Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Thursday, 12 July 2007

When "real" is too real

I've just realised that, even though I'm not drawing much at the moment, I still look at things with a "sketcher's eye".

Sometimes I'll see something so odd, or so perfect, I know that if I drew it, no one would believe I didn't make some of it up.

Take sunsets, for instance. The other night I watched as the sky out my back window turned into strips of orange, purple and green. There was no "blending" or "bleeding" of one colour into another. Just stripes of bold, glowing colour. If I had painted that, any viewer would have sighed and said, "Hmmm... nice colours. Wouldn't happen like that, though."
Then their companion would chuckle and say, knowingly, "No! A bit of poetic licence, there, I think!"
And yet it WAS like that!

I've experienced the same with pictures of animals. A cat picture can look alluringly tempting to draw, then I realise, hang on, where's his other leg? Tucked under his belly, of course. But it doesn't look ODD in a photo, because the brain accepts it as a true reflection of what was there. In a sketch, though, it might look like I forgot his other leg.

Photography has been around how long? Say, about 140 years, give or take? We giggle at the naivety of the Victorians for being taken in by so-called photographs of ghosts and fairies. But it was a new medium. Our brains are still set-up to accept a photo as true. But we take it further- if it isn't a photo, it might be "wrong": the sunset must be exagerated, or the sleeping cat might be missing a leg.

The cat at the top of this post is lovely, but so perfect it would be difficult to draw faithfully. With his tuxedo, tie and crooked whiskers, he looks like he's been out on the town all night. Never mind. I wanted to share him with you anyway. Hope he makes you smile.


Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

But the irony is, photographs lie all the time! (Well, mine certainly do.) Nothing makes it to the frame without a tweak here and there..

That is one cool dude of a mog up there - is he yours?

Helena said...

Alas no, this character is off my cat-a-day calendar. -My partner buys me one each Xmas so that I get my cat fix each day. :^)

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

No, your blog is NOT too pink!!

Jo said...

I wish I had even half your talent hun. Truth be told, I can't even take a decent photograph much less sketch anything that anyone would recognize. :)

Helena said...

Jo, thanks for the kind words.
But you have amazing talent, it comes through in your Life With Heathens blog, especially: great design, great humour, great writing. So don't put yourself down. Or I'llhave to send a certain small bear over there to sort you out.


Catmoves said...

A beautiful cat. Smiles galore here.
Without a doubt, cats and ocean waves have to be the most difficult things to sketch. Perhaps because, even almost motionless, they are constantly moving?

Anonymous said...

Damn, you're making me think with my mind's eye.

That furry puss is a beauty!

What's a mog? (Brit talk again)