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An Artist’s View – March 17, 2024

“You can only see what you can see. Seeing is a combination of looking for something you connect with, interpreting it through elements of composition and design and then letting go to see what creativity creates. As a result, an artist is on a constant journey of learning and growth to get deeper into what we really see.” -------Jean Parker, Artist


Commentary by Victoria Zyluk, Art Exhibition Coordinator, Bow Valley Ranche Historical Society


“Seeing” is very personal and individual. No two people will see the same scene or object in the same way. And that is what makes Art so wonderful! The infinite variety! Possibilities!! Artists are explorers. Artists are curious. And Artists can be obsessed with trying to express and “capture” that elusive element which is often intangible.  When an artist comes upon a subject that they simply must paint, the first stage of “seeing” in my opinion is recognition. What are we truly looking at? When recognition fails, we look at the shapes. Then we analyze. This type of “seeing is to gain understanding, and interpretation. Next, we internalize and make a connection. Is there something in our own experiences that we can bring to the rendition. Finally, we create. We choose where we go next. What medium, colours, size, painting surface, brushes, mood. Decisions are made. However, you don’t have to wait until you know everything about the subject before you paint. Paint how you feel. Emotional expression will connect with the viewer. Your movements, colours and mark-making are also important elements. Revisit the subject and you will “see” even more! See the colours in the shadows and nuances in transitions. By creating frequently, your expression becomes divergent as you hone your skills. Consider the numerous sunflower paintings by Van Gogh! Obsessive, yes, but what was he trying to achieve? He was changing, adding, evaluating his efforts with each painting, noticing, “seeing” and all the while refining his skills. Paint now, look closely and paint again and again!

Wheat Fields with Cypresses by Vincent Van Gogh - Sunflowers - Burnsmead Wetlands by Victoria Zyluk

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