Sunday, August 28, 2011


CAFE LUNA ~ Summerland, CA
"Anyone can make the simple complicated.
Creativity is making the complicated simple."
~ Charles Mingus, American jass musician

I've been concentrating on identifying my "creative eye" in  KAT SLOMA'S class, and in a recent assignment we were asked to identify creative elements that "called" to us... I stopped by SAN LUIS OBISPO MUSEUM OF ART (after-work) for a quick browse! I mean 8-10 minutes was all the time I had, before the doors closed.

I made a quick bee-line to the watercolor exhibit by DOUGLAS SIMMS STENHOUSE. Although I don't have experience painting with watercolors, I'm drawn to this artistic medium because it requires a painter to layer colors, creating depth in the image & sort of an ethereal appearance. While I haven't applied texturing to any of my photos, I know many photographers who can create a similar feeling by applying layers to their photos using photo-editing programs.

Walking through SLOMA, I developed this list of observations about my "creative eye"... I'm drawn to art pieces that are:

Nevada City Foundry
realistic = APPEALING. I spent a couple of minutes trying to figure out how many layers of color Stenhouse applied to create a feeling of depth in the objects found in his paintings. 

This photo sembles some of the objects in Stenhouse's art and could easily be replicated in watercolors, because of the play of light & dark.

Abstract art ~ ACE's bedroom
abstract or unrealistic = UNAPPEALING. If a piece is colorful, I might stop and try to figure out what the artist was thinking or feeling when they created their art, but bold stokes that are splashed & splatted all over the canvas, just make me think "messy"... not art!  On the other hand, this abstract = APPEALING because the design lines and bold colors are meticulously colored & shaded... 

ceramic by ACE

colors of nature = APPEALING

well-defined design or tactile appearance = APPEALING

This ceramic has a brillant shade of red-orange, with leaf-green outlines of the countries, floating on the aquamarine blue ocean.

Don't you want to put your hand up to feel the difference between shiny and flat? & trace your fingers over the outline of the water drips coming off the earth?

I've determined my "creative eye" looks for those "found-in-nature" colors; is drawn to "minute details" which can be captured in many art mediums; and the objects need a sense of "realism"... 

WOW! what a great exercise!!!


  1. Christine, I enjoyed reading your post and viewing the art here. I'm so impressed that you have your own "art gallery" on the wall of ACE's bedroom, and how that inspires you. This was an interesting exercise. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  2. You certainly accomplished a lot of soul searching in just a few minutes and did such a great job of defining what appeals to you artistically!

    Like you, I am very partial to watercolors - something about the ethereal nature of that medium.

  3. I think not having much time may have helped you! Wow! I love what you pulled out in such a short time. I hope you'll be able to go back sometime for a longer visit. And how fun the museum is nicknamed SLOMA!!

  4. You saw a lot in your short trip! It took me two trips for the connection to begin to sink in! Great journaling on your experience!



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