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Do Your Eyes See or Feel?

One eye sees,

the other feels.

– Paul Klee

At a recent art show, some visitors to my booth asked if I had done any pieces of the neighbourhood we were in. I had, and showed them the two pieces. Both were of doors, two of many lovely ones on the streets surrounding the art show park.

These visitors were very generous with their positive comments, and spent several minutes looking at the pieces. I shared with them how I thought this neighbourhood was one of the most beautiful I’d seen anywhere. Then one of them answered with some visible anger about how the beauty of neighbourhood was being ruined by the city’s oversized garbage and recycle bins. Because these bins are so large and the houses are so tightly positioned together, residents have had no choice but to put the bins out front on porches or in their front yards.

I then shared with them that I hadn’t noticed at all, until I went to paint one of those doors that had a bin out front. I said that I couldn’t decide if I should leave it in or not. They said that it was a good decision that I had left it out. I then said that I hadn’t – it’s in the painting. They re-examined the painting in question and were surprised that they had missed it on their first viewing. Maybe they actually DID see it subconsciously which sparked the conversation in the first place, or they didn’t see it because, as per the Klee quote above, their “feeling” eyes were operating more strongly, seeing the beauty first and not a garbage bin.

I probably shouldn’t have shared this story because now you’ll likely ONLY see the bin in the piece!

But I like this notion of a Feeling Eye, and I think it’s probably my dominant eye most of the time. As long as the Seeing Eye knows to take the reins for driving, selecting vegetables and make up application, I’m okay with that!

#141 – Toronto Door 2

2.5″ x 3.5″ ink and watercolour

(Original available at my Etsy Shop, ArtWeWonderful)

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