet capture the whole scene with just a few strokes of the brush or the pastel.

We will all as artists know which it is that best suits our style. That being said I think art is like life, the simpler we keep it the easier it is. As the ancient sage said, “Why try to climb over the boulder in the middle of the river when it is possible to swim round it and go with the current. I am always in awe when I look at so many works of art that capture an atmosphere and the scene, I am full of envy and long to be able to do the same.  Whether it is a detailed painting or an atmospheric interpretation the ones that seem to grip are those where we can see the heart of the artist.

If we are painitng, sculpting or creating just because we have to meet deadlines or fulfil commissions do we have time to put our hearts into the work? I frequently consider not doing any commissions for this very reason. How do others cope? Would love to hear your suggestions.

1 comment:

  1. I agree and envy the artists who can portray the heart and emotion of a moment in their work with such ease and brilliance. It seems when artist, materials, and vision are at one the end result is a vision to stir and captivate.
    On a personal note at this moment in time I am grappling with retracing these concepts, trying to figure out where I have lost heart in my paintings.
    I do think it must be difficult to work on commissions, to try to even guess at the spirit or heart of the person requesting the commission. I have never worked on a commission so don't know the hurls an artist faces here.
    Keep the blogs coming, great fodder for thought.