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Seeing is Believing

She sat for me twice, but the beauty of her green eyed face failed to materialize on paper.

Another sat for me four or more hours and yet, nothing.

Some paintings come clearly to mind and yet never succeed despite ample research and preparatory work even if I start over again and again.

So many others flow from the heart to visual reality with such ease that it makes me wonder what power controls this and why it sometimes fails me so completely.

I think part of the answer lies in the nature of “seeing”.

A comment took me by surprise. Someone noted that people are not taught how to think.

An equally baffling observation I heard proffered was that certain advantages can be had to those who learn how to breathe properly.

All true. I didn’t believe it at first, but never the less, all true.

It’s true that people think without any training. But the effectiveness of their thinking can be multiplied greatly by training in how to reason, negotiate, sort through, meditate, evaluate, and perform other cognitive essentials. They must be shown how to think more effectively in very many cases before they can excercise their intellectual franchise.

Those trained to master breathing can accomplish otherwise impossible feats both of self control and expression. It’s amazing the difference.

Seeing is part of the language of art. If art is reporting, then seeing is news-gathering. You can’t faithfully report what you don’t see.

The old saying, “Seeing is believing” is worth considering since believing does not establish reality.

Most of us have known or experienced the tile effect that is so frustrating to those afflicted by it.

It goes like this: imagine that a person or a place or a thing or event is a certain way that is not known in it’s entirety by you. The facts of it’s nature and existance are printed or illustrated on square tiles which are visible to you. Only one side of the tile is visible to you. Some tiles are turned so you can read and understand them. Most are faced away from you. From the tiles you can view, you must determine the  whole story.

When you see many good things on tiles turned to your view, even if most tiles are still faced away, how you interpret them will depend on your desire, your urgency or need, and your experience.

When you meet a new soul, you are strangers. Strangers like to show you what they know you will appreciate about them. For their own reasons, they may make certain you do not get access to the tiles that reflect badly.

If you want to believe, then you will find reason to believe.

If the other person wants you to believe, they will be careful what they reveal.

There can be conflicts.

When ill intent depends on the formation of incorrect assumptions, then seeing is believing is blindness.

Terms, “gold digger” and “con” come to mind but this blindness phenomenon is not always malicious, not always deliberate.

There are times when you learn that you draw from the heart and what you think you see is not supported by what you do see.

What the heart sees does not reconcile with what the eyes observe and when this occurres, the sketch or painting is doomed until it’s determined which view will be represented. In portraiture both views must be represented and that leads to fun challenges.

To be convincing, the tussel has to be resolved. What you think you see is not always there. What you see may not be so easily confirmed through the eyes of another. The artist can open the eyes of the nearly blind.

It seems essential to me that an artist learn the art of seeing, so they won’t miss opportunities. Art school teaches the basics by revealing the principles such as perspective, foreshortening, composition, negative space, and others. Religious training teaches how to see with the heart. Experience teaches how to see against the grid of the memory of patterns.

Properly trained, I think the artist can have the clearest vision of all. They will see what others can’t.

They’ll be like those of us who see how an ill advised relationship between a naive dreamer and an obvious will end even when the dreamer can’t see anything but promise.


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