We use this sense probably the most and are rapidly becoming conditioned to see in particular ways through exposure to instant culture throughout the media.
On a more mundane level we all need to see to live a daily life and just noticing details or looking at our surroundings in a different way can be inspiring.
This week's workshop was about seeing through the eyes of an artist, how and what we see and how we translate that into marks.
I visited The eyes are listening at Hastings Museum recently and loved the large paintings of Tom Hammick.
In terms of creating artwork I am very interested in the right brain left brain function. After reading Betty Davis' book, Drawing on the right side of the brain, I am sure there are ways of strengthening our use of the right brain thus being able to harness its global skills and lack of critical awareness allowing creativity to grow.
So to get students started and to switch off the left brain function we drew an upside down drawing, This is an exercise to copy a drawing by Picasso of Igor Stravinsky. By doing this the brain reads the lines and marks as just that, it no longer recognises them as eyes, arms, a collar etc so the right brain is in control and this allows the student to make a drawing without preconceived knowledge and spacial judgement . The result is a better drawing. Still not necessarily perfectly (if there is ever such a thing) accurate but conveying a more real sense of the original subject.
Time changing greatly affects what we see so students drew from view finders on the windows to record what they could see at different intervals during the workshop - overlaying the images made on tracing paper.
I had asked students to bring in white objects to draw so we could just focus on the forms without too much distraction while they made 3 specific drawings, 1st to make a drawing using usual observation, 2nd to make a drawing looking at the subjects and not the paper, trusting the eye and the hand to connect to create an image, 3rd to make a drawing entirely from memory of the subjects, by removing them.
I hope doing these drawings in this way highlighted how we store up image in our brain, and when we draw we can either use the images accumulated subconsciously by just living or we can re learn new lines, angles and marks by looking carefully and memorising by repetition these new images. Increasing our own artists resource of our mind.
Students then continued to draw the white still life using slit shaped view finders.