• Carolyn Land

Time to See

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season 

There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual.  Such are the moments of our greatest happiness.  Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom.  If one could recall his vision by some sort of sign.  It was in this hope that the arts were invented.  Sign-posts on the way to what may be.  Sign-posts to greater knowledge.”                                                                Robert Henri

Ice Flow

Ice Flow                                        Mixed Media


Do you really see or are you just watching where you are going? So many of us go through life on automatic pilot, not really seeing, what is around us.  Not by choice necessarily: out of force of habit, necessity to get things done, boring jobs, mundane tasks, an overload of responsibility.  It is sad, because we miss so much when we function like that.  We all do it sometimes, but many do it throughout their entire lives. We look, but we do not really see.

During the opening of my show “What Lies Beneath” I gave a short talk on why I paint what I do.  I said I would be gratified if I could get one person to look more closely at what surrounds them and think about what lies beneath, or the history of how it came to be, as it is today…to be more observant.  A few days later I received an email from a gentleman who was there.  He said he never noticed that he didn’t see.  “I look, but I never really see the things I look at.  I take for granted what is around me.  Thank you for mentioning that.” Yes, it was gratifying that I was able to bring that to his attention!

I have always felt that my job as a visual artist was to make people see things in a different way, to look more closely at something and get a sense of place or being.  We are in the middle of the “season of giving”.  If I could give one gift to everyone, it would be time.  Time to do nothing but see.   Time to stop, and just appreciate what they are looking at.  It doesn’t matter if it is a tree, an ant hill, a building, a vista, or a single object.  When you really see something, you make it part of your visual history.  When you see more of what a thing is, you feel more, you understand more, or question more, and you are more alive because of it.

“Colours change: in the morning light, red shines out bright and clear and the blues merge into their surroundings, melting into the greens; but by the evening the reds lose their piquancy, embracing a quieter tone and shifting toward the blues in the rainbow. Yellow flowers remain bright, and white ones become luminous, shining like ghostly figures against a darkening green background.”      Rosemary Verey,   The Scented Garden,  

When this holiday draws to a close and the last guest has left, or you have arrived home from visiting friends and family, give yourself the gift of time.  Take a walk and look at the things you pass each day, and really see them. Make a practice of seeing the details in the small space of your vision. You will never regret that time.

I wish you all a Happy Holiday and a New Year filled with new vision, and creativity!                                       Carolyn

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