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Resurrection Lilies

Resurrection Lilies

Observation is a key ingredient in creating art that reflects the beauty of our natural world.  It is often easier to work from photographs and masterful artists have done so for a long time.  But hands down, the most visual information is available to us from life itself.  The nuances of light, the vibrancy of color, the atmospheric conditions, the three-dimentionality of what we see is available most dramatically from “life.”  A Still Life set up, an outdoor panorama or some kind soul who will sit patiently for a portrait are all examples of painting “from life.”

Observation Rock and Echo Rock

Observation Rock and Echo Rock (Photo credit: brewbooks)

The two-dimensional nature of a photograph does some of our brain work already.  Photographs are wonderful and I use them a lot myself.  But in painting or drawing “from life” our brains have the exercise of translating the three-dimensional world onto a two-dimensional canvas or paper.  Someone in my last class likened drawing from life to algebra in the way the brain worked to complete an equation – and it is so true.  We approach our canvas with a multiplicity of variable ingredients and seek to make a convincing equation from the visual information.  It’s push ups for the brain and ultimately the means for the most stunning art work.

Retsu06

Retsu06 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a spiritual application, life can be lived like a photograph – safe, standoff-ish, still and at a distance.  Or, in this comparison,  “from life” – vibrantly, whole-heartedly, in the fray, in the stuff, in the glorious rhythm where everything is seen and felt and experienced to the core.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus said,

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

 

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