THE ARTIST'S MIND

laureen warrington

Juan Les Pins, France

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“Art is a mirror not because it is the same as the object, but because it is different…A mirror is a vision of things, not a working model of them. And the silver seen in a mirror is not for sale.”
G. K. Chesterton

“The artist, starting from the world about him, ends by withdrawing into himself.” (The Dehumanization of Art, “Point of View in the Arts,” 1948.)

“Every man of genius,” Havelock Ellis said, “is a stranger and a pilgrim on the earth, unlike other men, seeing everything as it were at a different angle.” Biologist Garret Hardin concurred in his book Nature and Man’s Fate, (1959), “To be a man of genius one must have the opportunity to see things from a different angle, to be alone, to be alienated from the crowd.” For the visual arts, seeing things from a different angle can be taken quite literally. In fact, it may be the road to a new and vital art, one that is in love with life and with images, one that envisions art playing an essential role in our world again……

This manipulation of reality is a fact of nature that holds enormous consequences for artists. But that is only the beginning of how our minds produce our vision of things. We see things in perspective simply because we have two eyes that are set a certain distance apart. This disparity gives us the illusion of depth—the idea that a particular object is closer to us than others. If one looks at something with one eye closed and then switches to the other eye, the image jumps a little. In fact I see two distinct images with slightly different coloring and different shapes. One eye produces an image more elongated than the other. The mind notes the disparity and reconciles the two images into one clear, harmonious appearance, which grants stability to my sighted world. Those unfortunates who have lost their vision in one eye lose their ability to see depth. Even stepping off a curb is risky for them.

Color too, only exists in our minds, and a definition of it is no easy task. Perception of color is a subjective experience. The wavelengths referred to by two people using the same color name almost always differ. The human visual system also has the ability to adjust itself in response to varying illuminant conditions. It’s called “chromatic adaptation.” It means, for example that if a sheet of white paper is viewed under an incandescent light, the paper will have a decidedly yellow cast to it. However, our brains (or our minds) have the ability to automatically account for the yellowish appearance, and we perceive the paper as white…..

Each artist must find his “voice,” his mode of creating concrete works of art that combine recognizable representation with abstraction; works of art that reflect not only the inner chambers of the artist’s soul, but the view of the everyday world around him as seen through his eyes. His eyes are the windows to the world. For me, the symbol of the soul is found in the houses and apartments, and even the cars and trucks we live in. The windows and the windshields are the artists’ eyes viewing the outside world. The inner rooms, the galleries, the halls, the salons, the cabins, the drivers’ seats are all the places where the protected soul resides and the secrets of our civilization are revealed.
Katherine Yurica

http://www.yuricareport.com/Art%20Essays/How%20...

Artwork Comments

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