Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Making Sense of the World

I follow an artist named Katharine A. Cartwright and she has started a new book that I actually own titled, "THE VIEW From the Studio Door" by Ted Orland. This time I thought I would read along and take part in the comment discussions that happen on her blog.

This is the view out of my studio at present due to a combination of storms that hit North Carolina a week and a half ago. It is slowly getting better and I don't mind the view....I have waterfront property:)

Back to the book... In the first chapter, Making Sense of the World, Ted asks lots of questions. "What are we actually doing when we make art?" There is a lot of talk about why we make art and animals don't, what the deep need to make art is doing for us, etc. That isn't what I was intrigued by:

There is a story about a man that goes on a walk with a mushroom hunter. That example really drove home the sense of how what I see differs from what you see. The mushroom hunter saw the paths and hiding places of mushrooms where the man saw a tangled mess of moss and pine needles.
We all have a common sense of the sky being blue, grass being green, etc. but not all people are fascinated by the clouds in the sky or the weeds amongst the grass the way I am or maybe you are.

Ted talks of the mental map we are all making second by second as our brains choose which pieces to keep and which pieces to put to the background.
"The process of being unfolds as an endlessly overlapping succession of most-plausible-pictures. We become who we are by virtue of the choices we make-consciously or otherwise-about which parts belong to the story, and which parts can be left out."
Today when you go to your art, which pieces will you choose to include into your vision of the world around you???


kathy said...

I don't know the answer to that question yet, but I know that I am finding myself critiqueing every piece of art I come across...and saying about some, "it needs more stuff."! More color, more contrast, more interest....but then, that's just me.

Wen Redmond said...

We are SEE the world though our own perspectives. Some of us are artistic. We see intense blues, or apple reds. We see animals in clouds and landscapes in patterns of ice. It just happens. We can practice techniques to become better at projecting our vision, but our vision is what becomes our art.
I think spider webs are artistic but I think the spider uses them to catch his dinner.

Anonymous said...

Hi Robin,
Thanks for your blog entry about “The View…”! It’s still very much a work in progress, and I’m collecting feedback about -- and counter-arguments to -- the ideas that appear in the book, and hope to incorporate them into future editions.

I sometimes fear that perusing the internet will eat up ALL my time, but at other moments I simply marvel at all the connections it reveals. In this case my friend Rayna Gillman alerted me to you, and thru you I’ve begun following Katherine Cartwright’s Blog. And parenthetically, I discovered that another friend of mine, Gale Pietrzak, is also part of your circle. Verily, it is a small world!

Ted Orland