Monday, October 25, 2010

Blessings in Disguise: Ode to Wolf Kahn

I don't have good eye sight. In fact, it sucks. But, it turns out this can be a good thing. Today, as I was standing in my studio, looking out the window to see if it had started snowing yet, I took my glasses off to rub my eyes. Before returning the glasses to their resting place on my nose, I looked out the window. What I saw was a really cool, albeit blurry, image. What most impressed me with this vision was the color. Glorious color. And, color I really never see. I think he brain translates too much of the color to what you think it is supposed to be. Green grass, brown tree trucks, etc. But, those weren't the colors at all. The trunks were purples and violets, some of the leaves were green, yellow and pink, the grasses were shades of peach and yellow with violet in the shadows, white sky with twinkles of pink and gold. So, I took a few oil pastels from my pastel table over to the window and did a quick sketch. And, while the whole thing wasn't perfect, I absolutely loved the color!

And, while this might sound like I am bragging on myself, I thought immediately that the piece had an air of Wolf Kahn to it. And then I remembered that he has macular degeneration--and can't see super well. But, what his eyes can see is color and shape and really everything essential for a good painting or drawing. I'm going to remember to take my glasses off every once in a while. That way I'll see better. Or truer. And I'll post the sketch tomorrow. It is snowing now and I don't want to go outside to get my camera! Plus, it will be too dark to get a good image.


  1. you know, every one in a while when confronted with a particularly beautiful vista, I will stop and take a second to really look and think about how i would paint it. really look at the colors that are actually there instead of what we just assume to be there - like you are talking about. I don't know why I do this since i can't paint (or draw) to save my life, but I always have. And so now I feel super cool that an actual artist does the same thing!

  2. I love Wolf Kahn, we were just speaking about him in my painting sessions last week. And careful, 'cuz I think once you start seeing colour, you'll start finding purple grass and green skies everywhere!! Also, try looking at a clear night sky without your glasses.....I see Van Gogh's starry night. :)


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