Come and Sketch At the Beach!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

More On Changing Styles and A Guest Artist

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

                                                                                        Henry David Thoreau

In our last discussion about Changing Styles, some of you mentioned "how you saw" something determined how it went down on the page. 

Last December, my husband and I went to Bok Tower and Gardens to celebrate our anniversary. One of our favorite places to visit at Bok Tower is the Window By The Pond. 

There is a small building that will seat a dozen or so people with a large glass window that looks out onto the pond you see in the image below. 
Window By The Pond
at Bok Tower and Gardens
The day Chris and I were there, the day was sunny and bright, but there was not a bird, squirrel or bug in site. The photo you see above was taken on a cold, rainy day when I went back with Kathy at Catching Happiness to visit Pinewood Estate

Knowing I always take my sketchbook with me everywhere, brought his as well and we spent a very fun half hour sketching at the pond.

And this is where what we see and how we see it becomes fascinating... 

Here's what Chris saw: 
"Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting"
by Chris Ferlita
Now remember, the day we were there, there were no birds, no squirrels, no nothing, but this was what Chris saw. (Each time I look at his sketch, I hear the song, "…and everybody was Kung Fu fighting…" but that's just me!)

If you know my husband well, you would take a quick look at his sketch and think, "Yep, that's definitely Chris' sense of humor." 

When I asked him what his catalyst was, he said, "You mean besides that fact that there were no birds or squirrels anywhere? It's just what popped into my head. The birds and squirrels are always fighting over the food so this is what it would have been like if they had showed up."

And this was my take:
Window By The Pond
Bok Tower
Much different! 

My focus was on capturing the bright, sunny day as well as the peaceful feeling I always get when I visit the pond. 

Is one more accurate than the other? No, not really.

Is one better than the other? I don't think so. Not when you take into consideration the artist's approach and what they sought to capture on the page. 
 
Stop and think about how you look at things, places, life, when you sketch. 

Are you attempting to capture the actual place, a feeling you have when you sketch that place, the colors, the light, the reflections or something else? 

Our approach to the page starts long before we ever put down the first mark.

If we change our approach, how we see things, can we change our style or is style embedded in our skills and technical proficiency?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

10 comments:

  1. I end up with what I see in front of me normally. I stick to the real stuff. My sister always tells a story and would have drawn Chris' version. To her there is always a story behind the picture whereas I am trying to keep the memory of the time I am there and not worrying about a story. I think her way is more fun and I enjoy it but it's not me and I can't draw it unless I am just using imagination with no picture in front of me.

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    1. You're wise to recognize the "why" you do something and that while you appreciate your sister's approach, it's not yours.

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  2. Laure - your hubby's sketch made me smile...shows he has a real imagination. Enjoyed your peaceful sketch - perhaps a bit more as the way it was. I often find myself wanting to paint realistically but I am not that type of artist. Maybe my style will change in time. Perhaps life happenings lead us to change how we see and interpret what is there or not. Anyway I always come away from your blog thinking more deeply about the painting process and what motivates one to paint. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as well.

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    1. He's a funny guy, Debbie an a lot of fun. He has an awesome imagination. It's interesting to me that we always seem to have a desire to paint differently from the way we normally do. I have not doubt our styles will evolve. How differently they'll be, is anyone's guess!

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  3. Oh yes, I so agree on what you see isn't always what you sketch. ha... I love his interpretation.

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    1. I find it seldom it is, Lisa. Glad to know I'm not the only one!

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  4. another very enjoyable post Laure' - I like Chris' take when he could not see those things, but felt them instead. That's pretty clever I reckon! It also was very humorous. Yours is more how I would portray the vision (if I could sketch/paint!) and they're both great processes of mind; well done both of you; a great team!

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    1. Thanks, Carole. He has quite the imagination and if it's not fun, he's going to make it fun.

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  5. I'm a realistic artist and sometimes I wish I could break out of the mold. But I I'm not at all happy l with what I end up with when I do. What usually motivates me to paint is if I'm doing it for a purpose -- or for someone. I'm an intensely practical person in an artist's body -- or vice versa.

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    1. And I think that's why we tend to stay in our "molds," Chris, because we don't like those results when we attempt something new and different. I didn't like the results I got when I first started painting.

      Now that I'm trying to break out of my realistic style, I don't like the results much either, but I'm gonna keep trying. Otherwise, I'll never know.

      Love you're comment about being an intensely practical person in an artist's body. I've often said I was a business person in the business of art rather than an artist doing business.

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