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Our Vision is Modified

By November 12, 2012

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Monday motivator for painting
"Our vision is modified as we observe. The first vision, that of the vulgar herd, is the simple line, unadorned, unconcerned with colour. The second stage is when the better-trained eye discerns values of tones and their subtleties...

"The last stage is when the artist sees the subtleties and multiple plays of light, its plays, its gravitations. These progressive explorations modify the original vision ... It requires long observation and attentive study. The vulgar herd sees in it only disorder, chaos and inaccuracy."

-- Belgian painter James Ensor (1860--1949) in his Reflections on Art, in 1881, quoted in Letters of the Great Artists, p175
In our politically correct times, calling people who dislike your art the "vulgar herd" won't win you any fans, but it is true you develop an eye to appreciate certain types of art. Although you can also appreciate a style's place in the art timeline without liking it...

See Also:
Artists Quotes on Dealing with Criticism
Constructive Art Criticism

Image: M Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc


November 12, 2012 at 4:53 am
(1) Yover says:

Ensor obviously is right. But what about his contemptuous words “…vulgar herd…”? It is not really surprizing when we look at some of his(beautifully painted) misanthropic paintings…


November 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm
(2) Natalya Kalugina says:

Thank you Yover for great link!
You can read also books of Susen Sarback about developping full-spectrum vision. I read one and found it very helpful.

November 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm
(3) Yover says:

Thank you , Natalya Kalugina, for the site of Susan Barback.She is a lyrical impressionist painter.
I like when she says:
“I am more interested in the quality of light”
“…how light and color create form and space…”
“…My goal is to help people see and experience more…”.
But above all, I appreciate her gentle cry of revolt:
“A lot of the art world has been dominated by males, and women have not been supported as much. We are accustomed to seeing work that moves in a more “male” direction, that ‘s maybe a little rough or more course.”
That’s the reason among others why I appreciate so much… our guide is a woman!
At last, her “Painting in progress” is very enlightening (but not so easy to do because coherence at each step is the key)!

November 13, 2012 at 3:39 am
(4) Natalya Kalugina says:

A chapter in a book I had read is about special exercises to develop full spectrum vision

December 16, 2013 at 5:38 am
(5) Sharron says:

Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a
completely different subject but it has pretty much the same
page layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

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