Art world links which caught my eye…
John Ruskin “Study of Rock and Ferns in a Wood at Crossmount, Perthshire”
Not everyone is an artist-but practically everyone can learn to draw. In my experience, drawing from life cultivates an intuitive awareness of perspective, connections, and relationships in the physical world. This can influence engagement on intellectual and spiritual levels.
As I stated in my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:
I’d encourage anyone to try drawing or painting. It’s a wonderful experience to coordinate your eye, mind, and hand to produce an appealing outcome. Even though not everyone has the unusual skill set needed to be an artist, simple technical proficiency is a learnable skill. It takes practice, but engaging with art deepens our powers of
observation and discipline.
Turns out the Victorian art critic John Ruskin (February 8, 1819–January 20, 1900) had expanded on those same ideas in the mid 19th century. In his Essay on the Relative Dignity of the Studies of Painting and Music, and the Advantages to be Derived from Their Pursuit, Ruskin wrote poetically:
Let two persons go out for a walk; the one a good sketcher, the other having no taste of the kind. Let them go down a green lane. There will be a great difference in the scene as perceived by the two individuals. The one will see a lane and trees; he will perceive the trees to be green, though he will think nothing about it; he will see that the sun shines, and that it has a cheerful effect, but that the trees make the lane shady and cool; and he will see an old woman in a red cloak; — et voilà tout!
But what will the sketcher see? His eye is accustomed to search into the cause of beauty, and penetrate the minutest parts of loveliness. He looks up, and observes how the showery and subdivided sunshine comes sprinkled down among the gleaming leaves overhead, till the air is filled with the emerald light, and the motes dance in the green, glittering lines that shoot down upon the thicker masses of clustered foliage that stand out so bright and beautiful from the dark, retiring shadows of the inner tree, where the white light again comes flashing in from behind, like showers of stars; and here and there a bough is seen emerging from the veil of leaves, of a hundred varied colours, where the old and gnarled wood is covered with the brightness, — the jewel brightness of the emerald moss, or the variegated and fantastic lichens, white and blue, purple and red, all mellowed and mingled into a garment of beauty from the old withered branch. Then come the cavernous trunks, and the twisted roots that grasp with their snake-like coils at the steep bank, whose turfy slope is inlaid with flowers of a thousand dyes, each with his diadem of dew: and down like a visiting angel, looks one ray of golden light, and passes over the glittering turf — kiss, — kiss, — kissing every blossom, until the laughing flowers have lighted up the lips of the grass with one bright and beautiful smile, that is seen far, far away among the shadows of the old trees, like a gleam of summer lightening along the darkness of an evening cloud.
Is not this worth seeing? Yet if you are not a sketcher you will pass along the green lane, and when you come home again, have nothing to say or to think about it, but that you went down such and such a lane.
Read more on Ruskin, his essay, and drawing: BRAIN PICKINGS – Art and the Mind’s Eye: How Drawing Trains You to See the World More Clearly and to Live with a Deeper Sense of Presence
Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience
My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.
Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART
Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.
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