Emerson: "The Eye is the Best of Artists"

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On page 20 of Emerson's Nature, he claims "The eye is the best of artists."
This is true in many ways.

One of the main problems with learning to draw is learning to look. So many people look at their subject once, and then never look up again. When they are done, they wonder why they didn't do better. The skilled draftsman's head bounces like a bobble-head when he or she draws because it is very difficult to transfer what the eye sees onto paper.

It is easy to show someone a video, but it is harder to describe a scene. Let's take the scene from Star Wars when Luke finds out that Darth Vader is his father and Luke is holding onto the vane to keep from falling. To accurately describe or paint this scene, the artist needs to detail Luke's expression, his missing hand, the structure he is hanging from, Darth Vader's position, his stance, his body language... Each of these little details gives us knowledge into the scene and the characters. It is easier to show a film than describe in detail or draw out.

How do you describe color to someone that was born blind? Someone asked this question in another class a few days ago, and the best answer anyone could come up with was "Describe the way the colors make you feel." Without eyes, a barrier is created that needs to be bypassed in an unusual way.

The eye, the eye, the eye.

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This page contains a single entry by PatrickSchober published on September 25, 2010 12:38 PM.

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