“Why let what you see get in the way?”
– Joyce Kellock
What is so special about what we see? My main interest in what I see is not in the thing itself, but rather in what it inspires me to do with it. It’s just a starting point. From there I can roam in my imagination and play with my creativity.
I encounter so many photographers (and often painters) who are so committed to faithfully representing what they see. Well, I could go there and see it too. I’m more interested in having them show me something that I couldn’t see without their help. I feel cheated – I feel like a child who was taken to the circus but not allowed to go in the big tent. I want to see what’s inside.
What we see can get in the way of revealing what is inside. Sometimes the impact of what we see is large, especially for the artist who was there at the moment. It can literally stop us in our tracks. We think that re-presenting that moment will be enough.
I would invite all my fellow artists to never be satisfied with what you see – there’s always more. That’s where the real beauty lies. Invite us into your tent.
I also am more interested in seeing an artist’s work that is more personal, unique or interesting than just a rendering or copy of what they see in front of them. I have a cartoon in which you see a painter at the beach painting the exact same scene in front of him and little boy is standing next to him. the boy asks him “don’t you have a camera?”.
A great post, Bob, very touching! I adore the metaphor with the circus…
An interesting post, complicated by the fact that I had to go to your website to find out whether the image in this post was a photograph or a painting.
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