Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.
One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity.
Edward de Bono
I say repeatedly that everyone is an artist, some people just refuse to admit it to themselves. If you won't entertain the idea, it will never happen. Certainly, some people have been gifted with incredible skill, and you may never be able to create a masterpiece like The Mona Lisa. You can, however create a beautiful and work of art. I think that what separates an artist from "the average person" is an ability to see fully and creatively.
An artist sees and appreciates all the little nuances of a scene or an object and can express the way the sight makes them feel using a paintbrush. Say you are painting an apple, you need to really look at the apple and appreciate not only the shape of it, but the shape of the negative space (the emptiness surrounding the apple) created around it, the variety of colors in the apple and the shadow it casts, and the texture of the skin.
As an exercise, sit outside and take five minutes to observe your surroundings as an artist might. I promise, you will see things with a completely new perspective. The trees are not just green, but a myriad of shades and hues. Look at the graceful arch of the branches, how they overlap and disappear behind the leaves. Observe the texture of the ground beneath your feet. Have you ever looked at a snail trail, how it positively sparkles and glistens in the sun? Notice the shape of the clouds in the sky and also the shape of the blue sky between them.
Then, the next time you are painting waves at a Sociable Art event, try to recall exactly what the waves looked like the last time you visited the beach. Think of how they behaved as they washed ashore and broke at sea. In approaching your art in this way, you will be adding emotion and authenticity to your work. I am convinced that trying to see things more fully will not only make you a better artist, but it will also make you appreciate the world around you.
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts. Next time we'll talk about fear and how it cripples the creative process and limits your enjoyment of life. Sounds a bit heavy, but I promise to keep it light;)