The discovery of ‘responding’

This whole issue of finding a personal response to images in front of our eyes has been something that I have had to work at and am still grappling with.  Since beginning these courses in painting and drawing and having to express a personal response, I have been forced to realise how much of life I have simply skimmed.  Yes, I have always been visually very aware of beauty, shape, colour, line etc around me and it has been a continual delight and inspiration.  But there is a step beyond that which I am having to discover. It is one thing to see and to appreciate with the eyes but it is quite another thing to ‘respond’.

I want to find a personal language in my painting and I realised at the start of this module that to do that I needed to go far deeper in my ability to ‘see’.  In my personal journal, I asked myself questions like, “What do I have to say? What dimensions of ‘me’ are there? My life seems to have been lived on one level. What other levels are there? Will my visual language have the individuality that I want?  I considered thoughts like – Is imagination and creativity the same thing?Is it drawn from somewhere outside or is it deep within – so deep that you don’t know it’s there?  But it doesn’t seem to exist alongside the material,  the outward sense of things….or perhaps one can be an indicator of the other??

So to try to find answers to  such questions, I have been making entries in my personal journal at the same time as exploring and experimenting with paint in a visual journal.  My personal journal is where I try to find answers to some of the deep questions above, through expressing thoughts and images in words, responses to reading and studying other artists and simply trying to give time to reflect on my personal response to the world around me. Some entries happen in the early morning as I am sitting in the garden before the world is awake……. an extract written in the Spring….

“Colour comes with the light.

The pink colour of the rhododendron is grey and quiet with the grey sky and the rain but as the light grows, so does the colour. One hour on and the colour has intensified and is now glowing against the grey… no sunlight, just the light of day.

The young, new yellow-green of the huge old oak…. then the intensity of the pink…and in front of that the blue-green of the budding white rhododendron

….feel the morning”

Seeing past what the eyes are telling me is developing and I can see a personal language coming through my work in this module.  But creativity on this level needs time and keeping a personal journal is helping enormously to helping me discover my response before it takes form in paint.


About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
This entry was posted in Log notes - OCA - Painting 1. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The discovery of ‘responding’

  1. Mags Phelan says:

    What a beautiful post.

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