Last week I challenged that most of us don’t see God in nature because we don’t see what God created. We see in terms of the language identifying God’s creation, but the language is not what God created. Man created the language.
In the above landscape we see sky, and mountains, and trees. That identifying process takes place in the left side of the brain that then categorizes the objects as needing no further response from us, and we go on to whatever next needs our attention.
Artists, however, have learned to see in a different way. They have learned to see in the same way that Adam saw when the animals were brought to him. Consider that Adam did not see “a bear,” “a giraffe,” and “a lion” because the animals hadn’t been named yet. Naming them would be his job. So Adam saw them without names to identify them. Could he still see them? Sure, he could see them, so what did he see.
I hope I’ve found some things that you cannot identify. If you can identify them, please try to disregard that information. I’m trying to coax you into just seeing what your eye sees. That’s the way that Adam saw, and that is the secret to the way artists see.
So, how about it? What does your eye see when you look at these four pictures?
Do you see color? Look at the various colors in each of the pictures. Keep looking at the colors and dig out all the little shifts and changes in the colors.
How about shape? Consider the various shapes within each frame and then compare them from frame to frame. Shapes are actually flat objects. Do any of the “shapes” actually seem to be three-dimensional? Those are known as forms.
You may notice that in each frame there are some areas that are very light and other areas that are very dark with still other areas that are in between. That difference is referred to as “values.” So you are seeing value.
Certainly you also noticed the various textures. Texture suggests that objects might feel differently. How many different textures can you identify?
Did you notice that in each frame it seems that there are objects in front of backgrounds and distance between objects? You are seeing “space.” How is space treated differently in each of the frames?
And finally, look at each of the frames and find how lines are used in each frame. Sometimes they are almost nothing more than a dot, other times they seem to be a fragile, disappearing thing, and other times they are only evident as an edge of the shape.
You have just discovered all the things that God used to create His visible world. Everything that you can see (both man-made and natural) are made up of those seven visual elements: Line, Shape, Form, Value, Space, Texture, and Color.
Even though we used language to describe and discuss the visual elements in the preceding paragraphs, notice that we used language to force us to concentrate on and understand what we were seeing. Thereby, we unleash the power of the right side of the brain to see as artists see and learn to marvel over God’s creation.