“Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.”
An interesting hierarchy.
I agree with the first part – knowing means there are fewer possibilities, and possibility is what keeps our interest. Some people may believe knowing is supreme, but as an artist, I think it leads to stagnation.
The second part is less obvious to me. Which would you prefer to do, think or look? Both contain endless possibilities. Thinking involves our imagination, a realm that has vast potential. Looking is such a rich experience and often we see things we could not imagine.
As an artist, I believe both are crucial and need to be developed. When I want to explore my creativity I will often look at my work and think about how I could change it, what concept I want to explore, what techniques I want to use, what I am trying to express, what should I strive to make different, etc. This thought process usually feels more like a contemplation than thinking, but it is an active use of my mind. At times like these I also pay more attention to what I’m looking at, how I’m looking, where I’m looking, etc. Without focusing on looking in this way, I lack the raw material my new work will need.
I guess I’ll continue to try to be a thoughtful observer in search of a few more pieces of art…