EYES SHUT WIDE!
What a play on words. First you probably think of the movie with Tom Cruise (although it is worded differently) and then you think 'this is not possible!'.
But it is possible! It is possible to see without actually 'seeing'. You need to forget what you 'KNOW' and actually look at objects in a new light. The light of Values. The light of Shapes. The light of Edges.
When you look at a flower hiding in the shadow of an evergreen tree, with only a sliver of sunlight touching the delicate petals; do you really see every edge of the shaded leaves and petals. No. But your mind wants you to paint and draw it in. This is because it KNOWS it is there even if we don't see it. Hence you need to have your eyes shut wide. Look without prejudging. Look beyond what we know.
We should also use this technique in life. Yesterday as I walked downtown with my girlfriends on a painting excursion (shopping of course!), we passed a man down on his luck. Obviously handicapped - due to a cane and an eye patch; assumed homeless - due to his less than prestigious appearance; appearing to beg for money - even though he never asked us for a dime and there were no cardboard signs visible either. Everyone I observed in passing avoided eye contact and physcial contact with this person. Why? Because of percieved ideas. They were not looking with their eyes wide shut.
Now I at first started out this way as well. I am no angel and I do feel quite uncomfortable at times as well. Why? Because who knows how close I could be to being this person. All it takes is some sort of tragedy or financial/emotional downfall to be sitting where he was. So I mentally shook myself and made eye contact and said "hello". What a beautiful blue eye this man had, kind and showing pleasure in being recognized as a human being. Such a small kindness to show another person. We continued on and later returned the way we had started. I made sure I had a few dollars to give this man, again assuming he was begging. I again was reminded that I was not looking with my eyes wide shut, for as I handed him my coins, he handed me a paper (Street Talk).
This man has pride, this man has courage.
For he was not accepting the easy road, he was trying to get back on his feet by selling papers. He buys them for $0.60 and keeps the change that people give him to try to regain his own self sufficiency. The people on the streets selling these papers must be CLEAN, no dependancies. This is their lifeline to a new life.
So whether we are looking at a subject of nature or another human being. We must shut off our brain, our 'KNOWING' and look with our EYES WIDE SHUT. We will surprise ourselves at what is truly there and not what we have preconcieved.
I wish you a joyous day, full of seeing with your EYES WIDE SHUT!
As those who know me, and those of you about to find out, I love to talk; meet people; learn from others; and most importantly I LOVE TO PAINT!