Yes…I like it…but what is it? I’ve heard these words several times with regard to scenes I’ve photographed or painted and I push myself to remember a favourite quote from Alfred North Whitehead whenever they are spoken.
“Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of that pattern.”
Perhaps observers just don’t see the pattern or maybe I haven’t imposed enough structure on the scene.
Take, for example, these “randomly” spaced maple tree seed pods. Do they look like anything?
Is there a hidden message in these lupins?
I’m certain these are jewels.
Our minds search for patterns and even one or two simple lines can easily converge (or digress, I suppose) to convey an idea, image or emotion.
The other day, a friend mentioned how she had suddenly been shrouded by a sheet of sadness-a deflation of spirit while driving home. The feeling lasted for a few minutes then her naturally content personality kicked in. Still, she was curious about the origin of this dispiriting mood. Maybe it was brought on by a flat grey cloud on the horizon, stretching into the sadness of time.
And maybe her mind sought out the spiralling, up-reaching lines of the nearby trees to restore her to peace and contentment.
When the last snowfall threatened to tumble me into a grumbling pit of complaints, I turned instead to my camera and cropped a little here and there until I recognized a pattern that lifted my mood.
If you still need to know what it is-it’s a closeup of snow on the branches of the sumac trees outside the community centre. But if you look a little closer, or squint a little (always a good look) maybe you’ll see something else.