This year, as in every year, I try to pickup something new. Something that will grab my attention and time. Something that will give me an appreciation for those who are already involved in what I have decided to play with. Some years I succeed, some years I fail, but it is always fun.
This year I'm an artist.
Well, I'm not an artist, but I am learning. I read and look at techniques and try them out to see what works for me. First thing I look for is pretty basic; how do I hold a pencil or brush correctly? I know from playing and teaching guitar that embracing bad techniques from the beginning makes it very hard to change as the difficulty increase. From my research, I find that different people use different techniques so am trying to find what works best for me.
The most fun so far though has been seeing. Sounds like something we all do everyday, but it is different when you look at something you intend to draw. Shapes and textures, shading and perspective, all add to the world.
And the details, man. I have either enhanced my viewing pleasure or have totally screwed my world. A tree is no longer a tree. It is not a composite of a trunk, branches and leaves. Oh no, it is detail upon detail. It is about the sun and location, about wind and water; it represents its life.
Hell, the world is becoming almost unbearably complex.
I can almost envision painters living in a younger earth, where miracles seem to be the norm, where gods are the truth. Would that complexity help someone's religious stance on the world?
The rich during the Renaissance in Europe hired painters to create religious themed artwork so I would think that regardless of the faith of a painter, his pockets were filled with coin to keep the wealthy happy. Maybe it wasn't their vision, but their production of religious paintings that helped make religion palatable. Some of the religious paintings I have seen capture strong emotions and put stories into a more understandable form for the world.
Whatever the link between art and religion in the past, it would seem to me that understanding complexity in nature would eventually effect science. Observation is a key part of developing theories, perhaps artists also were enhancing reality.
When the rich retained another artist to produce some religious foolishness, maybe they unintentionally were promoting science and the slow death of delusion. Possibly they were hoping to find the door to heaven when actually they were opening our eyes to visions of reality.