Friday, February 26, 2016



Have you noticed lately when someone is in the midst of explaining something, they may blurt out, "Look!", as if the recipient couldn't understand the explanation? LOOK is a trendy word right now and you hear it everywhere. Other words, like detritus, paradigm, or journey--I know you can think of many more--have been overused so much so that when I hear them, I cringe, just as I am beginning to when someone proclaims, "LOOK!"

We already do so much looking without seeing. What is the difference? Remember this phrase: "Look around you. What do you see?" Look is a glance. See is understanding.

Do you just look at the world or do you see what makes up all the interesting parts? Someone who sees needs to take time to observe and differentiate. Artists are good at that. It's part of their training. What kind of person are you? A looker or a see-er?

Take a look around you right now--wherever you are. What do you see? What are the colors, textures, the sizes and shapes of what you notice? While you are at this, take out a pencil and paper and draw what you see. Try a contour drawing. Draw slowly the edges of an object with one continuous line with your eye on the object except when you need to turn a corner.

Contour drawing is a great way to learn to draw. When I was a student, I drew acres and acres of faces, chairs, pots, animals, anything in front of me using this technique. Remember to draw slowly. Contour drawing helps you to get away from the sketchy lines that most people use when they try to draw. With contour drawing  you end up with a pretty good understanding of the shape of the object and your drawing will have a quirky personality because you are not trying to be perfect. Remember that too, you are not trying to be perfect.

Send me your examples of what you see. And have fun. I would love to see them!

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