Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Eye for Detail


Being extremely nearsighted all my life has been both a blessing and a curse...my attempts at interpreting the landscape are by necessity impressionistic, a breaking of somewhat textureless imagery into blocks of colors best left for the medium of collage or quilting.

But the same myopic vision--where I need my glasses to find my glasses--that allows me to expertly remove splinters from fingers and thread sewing needles--also gives me the wonderful ability to view the objects in my still life oil paintings almost at a molecular level and paint them with exacting detail I have not been able to achieve in my landscapes.



Another thing that has developed my eye for detail is years spent as a graphic artist looking at pixels in digital photography and CMYK dots under magnification in print media. In this world one becomes aware of how something so small and seemingly insignificant can affect the larger whole.


I was always the kid that drew all the leaves on the tree and all the bricks on the house in my grade school art. I know from my university art training it's best not to over-do a painting and to leave some areas to imagination, to the shadows...but I always struggle with which detail to leave out. It recalls to mind the movie Amadeus where the critics suggest Mozart has too many notes and he asks them which ones he should leave out.

I'm glad to be living in a time where vision correction is possible...the progressive bifocal was a godsend to me. But no matter how many mornings I must search for my glasses, or hours I wince from contact lens, I still appreciate the gift of nearsightedness.

2 comments:

Dana Jones said...

Gorgeous paintings! I used to be able to see the dots in a 150 line screen without the aide of magnification, now I cannot. Over 40, oh well! I just love your art work! Thanks for sharing it!
Dana

Andrew Thornton said...

Lovely pieces! Thank you for sharing.

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