Thursday, August 02, 2012
Thoughtful Thursday is a new addition to the blog. I have been doing a lot of thinking, and writing to help my thinking, about what my work means to me and how it relates to my place in the world. I will be using this space to share these thoughts and those of other artists and creative people both present and past. I begin with the blog of Jenny Hunter Groat from Lagunitas, California.
Jenny is the most profound, thoughtful artist I know. We met when I took her class on Notan, the Japanese principle of design, in Boston. I experienced the full Jenny when I attended a Calligraphy Retreat at Green Gulch Zen Center in California and still carry the lessons learned and joy awakened within me. Jenny now has a blog where she shares her wisdom and experience with the world. Here is Jenny's post from July 31:
ONE OF THE BEST TEACHERS (OF ANYTHING) THAT I EVER HAD, PROFESSOR LLOYD J. REYNOLDS of Reed College, Portland Oregon,Once said: "IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOOK AT A PAINTING, TRY JUST SITTING STILL AND LETTING IT LOOK AT YOU FOR AWHILE."
I heard that back in the 60's, when I first studied calligraphy with Lloyd, but because I thought I KNEW how to look at a painting, I didn't really put this suggestion to its full use...until recently. Then WOW. I now realize what an amazing experience that is!
When I sat one day, looking at one of MY OWN paintings, not thinking it had still more to offer me (since, of course, I had MADE it, for heavens' sake), I was astonished at what happened. Suddenly the painting BEGAN THROWING MASSES OF THINGS AT ME! Amazing! "What, kinds of things,?" you ask. EVERYTHING THE PAINTING CONTAINS! Once you stop being the active one, the outside viewer looking at the artwork, and YOU become the ONE RECEIVING IMPRESSIONS, it is remarkable what can happen. Suddenly the movement in the painting starts swimming around in 3-D in the space between you; the VALUES, light and darks advance and receed, the forms dance.....OH, YOU JUST HAVE TO TRY IT FOR YOURSELF! I think that once you do, you'll want to do this every time. I don't know whether it only happens with abstractions, but anyhow, these are the works folks most often question. SO DO TRY IT. It may be a LIFE CHANGER.
A previous post of mine about Jenny