By Sue Hulen
As an artist I doesn't just look at something with my two eyes. I believe we artists have what I refer to as an “artists’ third eye.” It’s the eye that sees something that I can create and make my own. You know the one…the one that says “Oh yah. That’s it. That’s how I wanted it to look.” or “What a great subject to paint (or sculpt or photograph).” And then go about creating it through the lens of your third eye.
I’ve had people tell me that my idea of painting something specific was not a great idea. They couldn’t envision what I was explaining to them as to what the finished piece would look like. They are not artists and therefore do not possess the artist’s third eye. Once the piece was completed they liked it very much.
We can envision the colors and composition. We feel what we’re painting and our spirit is one with the subject we’re creating. It’s created out of love and imagination…creativity and inspiration. The subjects we paint can give us a tremendous amount of inspiration as well as excitement. How many times have you said to yourself “I cannot wait to start painting that.”?
My third eye is always open seeing what can be created or even re-done in a different way after the piece is completed. When my eyes see a branch of cherry blossoms, my artists’ eye, my third eye, sees only a section of a single branch with just a few blossoms nestled together and a few single blooms sharing that piece of the branch. My eyes will see a single flower, but my third eye sees how I can paint that flower in watercolor or acrylic and make it look a bit different.
It becomes our own.
We could show ten artists the same photo of a flower garden, a field of wheat or an herb garden and they would all see and paint something quite different from one another. Some would use watercolors while someone else would acrylics or oils. Some would use very bright colors while others would use more pastel, almost transparent colors. Fascinating!
Almost everything I look at now I see it with my third eye and how it would look if I painted it. I notice colors and shapes; design and composition. It’s fun, exciting and so uplifting being an artist. No need to compete with one another as our work would be different nine out of ten times anyway.
Try to be mindful of your own artists’ eye (third eye) and see just how often you use it. You’ll be very, very surprised. Make a journal of what you see and how you would like to interpret it from your own artistic perspective. I’ve not done that, but I think I should. We forget to easily the things that we’ve seen and would love to paint. Our minds tend to move a mile a minute when we see “subjects” of interest. With all that mind chatter we can forget what our intent was.
Spring is in the air, can you smell it? Lots of beauty will soon be popping out all over. Allow your artists eye to capture that beauty and let your brushes go wild with your own interpretation.
Have a wonderful spring.