|Straits of Magellan|
When I was 17 and knew I was going to be an artist I met a well traveled Reed College student who claimed he could never be a fine arts painter because he could not visualize in his mind's eye the kind of non-verbal vision that could be seen with the eyes.
Back then I was unaware of the possibility that paintings could come from a complete detailed image in your brain. Some savants have photographic memories and can look at say the Portland city scape and then paint a large mural with exact detail of every building without any additional reference to photographs or repeatedly looking at the scene..
I like to think that the term "mind's eye" might be more about creating an interpretation or knowing how to create feeling in a painting. My painting comes from a complex process not just from my brain but muscles of my whole body responding to my emotions. My emotion enters into how fast or deliberate I paint. My process is a necessary collaboration between the paint and surface and the atmosphere. Any mark that starts the painting stimulates a response whether I was work from my imagination or working from what I was seeing around me.
Intrigued by the Reed College student's belief that the "mind's eye" is necessary to be a painter artist, I still try when I am awake at night and not going to sleep, I try to visualize marbles in my mind's eye. I get so I can almost see a blue marble like the earth, a crystal clear ball and a cobalt blue ball but I can't see them independently of labeling them with words first.
If I think of the term "visualization in the "mind's eye" in a wider sense, I come closest to painting the first response to a place when I have a strong feeling and a need to put it down in the most direct and economical way. During the painting that could be considered coming from my "mind's eye" I am in the present and feel alive and thrilled. These three paintings are rare paintings that are completed without dramatic modification after my first reaction to an outdoor place.
This one was almost completed in one time without modification.