Last night, after I posted my sneaker photo for the WP challenge on perspective, it reminded me of a powerful little “perspective story” I heard a while ago and I thought I would share it here. I also want to show you how three artists*(Matisse, O’Keeffe, and Rothko) see the color RED in different ways!
First, the Swindoll Story:
During the early 1990’s, I used to listen to Chuck Swindoll’s daily radio program (mainly while driving to and from work).
One of his analogies for “perspective” came from a “lesson” he learned while giving a weekend talk in a certain city. Here is the short version.
The first night that Chuck was teaching, a couple came down to the front and during his talk, the husband fell asleep. It was a little annoying to him, to talk and look down and see the guy asleep, but he blocked it out and continued. However, the next night, the couple came in AGAIN. And again – the same thing happened – the guy feel asleep! Chuck shared the thoughts that went through his head. For example, he wondered if the wife of this man had “pressured” him to come (dragged him there) and well, Chuck admits that he was irritated. And as a public speaker, I can relate to this because all speakers like to engage their audience – and come on now, who wouldn’t be annoyed with someone sleeping – right in the front row?!
However, after the message, the couple came to the side area where Chuck was greeting people and they waited in line to speak with him. It turns out, the guy was actually a huge fan, but he had a type of illness that caused him to doze off and sleep! And to think that Chuck was annoyed because he had “assumed” that this guy was bored or even dragged to the meeting, but that was not the case.
Chuck went on to share about just how WRONG our perceptions might be at times. It is just a humanity thing! Sometimes we are right on when we “see” something – I mean, really right on – and it is a good thing to have discerned this or that. However, other times, we are NOT so spot on – and even folks that are really good at “reading” people, well they can be completely wrong at times.
~Also, did you ever notice that sometimes our perceptions are not only wrong, but they can also have a negative slant? This is even worse for those folks that have a continuous “critical spirit” (usually from unresolved anger or just sloppy self-awareness). And well, I think a critical spirit is a very destructive quality.
Anyhow, the next time you perceive something – be very careful before you assume or make judgements. You may need more information to have a clearer picture. Make sure you have enough of the details – because you just may be wrong with your initial impressions. Get details, get facts, and it also would be advantageous to see if you are maybe seeing with a negative filter….
Now – the ART!
I find it very interesting that Rothko, Matisse, and O’Keeffe each used the color “red” in different ways. And because of “artistic license” the artist can use the colors ANY way they want.
In these 3 paintings, with Red in the titles, well it seems as if all of them work more in the realm of orange, which sits between red and yellow on the color wheel.
Take a look at the art and then read the quotes from each artist.
Georgia O’Keeffe said:
“You [hang] all your own associations with flowers on my flower … AS IF I think and see what you think and see of the flower – and I don’t.” (This was said to reject the notion that her flower paintings were female body part metaphors.) She also said:
“A flower is relatively small. Everyone has many associations with a flower – the idea of flowers … So I said to myself – I’ll paint what I see – what the flower is to me, but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it – I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.”
Henri Matisse said:
“Where I got the color red—to be sure, I just don’t know,” “I find that all these things . . . only become what they are to me when I see them together with the color red.” (He said this about his “The Red Studio” painting.)
Mark Rothko said:
The People who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are only moved by their color relationships, then you miss the point!”
In closing, because many of us appreciate Van Gogh’s work – I thought I would include this lovely orange-ish painting as well:
For more on the color orange, see the Joy of Color blog.
Also, here is a nice example of color grounding with burnt umber/sienna.
*This is actually part 3 for referencing the artists Matisse, O’Keeffe, and Rothko – because last month I highlighted this trio twice.
Have a nice Saturday!