It is interesting how many of us strive to capture what we see in front of us in paint or pencil. We may interpret it in slightly different ways, but essentially, if paintings and drawings ‘don’t look right’ they are often dismissed or discarded. This is a very interesting approach to painting and drawing when you consider that what we see isn’t ‘real’.
Scientist’s tell us the sky is actually colourless, it is not blue, our brains ‘interpret’ the clashing of electrons that happens in our atmosphere as blue ( I am not a scientist so please excuse the terminology). People appear to get smaller the further away they happen to be, but they don’t actually shrink. Train lines appear to come together as they recede into the distance, but they don’t actually get narrower. Our brains condition us to ‘see’ the world in a particular way but wouldn’t it be exciting if we could ‘see’ the world differently.
Picasso famously said, ‘I don’t paint what I see, I paint what I know.’ Imagine painting people the same size irrespective of how close they might be to you, or not making buildings get smaller because they happen to be further away, or not using perspective to draw a road narrowing as it recedes into the distance, but drawing the road parallel. Imagine how different the painting would be.
What I am really saying here is that ‘real’ means different things to different people, the way we interpret colour, emotions, feelings, the visual world can vary considerably. So why stick with simply what is seen, why not try painting what you know and challenge your perceptions.