|Chicory and Lace|
Yesterday evening during my Experimenting with Watercolor and Pastel class at the Lexington Art Academy, I was talking to a participant about the image she was painting. It was an autumnal scene, with incredibly bright leaves of red, orange and yellow. She was dotting in the yellow leaves and I said that it was like a "thousand points of light." My friend Celeste, whom I met more than three decades ago, didn't know what I was referring to. She partakes of news blackouts and was not familiar with this famous idea promoted by George H.W. Bush. We had some fun with her self-imposed lack of news knowledge, but it got me to thinking. How truthful is the news? What would life be like without it? Think how much room there would be in our brains it they were not stuffed with considering whether Miley Cyrus is fat or even believing that politics and politicians were the answer to everything. For that matter, what if we did not count on the news to tell us to take calcium supplements or that multiple vitamins will kill us off. Drinking causes cancer! Teetotalers have heart attacks! On and on.
Meanwhile during the class, I encouraged students to keep in mind what attracts them to the image they are portraying. Rather than being literal, the goal is to bring out the truth they see. Maybe this is a truth of the heart, then again, perhaps it is more objective than that. We all need to know how to gather information first hand; to know what is true for us. Take a walk and look at the color of tree bark. It can be pretty surprising. Be willing to decide for yourself what you are seeing. Being a news junkie, I don't think I could give it up as completely as Celeste has. Yet, it is good to spend some time in our own, first hand reality. Making art provides an excellent opportunity!