Many people look without actually seeing.  It’s the difference between vision as an automatic process and true observation.  I’m trying to train my eye to pay more attention.  I’ve started by thinking about the category texture.  I look for various textures and then I photograph them, not as a professional photographer would, but just with my iPhone.  After all, I’m supposed to be seeing with my eyes, not via a mediating tool.  All textures in photography are only “implied” since photographs are smooth.  However they should evoke actual textures.

I’m keeping this “texture archive” as a way of reminding myself about things that I might not otherwise notice.  Plus the contrasts make for lovely correspondences between types of textures, and I can use the images for future art projects. 

The more I do this – almost every day – the more it becomes habitual.  Which means I’m becoming more aware of my surroundings.  Of course, slowing down and drawing something is another way of achieving similar results.

This would be a good art project for students keeping a visual journal.  Instead of the initial intimidation of a blank book, they could work within criteria and categories.  Not just texture, but also pattern, or contour.


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