Monday, January 3, 2011

Artists' Sunglasses

During last October I was able to attend some of the films offered at the Italian Film Festival. One film "A Matter of Heart" offered a gem of an idea as well as being a delightful human story.

One of the characters was a middle aged writer who became a mentor for a young lad of about 12 years of age. One day these two were strolling through an open air market somewhere in Italy, and the young boy asked his friend how he could become a writer too. The older man spied a stall offering sunglasses and promptly purchased two outlandish sets. He then sat the boy down, they donned their glasses, and he asked the boy 'what did he see?' The boy responded, along with prompting, by describing the scene, people and scenarios about what he was viewing. The boy was then told that he now had a story and his new sunglasses were to be his 'writing' sunglasses.

Further on in the film this young boy was spotted on numerous occasions, putting on his special 'writing' sunglasses and peering at the scenes around him, intently absorbing, recording and questioning what he saw.

In the context of this film, this subplot was very meaningful, but it did get me feeling that visual artists need such a tool, we each need a pair of 'artist sunglasses' too. Whether we in reality have a specific pair of glasses, or whether these glasses are locked in our imagination, we can use them as an aid to focus on what we are seeing. They may become a powerful aid in helping us to concentrate on what we see and hopefully transpose our seeing, thoughts and feelings into our art. So next time you are having an artist blank, imagine putting on some outlandish sunglasses and focus the mind and sight, it may just work!

To all of you, the very best in art making for 2011... let's make it a great one!

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