Yesterday I was pondering the idea of looking with the eye and with the imagination. As one who walks around town (we're known here as "those people who walk everywhere") I see things most people might not because they're driving past. So I'm big on gawking, or if I phrase this avocation in a more lofty fashion, I "observe". As I observe, I infer, judge, and conclude. Sometimes insight follows. Sometimes I just get things "all cattywampus". Imagine the adventure of sensing things differently--like when art teachers suggest drawing (or making pots) with the eyes closed.
Believe it or not, I drew this doodle with my eyes shut. I was surprised when I opened them and peeped at what my hand did. I had a basic idea and feeling and was enjoying some of my morning coffee and voila! As read bits from Cat Bennett's book The Confident Creative, I like to try some of the exercises. I'm finding that this book is satisfying to read slowly and then to go back and re-read and to try the ideas. Some of her coaching revolves around taking risks, doing what' true versus what's popular or will gain approval. I love what she says about courage....in art "it's about going where you haven't been before."Some potters recommend throwing (forming) pots with your eyes closed as a way of learning and 'becoming unstuck'. I finally got the courage to try it and have found a stillness that comes with the experience; a sense of joy even. I have to try this practice more to tell whether or not the work's essence or quality changes. Sometimes what the eye sees is fodder for critical (not the helpful and clarifying kind) thinking. This fish was made with eyes wide open if not as googly as the fish itself:)