Back many years ago when I was an art student there was another student who use to go up and feel the still life prior to drawing it. We use to joke amongst ourselves the he was setting a precedent for when we got nude models. However when I think back on it I can see the sense in getting the sensation of touch involved to better understand the form. When you create art what do you use other than just sight?
Being a primarily a landscape/seascape photographer it is difficult to "go up and feel" the subject. Obviously.
However, with that said, I do like to drive extensively through the area and/or walk around whatever I am about to photograph. There is something to be said in capturing the scene with more "feeling" by having a more intimate knowledge of the subject.
For example: One of my best selling subjects is an architecturally beautiful bridge over the Indian River Inlet in Delaware. It is located smack dab in the middle of the (large) Delaware Seashore State Park. I have many photographs of this structure and surrounding areas that have sold well. I have also spent the time to walk nearly every possible place to be along the waterfront and beach and throughout the park. Having up-close-and-personal knowledge and a true "feeling" for the place has helped me capture some interesting scenes - such as the night shot that I am holding in this snapshot.
You should use all your senses for understanding, insight, muscle memory, etc, if they are appropriate and applicable. After all they are all extensions of an area of the brain you would use in artistic development and skill.
We forget sometimes that what doesn't occur to one person is almost automatic to another.
When Robert De Niro, had a scene where he was working at a desk, he sat down and got familiar with where everything was on the desk, even picking them up and handling things before rehearsal. A fellow (and lesser) actor questioned what he was doing and De Niro explained to him how important it was for a convincing portrayal by knowing about what he was supposed to be familiar with in the scene. If he was supposed to pick up a stapler and staple papers for instance, it wouldn't look too convincing if he had to hesitate to find where the items were.
It's of course important for an artist to "feel" and be connected emotionally with his subject if he's to capture it accurately.
I remember an exercise our art teacher had us do a few times was to draw a subject we were looking at but we weren't allowed to look at our drawing. Also, we weren't allowed to pick up the pencil once we started drawing the object.
I am tactile. I touch everything. I touch people when I speak to them, I touch textures to see if they feel like they should in my head. I have been told off in museums and galleries and now have to almost tie my hands behind my back. My boyfriend is exactly the same. He is an exceptional artist and sculptor. He has dyslexia so most of his understanding of life is really visual and touch is a large part. He loves still life's and yes, he touches them a lot.
For me it is important to know my subject. I simply tend to stick with what I know and love. An experience journal pretty much.
I grew up around horses and barns, walked barefoot down country roads - and many of my friends and family lived in old houses with fields as their back yards.
I know how they feel, the scent in the air and the sounds that they make.
Being familiar with the scent of an object, the feel of it in my hands helps me to shape it with paint.
I have not done life drawing sessions in about seven years,...the last ones I did were from about a three hour pose, minus a few breaks for the model. At the breaks for the model, the other artists would chat and not do any more of their work, because the model was not there. But I would keep working on my oil pastel drawing, even when the model was not there. I wasn't drawing the model, I was drawing my drawing, and that was still right in front of me, even if the model was not there. I mostly look at my art when working on my art...the model is just a part of it.
Being a drummer, I often find myself tapping out rhythms while creating digital artwork. Even if I'm not actually tapping, I have this sense of inner rhythm most of the time. It's hard to explain. It feels like it's a sense that is rooted in my gut...that's as close as I can come to describing it.
Ronald, I say with everything I do it's mostly via the eyes but with sculpture I use tools and touch to get proportions and shapes. The inspiration though comes from totally different places which are much harder to define. :-)
Peggy !......I too am never without the background riff that plays in my head constantly ! And it sets a sort of rhythm to my whole life.
Along with the tinnitus, omg.
Otherwise, no, I'm not touchy-feely, but with vision problems, I do get up close and personal , but the Still Lifes don't mind, people do.!
I love my current 'situation', Ron......a kind of blurred vision.....doesn't hamper me, adds a strange dimension to what I see, though I
don't paint now, it used to help get to the 'essence' of the subject, in the abstract. Doesn't work for photography....blur is blur, sigh !
Maybe this sounds strange....most all of my life (since I was a young child) I have received intuitive messages from my spirit guides or Higher Self about expressing through art. They tell me what to do, how to do it, what to change, etc. This comes in the form of thoughts in my mind, feelings, intuitive knowings, visions in my mind's eye. It is like listening and following directions from an invisible source.
Writing poetry also is like taking dictation from the inner mind connected with something greater than myself. I make minor corrections from my logical mind afterward.
The only problem with this inner approach is coming in conflict with what another teacher is saying. Well, good luck with that! Please don't lock me up after this confession! Lol! I am fairly sane, made it through college, am able to write in complete sentences, etc.
The thing is my blood relatives are not artists. So I needed another source of inspiration and guidance other than people. I was given spiritual guidance instead. God looks after even the smallest sparrow. Blessings be to all.
Giving this some thought - It is easy to say my eyes, and touch comes into play when working with more tactile mediums. But somehow this seems false.
When you get into the creative zone it seems more that all your senses are involved.
You could be creating from your own home but the smell of the flowers or the feel of the wind or the warmth of the sun can seem very real when you are in that zone. I have often gone for a sweater when working with cold winter colors or felt very warm when working with the hot colors. It is even possible to experience the feel of something without actually touching it.
I am thinking of a quote of Picasso, but have only the jest of it: '...we need to pluck the eyes of the artist out so they can see...'
En tout cas, something like that... And it makes sense occasionally; especially when trying to explain 'how I see' - I might say I try to envision what I hear intuition whispering [or humming] in my mind's eye...
Bill summed up what makes his photos & many of my paintings pop, is the FEEL.
M best paintings capturing the total FEEL of Place are the ones where I have actually physically experienced that location.
Much of my work is commission working from photos. So if I have never been to the place, I search the internet for images of the area, I read trip reviews of the location, I do a google drive by & satellite view if I can.
I want to gather as much info as possible to get a sense of what it would be like to be actually there & put that into my paintings & bring the viewer there too.
When I start drawing I like to stroke the canvas. But it still doesn't save me from worrying. One half of me wants me to do something realistic. The other half wants something unusual. As a result, it is difficult to find a compromise. The creative process is greatly delayed by this.
Viva, how cool is that? I've never known anyone to share that particular trait however I can't remember this ever being discussed before so maybe there are a lot of us "rhythmies" out there. And coincidentally, we also have a couple more things in common...I have tinnitus but only in my left ear and only really noticeable at night. And, I had very bad eyesight in my teen years (too vain to wear glasses at the time, I guess) and used to wander around blindly but I got to prefer it in a way...I'm familiar with that strange dimension you mention. The only time I didn't really appreciate it is when I accidentally, blindly meandered into the mens washrooms in bars because I couldn't see the signs. :-)
The responses have been very interesting! Personally I’m not sure what I use besides sight but it is something. I sort of fall into a trance while I’m working ( sounds more dramatic than it is) I’m almost surprised at what I create.
Even though I am a photographer and my eyes are obviously important, II am convinced that to capture a subject as well as you can, you must love, respect, and have at least some basic knowledge of that subject. No matter what that subject is. Even if it's brick wall. (somebody made that wall!) If only for a brief moment, there is a relationship based on love, understanding, and respect. When I am at that point, I feel an intimacy with the subject, regardless of what that subject might be. I do not know if it is spiritual, Zen, or something else, but there is some kind of emotional connection and hopefully my work shows that. Portrait photographers know about this phenomenon since day one.
For me this happens most often photographing a landscape in black and white with a pinhole camera. There are hardly any technical distraction with that type of camera. Just that tree in front of you, a plain box with a hole and you. That's it. All your senses are focused on your subject and is therefore for me the most intimate form of photography I know.
I do belong to a singles group in CT on FB. Rejection by all parties is the order of the day. I think we guess each others politics, religion, height, size etc....and slip to the next. It is as if not opening my mouth is the best strategy. The people speaking are being over judged in the singles group. As well some of them should be. LOL
Synaesthesia (synethsesia) is a very useful trait in a creative - experiencing art using other senses than just the eyes.
I told someone I had synaesthesia and they said there was a testing-centre nearby and I could self-isolate ... :))
I always look for an emotional connection in my artwork and photography, so I guess you could say when I am looking at my subject, I tend to apply my own composition and emotive filters. Actually I always do this, not just when I am creating.
I have a degree in Interior Design. I was taught to see.
The entire first year of my design program was learning the Elements and Principles of Interior Design. One semester on the Elements: Space, Lines, Form/Shape, Pattern, Light, Color, and Texture. One semester on the Principles: Balance, Rhythm, Harmony, Emphasis, and Scale and Proportion. We explored each element and principle thoroughly by first creating and sketching a design and then building 3D project of it. In the second year, one semester was similar, only we focused on using the rules all in combination.
Because of how I was taught to see, I first see in volume or 3D (like a room), mentally framing my composition before breaking it down into smaller details. First impressions are very important to me, it's when I'm most creative, and if I don't shoot it right then, I most likely won't come back to it because I'm working my way down to the smaller details as I go.
At this point in my life, it is so deeply ingrained I do not even realize I'm doing it. I'm big on "Sense of Place" in my photography, which is more about seeing everything as a whole. I'm not much into macro because those fine details by themselves aren't that important to me; it's how they work together that I'm most interested in. I don't think about the rules of photography; they are just there. It's not until I get home and download my images that I realize....oh, look at those leading lines or I shot that using the rule of thirds.
I cannot draw a straight line and so, Illustrator is a big help to me. and I just start sometimes with a line and then just keep going until I find an image that I really like and usually it turns into a drawing that has some meaning or feeling about it. And of course, the colors are a very important part of any of my images and the blending thereof. I used to do a lot of photography but my husband is homebound and therefore, I cannot get out very much to do any photography. I create my images for me and if I sell some fine, if I don't that is ok also.
omg,Peggy, what a hoot, our commonalities. Re vision: we did not know our daughter was almost blind as a bat till she was tested for school,
thank goodness, too young to get lost in the mens' loo, lol................and, she blossomed thereafter, turns out she relied on her 160IQ to survive.
Who knew !! I ignore the tinnitus !
Even though my vision is hampered now, I still mostly cannot cope with tremors, b/c, they stop me painting now, and, painting was my refuge
from reality............wish I could see, wish I could paint.
It's all Colour now.....and strange design.
Often times I will have an idea in my head and know exactly how I want it to look. That's not always the case, but it is alot of the time. The shooting process is usually very quick.There's usually a bit of trial and error in terms of how I position my figures and camera angles, but I when I pick up the camera there is always a fleshed out concept in my head. I storyboard my ideas mentally and sometimes test ideas out on my cellphone camera before taking a photo.
Before I took this photo I knew exactly how everything was going to look, including the lighting, before I even picked up the camera.
Also, I hand paint each and every figure and vehicle I use in my photos, and I feel that the painting process is essential to my photography, since as I paint and assemble them I get to know them and get a feeling for the kinds of settings in which they belong.
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