PERSPECTIVE… an essential skill for art and life

PERSPECTIVE… an essential skill for art and life

Daydreaming out of my rainy office window last week, it struck me how different the view became when I simply shifted my focus. In one moment, the raindrops on the window stood out, strong and clear, but with glimpses of the scene and colours beyond. In the next, the view came into focus and the beautiful daisy clusters of the common ragwort growing around the dry stone wall appeared. The rain was still there, but I’d just changed my perspective…

Some days, I feel like my proverbial glass is half full, and other days it’s half empty, so I guess it comes down in the end to how I’m viewing things. Easier said than done sometimes though. But, at least being aware that we have the choice to change our perspective on events and experiences is maybe a starting point?

Henri Matisse said, “There are always flowers for those that want to see them.”

When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. Something that feels flat can (with the right focus and attention) become something beautiful. An object that appears to be in our way, can fade when we learn to look beyond it.

In art, it was the Italian architects and artists who questioned first how to draw three-dimensional objects on flat surfaces. They thought of a painting as an ‘open window’ through which the viewer was seeing the world. Allegedly, Leonardo da Vinci mastered perspective using this method. He practised again and again using the open window in Verrocchio’s studio where he was apprenticed.


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