Drawing, for me, is the conduit of vision. It moves me beyond looking to seeing and the more I strive to see the greater my vision. So this autumn, I've come to ask myself and my students: What have you seen? Because that is what is shaping your vision and hopefully taking you deeper in your practice.
This fall I had the opportunity to see three very different exhibits. The first was in Annapolis:
American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection at the Mitchell Gallery
I think what stood out to me in this exhibit was the inclusion of works by both George Inness and Robert Henri in the same exhibit. They both are American painters, however, Inness is typically regarded as a member of the landscape painters of the Hudson River School of the 19th century and Henri of the Ashcan School of the 20th century. Yet, considering their works in the context of American Art as it sought to capture the light and mood of place, time and season, it makes perfect sense. It was a pleasure to see little known gems, not juxtaposed, but as unexpected participants in the artistic dialogue of a culture.
The next exhibit I had the pleasure to see was:
Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style at the Walter’s Art Museum
For me, the purpose of art is not merely the representation of reality from a specific point of view it is a representation of the artist's journey within a reality and the truth that is revealed through the vision discovered through the acts of seeing and making. That being said, a "masterpiece" is a work which transcends time and culture and continues to invite us into the vision of the artist as it is represented in the work.
The third exhibit I saw:
Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia at the Freer/Sackler Gallery
So that is what I have seen and how, I believe, at this short distance from the experiences, that seeing is developing my vision. I invite you to consider, "What are you seeing?"