More On Changing Styles and A Guest Artist

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“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau

In our last discussion about Changing Styles, some of you mentioned “how you saw” something determined how it went down on the page.
Last December, my husband and I went to Bok Tower and Gardens to celebrate our anniversary. One of our favorite places to visit at Bok Tower is the Window By The Pond.
There is a small building that will seat a dozen or so people with a large glass window that looks out onto the pond you see in the image below.
Window By The Pond
at Bok Tower and Gardens

The day Chris and I were there, the day was sunny and bright, but there was not a bird, squirrel or bug in site. The photo you see above was taken on a cold, rainy day when I went back with Kathy at Catching Happiness to visit Pinewood Estate.

Knowing I always take my sketchbook with me everywhere, brought his as well and we spent a very fun half hour sketching at the pond.
And this is where what we see and how we see it becomes fascinating…
Here’s what Chris saw:
“Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting”
by Chris Ferlita
Now remember, the day we were there, there were no birds, no squirrels, no nothing, but this was what Chris saw. (Each time I look at his sketch, I hear the song, “…and everybody was Kung Fu fighting…” but that’s just me!)
If you know my husband well, you would take a quick look at his sketch and think, “Yep, that’s definitely Chris’ sense of humor.”
When I asked him what his catalyst was, he said, “You mean besides that fact that there were no birds or squirrels anywhere? It’s just what popped into my head. The birds and squirrels are always fighting over the food so this is what it would have been like if they had showed up.”
And this was my take:
Window By The Pond
Bok Tower

Much different!

My focus was on capturing the bright, sunny day as well as the peaceful feeling I always get when I visit the pond.

Is one more accurate than the other? No, not really.
Is one better than the other? I don’t think so. Not when you take into consideration the artist’s approach and what they sought to capture on the page.
Stop and think about how you look at things, places, life, when you sketch.
Are you attempting to capture the actual place, a feeling you have when you sketch that place, the colors, the light, the reflections or something else?
Our approach to the page starts long before we ever put down the first mark.

If we change our approach, how we see things, can we change our style or is style embedded in our skills and technical proficiency?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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