Eyes of the Heart

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“I shut my eyes in order to see.” Paul Gauguin (from Skinnyartist.com)

How can one create with eyes shut? Gauguin’s statement would seem to not make any sense. Does he mean painting with a blindfold on? Many paintings out there look as though they have been painted with a blindfold on. Many more look like they need to have been painted with a blindfold on. But is this to be taken literally?

Gauguin, in my opinion, is talking about the heart. Let the heart see with the heart’s eyes. That is a difficult thing to do when the brain’s eyes want to remain in control. There is the natural inclination to recreate in exact detail what is physically present.   It may be necessary to actually close the eyes to get the right visual. It may take practice. It may take concentration to let go of one set of eyes to allow the others to open.

The art of opening the heart’s eyes and allowing them to take over does not necessarily mean losing realism. The heart’s eyes are eyes of feeling, eyes of emotion. Emotion is the spark that lifts realism out of simple recreation and gives it life. Emotion is the spark of any form of art that lifts it out of boredom and lights a fire.

A blindfold is not required to paint with the eyes shut. It just takes getting in touch with the heart’s eyes. Of course, painting with a blindfold may make for new and interesting art. It could even start a new movement in “blindfold painting.” Who knows, it may become all the rage. Anything can happen when the physical eyes are closed and the heart’s eyes are open.

10 responses to “Eyes of the Heart”

  1. I agree with seeing with the heart – I used to get very frustrated with the images I could see with my eyes shut but couldn’t create with conventional media, then found I could release these images into digital art. Such a relief!

    1. It is very freeing!! I am just learning this.

  2. And I found that’s usually the important part: the heart’s eyes.

    1. Yes! It always is.

  3. I feel the same when I step away from my writing and return to it with a fresh perspective. Mysteriously the answer appears. It’s a matter of getting out of my own way and making room for inspiration.

    1. Yes! That is exactly it!

  4. Reblogged this on Greatpoetrymhf's Weblog and commented:
    The art of opening the heart’s eyes and allowing them to take over does not necessarily mean losing realism. The heart’s eyes are eyes of feeling, eyes of emotion. Emotion is the spark that lifts realism out of simple recreation and gives it life. Emotion is the spark of any form of art that lifts it out of boredom and lights a fire.

  5. And as I understand it, medical science is finding that the heart plays a rôle somewhat akin to the brain’s, anyway ! 🙂

  6. Eyes closed and painting upside down. New perspectives. Hugs, Barbara

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