Philosophy - Part 15 - What do you see?

This part was written by Annemie Odendaal on invitation.

As a painter, you are required to look at things a little differently, a little deeper. Paint that emotion behind the eyes, capture the magic that isn't visible on the surface. You have to look at an object and see how things really are. You can not draw from memory, you have to really look investigatively. We have to examine every angle, it is the only way to develop or grow in your style.

Years ago the Impressionists tried this for the first time,followed by the post-impressionists, expressionists and cubists. Until then, everybody painted just what they saw on surface and from memory. Everything was picture perfect and pretty. Almost documentary, which make sense, since there wasn't any cameras.

Then the Cezanne's and Monet's came and revolutionised art, they brought in another dimension: feeling, honesty, rawness. They were banned from art saloons and even excommunicated from society in many cases. They were called vulgar and their art was heavily criticised. Today those paintings fetch millions of dollars.

Why? Because they saw something other people didn't. They captured a feeling or a magical moment, not just an object. They understood the power of colour and composition, not just detail. Their paintings move us, stir something inside us that we cannot explain, but feel familiar with. It makes us think and grow too.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential, is invisible to the eye.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery, "The Little Prince" 

Like the painters had to LOOK at an object and see how it really is, not from memory, we have to examine every situation in our lives and see it for what it REALLY is.


That is the only way for us to develop or grow. Just like those painters we will get a lot of resistance. People don't like being confronted with the truth, it makes them uneasy.



But the alternative is so much worse... Are you going to blame your teacher, parents or pastor for the rest of you life for everything you missed, don't understand, or didn't know of, or are you going to open your eyes and SEE things for yourself.


Take off your rose-tinted glasses and see things for what they really are. Take responsibility for the things going on around you in this world. In YOUR world. Change and grow, and the people around you will also change and grow.


by Annemie Odendaal - August 2012

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