The fresh eye


I love this picture. Fifteen pieces done!

Okay, I have to tell the truth: two of the ones on the floor still need their glue. I wanted to give them a couple of days to be able to see them with fresh eyes before I made them final.

But even just looking at all of these together gives me a great sense of calm.

And you can laugh with me that these came from my starting out to do a series of oil paintings! In the evenings I was doing some doodling and eventually that took over and became all of these.

I am still working on my next round of All In panels too, and used almost a whole pack of nails this week:




Next week I’ll get to start stringing them with golden thread, which will be a welcome change: my neck is killing me from so much precise, up close work.

Oh, wait…that’s also crazily up close work. I guess I need to do more neck stretching!

Anyway, at one point I felt like this one panel might need a bit more paint, and on a lark, I asked my daughter what she thought it needed. Her answer was quite clear:


A unicorn!

You have my permission to use this tip in your own work as needed.

My daughter has occasionally spent time with me in the studio since she was a toddler, and so she’s heard how I talk about my work, as well as now and then being asked her opinion. I never thought much about this until an incident at the Kabuki theater a couple of weeks ago.

They had an exhibition of paintings all along one wall, and she looked at them as she went by on her dad’s shoulders and then, of the last piece, my 5-year-old quite clearly declared: “That one needs a bit more work.” I looked at it and I have to say, she was right.

It made me laugh, but it also made me think about how, sadly, many people still feel they aren’t educated enough to “understand” fine art. I think the above story clearly illustrates my opinion that no training is necessary. And actually training can often be counterproductive.

You want to have your own honest, gut reaction. Not respond based on a brand name or what is supposed to be edgy or cool.

If you see some famous work in a museum and you feel nothing…that’s completely legitimate. It’s not because anything is wrong with you, it’s because the piece has nothing to offer you.

So this week, here’s to finding our own fresh eyes! And believing what they tell us. Because we all still have them, at whatever age we happen to be.

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