The art of seeing

A tiny island

My friend speaks often about seeing with an artist’s eye or seeing with a photographer’s eye. Honestly, I have not figured out what she is talking about, yet. Today when I walked with Bella at the park, I realized that I had forgotten to bring the camera. (OMG that’s unusual) I saw how large and lovely the “weeds” had grown and together made a 7 ft high hedge all hodge-podged together. I noticed that a rock 6-8 inches below the surface of the stream still made a V-shaped ripple in the surface.  I noticed where there were many rocks the stream really sparkled.  I noticed all the bees on the many Joe-Pye flowers. I saw the black butterfly that always greets me or hangs out at the walking track entrance. Two of the yellow butterflies that live near a spot Bella usually goes in the river for a drink were there today. The first time I realized these were the same butterflies I see every day. Then I noticed when Bella goes in the stream she always turns facing the current so the water can flow into her mouth. What would I have seen if I had brought the camera? I know I felt more present today- maybe this is seeing with an artist’s eye? Do you know?

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17 thoughts on “The art of seeing

  1. For many years as a poor, single mom, I could not afford a camera. I tried to capture moments in memory and in words. That was probably key to developing (pun) a sense as a writer. Although–I love images as well.

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  2. I forget to take or use my camera all the time and when I told my mum she said “that is because you are so busy living”. I guess that means that I see an artist’s eye as being that thing in you that tries to capture the moment perfectly – although sometimes at the cost of living it (as my photographer sister is always saying “I didn’t bring the camera today, I want no distractions from being in the moment”). It is kind of weird that on the one hand it is putting yourself out of the moment trying to capture it, but in another way it makes you live in the moment because of the quest to capture the perfection of it. Food for thought!

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      • So true! I actually have kept thinking about this as I worked this morning – perhaps photographs allow us to live in the moment in great detail….you notice how gorgeously one colour contrasts with another, for example, when you were too busy at the time to take notice…I know I often look at things and think I should have brought the camera as that would be a beautiful photo. LOL Thank you for giving me an entertaining morning whilst I dust and vac 😀

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  3. I’ve found that since taking so many photos for my blog I see different things through the lens to what I see with the naked eye… now this may sound odd, but in winter, when wearing a hat, I’m convinced I see differently too! LOL!

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    • I never heard anyone say that besides me!! It does block the upper view and changes the color at your eye due to shading. I have started wearing cloche hat without a brim I can see- does not work well in the rain. i decided to only carry the camera half of the time.

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  4. That’s exactly what your friend means – seeing the world through an artist’s eye is all about noticing and being present right at the spot where you are. Just like you were and did on your walk today and probably most days, you were just more aware that you were “seeing” today.

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    • My friends’ painting teacher says the two are different ways of seeing. I do know when I have been to an event where I spent most of my time seeing it through the camera lens-it is like seeing it in the third person.

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