Observation and Preconception

Whistler Hike, acrylic, 20x24, by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki



It strikes me how much time I spend not actually painting. Just staring at stuff takes easily 80% of my creative process, if not more. It sounds ridiculous since the obvious goal is to create, but observation has so many rewards. Most importantly, it gets the art-making juices going. Here are some of the great things to be experienced when we simply observe the world around us without actually trying to make anything happen.


  • joyful excitement of exploration
  • absorption of new information
  • surprise of unexpected discoveries
  • naughty delight of seeing what was intended to be hidden
  • awakened desire to contribute
  • playful invention of stories
  • triggering of small and groundbreaking ideas
  • witnessing of miracles
  • developing of appreciation and love for the world around us

The person who likes to observe, never feels alone. Observation gets you out of your own head, which is not a small feat for some of us.

On the other hand is preconception of what the world looks like - a visualized idea of a tree, a rock, a nose. When we have preconceived ideas, all trees, rocks and noses look similar or even identical. At it's extreme, think comics, medieval art, folk art. 

What I love about art is that it brings the two approaches together. I think that preconception and thorough observation play really well with each other.  The artist considers reality and decides how to change it - compose, generalize, stylize, exaggerate, distort, annihilate, beautify...the possibilities are endless. It's quite amazing how powerful  and appealing those artistic deviations can be - from small ones that you find in realist art, to any degree that your personal taste may prefer.

Observation and preconception - it's as simple as that!

Happy creating!

Tatjana







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