Keeping It in Perspective

Because I don’t have any formal art education, there are huge gaps in my skills.  I may have powers of observation that have allowed me to fake some aspects of being an artist thus far, but when it comes to geometry . . . well, I can’t fake that.  Understanding perspective is one of those skills I lack.

My brain and my eye want to argue with one another over perspective.  How can seemingly straight lines be so angled?  How can there be so many angles pointing in so many different directions at the same time?

Oh, the mistakes I’ve made!  I look back at what I’ve done in the past, and I’m embarrassed.  Somehow, however, if I want to continue to call myself an artist, I have to figure this out.

My husband recently gave me my first pointers.  He’s not an expert, but his father was an industrial designer back before there were computers to do the labor of creating 3D drawings, and he passed on some basic concepts to his curious son.  From my husband’s simplistic explanations and rough drawings, I began looking critically at photos in magazines, even going so far as to get out a ruler and a permanent marker and trace along the lines, looking for the focal point, horizon, and the vanishing points (if those are even the proper terms).

I have NOT looked on the internet for instruction and pointers.  I may do so eventually, but first I have to learn to SEE it on my own before I get bogged down in the technical details.  I may choose to never understand it mathematically since that part of my brain is already challenged.  There’s a rebellious part of me that wants to take on the problem of reproducing perspective and work it out in a manner that suits my brain alone.  I don’t want a YouTube video to give me a quick fix.

If this doesn’t work, then eventually I’d like to enroll in some college-level art classes that will help fill the gaps in my experience.   If there’s one (more) thing I’ve discovered about myself as part of this artistic journey, I’m definitely a hands-on, experiential kind of person.  I have good auditory skills (I can learn from lectures), but give me time and space and quiet, and I’d much rather work out problems with my own hands.

Here are the plans for my current project.  We’ll see if I can pull off the perspective.

Sweetwater Plans

Plans for “Sweetwater” Collage


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