On Developing a Visual Eye with the Help of Edward Weston

I am sitting in what has become our “eBay “ room, where I have been taking pictures of items and listing them for sale on eBay for the past several hours. We have handled several estates over the past 6 months and we are still busy posting piece after piece so they can go up for sale. There is a rhythm to this task. It is very calm and methodical work. Also, it’s possible to learn a fair amount while doing the research on all the various objets d’art. Learning about all the various styles, eras, artists, and manufacturers makes this work interesting.

When I first married Ray I wasn’t particularly visual. I spent most of my time in my head. I was a psychotherapist, after all, and human personality and interpersonal dynamics were my playground at that time. Slowly, I have developed the ability to “see” and I am profoundly grateful for that gift. I enjoy life a great deal more – or at least have a broader experience – because I am able to notice the myriad of beautiful sights all around me.

The first time that I knew things were significantly different was when we attended a photo exhibition of Edward Weston. Weston’s work, filled with undulating shapes that come from nature, produced in me a visceral experience. I examined his photos and literally felt my body register the beauty in my gut. I was emotionally moved by the photographs that I was seeing for the first time. They were so absolutely beautiful I wanted to have a good cry right there and, no doubt, shed a tear or two. Never before had art evoked any deep emotion in me. I feel very sure it was because I had never before been capable of registering the visual experience before my eyes. Earlier in my life, I would have simply looked at those photos and might have noted they were interesting. But I would have remained detached from the work, observing it as if I were standing on the other side of a seven foot glass.

But no more. Now I routinely look at a piece of art and feel a stirring in my gut. A good stirring. How fortunate I am to have a chance almost every day to “see” something in a way I have not before seen it.  The sheer joy of it!

Thanks, Edward Weston. You are the person responsible for waking up my visual sensibilities. I am eternally grateful. My world of seeing would have been a much more watered-down experience without you and your superb photography.

Here are a few examples just in case you are interested.

oceano2

photo2

cabbage-leaf-1931

Weston

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