Sunday, January 6, 2013

And Over and Over Again!

I indulge in it, I learn from it, and it fills my gut with a particular magic that isn't available through other avenues. The repeated reading of a favorite novel, the persistent return to music that charges me with it's electricity, or the searching of the eye over a familiar object. And there's nothing like the exploration, over and over again, of an artwork that has spoken to me.

Lantern study. Pen and ink, approx. 4" x 4".
And I love to revisit my own visions, too. To think up an object, like the lantern above, and then re-think it in different iterations. Not just to re-sketch, but to examine it in my head.  That's a peculiar exercise, but very often a rewarding one--especially if I've forgotten my sketchbook, and am stuck in a boring situation.

Some have told me that re-reading a book is a waste of time when there are too many books to know in a lifetime, but I like the discovery within the familiar too much to never experience it again.

Such is the case with an artwork. Mind, I don't mean that I don't get weary of some over-used images, but sometimes just changing my own mindset is all it takes to re-appreciate the Mona Lisa.

Blue Bottle. David Sheirer. Watercolor, 2.5" x 4.5" Image copyright the artist.
I've owned this remarkable little piece for nearly two years. I admire all the works I've seen by this artist, but I was fascinated, completely riveted, by this one at first sight. It hangs in my studio, and I study it over and over. Sometimes I look at it to learn, sometimes just for the aesthetic experience, sometimes to see if I can see something new.

One of the best things about owning an original--even if it's only one--is the reward of repeated viewing. The technique, the paper, and the paint quality are more layers to investigate, and those are sadly absent from posters, digi-prints, or pictures in a book.

The best education comes from knowing only one book...purity comes from that, and proportion, and the comfort of always having an example close at hand.
                                                             -James Salter, Light Years

Could I live with Salter's philosophy?  No, emphatically. But I like it. By limiting myself (at times), the indulgence in repetition is an invaluable part of my learning.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I couldn't agree more. Great post. I really like your work!

    1. Thanks srs--I appreciate you reading and am glad you like the art!


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